Monday 26 August 2019

Then it rained

Be careful what you wish for,  I was longing for some rain to wash us clean, sweep away the dust and give the garden a good water.  Instead we had a couple of days with terrific electrical storms, high winds and hailstones the size of grapes.  The latter gave everything a good bashing, took the leaves and flowers off my plants, brought down a lot of olives and filled the pool with debris.  There has been a lot of sweeping up and cutting back.  It’s disappointing that plants I’d been nurturing and were just about to flower were cut down but I’m confident they will eventually recover and I’ve collected a lot of the broken pieces to try to root them.

Strangely the storm seems to have cleared away the migraine that and been bothering me for several days, I must be more sensitive than I imagined.  It is a bit cooler now but not much and no mosquitoes seem to have been harmed in the storm, pity.
Here are the hailstones that collected on our sunshades before we got them down and a little video of the event.

Friday 23 August 2019


Me and the garden have been a bit frazzled of late, the heat has continued and it’s been impossible to work outside without being attacked by mosquitoes.  Collecting the copious crop of tomatoes is painful, I rather fancy one of those full cover bee keepers outfits to protect me.
One of my current favourite plants is a white datura I grew from seed.  Strangely it flowers overnight, opening up at the end of the day and throwing out a heady perfume that attracts a frenzy of bees before the sun goes down.  The flowers which almost glow in the dark last for only 24 hours but there are always more.  All parts of the plant are poisonous possibly why it has the the name devils trumpets.  Here it is together with a few other garden glimpses.

Monday 12 August 2019

It’s a whopper

Not a conversation you have every day but Mr FF asked me this morning if I’d posted his salami on my blog, happy to oblige that’s what I’m doing,
Last week we went with our Danish friends to talent show in their village, organised by a friend in our village.  It was held at the sports ground, there was food and wine, it was a lot of fun and we sat up on the terraces to watch the show.  There was a raffle, Mr FF bought three tickets for 5 euro and was lucky enough to have the winning number for the second prize.  He got a bottle of wine and a voucher for salami from a local shop.  For some childish reason I and my female danish friend found this very amusing, the chat in the car on the way home was smutty to say the least, we laughed so much acting like 17 year olds though we are both beyond 70.
Mr FF and I collected the prize next day, well he sent me into the shop saying he had to keep an eye on the car as we had no change for the meter.  Here it is, surprisingly large, Mr FF was impressed when he saw it.  I posted a photo to my friend and refrained from further comment though several came to mind.

Wednesday 7 August 2019

Sorry I’m not sorry (rant)

Watching the news today I saw that British Airways cancelled a lot of flights because of IT problems.  However they apologised to customers and were offering them the opportunity to rebook on a different day.  Opportunity -  an occasion or situation that makes it possible to do something that you want to do or have to do.   BA contrive to make it appear they are doing their customers a favour, a one time only sale ends Sunday offer, enabling them to completely rejig their plans.  No mention of holidays ruined, appointments missed, life just messed up. No, they are offering an opportunity, dream on BA.
I recently raised a complaint against the company we employ to manage our apartment building, as owners we pay them to do this.  I had raised some queries with the Director who is our property manager, waited 3 months and reminded her twice before I got the response that she would not be responding and there would be no further correspondence on the matter.  In other words shut up.
So I lodged an official complaint, not holding out much hope as the investigation was to be carried out by a fellow Director of the company.  The complaints procedure, available on the website, states within 7 days of my complaint I would receive a summary of their understanding of the issues and within 14 their findings.  Apart from an acknowledgement I heard nothing for 43 days and then only after I chased them.
Regarding the 3 month silence I was told they could only apologise and when I questioned the delay in investigating my complaint I was told they had wanted to ensure they had all the detail.  It’s a joke, they just don’t give a toss.  I told them in no uncertain terms that this shocking customer service is endemic in the company and they can do a lot more than only apologise, leading my example would be a good start.
I don’t imagine customer service will ever improve, even phoning our property managers we go through the push buttons and hold for ages procedure, usually before being connected to an answering machine.  It’s the norm nowadays but on the positive side I had to speak to my solicitor recently.  She was in holiday but I was given a contact in a different office who was helpful and kind.  I’m taking him a bottle of our local Italian wine as a thank you, sadly I can only apologise that I won’t be delivering one to our property manager but I can offer her the opportunity to do without,

Monday 5 August 2019

More for me then

Last year the single plum tree in our orchard had only a couple of fruits.  Both Mr FF and Mario told me to chop it down. Men do that, they love the slash and burn gardening and they are impatient.  A perfectly nice tree, not taking up needed space, providing greenery, I gave it a tidying up prune, some feed and left it alone
This year I saw it was flowering, watched and hoped as the fruit set and not so long ago I picked plenty of plums.  Enough to stew and serve with mascapone and crushed amarettos.  I told Mr FF he shouldn’t have any as he’d wanted the tree chopped down.  He has no faith but he did get some pudding.