Get the vote…

Perhaps many of you have heard of the jolt several European countries received this past weekend from the election results for MEPs in Strasbourg… Members of the European Parliament. A turn to the far-right. The biggest jolts were in the UK & France. That trend was bucked in Italy. The Partito Democratico… or, PD, for short, an agglomeration of ex-political this’s & that’s of mostly a red tint and also the country’s current governing party, managed to pull-off an impressive… for Italy… 40% share of the vote. Bunga-Bunga-Berlusconi’s party got a pitiable 16%. Even the Rant & Rave Politician, Beppe Grillo, and his 5-Star Party faired far better than his B-B-B-nemesis by shimming up to the PD with its 34%. The TV newscasts and the local bar gossip seemed relieved and more so by the additional confirmation of the newly minted Italian status quo in the local elections across the peninsula at the same times as the vote for the MEPs. Fine by me. I couldn’t vote for any of it. Yet, everyone in Codiponte thought I could. Darn. My Voting Status became The Question between me and any member of the local constituency, i.e. Do you have the residency? Meaning… Can you vote? It got real difficult to buy a bottle of white wine or a carton of eggs, pay a bill alla posta or, pump gas into My FIAT without being suddenly embraced/back-slapped by someone or his/her relative on a political party’s Candidates List. It’s a family affair here. Insures the distribution of the spoils, meager though they may be. Dangerous to express even a hint of preference in such a climate of familial patronage & support, when future employment by the winning administration is at stake. The maxim learned from My English Friends in Codiponte is… Friends to everyone, friends to no-one. Tough waters to politicaly navigate. But, blessedly, I had an good out. And so, I could joyously shake the hands without shame or offense with the returned-to-office mayor and congratulate the mother-in-law of her daughter-in-law’s return to office too. Whew. I can breathe another day in Codiponte. Gads.

Italian state sanctioned…

…private initiative. However, in this instance here in Codiponte, the peculiar Italian form of capitalism united in the cause of the state entails only the daily cost of a beat-up 60’s IVECO excavator and a single operator from 7:30AM to 5PM for 5 days of labor… with a break from all the noise for an hour’s pranzo.

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We Codipontesi have lost count on how many times the owner of the local marble quarry has taken upon himself to amateurly construct a river crossing… and please be reminded that for centuries, the only bridge across the Aullela River was the Medieval one in Codiponte!!!… so that when the Italian State finally decides to repair the tumble-down Regional Road 445 along our stretch of the riverside road… and also be reminded that this RR was a mule trail until the late 60s!!!… his HUGE trucks can continue to barrel at stomach churning speeds between quarry and his vendors near Carrara. I count 5 times. And, as for the previous 4, no sooner has the Machine & Man have left the site than a deluge comes to wash what-all down the mightily flat Aullela River. You’d think the Lesson would’ve been learnt after the 2nd time, but no.

IMG_4513We, The Citizens of the Village of Codiponte believe this make-shift bridge will once again be a sure-fire wash-away. But, let’s enjoy the various views of the super-structure in its newly finished pristine state…

here are the same tubes for the passage of H2O…
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And, here is the newly dredged canal to cleverly direct the waters through the tubes. Frankly, having witnessed the Power & Glory of Rushing Waters, neither the tubes nor the lovely wall of rocks will last more than 30 minutes in any downpour.

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And so, let us gazed upon this view down-river before the bucolic scene is once again marred by the rapt ingeniousness of the Italian state allowing private enterprise to try and fool Ms. Mother Nature. Gads.

Saturday night fire…

IMG_4509… nearly smoked the neighbors out of their houses. I made amends early this morning. They were all very kind and understanding. One even said she could put up with the smoke not to see Il Poggiolo as a black & ugly eye sore. Here’s the evening’s pyrotechnics… IMG_4510

 

 

 

 

There are still piles to Burn, Baby, Burn too. Gads.

 

Consequences of gardening…

…more piles to burn. Here is a summary of Saturday’s labors…

popped over to Our Pruning Consultant-Man to borrow his Extendable Pruning Instrument… E.P.I… so I could cut back the willows over-hanging the phalanx of hydrangeas. IMG_4508Here is The After Photo on the left. Had to make 6 trips back ‘n forth to haul the many cut branches to the river since, I was not about to haul them up the sentiero to add them to the piles of drying flora near the back entrance to Il Poggiolo. If there is One Rule to Obey in Life: it’s I go down, I do not go up. Here is the photo of that river pile… please note: there are two…

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All this is so fascinating, don’t you think? And written by someone with two college degrees.

