It’s all turmoil here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in what is normally tranquil rural Umbria. Yesterday was a particularly turbulent day, the internet connection came and went, in and out all day, one minute connected the next dead, stone dead.
Over the past few weeks I have been experiencing problems with the internet connection, as committed readers of my blog will be aware this is not an unusual occurrence, however the unpredictability of the ‘service’ led me to write a pretty terse letter to the contractor. Since then the service has worsened as has the weather.
Only two days ago we were basking in sunshine, it was glorious, yesterday was a day of weather contrasts too. One minute rain, the next large soft billowy snowflakes tumbling to the ground, the next torrential rain, then hailstones, then on to soggy snow then horizontal rain. As the day progressed the wind picked up, and everything that was not tied down wanted to move northwards to Lombardia so strong was the wind.
I was in town in the morning, firstly for the wonderful Saturday vegetable market, and then to the builders’ merchant to pick up sanitary ware for the new works we are doing at Bellaugello. The market was full to bursting, people knocking into one another, not by the weather but by the sheer volume of people, all resulting in long queues at all the stalls. It was like panic buying, the world about to end. By contrast the builders’ merchant whilst still frenetic, was so in an orderly way, builders, plumbers, engineers mostly in for a chat, enjoying the relative warmth of the large shed, the underlying conversation the deplorable state of the economy, and the futility of the upcoming election.
Today the skies are grey, a strong wind coming up from the south, the hills are covered in snow, it is damply cold, grey and miserable, and below in the valley the river Chiascio is running fast, a full khaki mocha colour and it has burst its banks and flooded the fields, overhead there is a fleeting glimpse of blue sky, enough to paint a pair of tars trousers…
Italy goes to the polls today and tomorrow to elect a new government. Although I m a resident here as a foreigner I cannot vote, but that does not mean that I am not interested in the outcome. Wikipedia informs me that since 1945 there have been no less than sixty one governments in Italy!!!! Ouch!! The political system is a mess and the political parties are in common with the weather, and internet connection wildly contrasting. On one hand we have a comedian who is being taken seriously, on the other a past prime minister who is as ever, acting like a comedian… in some quarters scarily still being taken seriously, and the comedian not. In the midst of this we have Mario Monti the last but unelected PM who is also standing firmly in the central ground. Europe is waiting with baited breath. If one believes what is reported, the outcome of the Italian election will have ramifications for Europe as a whole. I know it will certainly affect things here at Bellaugello.
A left of centre politician Bersani has promised if elected to bring in within a year a gay rights and recognition law based on the current German law. How wonderful that would be for us here at Bellaugello we could hold gay weddings and blessings, what a perfect venue, Italy is such a beautiful and romantic country. On the other hand Berlusca has said there will never be any gay marriage or civil registration in his tenure of office,and so the exodus of gay Italian men seeking some form of commitment will continue apace. For a modern country we do currently have antediluvian gay rights legislation that lags way behind the rest of Europe.
And then to add to the time of turmoil we have the cataclysmic eruptions in the Vatican. A Pope retiring? Impossible, but seemingly not. The ‘free’ papers here are awash with scandals leaking out of the Vatican, trying to analyse the ‘the real reason’ for this bewildering decision. There are stories of gay orgies in the Vatican, (news?) of financial misdemeanours, of clerics being sent abroad for damage limitation, talk of infighting, corruption, and fundamental doctrinal differences, it seems rather similar to the current state of politics, of course here in Italy the church and government are traditionally inextricably linked.
My very good friend who is an astrologer tells me that all this flux and battling is also going on in the planetary world, it is a very particular time, there are so many planets in conflict that there is no surprise at all in the turmoil going on here. No predictions as to what the future holds, and with our internet connection I may never find out!