The final days of November always feel strange to me. It's this weird time of year when you're in limbo. My American friends have already made me hungry for turkey but yet it's still too early to really start the Christmas countdown: mince pies, festive music and twinkling lights. I don't recognise the Thanksgiving holiday … Continue reading Waiting for Advent
The house renovations are moving ahead. Admittedly not as quickly as we had planned, but you can now finally see that progress is starting to being made. Today the electricians finished laying down the tubes for our lighting, the burglar alarm, the solar panels and the different power sockets. For his part, the plumber has … Continue reading Pipes and Pythagorus
Whilst November 11th is Armistice Day in the UK and much of northern Europe (in memory to end of WW1) here in my corner of Italy, it's the Festa di San Martino. San Martino is one of the more important harvest festivals... at least, it was the case many moons ago. It depends where you … Continue reading November 11th is the Festa di San Martino
You would have thought that after two months of vendemmia (grape harvest) that the work would be coming to an end by now. It's far from true! Towards the end of October, in this area of the Veneto, all the local farmers stand on the side of the road, peering up into an olive tree. Yep, it's … Continue reading The Olive Harvest
I want to take a second from my usual food-related ramblings to talk about something more serious: harassment on the streets of Paris. The wave of women posting #MeToo statuses has meant that journalists are getting the green light to publish articles which state the bleeding obvious. The Local, for example, recently published a piece … Continue reading Sexual Harassment – it doesn’t have to be this way…
So you've taken a couple of classes, downloaded Duolingo and bought a hefty dictionary. You can breeze through conversations with natives and even answering the phone to an unknown number is no longer intimidating. You're ready to move onto the next level. The next three phrases are not the Italian that you learn in a … Continue reading So You Think You Speak Italian?
Mother Nature has changed direction. After the balmy summer nights of July and August, September has arrived. The crisp, damp mornings. Even though now it is accompanied by the sound of tractors heading off to the vineyards and the smell of wine fermenting in the town's cooperative, it still vividly reminds me of pulling up … Continue reading A Perfect Autumnal Plum Pie
The second Sunday in September will go down as the day in which both the oven and the dishwasher broke down. Of course, an oven never fails when you're not trying to use it. I had made a plum pie (see here) and was halfway through cooking the roast chicken and potatoes when it conked … Continue reading The Second Sunday in September
The boy and I got hit with a stomach bug this weekend. After just a half-day in the vineyards, we came home and he camped out on the sofa because it was closer to the bathroom whilst I battled a fever from underneath the duvet. Whoever said romance is dead! By the next day, some … Continue reading What Would Be Your Dream Kitchen?
"What do you mean, the old men of the village don’t come over to take a look at a building site in the UK?" asked my Italian friend, bewildered. I was asking why, over the last month or so, a stream of people have walked, driven and peered over at our ongoing - and increasing … Continue reading The Return of the Goat