No I’m not talking about Prime Minister Berlusconi’s latest schenanigans… I wouldn’t know where to begin (besides, then I would have had to call this post ‘Sorry Affairs of State’).  I’m talking olives:

Our friend R says the heavy rain of a couple of weeks ago damaged all the fruit.  Our friend E says that insects are the culprits.  As I’m much more diplomatic than our Prime Minister, I’m going to say they’re both right; and whatever the reason, there is no usable olive crop for us this year, or for anyone else we know.  The aforementioned R, who is famous for taking 95 kili of fruit from one tree last year, says he’ll be lucky to get a quintale (100 kili) from his 80 + trees this year. I don’t know if he’ll bother.  We have only about 15 trees, and many of them have no fruit anyway, so it would be a complete waste of time for us to harvest.

It’s a pity, because we look forward to the fun of harvesting and then going to the frantoio with friends and watching our very own olive oil come out of the machines (you can see the process here).  But this year it’s not to be.  We’ll hope for better luck next year, with the olives AND with the Prime Minister.