MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!
(and Luca wants it to be known that he has nothing to do with these amateurish video-clips on the Home Page and that is not him in the front row singing Auguri e Buon Natale! By the way, that is the La Faula Golf Club Committee after a good lunch and wine wishing you Merry Christmas).
And so I tripped-on back to the lawyer’s office. At least it gave me a trip to the big smoke and I got to have a latte and a croissant in a trendy bar in the centre of Udine. I had a jolly-old time with the lawyer. While grizzled-old farmers wanting to disinherit their off-spring or sell their milk quotas cooled their heels outside, the lawyer and I chatted about Friuli, New Zealand, London. Every now and then, between the really interesting stuff, we would give the contract some attention and then, magically, the draft was winging its way to my in-box before I had even left the lawyer’s office. I think that I’m going back on Thursday!
Leonard Breschnev’s Soviet Union didn’t survive him for long but the theory and practice lives on in Italy, Comrades!
We let-out roughly 3 hectares of land for a local group of golfers to use as a driving range and practice links - in the roughest sense! It’s good for them because the place is nice, close to Udine and they can use the fields free. It’s good for us because they cut the grass and keep the place looking nice. Win, win all around! The first cut (ho ho) at this arrangement involved giving the Golf ’Pro’ a licence to use the land but eventually the Club itself decided it wanted to invest a bit in improvements and would like the security of a 10-year lease. So far so good. To draw-up the contract I inevitably went to the Farmer’s Union lawyer. There are very many lawyers in Italy but for rural land contracts, she’s the place to go to. The lawyer is a jolly type who is respectful of the fact that I didn’t complete secondary school and who very much appreciates the fact that I wipe the mud off my boots before entering her office. And there we sit, her jiggling around with a draft she has copied from some previous lease but which really doesn’t seem to bear much relationship to the arrangement we have in mind. But that doesn’t matter, because when she has finished her amendments she e-mails me a copy (thoughtfully saving me the burden of taking it home myself) and shows me the door. The problem with this is that the contract, when I read it at home, really can’t be called a legal document and it sure doesn’t reflect the state of mind of the parties. But, undeterred, I send the lawyer my comments by e-mail suggesting that after she has incorporated them she could mail me a draft to check. Well, blow me down! She can’t understand what my problems are. But if I go back to her office she’ sure we’ll work it out together. Like the wine story .... to be continued ....