Sabina's activity

Questions Asked

Just thought some people might like to know that the puppes are doing really well. Weighing in at between 1.2 and 1.8 kg when I found them on 2/2, they now weigh between 5.5 and 6.5 kg.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 07:04

I fully admit I am not the greatest tecno I am sure there is somthing simple I am not doing. As I write, the last thread on the bottom of the first community page is about spring water.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 06:58

Out walking my two dogs on the first Sat in Feb, they pulled me over to the ditch and there was a sodden cardboard box with 4 wet miserable pups inside...Some kind person had written "Auguri, speriamo che ti piacciano" on the top of the box so i s

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 13:14

The water table in the whole Sabina area is (according to a local geologist) lower than it has ever been thanks to less rain than usual last autumn/winter/spring and the record temps of last summer.

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 04:58

Recently, I was wearing my "help a fellow expat" hat again and thought it might be worthwhile sharing the whys and wherefores of the problem.My friend, who speaks some, but not great Italian, has been having trouble with Enel organising payment

Mon, 08/27/2012 - 13:33

With apologies in advance to the vast majority (I assume) who don't feel the same way I do - but I can't stand watching footie...if I must, would much prefer a game of rugby.

Wed, 06/13/2012 - 12:21

With the elderflowers in full bloom, I have been out picking this morning and have my first batch of cordial "brewing" is so refreshing on hot summer days, so thought others might like to try...collect about 35 flower heads - preferably the

Wed, 05/16/2012 - 09:01

I may well be teaching a lot of grannies to suck eggs....but in case this might be useful to some...Many people don't bother to pick olives / make oil any more, as it is often a job requiring numerous people and paying them makes the whole concep

Fri, 11/04/2011 - 04:22

Much to my suprise, in the last few months I've come across a few "foreigners" who have been paying too much for their electricity...and as it's already expensive enough here, it seems a real shame, not to say tragedy!

Sun, 10/30/2011 - 06:51

In these tough times - I am sure that there are others, like me, struggling to make ends meet. I work from home translating.. and have some mobility problems so anything outside the home is not really feasible.

Mon, 10/24/2011 - 11:56

Comments posted

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 02:48

I switched from Enel to Eni over a year ago....the first few bills were higher and I was spitting...but then they settled and I now pay about half what I was, with the advantage of a single rate, so can use the washing machine any time of the day/day of the week...

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 02:21

Be careful where you buy around here Rachel...the "largest" supplier has a reputation for cheating on quantity.  Often, if you get the wood delivered (which is the only way to do it unless you just fill the boot of a car) he sends it out without the print off that shows the actual weight loaded...

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 02:19

couldn't find the piece....shame

Answer to: puppies - update
Sat, 04/06/2013 - 05:34

Yes - I was extremely lucky....and in fact the pups left for the UK on Thurs so at the moment I am feeling quite bereft!  I am hoping and praying however that I don't come across another litter in the future as I am sure that the UK solution would not be an option again. As to a solution?  My dream is to win the lottery and set up a mobile clinic offering free spaying and neutering and a decent, comfortable shelter....It will never happen of course but as they say here, "la speranza è l'ultima cosa da morire" There is an Anglo-Italian society that supposedly already does this: but I have yet to meet anyone who has ever personally seen any evidence that they are  around!  Am sure they must be but... The whole cultural approach to animal care is different here - despite all the laws and the many people who make excellent pet owners.  Perhaps going into schools and trying to educate the young would help - but several vets have told me they think that it is unlikely schools would allow this to happen, for fear of backlash from parents whose children might go home and start criticising what they are doing!  And - sadly - to repeat what I said before, there is also an increase in animal cruelty and neglect in the UK that also needs to be reversed.  There are also many expats in Spain who have had to, for whatever reason, return to the UK....and apparently a huge number of them are leaving their pets behind, sometimes turning them out into the street, leaving them locked inside an abandoned  house / garden with perhaps enough food for a week or so (assuming the animal doesn't woof it down in one...).  Thankfully there are various animal rescue organizations - run by expats - who keep an eye out for such situations and manage to rescue many pets quite quickly, avoiding immediate tragedies, but then having to try and rehome many more animals than usual.

Answer to: puppies - update
Sun, 03/24/2013 - 07:35

Absolutely!  There is a vast minority of Italians that love and care for their animals in the best way possible.  It is also the EU country with the most animal welfare laws - but like so many other laws here, they are sadly ignored by many and rarely enforced.  It is also true that the number of animal abuse cases, animals taken to shelters etc is on the increase in the UK, but there I think it is perhaps a growing minority of people who mistreat their animal whereas there is still a large majority who don't. Hopefully the trend can be reversed sooner rather than later. Many of the problems in Italy, in my view anyway, based on more than 30 years of living and or working here - and in different parts of the country too - stem from an unwillingness - for whatever reason - to spay and neuter their pets and this results in vast numbers of unwanted litters, many of which are then killed at, or shortly after birth, later abandoned in the countryside or - worse still - thrown out of a moving car.  Many dog owners in particular, rarely feed their dogs proper dog food, but rather fill them up with "doggie pasta! (not very nutritious) or their own table scraps and left overs.  Out in the country, many dogs are left tied up on short chains year in and year out, and some do not even have shelter from the elements other than perhaps, if they are lucky, a nearby bush or parked / abandoned car / tractor etc.  In this area at least (NE Lazio) hunters seem to believe that their dogs should be kept in skeletal conditions so that they will be more keen to hunt (personally I would have thought the dogs would be more likely to eat the  prey, but....) and very few of any of these people have their dogs vaccinated etc.  In the cities, large and small dog breeds sometimes spend their entire lives on a small balcony - with perhaps the pleasure of a walk just once every so often.... In my experience, many people here are afraid of dogs, whatever their size.  Most mothers immediately shout at their children to "stay away" if they try to approach a dog (an instinctive reaction in small children), rather than perhaps asking "can we say hello / stroke the dog" - and then teaching the child how to approach a dog in the safest way possible.  They also seem paranoid about the germs and bacteria they might pick up!  Whilst I wouldn't recommend allowing a street dog to sleep in or even on your bed before it has been bathed and treated for fleas etc - generally speaking no dog is going to cause any major problems as long as you are sensible (washing hands after dealing with a dirty bottom etc).  As someone said on an earlier thread - you're more likely to be at risk from your computer keyboard than a pet dog. My hope is - perhaps very naively - that the new Pope - having said he chose his name after the saint from Assisi, will at some point talk about caring for animals!  But - I won't hold my breath.

