Bravo Nebraska!

Nebraska Gay Marriage #Bellaugello

“(Reuters) – A federal judge on Monday ruled Nebraska’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional in a decision that could allow same-sex couples to marry in the state within a week.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon issued a preliminary injunction in the case brought by seven same-sex couples in the state, calling Nebraska’s ban an “unabashedly gender-specific infringement of the equal rights of its citizens.”

 

Such great news from the American State of Nebraska  that we had to celebrate and what fun we had here in Umbria, Italy at Bellaugello Gay Guest House all because Vince, our Workawayer is from Nebraska we felt so much involved and closer to the ‘action’ that we had to celebrate by my inviting friends and neighbours for what I christened a ‘Cena Nebraskana’ or Nebraskan dinner which of  course Vince cooked using recipes from his Grandmother who was originally from Sicily. 

We dined off home stuffed artichokes, fresh from the market, home made pasta and turkey breast with a lemon and caper sauce, finished off with a Nebraskan fruit crisp and a goodly selection of local cakes and of course a toast to Nebraska!  Well done guys Fabulous news!

 

My goodness!

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!

A day of changes

Flurries of snow meant that work stopped early today.

I have very mixed emotions as having spent the past week emptying the dining room at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, putting the ornaments and furniture into storage, we this morning started work on constructing a new bathroom and modifying the kitchen space.

It seems so strange to be again moving furniture, storing bric-a-brac, taking pictures off the walls, something I had not imagined doing just so soon, and an experience that I  don’t really like.

Whilst I recognise the potential requirement for a guest bathroom for diners and guys who have late departures and even those guests at the pool who do not want to always have go to their suites, it will be a useful facility, however it does mean taking space from what to me is a perfectly proportioned room, a room I adore.  At the same time my wonderful kitchen space is being altered to make storage space and a staff bathroom.  I suppose both alterations will make things better but they do involve a great deal of work and change to the spaces involved, change that I have found difficult to accept.

We carried down stanchions sheets of plasterboard, sound proofing, insulation and fixers just before the snow started and the guys decided to return to base as they did not fancy spending the night trapped in the sauna.  Then of course the sun came out, blue skies, peace, tranquillity and as I listened to the lunchtime news on the BBC the world shattering report came out of the Vatican of the retirement of the Pope.

Now as I sit at my laptop it is dark outside, the wind that this morning was nowhere to be seen, has picked up to gale force, and the rain is drumming hard on the windows, the lights flash on and off, drips are appearing from the window, trickling onto the floor, it is really wild and Wagnerian outside.

I am reconciled to the alterations here at Bellaugello, and really trying to find the positives which in reality I know are many, once the dining room is put back together it will look really splendid and the facilities will be a great improvement.  Let us hope that today a day of change, is a day for significant, positive, inclusive and splendid beginnings for all.

Bravo Britain

Delighted to learn that UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s bill on same sex marriage has been passed

A great day, so happy

Malawi – no place to be gay

This morning the BBC reports a judge in Malawi has imposed a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison with hard labour on a gay couple convicted of ‘gross indecency and unnatural acts’  See the link:  BBC news report on Malawi gay couple prison sentence

Sad news, a depressing story with which to start my day here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria.

It makes me mad to learn that two guys simply holding an engagement ceremony are condemned to such a horrific sentence – or to be brutally honest that they are sentenced AT ALL.  As Gift Trapence of the Centre for the Development of People is reported as saying “How can they get 14 years simply for loving one another?” he asked. “Even if they are jailed for 20 years you can’t change their sexuality.”

and what annoys me the most is that these guys are being penalised for being open and honest about their love and sexuality, and the chances are as shown in many of the recent Catholic Church sex abuse scandals, he who doth protest loudest is far from being innocent, hypocrisy is everywhere, homosexuality is a fact of life, has been since time immemorial,  and is not exclusive to powerless everyday men in the street, we have no choice in our sexuality.

I congratulate and admire Monjeza and Chimbalanga for their courage and conviction of their joint love and sincerely hope that goverments and agencies round the world suceed in quickly forcing the Malawian Government to overturn the brutal sentences and god forbid, but if they contemplate  acting in such a manner again for officials of that country first to look closely at their sexualities… ‘he who is without sin cast the first stone’, if only people lived up to what they preached…….