Umbria abounds in spendid hill-top towns, indeed they are one of the most characteristic traits of this beautiful region.

Monteleone d’Orvieto is one such town.  Founded in the 11th. century and owing to its strategic position fought over by the Papal States and the Grand Dukes of Tuscany  it is some 35km north of Orvieto and sits on a commanding bluff  looking westwards into southern Toscana.

Most ancient towns ‘centro storico’ are best expored on foot, and have parking nearby.  Monteleone’s three parallel streets are lined with a blend of houses, shops, enotecas, bars, and churches. Towards the cliff top they peter out in tiny piazzas with entrances some only wide enought to be negotiated by an “Api” or original Fiat cinquecento.

Most normal people look forward to Fridays – last day of work before the weekend and party-time!

Fridays are good, today was good, started with a heavy frost; weeds in garden now struggling more, ground dried out, and just plain nice. Then sun peeking through clouds.  I love sun it recharges my batteries, warms me both outside and in.  Friends called by and chatted, a special mate called in, and the postman didn’t put any horrors in my letter box and I’ve been invited out for dinner.

Today work was inside on the computer, shame to miss the sun but needs must!  I was spurred up and eager to go and the jobs needed to be done.

But Fridays can be the same as any other day, the internet connection is soooooooo slow.  I have been linking to other websites, but it has been a tedious process, each link taking an eternity to go through, it’s more interesting watching paint dry.  Why oh why do I pay for 7mb service and receive less than 0.5mb?  There is currently no alternative  supplier, and TelecomItalia’s response…..  If you dont like it then you can cancel your subscription.  Tough.  What was it Henry II said? ” who will rid me of this turbulent…” and thereby hangs another potential rant..

Whilst searching for photos for my last post I came across these taken when we took a motor-launch or ‘motoscafo’ out on lake Trasimeno.

It was an excellent fun day starting at Passignano where we picked up the launch.  Two or three hours in glorious sunshine interspersed with fleecy clouds saw us make a circuit of the lake, passing by the beautiful lake-side town of Castiglione del Lago and cruising past Isola Minore.

We tied up at the jetty on Isola Maggiore and went ashore for a delicious seafood lunch.  Strange to find good seafood in an island in the middle of a lake, but we sure did.  A great shady table, a chilled bottle of locally made d.o.c. Grechetto, a feast of seafood, and afterwards a stroll through the village for the obligatory gelato.  I understand there are only thirty permanent inhabitants of the island, including a very few actually born there, the village oozes history.

Bellaugello Gay B&B is less than one hour by car from  lake Trasimeno and we can organise the hire of a motor launch for you, and suggest a choice of good places to eat or even pack you a picnic… chic Italia!!

Late last night when taking the dogs out before bed I heard the sound of a familiar visitor, a visitor who had been born here.

Why and who you may ask comes calling so late at night?

It was Wol-let our owl born here at Bellaugello in one of the pigeon holes in the winter of 2007/8  We christened him ‘Wollet’ or owl-let soon after his first escapade in fleeing the nest in May 2008

The pictures how him on his first outing – he spent the entire day motionless we think he could not fly back into his nest – that evening he did.

A couple of days later he and his mum and brother were confidently flying at night and roosting in the cherry tree close to the house, calling out to us.  We would approach with a torch to see them all sitting in a row on an upper branch, fly off to the next tree and call us from there.

They stayed for a month or so and then went off to pastures new, but one did return last winter. I don’t know if he will nest here as now there are dogs and cats.  I do hope he does, but if not at least he paid a return visit ‘to say hi – all is ok’

It has been a very frustrating morning here.  I am trying to establish more links to my site for Bellaugello gay B&B especially LBGT sites but am really struggling with a very slow internet connection.  Don’t know if it is the fault of a little bit of snow that is currently falling or the ongoing saga with TelecomItalia.

It took over three hours to get a registration on one site………bring back dial-up!!

However  I have manged to link to sites in Sweden and the UK, what I am now looking for is good LGBT and gay oriented sites in the USA and Australia, any suggestions gratefully received.

Tonight a big tidy up in all senses.  Earlier today I had been busy tidying round the garden, and in my mood of clearing up decided this evening to attack other aspects.  I set to with my computer and cleared out my email inboxes, my Skpe, iChat and MSN lists, all those contacts and email addresses of people I know longer know or perhaps no longer wish to know.

Next and not before time I set to and got right to the back of the store cupboards.  It is amazing just what rubbish accumulates. Boxes and boxes of odd cushions, horrendous shoes, skip-caps, broken light fittings, curtains kept that ‘might just fit a window’ – but never do, strange pictures and remnants of a former life.  Why oh why do I keep the old clothes that no longer fit or are not my style, and which surely cannot be mine?  Why did I ever ship some of the things over from Glasgow that were never liked or used there and have not seen the light of day for over a year and will serve no purpose here?


But what I do know is that tomorrow there will be the most splendid bonfire!