Sun, 02/24/2013 - 09:13

I have had so many heated discussions over the years...upset many an Italian I'm afraid about the way animals in general are cared for...there are the pampered pooches aka Paris Hilton accessory..and a large minority of good italian pet owners - but a huge majority that just don't bother.  They won't spay / neuter because it's too expensive (some truth in that but...) or, my favourite, because it's against God and nature...although later abandoning the litter, drowning it, chucking it out with the rubbish (literally) or out the car in the middle of the motorway is apparently OK with HIM upstairs... How can they have St. Francis as their patron saint??? Many people never take their pets to the vet, have them vaccinated etc etc.  At least once a month someone asks me (known as the English lady with dogs / who walks her dogs) if I want another dog...when I say no - because I can't afford it, they say but it's cheap to keep, it only eats scraps.  No, I explain, its the possible vet fees....but you never have to take him / her to t he vet...he's a strong animal...They think I'm crazy to let the dogs have free run of the house - sit on the sofa, sleep on my bed (the germs!) and so it goes on. I once heard an Italian vet (yes, honestly) on RAI 1, talking about the right way to keep a pet, and amongst several silly things she said was "you must make sure you wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap" or an anti-bacterial wipe every time you touch him" and no, she wasn't talking about a dog with healthproblems!! Meantime, my "puppies" are growing like weeds and driving me crazy!  Fun to watch but hard work!  

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 12:31

Bringing mains water to the house is not, unfortunately an option...but thanks to all for advice and encouragement.  Fingers crossed the "old" well starts working again!

Wed, 10/03/2012 - 12:45

Hi! We exchanged a pm a while ago and we discovered we will be practically neighbours! My suggestion is wait until you are here and see what the neighbours have.  This area SHOULD have gone digital a while ago, but I know a lot of people in the hilly, rural areas have NOT been able to pick up the signal despite having the right tv / digibox / whatever. Most of those people with problems can still pick up the "old" terrestial channels, but none of  the new ones available digitally.   I happen to have sky, so can the old (not new) terrestial channels on that atenna, but some programmes are blocked from time to time, although I'm not at all sure what criteria they use to decide what to block as it seems to vary so much! If you are not great TV watchers, then don't bother with any pay for tv if you can see the usual Rai channels etc - if nothing else it will help your Italian.  Have to admit however, that I am not Italian TV's greatest fan, although every so often it produces something really good (the Montalbano films for example).  Anyway, you can always listen to BBC radio via the internet if you want to keep up to date with news etc and  I have been told that if you mask your IP address (so it doesn't show up as being Italian) you would also be able to watch UK tv via the internet. Something I've not tried as I don't really understand what it means but.. If you do get Sky (and probably any other pay tv package) make sure that you note the date you sign the contract because if, at some future date you decide you want to opt out, you have to give x months notice (I think it's two) before the date that the contract is due too expire.  So, if you signed up in November  for example, you can't give notice in January a few years later intending to opt out in March! This kind of contract is quite common in Italy -  so always check carefully.  

Sun, 09/16/2012 - 06:55

I had a huge advantage when it came to learning Italian - thanks to my Dad's airline job we came to live here for about 7 years when I was a child and although at first I attended the International School (later boarding school in the UK) where we were taught in English and considered too young (so wrong!) to learn Italian (6-9) I just sort of picked it up  - although becoming an Italian Brownie was a huge help. I agree with other comments however, reading children's books is a great help (did wonders for my French!), but if you can buy some children's  DVD's, Videos etc too that also helps.  Often it is the transition from reading the foreign word and understanding it to hearing it and understanding it that causes the problems!  If listening to a language you're not really good at, spoken at "native" speed, it sounds as if it is twice normal speed or more, and difficult to "catch", so watching and listening to something on your tv scren can be helpful as a precursor to watching and listening to real Italians! Try some comics (Topolino!).. The best advice though is just try!  Most Italians are so pleased you are making an effort that they will react as if you speak fluently even if you have only said a few words.  To my mind, even if you just string a series of words together to try to explain yourself, without bothering too much about grammar and tenses etc, you will already have started to communicate..and that's the most important thing! The rest will come of its own accord with time and pratice once you've moved here. Good luck!

Fri, 08/24/2012 - 09:48

If you still need sort code rather than IBAN / SWIFT etc, then: ABI is a 5-digit code which tells you which bank you are with; (eg Monti di Paschi di Siena / Banca Intesa etc) CAB is another 5-digit code which indicates the individual branch (la succursale) of the bank where your account is. Finally - conto is account,(number)  and don't forget to be precise when providing details of the name on the account.  Remember in Italy they tend to write out all your names in full - whereas UK banks often prefer initials.