Thursday, 30 April 2009

my love affair ... with Italy

I fell in love with Italy many years ago; but like most relationships, it is not 100% perfect; because nothing is, nothing can be. However where Italy exceeds above anywhere else in my experience in letting itself down, is in their administration.

I had been reliably informed that I needed to be registered with a Doctor, which had to be carried out a certain office. I go there and explain what I wish to do. They answer that this process has to be done with a certain officer who isn't there today. However there are several other offices where I can do it and one is open today. I drive twenty minutes to get there and I explain what I want to do: again I need to see a certain officer .....who isn't there today. However I can go to another office (only five minutes drive away. ) I ask at the desk, and you guessed I have to see a certain officer who is in that office 'over there'. It is empty and there is no queuing or ticket system, so we all lurk around the door like vultures until the man arrives and I pounce on him. He is friendly and I explain that I wish to register with a Doctor. I display my full complement of documents, passports and my Health Card, and ask him what he needs. He says 'I don't need anything' picking up my Health card, with one of these you can go to any Doctor.' Laughing, almost hysterically, I say: 'No. Surely that's too simple for Italy.' He laughs agreeing with me. He phones a colleague, to confirm the facts, and to tell him what I'd said. They laugh and I leave with a smile on my face.

But wait a minute: to how many people did I explain what I wished to do? They all said 'you register with a Doctor there'. The manual my friend had clearly said that I didn't need to register with a Doctor. So why did they tell me with false authority that that was the person to speak to about registering? I guess I'll never know.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Internet Protocol

I have this big problem with the protocol on the internet.
e.g. somebody sends me an e-mail and says this is what I'd like to do
I reply and say could we do it slightly differently like this instead for reasons a,b, and c.
And what do they do?
They don't reply?
What does that mean?
Apart from not respecting your fellow human being, it doesn't resolve anything....
and yet it happens all the time..

Monday, 27 April 2009

'The Blues and Beyond' with Rowland Jones

First programme 28th April 18.00 Tuesday
Every fortnight also available as podcast
La prima puntata 28 Aprile 18.00 Martedi
Quindicinale anche come podcast


Picasso had been commissioned by a wealthy businessman to produce a portrait of his wife. After a few sittings, the businessman visited the studio curious to see the work’s progress. Seeing Picasso’s interpretation of reality, the man was furious. Pulling a photograph of his wife from his wallet he exclaimed, 'That’s my wife!'

Totally nonplussed Picasso replied, 'Small isn’t she?'

Friday, 24 April 2009


Felt the urge today to try and write a Haiku...this a Haiku about Haiku

Short, neat and formal

Thoughts pruned to perfect essence

Bonsai poetry

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


On Saturday Jamencuz played at a benefit here in the village for the Earthquake fund in Aquila: it raised 1100 euros.

Very pleased especially as the weather was very cold so not many people wanted to stand outdoors, not even for a good cause.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Talking to old friends....

Had a message today from a friend with whom I did my MA. It included the line;

'Lex and I got married in 2007, we had a medieval do - I made my own frock and some of Lex's chainmail. Also, there was a zombie.

I'm proud to have friends like that.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Cuttings and Articles

I've been looking for a source of cuttings and short articles here in Italy and finally found one: Il Messaggero Umbria. In yesterdays editon they were talking about this years Umbria Jazz Festival, saying that they have invited for the newly emerging artists: Nonna Summer: excellent!

lunch is here, lads!

'So yes let me get this straight madam... you jumped into a pool with what?'

'Three polar bears: those massive white things with large teeth and claws that could probably cut through steel?'

'And they did what?'

"They attacked you? quel surprise! You willingly entered the territory of one of the most ferocious creatures on Earth: carnivores that have been known to eat their own young.' Hmm.

I wonder why this bear appears to be smiling......