Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Benjamin Button

Last evening we went to see the film Benjamin Button at the Multicomplex Cinema in Piedripa. If you've seen the film, you'll know the narrative was set during the hurricane Katrina. What we took as sound effects however, was in fact a thunder storm which was passing overhead. When we got out of the cinema the whole parking lot was flooded and as we drove home and got nearer our mountains, the rain was snow and at home we were under another foot of the stuff.
Just look!

But I've given up on snow...too tiring. We're exhausted after so much of it; best that it stays on the mountain.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Railway Man

This is a book written by Eric Lomax about his experience in Japanese prisoner of war camp in Burmah and then in Singapore. Happened to pick up the book in a new s/h bookshop here in Sarnano opened by a friend who is selling up having been broken by the Italian system. This... and yesterday....yesterday.
One of the principle points of the book is how Lomax describes closing down; cutting off his feelings and emotions because this was the only way he could protect his fellow inmates when under interrogation. So he learned how to stay mute and govern his natural reactions...and he did so successfully for three years, suffering finally of course when he tried to settle back into normal life and couldn't undo the damage.
Not that I'm suggesting that a visit to a Comune tecnico's office is in any way similar to the experience of being tortured in Japanese prisoner of war camp, this would be insulting to all those brave abandoned men, but here is one similarity; a desire to kill. Lomax even after 50 years had nightmares about his torture and harboured a desire for revenge. You're losing the thread of this one aren't you?
Two events in one day might link a thread or two. Ok, of course I'm exaggerating, as is my wont, but the knowledge that you are powerless in the face of ignorance can do internal damage whereas a swift punch on the nose would feel so good.

The events
Our last winter's gas bill did away with any hope of a holiday and we have switched to our wood burner for most of the winter. But I've been trying to call our gas supplier for ages but no one ever answers the phone. I wanted to know the current price of GPL. This is derived from oil so my guess was that the price must have come down somewhat in line with oil, maybe not 75% but perhaps half?
I get through eventually to on of the managers of Liquigas

The conversation

Hi, just wanted an update on the current price of gas,

I can't tell you right now because I'm not in the office, can you call me tomorrow at 8.30 am?

But it's only the cost of gas I'm asking, surely you know that?

Not off hand, call me in the morning

Next morning

Boungiorno, It's me again..about the price of gas.

Oh yes, give me your a/c number and I'll tell you

What's my a/c number got to do with it, I just want the price of gas.

Ah, yes, here you are, the current price is E4.04 a litre

But that's the same as a year ago!

Well, you'll see when your February bill arrives that there will be a reduction.

How much?

Eight cents

But the price of oil has come down by almost 75% in the last year.

Has it?

What do you mean 'has it?' Everybody knows that.. and your product is derived from oil and it's the same price as a year ago.

Well sir, would do you suggest? What price do you think our gas should be?

At this stage, I give up , he is taking the piss, and post it all into my anger box along with my experience in a comune later that day (which you wouldn't believe unless you'd been brought up on a diet of Kafka novels). Internalised anger= damage.

So I concentrate on a fresh wave of snow and Bessie who simply adores it, and hasn't to deal with crooks and idiots and has fresh bones delivered to her kennel door every morning by a devoted friend

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's Tuesday 10th Feb and it's Jahli's birthday and a full moon is up and guess what?
I went outside to check my bonfire as a fantastic scirocco is blowing, looked up and saw a moonbow. A moonbow? a rainbow caused by the moon's light passing through an approaching shower blowing in from the mountain. A first. Never imagined such a thing!
Went to grab my camera (doubting all the while the moonbow could possibly register), someone calls from New York and in those few seconds the moonbow disappears. But it was there, honest. A magic moonbow for Jahli.
Moral of story: Never let a phone call get in the way of a moonbow.
This morning I checked on Google and look...well this link won't come up, but it's
I feel privileged I do.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The month of January

I know what your thinking...another story about cats (what is it with this guy?)

Well this is a picture of..what? A bonfire? Yes, it's a bonfire but also a ritual. It's what I do on the 31st of January every year to destroy the dark God of winter and to clear the way for the changing of the light.
And I won't even go into the fact that I was ordered to stay next to the fire throughout to make sure Tikka didn't jump in it.
I mean, as if she would ?