Monthly Archives: August 2013

Webs of horror, Spectacular Spectacles and Flying Lizards…

Ciao a tutti!

Come stai (how are you?!)

I’m so pleased to be here! This week’s been great – lots of interesting things to do, lots of laughing and lots of relaxation.

I went to San Michele beach on Monday with a friend and spent most of the day there – we splashed out on umbrellas which is something I never do. The beaches here aren’t like in the UK where you can basically go wherever you want – people here own bits of beach and they set out umbrellas and sun loungers which you need to pay for. For the whole day it was 6.50 Euros. I’ve decided that’s a bargain given the reduced chance of skin cancer! I might do that more often, despite my underlying dislike of these private beaches (it just doesn’t seem right for people to be able to own such lovely bits of land!).


San Michele beach – busy even on a Monday

I went on a blackberry picking mission last week after seeing loads in the countryside the weekend before. I hadn’t wanted to look too closely because I was annoyed I’d not brought any bags. So, laden with tuperware and bags, I headed out on Wednesday. Alas, I picked about 40 – they were all small apart from the ones that were hovering over hidden ditches (it turns out), too high to reach or protected by a particularly nasty looking creepy crawly. I’m not cut out for the countryside really, particularly blackberry picking – I spend an inordinate amount of time screaming. You should have seen one of the spiders that dropped down in front of my face whilst picking blackberries. It was more like a giant crab. And look at this Web of Horror below…! I if I was an insect and got stuck in this thing, I think I’d die on the spot. If you look closely, you can see a creepy horrible leg sticking out in a creepy horrible fashion <shudder>.


And these webs are BIG too…


Can you see the creepy horrible leg?!

I’ve found a shorter round walking trip that starts from my house. My parents are going to come out in a couple of months so I’ve been trying to find a nice local parent-friendly walk.

On Thursday I went out with some friends to a Piadineria (a place where you get piadinas – the Italian filled flat breads that I tried last week) called “El Merendero” in a village/town called Marotta which is close to Senigallia. They make lovely piadinas but you can’t book. We ended up waiting an hour for a table and finally sat down to eat about 10pm, and then it took a good while to be served so by the time we actually ate, I could have eaten a horse (but that’s in the next region up…).


El Merendero is a small restaurant – not many chairs and tables but really busy – it’s got a very good reputation for piadina’s

Then we headed to a bar, “Essentia di Mare” in a village/town called Marzocca, also near Senigallia where they played latin music and there was a couple of dance floors. I had a ball! It’s the first time I’ve danced anywhere apart from my kitchen for months. One of the Italian guys we were with asked me to dance – I don’t think the poor guy expected me to be quite so inept and spend the entire time laughing. And they had these group dance sessions – they were hilarious too (for me at least). It was a lot of fun.


View onto the dancefloor

On Friday I went on an art course evening with an artist that has a studio in the piazza. There were three of us altogether – the teacher, me and another girl – both a similar age to me so it was a really lovely couple of hours. We headed to behind one of the local agriturismo’s where they have a stable and set up our easels there – we didn’t paint – we had blocks of clay which we worked to represent the scene in front of us. That was something new for me so I was pleased about that! Mine has split in two now – I think it dried too quickly but it was a really good experience and very relaxing to be out in the countryside doing arty stuff. I’m going to try and get an easel soon so I can head out and do a similar thing myself.


My attempt and the background – I should have taken a picture earlier on in the evening because it looks a bit gloomy here. In actual fact, it was glorious weather…

The Camerano festival has started. I’m just so impressed with our little town! They’ve been making such a lot of effort – the whole town is decorated with ribbons and fabric for this “Festa Del Patrono” which started in earnest yesterday. The opening event was in Piazza Roma (the centre of Camerano) where they had  a “Spettacolo Spettacolare” – a tongue twister if ever there was one – basically, a spectacular spectacle which in this instance was a sort of parade of drummers, dancers, fire breathers, roman gods (or people dressed as them at least), kids with ribbons and pompom things. I haven’t seen so many people in one place since I’ve been here. I thought I’d treat myself to a glass of wine and on being asked if I’d like a small or a large glass, I opted for large based on in England a small glass being akin to a thimble. In fact, a large glass is a very large glass here though – a pint! I’ve never had a pint of wine before! Perhaps we’ve been missing a trick in the UK. And it was only 2 Euros. So, I found a good spot in the piazza, sipped my pint of wine and watched the spectacular spectacle, which was, well, I think, spectacular!


