It's been a little while since my last update on the building works. Unfortunately, the reason largely lies in the fact that, through no fault of our own, we've been at a standstill throughout most of November and December. On the plus side, we ran into our team of builders at the Befana bonfire in … Continue reading Update on the Renovations
Happy New Year's Eve! Or "la notte di San Silvestro" in Italian. Whether it's out partying or staying in wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa, I hope you're spending the last few hours of 2017 exactly as you want to spend them. I'm personally not much of a fan of New Year's Eve. … Continue reading New Year’s Eve in Italy… and the importance of lentils!
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
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
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
"Hey Emma, you remember we're leaving at 10am...." whispers the boy, "... well, it's almost 9am and you still have that cake to do!" The done thing in Italy on the 1st May (Labour Day) is to organise a day-out in the countryside. It doesn't matter if you're already living in rural countryside, surrounded by vineyards.... … Continue reading Taking a Tart for Labour Day