Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sat 9 April - A Runaway Tractor & a Private Disco

Tin barn, about to go

KP kept me well entertained today.  Up early as the Romanians, who had their eye on our tin roof and chicken shed, had promised to help KP strip and remove it today.  Remembering the ungodly hour they turned up the last time, I made sure we were up and about well before 8.30.

That's the sides almost gone then
But did they arrive?  Did they hell.  Damned pikeys, can't trust them you know.  So KP began stripping the barn himself, making a right old racket.  I left him to it and took Van Nic for a spin into the village.  Yes, we did need a few things, and I rather like the thought of making a daily trip to pick up fresh bread and croissants, but my ulterior motive was to get to know my neighbours.

Its easier for men.  KP is breaking into the male circles quite nicely from his regular trips to the bar for a "swifty" before supper, but the women seem to stay behind closed doors.  Or go to the shop. 

 So off to the shop I went, hoping to find some convivial banter. But no.  The only convivial banter I found somehow had me on the receiving end.  Raucous laughter with exclamations of "Inglese!" punctuated their machine gun stream of Italian, far too fast for me to understand, suggested I may have amused them in some way.  Absolutely no idea what I did (or said) but that little shop certainly came alive.  

I loaded Van Nic's paniers with my booty of bread, milk and cake and set off up the village to find the post office (taking three excursions up the hill before finding it down a side street) before cycling back home again.  With these hills I'm going to have legs (and nerves) of steel in no time. 

I returned to find KP in full swing attacking the roof, but still no Romanians.  As he seemed to be having a jolly old time, I left him to it and returned to my window frame sanding project.

Note: no brakes and a slope down the hillside
And then I heard the tractor starting up.  Oh God, he's going to use that rusty ancient death trap piece of junk to pull the tin off.  A tractor on a hillside property without any working brakes is never a good idea.  But this I must see.

Not entirely sure what the gear stick does, after some confused head scratching and fiddling the tractor shot (unintentionally, I suspect, from the look on KP's face) straight into reverse and almost catapulted him backwards down the bank. 

Eventually he found forward gear and drove it round to the tin stripping barn, clearly having a lot of boyish playing with tractors fun.   I, on the other hand, was watching in bemused silence wondering how he's going to stop. Said barn being on a slope, you see.  KP didn't fail to delight, and cause a little squeal of laughter from me, by not being able to stop.  He was only saved from an almost certain, and rather speedy trip down and into the vinyard at the bottom of the hill, by the wood pile that he ploughed into. 

By mid afternoon the sun was far too hot for any more outside labour, and KP was clearly done in from his exertions with the tin and tractor, so he went in for a siesta whilst I, still enjoying the novelty of being online, went on an antique hunt.
View from Roccamontepiano

The evening found us traipsing over the hill to Roccamontepiano, me looking like some sort of eccentric journo with camera and notebook in hand and sporting some rather fetching baggy shorts, gathering material to write my first handi-hike guide.  

A 3 hour, 10k hike later, with some stunning views and "undulating" terrain (and a sneaky beer at a Roccamonte bar thrown in) and we were back home once more.  Nice one.

KP treated me to my final entertainment of the day with his own private disco, but that's another story.


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