Eurovision Song Contest style presenters… complete with same wooden script!


Part of the procession…


Fire breathing dude…

Rumour has it, my Italian has got er, audibly better. I think this is thanks to 3 things:

  1. I’ve acquired more Italian people to speak to. When I have something I want to say, if I’ve got an opinion on something or if I’m recounting a story, I’m a bit more fluent. If it’s just general chitchat, then I’m still useless. General chitchat should be easier surely? But it turns out that if you have something to say, you forget that you can’t speak the language and you just get on with it. Having said that, this improvement only applies during part of the day. My Italian deteriorates rapidly in the evening (even without wine!). My brain seems to have a daily best before time – it just doesn’t function in Italian after about 8pm. It’s annoying because that’s when people want to go out!  I’ve never detected this phenomenon with anything else – I never found my job harder in the afternoon than the morning and I don’t *think* I was ever visibly worse!
  2. I’ve been watching Italian films without getting distracted: “Benvenuti Presidente”, “Pazzo di me” and “Il 7 e l’8”. The last two I watched on YouTube, the first one on the list I watched on some dodgy Romanian website that gave me a virus and had Romanian sub-titles. I don’t recommend that website. But I’m pleased that YouTube has a seemingly infinite number of Italian films and other films dubbed in Italian (in fact, I watched” Enemy of the State” in Italian too – it’s less mentally exhausting if you know the film already). Alas, there aren’t often subtitles on the films on the internet but as a learner, if you go for something suitably action-y, then it’s easier to follow. In fact, of the list above, all of them were ok to understand. And it’s really helpful to watch with an Italian so you can stop (constantly) and check your understanding. I had been watching CSI but the TV is in the kitchen and it’s difficult to maintain concentration if there are housemates here and if there’s Nutella in the cupboard.
  3. I’ve been looking up absolutely everything I don’t know how to say in Wordreference. You can’t keep looking up all the words that you come across otherwise you’d never get anything done, but you can look up the things that YOU want to say and it sinks in a bit easier because it’s more relevant to you. After the 10th time of looking it up, sometimes it sinks in. Learning stock phrases is helpful, particularly if they’re complicated constructions. I’d hoped to just be able to produce them off the cuff if I knew the logic behind them but for example, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to work out how to use Italian pronouns without sitting down with a pen and notebook for 15 minutes first.  However, if you know “he told me…”, “I asked him” etc., then you can just pull them out of the bag without having to think too much.  And it turns out the more you know, the easier it is to find out other things and remember new words. You don’t have to rely solely on charades!

It’s been a while since Lizard Watch – and I’ve recently discovered a new type of cutie little dark green lizard so to combine with this week’s “What’s a bit odd” – here’s a picture of Super Lizard. He looks like he flies. I don’t think he actually does. Cute, cute, cute.

I think this is my favourite lizard shot. He looks like he's flying.

I think this is my favourite lizard shot. He looks like he’s flying.

Hope you all have good weeks.


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Ferragosto, Falling stars and learning new things…

Ciao a tutti!!!

How is everyone?! Not loads to report on this week…

Monday, I headed out with a friend to Marcelli for a drink and found a good spot in a bar right next to where there was a polish/argentianian dancing and singing (not together mind) extravaganza.


The Polish dancers. Polish dancing is not about releasing unbridled passion as opposed to….


The Argentians… Now that’s how to do it…

Then we headed down to San Michele beach in Sirolo for some star gazing. Every year around the 10th August it’s a busy time for shooting stars (or falling stars if you’re Italian), The Italian theory is that Saint Lorenzo cries and his tears come to earth in the form of shooting stars. There have been so many that worried for the state of the sky, I investigated. I have problems enough trying to find the Plough without stars missing. Anyway, they’re not shooting stars at all. They’re shooting meteors. Phew!