Then, with the handy tool still in hand, I climbed the heights employing one of the heaviest ladders know to man up The Great Wall of the Aia… or, if you prefer, Il Poggiolo’s Bastions… to clean it of its weeds and to cut back the lilacs from drooping menacingly over Our One-And-Only DOC vine. Please note: it’s that single dangly-thing in the photo documentation of that acrobatic escapade, and one I am so glad to be alive to recount. The top is 21 feet about M.E…

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The consequence of these courtyard cut ‘n snip resulted in yet another pile added to other two waiting to be burned at the trianglular Burning Place near Il Poggiolo’s Back-gate. I’d love to show you the photo-op but, am denied due to the photo’s exceeding WordPress site’s sanctioned photo-load limit. Believe me, there’s enough now to burn for several nights. YIPPEE!!! Gads.

 

 

Iris Erectus…

In the general scheme of things, what I have to say is not a critical issue. Yet, to heighten any presumed importance, Latin is The Language to use: Iris Erectus.

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Have you ever seen such rigidly erect looking iris before? Can’t say that I have. They are, typically, a thin & tall garden flower but, my new iris bulbs procured from Our Local Nursery down-Pallerone-way and planted with fury last fall et alia nescire dixit del diluvio… or, before the floods… seem plastic, fake… unnatural. Doubt they will break into song alla Walt Disney. You thinks they are carini. Well, at least, I have done something right in the garden this year. Gads.

Various satisfactions…

The torrential rains from October last through to this year’s late Easter created a bumper crop of weeds. You could hardly see that 20 to 25 lavender plants were as good as gone, so hidden were they by the abundance of weed stalks. How embarrassing. This eco-tragedy is a semi-mystery. You & I think… since the lavender are planted on a slope and the overflowing Winter waters were so copious, the poor plants were denied their fair share of H2O. They died. Nothing left for us to do but toss the dead sister lavender and their brother weeds onto the pile in the only open-space large enough to build a pyre of fire situated between the back entrance, the ramp down to the aia and path over to L”Appartamento Azzurro. Here’s the sight… IMG_4495

But, there’ve been several heaps to burn before hand…

I can pretty safely say that since March, I have done nothing else but weed and weed again and weed some more at Il Poggiolo. And the fruits of my yanking Mother Nature’s unwanted quickly end-up on the Burn, Baby, Burn stack. Occasionally, however, other irritating foliage have been attacked. Our Little Garden Consultant-Man pruned the heck out of all Our Fruit Trees & Other Vegetation, while his wife went at it on the rose bushes back in early April. That escapade created two huge fires!!! And, just last Tuesday, You took shears in hand… his surgeon’s hands… on a grotesque bush called nocciola. BEWARE!!! The darn thing sprouts worse than bamboo. The object of You’s pruning architecture was the nocciola next to the single lamp-post of the sentiero, which climbs up & around Il Poggiolo to the Borgo Castello. Naturally, and once You had lopped-off enough branches to his satisfaction, I then had to drag the leafy detritus to Our Burning Spot. You cuts, he does not haul. My satisfaction will soon be to light the match to ignite the bonfire to Burn, Baby, Burn the weeds, dead lavender and wilted nocciola in a few day’s time. Cannot wait!!! Gads.

 

 

To rip or to post…

Wondering why I haven’t been posting up a storm since…? Since…? Well, since way back on the 6th of April. I can offer a Good Excuse: I have been in the US visiting my Dear & Aged Mother for Easter. Now, I am back and have been avidly dedicating My Time to ripping out weeds… some… most… all!!! are nearly 2 feet high in various precincts of Il Poggiolo’s garden. Sunshine permitting. Actually, the situation was not voluntary. The Choice was clear: it was the weeds or us. Despite this Rigor of Labor, You felt it necessary to complain from the comfort of his hospital HQ of the absence of an informative update on Our Blooms in the Garden. Gosh. Well, here they are…

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What cannot be transmitted is the near-heavenly perfume. Gads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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