How to tell if it’s cold outside or not…

Today started out badly when I discovered that we didn’t have Internet access. I called our Internet provider immediately, only to be told that our area was experiencing a huge and very complicated cable problem of some sort, that technicians were already out working on it but that it might take 24 hours. From his tone of voice, it sounded as though all the Internet cables in Florence had been cut or burned or eaten by rodents or vampires…

Gasp.

24 HOURS WITHOUT INTERNET…WITHOUT ACCESS TO MY BLOG? NOOOOO! 🙁 My first impulse was to go back to bed and sleep for 24 hours…

But I had other stuff to do today, lots of stuff, so in the end not having Internet access didn’t matter (and, as you can see, fixing the problem, whatever it was, hasn’t taken 24 hours, after all…).

After years of “doing it ourselves and breaking our backs,” this year Stefano and I finally hired a gardener to prune our trees and clear the summer and fall debris from both yards, the one in front and the bigger one in back. We realized that we really needed some professional help after noticing that our magnolia tree had grown taller than our house. Uhm. Yes. It needed some seeeeerious pruning, which clearly Stefano couldn’t do…way too dangerous. So we began setting aside the money needed for this gardening project. We finally hired a friend of a friend of a friend, a highly recommended guy called Paolo who began working here very early this morning. Fantastic experience. In addition to doing a splendid job, he had some excellent ideas on where to position our plants and so on. Ah yes, I’m thrilled to bits!

Now, talk about coincidences. In order to climb up and prune our jack-and-the-beanstalk magnolia, Paolo had to take down our bird feeder (quick note: the birds around here haven’t yet figured out what to do with this feeder…or perhaps they don’t like the seeds we fill it with…I mean, I really want to feed them, especially now that it’s cold, but they stubbornly ignore all my efforts…sigh). Anyway, point is, Paolo made a comment about the feeder, so we started talking about birdwatching, and, lo and behold!, it turns out that he’s a volunteer at the Oasi di Focognano, = the WWF bird sanctuary where Stefano and I go now and again (we were there last Saturday, in fact). Hah! Small world…

Not only that, but this brave man is also very much involved in the national anti-poaching project, which means he frequently goes off to places like Sardinia, where at least 300,ooo songbirds are killed every year (!), to remove the (incredibly cruel and illegal) bird and animal traps etc. Dangerous stuff, eh. Ah, Paolo had stories to tell…awful stories…I won’t repeat them here. At any rate, before he left for the day, I told him that we must stay in touch. I’d like to help with the anti-poaching project, if possible…

Anyway, after he’d left, I went into the bedroom and found Piccolo (9 years old) cuddled up on our bed next to Priscilla (7 years old). The lump that Piccolo is leaning against is actually little Pinga (3 years old, I think) who likes sleeping under a cover…summer or winter…

And that’s how we know it’s cold outside…

When the cats cuddle…

P.S. I’m having blood tests tomorrow morning. I’m trying not to think about it…

1 Comment

  1. In my thoughts and prayers Margaret for your tests tomorrow.
    I am sure they will be good. Mine were, as you know.
    And thanks for letting us folk ‘down under’ email each other, as you know our tests have different readingmeasurements to those in Italy.

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