Posts Tagged With: falconara

Renovations, aliens and comic conventions…

Ciao a tutti 🙂

Come stai? I hope you’re all well. There’s been lots going on in the last couple of weeks… including an array of exciting house developments:

Furniture

The Ikea people came! As predicted, they couldn’t find the house so I drove to meet them at the local school and led them back. It means we finally have a fridge! Cold, not gone off food has been such a joy. And we have a bed! It came without slats – surely that’s rather integral? Turns out we had some in the cantina (basement) left in the firewood pile so after studying them for a while to ensure they weren’t riddled with something nasty, we’ve used them. Lucky!

Bedroom

Now we have a bed, we’ve moved bedrooms to the larger one on the main floor rather than a smaller one upstairs. I think it was Klaus The Scorpion’s bedroom before so we’re marginally more paranoid than usual. However, it was my “make at least one room look ok” cunning plan. It just needs a bit of colour now but I’m on the case with that. I’ve “renovated” the wardrobe that was already in the house so it fits in a bit better. I’m about to renovate a rusty old chair for putting clothes on. I’m going to have to be a neater person – my current strategy of tipping everything on the floor whilst trying to find something to wear and then leaving it there is not conducive in this house (see the new regular “Wildlife Watch” section at the end).

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Bedroom as it was… (note dark brown wardrobes – the single one is now a scorpion proof tool chest in the cantina, and the other one has been turned into, well, a wardrobe)

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Bedroom as it is now. It needs a mirror and finishing touches and a bit of colour but it’s a lovely room now I think and the renovated wardrobe doesn’t look too bad I think.

Scavenging

When we moved in and chucked a few things out, somebody had riffled through our bin bags. I think that’s a bit odd. However, I have a confession. I scavenged a glass bottle at the bins the other day (thought it’s not the same as rifling through someone’s rubbish eh? It was sitting prettily outside the glass bin). I bought it back for cleaning and I hadn’t quite realised exactly how disgusting the cleaning process would be. Thirty minutes of gagging later whilst I tried to get out congealed wine (I really hope it was congealed wine at least), we now have a beautiful bottle! I’m going to do something with it. Probably I wont put wine in it. In fact, wine for me has forever been tainted by said cleaning experience.

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I like my new old bottle. I have exciting plans for it.

Knocking down walls

The most exciting development has been the destroying of the walls. A couple of local builders came and knocked down the walls between the sitting room and the stair area and I love it! I should add they weren’t load bearing so the rest of the house is still standing. It’s so much bigger and lighter yet feels a lot cosier at the same time. I’m so pleased with it.  If I’m in another room I sort of pop in just to have a look at it. It only took a couple of hours and has made such a difference. Not only that, in knocking them down it exposed one of the beams and it looks actually quite easy (famous last worlds) to get the paint off the others now (they’re painted white at the moment) so that’ll be a fun evening task.

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As it was…(taken from the “stair well” area… it was a weird little space – too small to do anything with but took up an inordinate amount of space).

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Mid demolition…

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The finished lack of wall! You would only have been able to see the back of that armchair from this view originally.

 

Chimney

An Ikea kitchen is being delivered and fitted on the 1st October, I hope. But, first we need to get rid of a fireplace which takes up most of the kitchen, move the plumbing around a bit and get some electricity into bits where there isn’t currently. Lots to do! But, we’ve made a good start (the royal “we”, I had nothing to do with it really). Next week hoping to block it off with something or other.

Before...

Before…

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After…. well there should be another “after” photo coming soon with it looking like a white wall, fingers crossed.

 

Bathroom

I’m desperate to have a bath in the house somewhere. We bought one from the local “edilizia” (an edilizia seems to be a place where you get house stuff from). We were given a choice as to whether we want to pay 10% or 22% tax on it. I went for 10%. I feel like it might be a trap. Anyway, to fit the bath in, we need to take the shower cubical out and get rid of some wood panelling at the sides of the bathroom. I was worried about what we would find underneath the panelling but it was just tiles. They were painted though so we decided to scrape that off. WHAT A MISTAKE! It took ages, I can barely use my thumbs for using the scrapers and it still looks like an ugly bathroom! I think I’ll cross the re-tiling bridge later. I hope I can get the bath in shortly.

The bathroom... it doesn't look bad here actually. There's a shower next to the bidet, behind the camera.

The bathroom- as it was. The paneling needed to come off to fit the bath in.

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This is what was under – the tiles were painted a cream colour. That was a nicer colour than the blue original tiles but it was patchy so needed to come off.