I’ve been feeling rough for a few days and by Tuesday, I decided I should probably go to the doctors. I found an English speaking doctor (thankfully!) that’s a couple of minutes walk away and who seems to be nice yet credible (a rare mix). It was a bit of an odd experience. I wandered into this guy’s house and sat in his front room whilst an angry man glared at me (angry because I didn’t know that the front door made a large booming echoey slamming sound when it closed) and hoped there was a doctor behind one of the closed doors. I have now learnt the terms for a variety of symptoms, ailments and body parts in Italian “bleeding, sore, swollen, ulcers, gums, glands” etc. Apparently I have a virus of my upper respiratory tract. Alas, I think next week I’ll have to learn the terms for “BUT WHY WONT IT GO AWAY?”

I’m confused by the doctor situation here – I thought the way it worked if you were European was this: You go to the doctor, they’ll see you, they’ll want paying for the appointment and so they’ll take your European Health Insurance Card details and set about getting a reimbursement from the country where you usually live. But he didn’t take any details down and when I asked him about it, he said he’d only need them if he was giving me a prescription (he didn’t). I think that must mean he only gets paid if he gives me a prescription but then that would lend support to him giving prescriptions out willy-nilly which he didn’t. So, I think he’s a good’un.

My neighbour, the artist, popped in this week and we had a productive chat. He’s seen a few of my drawings now and has asked me to be part of an exhibition with him next year in Camerano. I’d want to do some big canvases inspired by the local area – though I’m still sorely missing a shop in Italy that sells big canvases (oh Hobbycraft, how I miss you). I still think there’s a market in portrait drawing too and I still need to get better particularly at drawing beards/stubble. Unless of course I sell a combined “wet shave / portrait drawing” experience.

Anyway, that would be for 3 months next year during Summer in what sounds like a disused building by the main piazza. He’s done an exhibition there before and made a fair bit of money he says so on the face of it, it sounds interesting (though I’d have to share the cost of hiring the place – though sounds cheap).

He also told me about his house in Cuba that I can stay for free whenever I want which is jolly nice of him……….

There’s a big event starting on the 23rd August and running until the 29th for “la contesa del sacro Vassoio di San Giovanni”. So, in the unlikely event you don’t know what that is, I’ve copied some text from the Camerano Tourist website

 “The 29th August is the Patron Saint’s Day of Camerano – St. John Baptist. Every year the Contest of the Sacred Plate of St. John is held in Camerano in which the eight suburbs of the town participate with great enthusiasm. There are also food stalls, bands, pageants and shows while the day ends with the late-night lottery”.

Who knew we had 8 suburbs?! I thought we barely warranted enough space/people to be classed as a single suburb!

And after that, there’s the “Rosso Conero”  3 day wine festival on the 7th, 8th and 9th September, also in the hip and happening Camerano. It’s well known in the area and sounds like the centre will be full of wine stalls where you can taste wine from the local areas and buy some if you like. I will be taking part in the tasting of the wine (and I will most certainly spend some time considering buying the wine too… all the way to the corner shop where the wine is a lot cheaper and tastes the same).  Friends/family – I’ve been suggesting you all wait to visit until I eventually get a car but actually, if you come down in the next two or three weeks then I think there’s enough to keep you occupied without a car.

Thursday was Ferragosto. Ferragosto marks the date that Mary was “assumed” into heaven and so the Italians like to mark this occasion by going to church, to the beach. I went to a new beach called Misano in the next region up (Emilia Romagna) with a new group of people. Going out with a group of Italian people always fills me with mixed emotions: Hooray – I’m going out with a new group of people! 🙂  And boo – I’ve no idea what they’re saying 😦  This time though, it was alright – I could pretty much keep up with the conversation. Having said that, I do have a habit of filling in the gaps with random flights of fancy that bear no resemblance to what they’ve actually said and not realising. So though I think I coped alright, perhaps their impending trip to the moon to buy a snow leopard wasn’t an accurate interpretation.

