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.

Marco phoned yesterday with an urgent request.  He was in a mood plough land, any land, no matter how insignificant he needed to plough.  He had ploughed his fields and was looking for any piece of land to plough.

So late yesterday he arrived on his big red tractor at Bellaugello Gay B & B and proceeded to drive down impossibly steep slopes to our orto or vegetable garden.

To keep the Istrice out I had fenced the vegetable garden which is now on the southernmost terrace below the house and by simply removing a small section Marco manouvered the tractor and ploughs  into the vegetable garden.  Result beautifully turned earth which now has to rest for a few days before I get to work with the rotovator.

A luck-penny arrived on the tractor in the shape of several artichoke plants grown by Sergio another neighbour here in Valdichiascio who has the most perfect orto.  They are heeled in and will be planted shortly, our own artichokes, brilliant.

It’s snowing here in Umbria

Bellugello Gay B & B and all of Gubbio  is steadily being blanketed in soft white snowflakes, The Apennines are no longer visible through the snow and all is quiet.

That will teach me not to clean the windows on a tuesday morning!