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And now it’s just blue (after HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS of work)

Garden

We spent some therapeutic time in the garden getting rid of weeds (and almost a century old rose planted by the next door neighbours beloved granddad), raking, digging up tree stumps and marking out where the lake, forest and orchard will be going. Despite a few hours work, the garden looks almost identical to what it did before. I’ve decided that gardening, though therapeutic has the potential to be very unsatisfying.

Heating

I can’t express how confused I am about how to heat the house and get hot water. At the moment there’s a wood burner (called a stufa in Italy) which is basically in the stairwell and used to heat, er, the stairwell and little else. It’s poorly located and after testing it, doesn’t seem to emit much heat. For hot water we have a boiler that runs off electricity. It’ll be cold in the winter and we need a better heating system. We seem to have multiple options for heating water and the house all varying in price from the absolute fortune in the long run to well, an absolute fortune initially. My confusion is not aided in that the Italian’s call almost every mode of heating “gas” as far as I can establish.You can get your own gas tank thing which you can just attach your oven to, a bigger one outside, or you can connect to a methane gas only I don’t think I can in my area, or you can get gas oil maybe which is something else again and I don’t even know if I can get it…… some of them you can use for cooking, some you can use for water, some you can use for heating… CONFUSING! Then there’s a wood pellet stufa (Wood burner) debate. It seems to be nothing less than absolutely extortionate to set it up but cheaper in the long run. On a separate note, I hadn’t realised that pellets looked like cat litter – I thought the Edilizia was diversifying into pet toiletry requirements. Anyway, I think my winter heating strategy might involve a lot of blankets at the moment.

Non house related news

In other news, I’ve been interviewed for an Ex Pats magazine – have a look here. Fame and fortune is surely not far off!

We’ve been exploring the local area…

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This is Lago di Fiastro. It’s massive. I had thought we could walk around it but despite its size, there are also sheer cliff faces on one of the sides!

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And…. it had a “beach”. It seems odd calling it a beach given it’s nowhere near the sea but there were people sunbathing and swimming. So, a beach. It was a boiling day – could have done with a swim myself! I think it would make good snorkeling too – there seemed to be a lot of fish.

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This is Aquasante. There seem to be a few walks that start off from here. Hoping to do one this week and then one of the others “for experienced trekkers” at some point soon too.

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This was a really interesting place – I think it’s called “grotto di soffiano”. There’s a couple of chairs and a little garden up there. We wanted to walk further on having heard there’s a waterfall and lake but I wimped out; the “walk” down seemed to be akin to throwing yourself off a precipice.

Back in Falconara, we found a Comic Festival which was a bit of a surprise. Quite interesting though, particularly as they had people drawing in “comic book style” at some of the stalls. It’s inspired me to want to have a go at drawing some comic-style images. They even run courses in Jesi, one of the local towns. It’s a shame I’m moving further away from that, it would have been good!

Comic convention in Falconara...

Comic convention in Falconara…

What’s a bit odd?

The local people we buy things from are absolutely not at all worried about getting paid. The bath people have delivered the bath and weren’t at all concerned about me paying them despite my special trip into town to get cash an hour before (everything needs to be paid in cash in Italy it seems. There are no receipts. Poor Tax Man). The wifi man came, spent a couple of hours crawling around on our perilous looking roof and said we could just pop in and pay him whenever. It’s lovely how trusting they are and obviously if people weren’t paying then they’d probably stop that strategy but it does seem unusual to the “pay up front” general English strategy.

Wildlife Watch

This week’s exciting bedroom discovery was a “House Centipede”. A house centipede looks like one of the particularly creepy aliens from Men in Black. Here’s a picture I’ve borrowed from the ApartmentTherapy website (check out the website here, it’s very informative!).

House Centipede

Apparently they run at the equivalent of humans running 42mph. I can confirm, they are quick.

Nice discoveries now… We have a deer frequenting our local field. She eats breakfast and dinner when we eat ours which is nice. Her name is Deerdrie.

Where's Deerdrie?

Where’s Deerdrie?

And in other exciting news, it turns out that lizards like dead flowers…

Cutie...

Cutie…

That’s it from me for this week.

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Apologies, The Saga of the Impounded Car and New House Excitement!

Ciao a tutti!

Well this week I bring you a full gamut of emotions covering the excitement of house buying, the sheer glee of finishing teaching and the blood boiling frustrating of having your car stolen by the authorities. But firstly an apology!