The beach was lovely – sandy and wide with actual beds to sleep on (though there’s nothing that could convince me to actually touch them let alone lie on one).

Beds! On the BEACH!!!

Beds! On the BEACH!!!

I learnt a few new things that day too:

1) I learnt that there are breathalyser tests in pubs there (see exhibit A below). Alcohol in Italy is called “Alcool” which I think glamorizes it…

Breathalyser machine in the bar/ restaurant where we were. Great idea - if you get caught drink driving, you lose your license for 3+ months.

Exhibit A: Breathalyser machine in the bar/ restaurant where we were. Great idea – if you get caught drink driving, you lose your license for 3+ months.

2) I learnt how prostitution worked in the old days (see exhibit B, thanks to Catherine for the photography)

Apparently this is a real sign (as in actually used!).  So, prices go up from a er, quickie, "twice", 20 minutes, half an hour, a full hour and two hours. I'm a little confused by the "doppia" - two times. I don't think it makes good business sense. I've thought about it - if I were a guy and wanted a couple of hours, I would just pay for a "Doppia" and string things out.

Exhibit B: Apparently this is a real sign (as in actually used!). So, prices go up from a er, quickie, “twice”, 20 minutes, half an hour, a full hour and two hours. I’m a little confused by the “doppia” – two times. I don’t think it makes good business sense. I’ve thought about it – if I were a guy and wanted a couple of hours, I would just pay for a “Doppia” and string things out…

3) I learnt how to play beach tennis. I use the term “learnt” loosely. I’ll never understand tennis. Why don’t the numbers go up properly? Stupid game (we lost).


Exhibit C: Picture of the beach tennis…….

4) I had my first piadina which is an Italian delicacy but which tastes exactly the same as an Indian bread that I can’t remember the name of. Anyway, delicious and I had mine as a sort of “toastie” with tomato and mozzarella.

Camera 360

Exhibit D: Tasty tasty tasty

So let me tell you about my health insurance quest. Italians – you may want to look away now. I hold my hands up – at times I *may*  have given the impression that Italians are a bit workshy (admittedly this would have more weight coming from someone who had a job) what with their daily 4 – 5 hour supermarket lunch break closures, Sunday closures, random other day of the week closures and I-don’t-really-want-to-work-today unplanned closures. But Ferragosto really is something to behold – EVERYTHING IS SHUT! For at least two weeks!

So, I just want to take some time out to summarise my varied thoughts and feelings about Italy: The countryside looks like it’s been painted by a grand master, the sea is like a warm crystal clear bath of splendor, the villages are stunningly picturesque whilst being bathed in history and architectural delights, the wildlife never ceases to amaze me with its sheer variety, the food is heavenly (particularly the tomatoes)… but I just can’t hide it under layers of sarcasm any longer:  HOW DOES THIS COUNTRY FUNCTION?! I just want to buy health insurance! There are about 30 (a slight exaggeration maybe) insurance companies in the centre of Camerano – every single one is closed until the beginning of September. It is INSANE. I.N.S.A.N.E.  And, and, and…no, I’m going to stop. Launching into a string of suggestions about how the country I think I’m illegally squatting in, might improve their economy is rude. However, I shall be providing a short private thesis on this for my therapist.

I did actually make it to an insurance company in fact, a few minutes before they closed down. In short, I need health insurance to get the carta di residenza (which I need for a whole bunch of other things). But (deep breaths) it turns out I need a carta di residenza to get health insurance. I have no words…

Yesterday I went for a long walk in Monte Conero national park. Since my first walk here I’ve been determined to try and find a round trip as so far, my walks have been characterised by me walking for hours in one direction in the hope of finding a convincing looking return path, giving up and walking hours back the same way. But yesterday I found a circular path (still 5 hours!). My next task will be to try and find a circular path without a couple of kilometers teetering on the side of a busy road. The walk was lovely all the same – the countryside has completely changed in the last month or so: wheat fields have been ploughed, the sunflower fields are all dried up, the blackberries are out and I have never ever seen so many butterflies! Beautiful!

