robin hood and his merry men. ooh.

Spending all that time picking olives allowed me to think about all kinds of things and for some reason I couldn’t get Robin Hood out of my mind. Don’t ask me why. It must have been all those hours stuck up a tree.

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mccain’s (had his) chips

It’s surely all over in the US Presidential race, isn’t it? I cannot see anything other than a big Barack win. I don’t think Biden’s been a great choice as running mate but he must be thanking his lucky stars he hasn’t got failin’ Palin as his VP choice. Everything she does heaps further problems on the McCain shoulders. It shows that McCain’s judgement isn’t good – he went for the easy appeal of Palin’s photogenic attractiveness, bright personality and youthful feminity but it’s backfired big-time. She’s issues-prone, baggage-laden, easily parodied, inexperienced, lacking depth and gravitas, overly image-conscious and liable to make appalling gaffes. Apart from that I think she’s great. Fancy an anagram derived from  ‘McCain and Palin’ – manic panic land!

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oil bonanza

Well the weather here’s been glorious this week-end and rather than wait until returning from the UK we decided to plough on with the olive picking. Last night we finished around 5pm – we’d been at it non-stop for nearly 5 days. C had a really bad bite on her leg which was terribly sore but she spent all day with me picking the fruit, as did R. We were also joined by Megan and Marcel a young Australian couple who are our neighbour P’s latest house-guests. They’re great company and they’d promised to help out despite feeling a littel jaded from dinner and a few drinks at our place the night before. That was in return for P treating us all to lunch out earlier in the week which was v kind of her.

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olive picking

Well it’s been a lovely mild week here and it’s given us a chance to get a lot of the olives picked and processed before heading home next week. It was apparent that the fruit was ripenning quickly although up until yesterday absolutely nobody around here was picking the fruit. For the last couple of weeks we noticed that a few olives were beginning to fall from the trees. Remembering how we lost quite a bit of fruit last year through droppage (we were late harvesting because of Isobel’s illness and we couldn’t get over here earlier to pick the fruit), we decided to get on with it. I’d like to think that the sight of us up our ladders sparked a frenzy of activity because everybody’s started picking now. It’s humbling to be viewed as Il Duce of the Olive Groves. Ha!

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It’s a year today since C’s mum Isobel passed away. It doesn’t seem that long to be honest though much has happened to us during that time. I wrote about my fondness and respect for Izzy back then so won’t repeat myself. But C has been a little reflective this morning, understandably, and she’s gone off to spend a little time on her own. I know she misses her mum enormously still and I’m suddenly conscious that I haven’t called my folks for a few weeks now. Yep I can be a crap son too, not deliberately, but I really could try and be a bit more thoughtful at times.


Eurovision hell

News reaches me that the BBC have only gone and scraped the absolute dregs from the bottom of the Saturday night light entertainment barrel by commissioning old rubber face Lord Andrew LLoyd Webber to write next year’s UK entry for the Eurovision song contest. Of course there’s more to it, sadly, as the Beeb will turn this into yet another prime time programme entitled Your Country Needs You starring all the usual camp followers as they hunt for the next big talent, who will then go on to perform the Webber song at the event. It makes me happy to be a thousand miles away.

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to poll and to paul

There’s a new feature which has been added to my blogsite facility which will allow visitors to the pasta paulie site to vote on topics of my own choosing. It sounds great fun, rich in potential and I’m going to try and introduce it later in this posting (ie assuming my attempts at registration etc have worked). It’s been developed by the WordPress team who run the platform for these blogsites in conjunction with some other company and, in celebration, the boss of WordPress (some bloke who looks like a 15 year old kid) has posted an interesting picture of his WP team on our bloggers’ dashboards.  Of which more later….. Continue reading


Well it’s the time of year that I very much enjoy here, Autumn. The vines have all been harvested hereabouts, the colours are rapidly turning yellow, gold and orange and those beautiful leaves are starting to fall now in increasing numbers, and all of them into our pool it seems. Our pool net has just started disintegrating too with truly comic timing so I’m taping it up just to get a couple more weeks use from it until we can close the pool up for the season. Our olives are close to being fully ripe and all the villages round here are hosting their roast chestnut festivals. The weather’s been fine for weeks but distinctly cooler, so it’s jumpers in the evening and roasted vegetables are back on our dinner menu. Salad days are pretty much over.    Continue reading