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Sunday, 21 September 2008


Well here we are again. Sunday seems to be the day for blog updates. As announced last weekend, autumn has definitely arrived. Cooler sunny days are interrupted by rainy ones and showers. Today we got drenched on our bikes on our way home from Arcola. Friday we hardly left the house although it did dry up in the afternoon. Many of our neighbours have begun their grape harvests. Our vines in Villa have yet again succumbed to disease and not produced anything of note. The vines we planted last year are of course not producing yet, but they mostly seem to have survived the dry summer. I shall help our friend and neighbour Carlo with his grape harvest at the beginning of October. Modern wine producers measure the best time to pick their grapes by monitoring sugar and acid contents on a daily basis, but Carlo uses the scientific method of “my son, who likes helping with the vendemmia, comes back from holiday on the 3rd October; that’s when we’ll harvest.” Harvesting that late for exclusively white wines made from Vermentino means he produces quite alcoholic wines with low acidity. I’m having a glass of his wine from last year as I write this.

We still carry large crops back from our land, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, apples and beans today. Something I don’t think I have mentioned is that we have had our daily handful of strawberries since May until now. Never enough at any one time to make jam out of or even bother carrying home, but just enough to pop them into your mouth whenever we are in Arcola.

The festa season is coming towards the end. Tonight there is the annual event in honour of Ponzano Superiore’s most famous son, Cesare Orsini. I’ve been trying to find out a bit more about the man on the internet, but clearly his fame has not spread widely beyond his home town. All I could find out was that the man lived in Ponzano between 1571 to possibly 1636 and wrote amongst other things something called the ‘Cappriccia Macaronica’. He himself felt important enough to give himself an artist’s name: Magister Stopinus. In a very brief mention on Wikipedia for Santo Stefano he is described as a bad Latin poet. Well I was hoping I could find a nice little quote to introduce this entry, but I could only find this picture of him and his bad hair do.

Anyway, the poetry readings are to be followed by a concert. Hope the rain stays away.

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