Camera 360

The white specs aren’t your eyes going…there’s a million butterflies in this photo…

For this week’s “what’s a bit odd” – see all of the above.

Not much else to report. I have new housemates – a family. I don’t think I can have made a very good impression – they lock their bedroom doors when they leave the apartment! I can’t believe they don’t trust me! (Thank goodness I made copies of their keys).

Right, onwards and upwards. Have a lovely week all!



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Fun, embarrassment and appeal to train station designers…


How is everyone? I’ve had another fun week this week with nothing much in the way of productivity. I’ll be remedying that this coming week in terms of productivity. I hope one day to combine the two: Productivity and Fun 🙂

Sunday I headed to an organ concert at a church in San Germano, a tiny little village walk-able from Camerano. The problem with organ concerns in churches is that the organs are generally hidden (or at least the organist is). I left after half an hour, deciding that if I wanted to listen to organ music, I should just buy a CD and listen to it somewhere that wasn’t life-sappingly hot. But it was nice to see another little village and if it wasn’t so hot, I would have stayed.

Camera 360

Everyone is misleadingly looking at the front of the church here. The organ was behind everyone above the door and you couldn’t see it!

We went on a boat trip on Tuesday from Numana (one of the close coastal villages) and I finally got to see one of the beaches that I’ve been keen to visit for a while – Spiaggia dei Gabbiani (Seagull beach basically). You can only get there by boat – we didn’t actually end up going to that one, but just went past it and hopped off at another beach, Le Due Sorelle which is also only reachable by boat (There’s a path but you’re not allowed to use it – admittedly it does look a bit perilous) so it was great to finally get to that beach too. The only photo I took didn’t seem to take so I’ve got no proof!

I had one of my top rated embarrassing moments on Wednesday at Cinema Sotto Le Stelle in Camerano – I put my phone on silent like a good cinema go-er and forgot about it. Halfway through, my phone starts blaring out music at top volume. It’s my alarm, not the phone so that’s why putting it on silent didn’t work. There were a few disapproving grunts and tuts in the audience. Embarrassing, but not the end of the world. I go to turn it off. Does it turn off? Nope it doesn’t. I’d swapped the battery before the film and for my phone, that means I have a Fort Knox style pin entry system before I can get into the phone. Everyone is now looking around with incredulous looks on their faces. Very embarrassing. I’ll turn the whole phone off I think. Does the whole phone turn off? Nope, it doesn’t. Ok. Ok. Fine. I’ll take the battery out then. Can I get the back off the phone? Something that I’ve been doing for a year without any problems? No, no I can’t.  By that point, the grunts of disapprovals had turned into sporadic giggles. I decided that I’d just have to leave the cinema and throw my phone into the path of a passing car, so I hot footed it out over people’s laps. As I jumped over the last person’s legs to the door, I was flooded with a sense of relief – the trauma was almost over. Or that’s what I thought until the previously sleeping barky dog (WHO BRINGS DOGS TO THE CINEMA!) that appeared to be guarding the door launched into a tirade of barks, much louder than my phone, subsequent scream of terror and the cinema put together. I’m going to buy a disguise for when I go out in Camerano next.

I met my Couch-surfing pen pal Italian buddy last week. Headed to San Michele beach the first time (where he got a 41 Euro parking fine) and then Senigallia (where I was 4 / 5 hours late and actually never arrived in Senigallia at all – see below!) and then a couple of days later, he gave me a whistle-stop tour around Jesi kicking off with a lovely lunch at Vintora, a restaurant in his home village of San Marcello (near Jesi). After lunch, we headed to Morra D’alba and Jesi as well as a 5 minute left-hand-drive car driving lesson before my train came (where I’m pleased to report that nothing bad happened).  I still vaguely remember how to drive, the problem will be keeping to the correct side of the road.

Had a lovely lunch at this restaurant - great food...

Had a lovely lunch at this restaurant – great food…

Camera 360

Una bella vista in San Marcello – the portaloo sets it off nicely I think 🙂

Camera 360

Morro D’alba – there’s a cute little walk that goes around the main bit of the paese – this photo was taken from there.