Heartfelt apology

Firstly, an apology for anyone that I may have upset on the blog! WordPress informs me that my 2 year anniversary of MovetoItaly was only a week or two back. It’s been a positive pleasure writing it – it’s the only “diary” that I’ve ever been able to keep up and I never want to leave it for too long without writing an update. It’s become a bit of an addiction but a good one! But just like a diary, i probably don’t censor it as much as I should! So, I vent and whinge, I moan about school children, I post up pictures of “unique” bedroom lights etc. Alas, sometimes, the people that are involved in my whinging get wind of the blog (usually because I’ve been stupid and told them). Sometimes, I remember and quickly back-edit a post, sometimes I take down the offending item but more often I completely forget to take any remedial action at all. And the most difficult thing is – how do you apologise for potentially hurting the feelings of someone that may not have seen the offending mockery in the first place?!

I think the two most likely apology scenarios are as follows:

Apology 1: Sue: “Hey – did you er, read my blog post? You know, the one where I called your students little nightmares from hell?/ where I slagged off your furniture? / where I dubbed you ‘The Cheek Stroker’ because you won’t leave mine alone? Oh, you didn’t? Well, er, that’s fine, forget it, really”.

Apology 2: Sue: “Hey – did you er, read my blog?”. Innocent Victim (IV): “No, I’m sorry, I really must do that – what’s the address again?”.

So, I’ve decided to go down the following route: If you’ve ever read something insensitive about yourself, your students, your bedroom light or your penchant for stroking my cheeks, I apologise and am genuinely sorry. Please feel free to confront me so I can apologise in a cowardly manner.

I’ve decided to be much more sensitive in the future. Anyway, enough of that, let me tell you about the annoying police and car pound… 😉

The Saga of the Impounded Car

Yesterday my car was taken. Yesterday morning, rather than my car being outside, there was a market. I like markets but on this occasion, I would have preferred my car.

So, I wandered around the market in despair asking people how I could get my car back (it’s not as though the thief could leave a note) and the only suggestion was “speak to the Vigili” (Vigili means watchers. Ha, if only they’d just WATCHED my car), who don’t actually have a phone number or an address that can be located through regular means on the internet.  I spotted two authoritative looking figures who told me I should go to a building up the road which turned out to be where the Polizia are. I arrived at the Polizia who had a sign outside saying they were on strike and to come back another day.

My laughs were heard by a nice policeman that was in the building who came out to see who was having an hysterical breakdown outside.

I had to pay a very specific 29.70 euros to them to give me a green piece of paper – taking people’s cars is a time consuming administrative business. There would be a lot more to pay at the con artist’s car pound to cover their strenuous efforts. Bless their cotton socks.

After continuous attempts by the nice policeman to phone the thieves car pound, he learnt that they were on lunch now from whatever time in the morning it was until 4pm so I needed to wait until then. The nice policeman then asked me if I knew where the crook car pound was. “No” I said. “It’s a long way” he said. “Great” I replied.  “Do you have a car?” he asked. “YOOOOOOUUUUUU HAVE MY CAR”. Hearing a trace of hysteria return, he quickly asked his boss to give me a lift to the shysters car pound this afternoon as he was not going to be there. The slightly less friendly policeman responded after some cajoling with a “s’pose, if I have to”.

At 3.45 I phoned the pilferers car pound to confirm that they were actually going to be open. “Yeah, you need to come immediately because I’m going out”. “Right. I’m actually in Falconara – I don’t know how to come immediately since you have my car and all but I’ll go immediately to the less friendly policeman and get a lift straight away”. Off I ran up the hill to the Polizia. The new shift of staff were really very friendly, lovely in fact, and spent a long time reassuring me that they would help me get my car back. So long assuring me that they would help me get my car back that the time for helping me get my car back came and went. I expressed my concern that far from being open at 4pm, they were now closed. They dismissed that notion with a wave of their hand and phoned the swindlers  car pound who confirmed that they had now gone but would be back “at some point”. The Polizia used all their contacts and confirmed that someone would be there in 40 minutes.

Some three hours later, waiting in the hot sun without water / snacks / firearms and staring at my car behind some annoyingly sturdy looking metal gates, the cheats car pound men arrived. I obviously need to remunerate them for their hard work so I gave them 96 euros. I just hope that it’s enough to cover the stress of stealing having to haul away my car when they’ve had such a busy day out of the office at the beach recovering other vehicles.

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I had considered jumping over the gates and trying to drive out but I was put off by this car on the right which had obviously tried something similar.

