Again a beautiful day here at Bellaugello Gay B&B in Umbria. The sun shone and there was hardly a cloud in the sky.  I am busy trying to get lawn seeded – and working on my tan.  Yes I know it is late to be sowing grass seed, but the previous rain has delayed things, and I have been busy doing other things, so now I am busy with the rotovator which keeps slipping its belt, so annoying.

The plan was to seed on tuesday by which time I anticipate being ready for the seed/roller machine.  This weekend is a public holiday and so rain is forecast, which is a double shame as this sunday is a big day in Gubbio as it is the start of the famous Festa dei Ceri or race of the candles.  No don’t panic, the race day has not been changed, it is simply the first day of the celebrations on Sunday when the Ceri are brought down to the town from the church of San Ubaldo on top of the hill where they were brought last May 15th.  It is an early start on Sunday 8am I am told, I just hope the rain keeps off.

On a completely different tack.  A couple of guys recently asked me to recommend a gay bed and breakfast or hotel or guest house in Florence (Firenze), and alas I had to tell them that I did not personally know of one.  I feel a bit useless, can anyone help, do you know of a good gay b&b or gay friendly hotel in Florence that I could recommend?

And lastly before I put the computer away….. Ho fatto una promessa ad una coppia di ragazzi di scrivere il mio blog in italiano e fineora non ho fatto cosi… Io sono molto dispiace e prometto di praticare il mio italiano e di post qualcosa in italiano sul il mio blog prima troppo a lungo. Intanto voglio chedere si qualcuno di voi bei ragazzi gay italiano sanno di un buon gay B & B a Firenze. Per favore fatemelo sapere

Today I went to a meeting in Foligno a town in the valley south of Assisi.  For a change I was a passenger and it was a delight to see the verdant Umbrian countryside as we drove from Bellaugello Gay Guest House.

As I have recently posted the weather here in Italy is glorious, and unusually hot for the time of the year today the temperature rose to 33º on the car monitor.  My driver related stories of just how unbearably hot it gets in the summer in the towns that sit down in the valley floors, and how much more pleasant he finds it to live in Gubbio.

We are lucky here at our gay b&b, sitting at 500m altitude the summer air remains pleasant and rarely stiflingly hot.  In line with our bio-ecological policy we do not have air-conditioning, we simply open the windows and let the gentle breezes waft through the Suites…….

It is a lovely hot sunny day, and whilst I know quite recently I posted picture of wild orchids and flowers from a walk in Valdichiascio, today I am posting another flower picture, just because I was out strimming the banks at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, and saw to my delight a tree paeony rose I planted two years about to burst into bloom, and a second magnificent creamy white one not far behind.

Call me soppy, but it made me so happy to see, another small bit of progress and maturity in the garden, I just wanted to sharte it with you.

I have a personal Skype address which I use for keeping in touch with family and friends throughout the world.

Two days ago I again changed my contact photo.  Never before have I seen such a response to a photograph, my skype line has been ringing virtually constantly, the reason, the offending photo……

“Hey Alec is that your new car?” “How gay are you!” “WoW, fab where did you buy it” “no you must be joking” “gay gay gay”  Ok I admit I do drive a new Fiat 500 however it is a sexy sleek black, I simply saw this fun car parked up at Collestrada Shopping Mall (Zara, Beneton, Wonderful Store, Sisley ecc) near Perugia and had to snap it.

I am flabbergasted and highly amused that my friends and family think I am sooo gay  that I might even consider sitting in such a car, or actually buying it.  I need to revisit my image consultant!

It has been a truly glorious afternoon here in Valdichiascio, near Gubbio in Umbria.  We took advantage and went for a long walk along the river with the dogs.

The air was heady with blossom, the apple trees are at their very finest right now.  The tracksides were abundant with wild flowers, and  birdsong filled the air.

There is a great track that leads to what in the summer is a ford across the river, we decided to reward the team with a swim.  Now the setters only paddle, they look at the river with their noses in the air and hardly deign to dip in a paw, the labradors rush in and swim strongly, and Jenny my spaniel – well she is a spaniel just loves the water.  All was great until Jenny decided to swim and hit the rapids.  Wheras the labradors are strong and could fight the current, Jenny was carried downstream. Horror, panic!! I felt so helpless as the wee thing was rapidly carried fownstream and out of sight.  I rushed after her to see her happy as larry having reached the calmer waters near the river-bank and valliantly swimming back toward me!  She certainly didn’t hear my hear miss that beat, instead greeted me by shaking all the water from her  coat onto me and then joined the rest of the team as they cavorted through the long grass

All the way back home she led the field, up the hillside and over steep stony shortcut track back to Bellaugello Gay Guesthouse.  Now she lies contentedly curled in her basket with a smug smile of having had a fun adventure – oh it’s a dog’s life!

In theory GPS navigation system is superb.  I remember first using it in the mid 1990s whilst navigating my boat round the tidal waters of the islands off the west coast of Scotland.

Then it was strictly black and white navigation charts, and a standard measure of accuracy of plus or minus 50 yards.  We navigating the seas could tell of upcoming military operations as the accuracy became much greater it seemed before any war or insurgence, we thought the military, who were selling satelite space sharpened the signals to increase their accuracy for military targets.  Still we managed to navigate into small harbours, through narrow inlets, round headlands, and even safely through the great gulf of Corryvreckan.

Today GPS is comparitively cheap, my iPhone arrived with a simple GPS app that works well and shows me as a blue flash as I walk the dogs from Bellaugello Gay Guest House, round the shady tracks of Valdichiascio.

I have discovered GPS does not always work.  I had great trouble trying to correlate the Google Maps GPS location for Bellaugello Gay B&B with GPS co-ordinates given by other systems, including in car systems.  Having found four independant friends with GPS systems that agreed on the co-ordinates of Bellaugello Gay Bed and Breakfast we put them on the website and hoped that all other systems would agree.

However, they do not, and I still cannot explain why Marco and Mark two great guys from Holland ‘phoned me somwehat distressed when they followed their in-car GPS and arrived at what they believed to be Bellaugello Gay Guesthouse in Umbria, Italy…

The picture explains their justified alarm – a field with an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere.  Why the GPS led them there we still do not know. Luckily we talked through the route to Bellaugello Gay B & B in a conventional manner and shortly after they arrived safely.  Perhaps it is my age or perhaps it is a result of too many diasgreements with in-car satelite navigation systems that really do not know the correct route, but I always keep a map somewhere close at hand.