Camera 360

Jesi – the main square…

So let me tell you about the Senigallia ordeal on Thursday. It was the “Summer Jamboree” which I was really keen to get to so arranged to meet some friends down there. I looked at the train monitor at Ancona, I identified the train I needed and platform I needed to be on. I went to the platform. When the train came, I got on it. But then, rather than go to Senigallia (20 minutes north), the train went to Pescara (an hour and a half in the opposite direction). Why?  Well, let me tell you why. Ancona station have duplicate platforms it turns out – there are two platform 1’s, 2’s and 3’s in different parts of the station. I went to Platform 3 instead of Platform 3 (?!?!), a terrible and time-consuming mistake! So, an appeal to any Train Station Designers reading this: GIVE YOUR PLATFORMS UNIQUE NUMBERS!!!!!!!!

Camera 360

Pescara train station – it was a fascinating evening out…

To get to Senigallia was going to take almost 4 hours from there at that time of night. I decided to give up and go back to Ancona instead (still over 2 hours) but by then there were no buses home anyway. My new Couchsurfing friend who I was supposed to be meeting in Senigallia and who’d been patiently waiting hours for me (he doesn’t want to be “in” the blog – I’ll have to come up with a pseudonym… hmm…) came to get me from the station and we went for dinner in an Agriturismo in Camerano that I didn’t even know existed (La Giuggiola) – it was a good meal and turned out to be a good night in the end. I still feel a bit guilty! I’ve never been 4 + hours late before!!!

I had a chat to Marco about potential teaching opportunities last week – he’d definitely like to set up some English courses in the winter or at least when the weather cools down a bit. I’m hoping to meet him this week to discuss.

Ah – on a bureaucratic front, I did attempt to get a bit done last week in fact – I went to an insurance company to buy health insurance – the guy couldn’t understand why I wanted it. I explained I just needed a bit of paper from him with “health insurance” at the top just for box ticking purposes at the Comune, but he insisted I should confirm what level of care I needed. So I headed to the Comune who confirmed that yes, it was just that I needed a piece of paper with health insurance at the top and they couldn’t care less what I actually had. By the time I went to report back, the insurance company had closed. Camerano is positively rife with insurance companies but they all open for something like 15 minutes on a random non published evening during the week so I haven’t yet managed to get the health insurance. BUT THIS WEEK IS THE WEEK!

This week’s what’s a bit odd:

I've never known people in any other country sit out in the middle of a square before quite like this...

I’ve never known people in any other country sit out in the middle of a square before quite like this…

Ciao x

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Language Swaps, Water Park Therapy and After Eight drinks…

Ciao a tutti!

Had a great week this week, alas not remotely productive but fun 🙂

Last Sunday there was a party downstairs in the garden for the block of flats and I had a lovely night chatting to everyone. They have a party every year and everyone brings something along – I made biscuits which they were a bit intrigued by. It doesn’t fit in with the usual “biscotti”. People seemed to like them but I think they could have been improved had I actually had scales to measure the ingredients rather than guessing!

I’ve been working my way through the language swap ad responses. I’ve got a “pen-pal” thing going on with one now – we use Microsoft word to write to each other in our non-native language and then use the track changes to correct the other’s errors and then add another letter/note. That’s been working really well actually – having someone correct your writing helps with the speaking too.

I met up with another language swapper a couple of times this week – Matteo. Thursday he came over and cooked a delicious veggie carbonara (“prima piatti”), with re-fried beans (“contorno” – basically means sides/vegetables). I’d made a salad (another “contorno”) and a lemon mousse for desert (“dolce”). My lemon mousse was unusual. Firstly, I forgot to buy lemons. Not having lemons is a definite oversight when making lemon mousse. I improvised with mint syrup instead which turns out to be the nicest thing ever (see ‘What’s a bit weird’ at the end). And secondly, the recipe required whipped double cream which seems to be something that doesn’t exist in Italy. Instead, I selected the closest sounding thing having shaken every available cream container assessing “thickness” and realised when I got home I’d bought sour cream (“panna acido”). Sour cream is officially better in fajitas than dessert (who knew?). However, I think my creation was a rip-roaring success. Weird yes, but tasty! Having said that, I suspect Matteo thought it was just weird and weird.  Here’s Matteo in action (he even volunteered to be in the blog – nobody ever volunteers!).

