Easter, Easter, blah, blah, blah
Well, it's Easter Sunday, so happy Easter/Passover etc to those of you with a religious bent, and Happy Holidays to those of you without.
I must admit, Easter never really been much fun for me. Even if I weren't living in Italy where the TV is rubbish (and here it's badly-dubbed into super-fast well-neigh-incomprehensible Italian), I eat too much (usually out of boredom), and it rains. Today though, not really so bad, I must admit. Sam was super-tetchy this morning and did what he could to ruin any semblance of serenity at our Easter brekkie. But then we had an Easter egg hunt outside. V had sneaked out and strategically placed a number of sickly choccy eggs at various heights and degrees of difficulty, and off they went, our two, Jack'n'Helen's two and three youngsters belonging to a German family staying here.
And they loved it! But what most impressed me was how well-behaved they all were. Don't get me wrong: much running and high-pitched screaming, as you might expect. And the dogs joined in too, finding a few low-lying eggs and polishing them off sharpish. But some serious socialist redistribution of wealth going on, with kids adding their finds to the baskets of the not so quick-off-the-mark younger members. Sam was way too excited to really work out what was going on, and way too slow, but none-the-less he ended up with a basket-full, most of which were placed there by the other children. It really was sweet. If only they could keep that sense of fairness as they get older.
Anyway, bottom line: it was fine. Maybe I'm softening in my old age. Maybe it's having kids. Maybe I'm having a stroke. And I'm looking forward to roasting some lamb and beef later...might even do some Yorkshire puds!
We need more juice
I am getting really worried about our electricity supply. I am worried bout our teetering-on -the-edge boiler too, but our lekkie supply, or lack of it, is starting to press on me. One of the meters tripped half a dozen times this morning, just because someone was using the dishwasher while someone was using a grill. These things on their own aren't the problem. The problem is we all have so much more stuff plugged in than we used to do. 5 years ago my office would have had a PC and a phone. The PC might have been switched on once a day. Maybe. Now there's a PC, a router, a UPS, a phone, a network hard drive, the power-supply for the high-speed internet aerial, a printer (on standby, but still consuming) and who knows what else. As I walked into an apartment to try and find out what was tripping, I saw a mini-computer, a phone charging, an iPod charging, a couple of kids toys, and that was just in the kitchen, never mind what was plugged in the bedroom sockets. Even though these devices are usually low consumers, there are so many of them that our tiny supply is no longer up to the job. So as soon as something big is added (like a grill), pop.
I'd love to put in a photo-voltaic plant, but I just don't have €50k lying around, and if I did, I'd need to spend it elsewhere. But just think - free, zero-carbon electricity! So many karma points!
I'm not sure what I can do - we are, after all, in the middle of no-where, but something has to happen, that is for sure. I'll call the sparky on Tuesday, and get the ball rolling. That's immediately after I've called a couple of people to come and quote us on a carbon-neutral bio-mass heating system. Though unless I take a farmers exam (the one I failed last year because my Italian is so naff) I can't actually buy it until the end of the year. I just hope the main house's boiler lasts that long...or we're toast.
And we had our own mini-earthquake here yesterday. V and I both woke up and said "What the feck was that?". Everything shook, just for a second, then stopped. Nothing serious. Nothing even unusual - Carla says she used to get them here all the time. Italy's history is littered with destructive earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and so on. The peninsula is a warren of fault-lines and sliding tectonic plates.
However, our little shudder is a timely reminder of how awful things must be for so many tens of thousands of people just a couple of hours drive from here. It's mad - very weird to know how terrible these people must feel, all those thousands who have lost their homes as well as their town, those terrible, terrible souls who have lost loved ones, and yet I feel detached from it all. It could be happening on the other side of the world, and I feel guilty and sad that I don't feel more connected to them.
Maybe my anger after the tsunami is still there under the surface. 250,000+ lives stuffed out in minutes, seconds even, and yet the story was off the front page in days. The biggest single loss-of-life in my life-time, and people were bored of it far quicker than they get bored of some no-news event on Big Brother. I was livid, and stayed that way for weeks. Until I too forgot.
If you feel guilted into making some small contribution, try this link here. It's hard to know if it'll make any difference, but better to try than not to.
Lola is in my bad books again. She's been in the pond and torn out my pampus grass! So I had to wade into that icy cold water and rescue the roots before the carp ate the lot. I have replanted and hope that the poor plant survives. Bloody dogs!