Construction Stuff…

Here’s a brief tour around Il Poggiolo to see just where Our Builder hid his Stuff before Our Big Party on the 23rd of July…
1. Once-upon-a-time, bunny-rabbits and a pig resided here. They are long gone. Now, it is home to scaffolding…
2. This was the donkey’s domicile. Donkeys were THE means of transportation in these parts until the 50s!!! As you can see, no room for Mr. 4×4 Donkey. Only cement & tiles today… 
3. The unfinished Stanza dei Tini and the far-off Laundry Room, encumbered with wood, wheelbarrows & the traces of works not to be completed until September…
4. And, behind the wall, more Tools of the Trade. Gads.

The Fish Swimming Pool…

… in the afternoon. 
I am very pleased with my new plant purchases from yesterday’s jaunt to Massa… though Codiponte is within the Province of Massa, it takes nearly an hour to get there, and by the autostrada!!!… and the mega-grande nursery… Giovanelli… there. I spent a good twenty minutes hunting for an Informed-person to help me find the aquatic plant life for purchase in the ENORMOUS establishment. I was sent to a woman in the Aquarium Department… another long trip… by a handsome & sun-tanned twink. He was pretty to look at but, his employer ought to invest in proper training of their Staff. This 20-something only knew about shade plants. Good Grief. That’s about 0.3% of the stock of the nursery!!! He went back to pruning the dead leaves off a camellia. I padded-off to find the woman. She was dressed in an orange polo… like those worn on the budget airlines in the US… but, she answered all My Questions/Directions/Other. A Euro 100 later, I went home happy with a box of new aquatic plants, fertilizers & potting soil. Yet, I think once a quarter is well enough for visits to the Giovanelli in Massa. Too darn far away!!! Gads.

Other Stuff In Bloom…

This plant is a hydrangea. Different type from the snow-cone variety you normally see around. 
The poor thing was rendered nearly extinct, thanks to the lack of Respect given it by the Work-guys. I had mistakenly planted the unusual flowering plant in front of the Upstairs Apartment at the very moment that that spot became a resting place for the W-guy’s equipment & tools… and their Marlboro cigarette packages. By the way, cigarettes are really expensive here. 20 cigs from Marlboro is practically a down-payment on studio apartment!!! 
So, I moved it to along the Eastern facade of La Casa Grande & above the Fish Swimming Pool. I thought it would be annihilated by all the rain & chill of last Winter. However, though it was a struggle all the way until late-July, it seems Healthy & Happy… as per the many blooms. Whew!!! Gads.

Commandments of Mr. You…

Mr. You speaks & I am commanded…
he told me tonight… on the telephone between my bouts of acute hip pain… that he would like to see a photo of the lilly in bloom in the Fish Swimming Pool. Well, the only way we can do it is if I post the darn picture on this blog. All other methods are i-m-p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e, with much thanks to the adaptability of Mr. You to Modern Communication Technology. I suppose I ought to be thankful to his coterie of nurses that he can manage to view things on my blog. 
Anyway, guess what I get to do first thing in the morning? Can I at least feed the Dear Fish first? Gads.

Scabs…

An odd spot for a blister. Ain’t a blister though…

that scab stuck between the two fingers of my driving-hand is the nearly two-week result of either a sting-ant bite or from a spider. Damn Mother Nature & Her Poisonous Varmits. Try putting anti-septic cream and a Band-aid in such a spot. I had innocently placed an un-gloved hand on a grassy bank to brace myself while I yanked-up a skyscraper tall multi-leafed-weed-with-flower. I had wanted the Garden to be ship-shape for our party last Friday night. No-one saw the Garden. They staid on the Cortile eating & drinking & talking & laughing. And, rightly so. There was tons of stuff to eat & get happy on. Anyway… the bite hurt like shit!!! The hills around Codiponte are still echoing with my medley of swear-words. I took Our Lord’s Name in vain… Good Grief… and went on from there. It was very colorful language, to say the least. I could do NOTHING but hold my driving-hand & invent new swear-words for an hour afterwards. Then, like an insidious strain of magic, the pain disappeared. That night, however, I wanted to tear off my fingers to get at the itch, the bite itched so badly. Naturally, this happened during my REM sleep. I was oblivious to the consequences of the itching attack. Only, I awoke to an encrusted-with-blood driving-hand & stained sheets. All I can say is… I hope whatever multi-legged-micro-creature it was that bit me, it DIED A Terrible & Lonely DEATH!!!
This encounter with the Local Bug Life is just one example of what I have suffered the last two Summers gardening on the multi-terraced grounds of Il Poggiolo. Look at my leg!!! I even have scabs on my Scottish fanny from God-knows-what kind of blood-sucking-insect. My white-wine & pasta made with fresh tomatoes, garlic & basil nourished body rivals Kabul. Gads.

Unwanted Hiatus…

A shady shot. At least, this scene is devoid of Our Builder’s Construction Crap. It will be so until the end of August. Our unwanted August hiatus. Yet, A Healthy Financial Blow for Our Builder…
he is obligated by Our 3rd Contract to pay Euro 75 for every day late after the June 30th Deadline. So far, he is 26 days late. He told me the other day that Phase III… Upstairs Apartment, Laundry Room & Plumbing System… won’t be completed until September 15th. The Math will then say… Euro 75 x 77 days late = a bunch of Euros!!! It’ll be a whole shit-load of $$$s!!! Sorry to be so vulgar, but really. Had Our Builder thrown his entire six-man squad at the three tasks of Phase III… a simultaneous assault both above & below… he could have knocked off with… I’m done Dad!!!… two weeks before the Deadline. Didn’t happen that way. Now, he pays. And, I cannot figure it.
The month long Peace & Quiet may, actually, be a boon to My Tired & Stressed Spirit/Anima/Well-being/etc. I can now cat-nap/read/putter/gaze-up-into-a-cloudless-sky!!! on the terrace in front of the Upstairs Apartment without being bothered…. da nessuno. The only disturbance might be an occasional persimmon dropping from its tree bonking The Dog forcing him to move over by the pomegranate bush. No problem for me. I wear a hat. What an exciting month we are in store for!!! Gads.

Down…

The oak flooring is down but, it’s not finished yet. 
Before we can holler… It’s done, Dad!!!… a few additional steps must happen…
the natural protection of oil… oddly, with a hint of oranges in its perfume… has to be brushed on…
…yet, before that grease, the 60 square meters of oak flooring will have to submit to being abused by kind of sanding machine with a special disk to bring-out the veining of the Romanian oak. Yep. Romanian oak. That Eastern country is the World’s second largest producer of oak flooring, aged like it should be. Bet you didn’t know that!!!
…however, even before all that, we must wait a week… or, two… for the boards to realize they are in a permanently horizontal position. A necessary aspect of their Destiny. 
Now, I can understand why folk put go on & put down cotto tiles. Once down, that’s it. Gads.

Done…

Well, the hand-rail was installed this afternoon. Seems the new-yet-old railing looks like it has always been a part of il Poggiolo. How did that happen? 

My only other Comment before signing-off is the railing leaves a lovely set of shadows on the terra-cotta pavement in the late afternoon sun. Gads.