Cooking in action...

Cooking in action…

I went to a water park called Aquafan on Friday with an Italian friend and his family. Apparently it’s the biggest in Europe (the park, not his family!). Lots of fun and incredibly interesting in terms if people watching and actually one of the most liberating places I’ve been to! Aquafan should be prescribed as a form of therapy. It emerges that I’m vain and lacking in body confidence: if I go to the beach, I’ve been working on the assumption that everyone on the beach looks around, takes note of my every lump, bump and blemish (I’m going to create an acronym – LBB) and feels a level of sickness as a result. But, at Aquafan it turns out a) everyone else has LBB’s, b) there are a lot of people that have more LBB’s than me and c) nobody cares – either about their own or other peoples! So, no more guilt inducing swimming costume wearing for me… So – feeling a bit unconfident? Find an Aquapark!!!



I went to another Sotto Le Stelle Cinema night in Camerano – W.E. – Edward e Wallis. Directed by Madonna and about the scandalous relationship between Edward III and his big love, a divorcee. This one was a difficult film to follow as it had two plots running through and I’m not sure I “got” all of it but it was a lovely evening again none the less. There’s only one more, next week, which is a shame. Meanwhile, there are a couple of classical concerts in the next couple of days which I’m hoping to get to.

I met up with my new artist friend in Ancona this week too with a view to going on mass (in two at least!) to the Azienda Entrata to sort out a Tessera Sanitaria for me and to see where her Codice Fiscale and Tessera Sanitaria have got to. They told us we’d come to the wrong place (despite it being the right place a week or two back!) so we did a bit of window shopping instead and visited an art shop where she’s now got some pictures on display. Very interesting – I’ve never had any art displayed publicly so it was an enlightening experience! We both got a free calendar out of it so all in all, it was a good visit.

I’ve also been over to Mezzavalle (The Beach of Naked Men) again with the American students but I can’t believe how busy it’s got – a couple of weeks ago it was positively empty apart from the sporadic naked man. This time, it was packed (with costume cladded people I should add). I definitely preferred it before (for the remote emptiness as opposed to the naked men of course).

Mum has been researching (thanks Mum) and has come to the conclusion that I should just buy healthcare insurance on the basis that she thinks becoming a resident is mandatory after 3 months (ah my 3 month “being in Italy” anniversary will be Tuesday!). So, I’m going to buy it. I’m too de-motivated with it to fight it any longer!

I had another “care package” from home arrive this week too with a delicious chocolate assortment – thank you Jo!!! 🙂 I’ve been disappointingly less controlled about rationing this lot!

Monday, I’m heading to the Summer Jamboree event in Senigallia. I usually get annoyed at music on websites – it’s a bit invasive eh? However, the music on this website has had me dancing around the kitchen. Italian swing music is fantastic! I’ve been trying to download the songs on the website but alas, I can’t find them to buy.

What’s a bit odd? Well, I’m getting quite fed up now of plain water. I WANT SQUASH!!! I decided to try the “sciroppo” (Syrup) which is an insanely sugary, unhealthy Italian version of “squash” which is incredibly expensive and comes in stupidly small sized bottles. I used to have orange squash or something along those lines but I followed a recommendation and went for mint and let me tell you, it’s great! And versatile too – if you have it with milk, well, it’s like drinking an After Eight. Mmm….

Camera 360


Right, that’s about it for this week. Hope you’re all well!

Ciao x

P.S. Has anyone seen this bug?! It’s about an inch long with a horrible nothingness waist and a massive backside and buzzes around in an aimlessly erratic fashion.  I really dislike them! WHAT ON EARTH IS IT?!?!?!


Bug Watch – Has anyone seen this bug?

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