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?
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
Setting up life in a new country is never simple. That said, it's been almost exactly one year since I made the decision to move and I don't regret it at all. For every "that didn't work out the way I thought it would" set-back (I wouldn't go so far as to say failure, although … Continue reading Fortune Favours The Bold
Picture an old house, on a hill, in the lush Italian countryside, completely surrounded by vineyards. Sounds idyllic, right? Especially if you've seen or read "Under The Tuscan Sun" you'll already have indulged yourself in a fantasy of doing up a house in Italy. Read this superb article in The New Yorker if you're under any … Continue reading Renovating A House In Italy Is Nothing Like “Under The Tuscan Sun”
Living - and surviving - in Italy means being resourceful. You think something's going to be ok because previous experience has taught you how it's done. Well, moving to Italy means putting all that "I've got this figured out" attitude aside and being prepared to eat a lot of humble pie. After a while, however … Continue reading To Survive In Italy, You Must Be Resourceful
You may remember from my post ten days ago (Building A Life) that building works have started recently on the house next-door. Consequently, my daily routine has now been set to a soundtrack of drilling, banging and grinding of heavy machinery. It starts at 7am and plays on loop until 5pm, with just one hour … Continue reading On Shaky Foundations?
It's never a good sign when someone wakes you from your postprandial siesta with a knock at the door and a "permesso?" On this occasion, standing on our stoop were next-door's builders. They have just started work on the house adjacent to where I live with The Boy and Super Dog. If ever there's been … Continue reading Building a Life In Italy