Anomalies Abound

Until I had a look at the committee for deciding hunting dates I must admit I had no idea there were so many societies who ” look after” the protection of birds in Italy. Maybe it is me but in a country that blasts them out of the skies for four and an half months a year it seems odd to have them doesn’t it. I mean what do they do apart from sit on committees and wring their hands . If only 18% of Italians think shooting migratory birds out of the sky is a suitable pastime then you have to say they are entirely ineffective as a body in the job  they are purportedly set up to do namely protect birds given the level of public support they could garner. I am not against shooting vermin but draw the line at blazing away at birds heading south for some warmer weather and a little beach time.  I mean we all want to do that don’t we ? Where are they heading well here obviously once they have run the gauntlet down the length of Italy .

Ah Desert Island Discs. Have you ever thought about what 8 records which book and one luxury you would take ? The programme has been running on the BBC since 1942. The first castaway was Vic Oliver, and several castaways, including Arthur Askey, Kenneth Williams, Terry Wogan, David Attenborough and Adele Leigh have been cast away more than once. The most requested piece of music over the first 60 years was “Ode to Joy”, the last movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. One of the most remarked upon broadcasts was Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s 1958 selection of seven of her own recordings. This record was subsequently beaten by British pianist Dame Moura Lympany on her second appearance on the programme on 28 July 1979 when all eight of her selections were of her own recordings ! John Cleese asked to take Michael Pailin with him as his luxury but stipulated he had to be dead and stuffed !

Anyway back to those anomalies. Today I read that Puglia tops the table for abandoned dogs. Who publishes the table well the Associazione Italiano Difesa Animale or the Italian  Association for the Protection of  Animals . Now Puglia may top the list but trust me most other regions aren’t far behind. It seems a massive problem in Italy and is caused in the main by the cost of putting a dog down , the lack of places to take them if they are unwanted and the cost and unwillingness of vets especially male vets to neuter dogs.

Things get really bad down here in Puglia in September when people pack up their summer homes and head either back up north or back into the cities in Puglia. During the summer many put a large dog in a cage in the garden in the mistaken belief that a locked up barking dog dissuades  burglars. When they head home they drive the dog into the back of beyond and drop it off. Added to this is the hunting crew who adopt dogs in the summer in the hope that they don’t bark and will find downed birds. Those that can’t, are  abandoned and others, once the first gun goes off, take off to the woods and hide.   I don’t know how many other societies there are to look after the welfare of dogs but I found several others. All rather ineffective again  as they should be attacking the problem not merely reporting the stats . I wonder who funds them ?

The way to really tell summer is coming in Italy is to check out petrol prices. ENI is the biggest industrial company in Italy and the government still has a 30% share in the business. They appear to run fuel prices. When they move the other follow in double quick time. This weekend they raised petrol by 1.5 cents and diesel by a cent . Today the others all “matched” the price rise. Now the government with a 30% stake must be torn. Condemn it but privately rub their hands in glee as tax revenue increases each time ENI do this.

Is it justified, well the price of Brent crude is down this month as are prices in the rest of Europe ( Italy has the most expensive fuel in Europe) . The euro had risen by 1.5 cents against the US$ in the last 30 days too making imports of fuel cheaper. So I guess the answer is no . Silence of course from the government who are kicking off their own hols this month taking probably one of the 660,000 cars at their disposal.

I better dig out my old bike

Now much closer to home, indeed right in it I bought a steam floor cleaner from Lidl much to the amusement of my wife.  Are they any good ? well a bit like those old Flash floor cleaner ads of the 60s I used a mop on the floors upstairs and having finished switched on the trusty Lidl steam cleaner  and did them again with that . This was the pad at the end

Steam mop mat

Game set and match I think don’t you !

Just in case you don’t remember those ads they showed how you no longer needed to rinse and dry floors etc with the new Flash Ho ho.

See you tomorrow.




About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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