Anyway, I’ve totally learnt my lesson. I should be checking daily a sign a few hundred meters up the road to see if my car will be stolen if I park it next to the flat, on the road that I have already paid 50 euros for the privilege of parking on for 3 months.

 New House

Apart from that it’s actually been a good week! I went to see the house in San Ginesio again (this will change – it’s sort of between San Ginesio and Sarnano – it’s less that I’m fickly changing houses and more that I’m being inconsistent!)  and confirmed that I still want to buy it.

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Look at my view from the private terrace…

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And these are the Sibilini Mountains in the distance and you can just about make out the town of Sarnano too.

I wont lie, there are confusing bits that need sorting on the paperwork. In particular, there are rustic buildings where there aren’t rustic buildings, there are storerooms where there aren’t storerooms and the floor plans look like a child could have done them. The first official step is to get a “Compromesso” (interestingly translated as Compromise but is essentially an initial promise between the buyer and seller, after which there are financial penalties to pay if either party pulls out).  But there’s so much opportunity and it costs hardly anything. So hoping to do some decent floor plans and put together some ideas about how it could look. It’s so exciting! It feels like my first proper home! Move date should be mid August hopefully.

Teaching

I’m sure you can believe how devastated I am to have finished teaching at the schools this week 🙂 The finale was a disastrous show with the infants who forgot every single thing that we’d done in the last year in front of their parents and passers by on the beach front in Marcelli.

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This is me on stage with the kiddos. I think at this point they were all supposed to be holding hands and rhythmically swaying (not chatting to their friends and paying absolutely no attention to anything they’re supposed to be doing at all)

None-the-less it marked the end of an interesting year teaching school kids English so I was happy and I got a lovely bunch of flowers to say thank you.

Ok that’s me done for this week.

Ciao all!

x

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Travels up north, houses to buy and pretty sunsets…

Ciao a tutti!

Well……. have I got a lot to update on! I’ll try and be quick:

Falconara

Well, we’ve been living in Falconara for a while and my opinion of it hasn’t changed. I like it. I think Falconara might have some of the best sunsets of all time and it’s lovely walking along the beach in the evening. It is also the home of a small stretch of beach I’ve called “Seaglass Heaven” (I’m not being any more specific lest someone catches wind of it and takes all my seaglass!). The more I discuss Falconara with the people that dislike it, the more I decide that their rationale is not actually rational!

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Falconara beach – best sunset of all time?

Bustling festival in Jesi…

A couple of Saturday’s ago, we went to a bustling little festival in Jesi. I should have asked more questions about what the festival was in aid of but most people there didn’t seem to know either. There were people dressed up in religious outfits, parading up and down the streets but the best bit were the open tavernas which are basically private cellars, only open for a couple of days a year serving food and wine. Great atmosphere!

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Random guitar playing guy in the taverna!

Market in Montemarciano

I’ve discovered a new website (for me at least – I think it’s an old website!) www.marcheinfesta.it which promotes upcoming events up in the area. This, together with some festival posters dotted around, alerted us to a local town having a Festival of Spring. Montemarciano is only a 15 minute drive away (30 minutes for me who has problems understanding the cryptic directions of ‘Tom’ the Satellite Navigation Fool!) and was a pretty little town to wander around. The festival was characterised by loads of market stalls selling clothing (hmm, very spring like!).

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I suppose there wasn’t a great deal to Montemarciano but it did have a cool church and it was nice to wander around

House purchasing in Italy…

The next bit of exciting news is that I *may* have found a house to buy here in Italy. There, now I’ve jinxed it! The good bits first:  It’s advertised as a 3 bed house (potentially more) and has got fabulous views.  It also has a great cantina (cellar) which I think could be turned into a living space, a private little terrace on the roof and a cute little garden. Bad things: It’s somewhat in the middle of nowhere, the kitchen is decidedly small, and it’s not ACTUALLY a 3 bed house at the moment as the “upstairs” rooms can’t officially be classed as bedrooms and THERE’S NO BATH! Still, it’s at a very good price indeed so I’m planning to put an offer on it and we’ll see what happens. If you could all have your fingers crossed I would appreciate it! It’s set right next to the Sibilini mountains, it’s near Sarnano and the ski pistes in the winter so that’ll be a complete change from where I am now. Scary – but quite exciting! I’d love to have a home that I can finally do stuff to make it actually feel like home.

Touristy San Marino

I’ve finally ticked off something I’ve been meaning to do since I got here over a year ago – visit San Marino! It kick-started my birthday weekend away. San Marino is about an hour and a half  further north than Falconara, still in Le Marche. It had a very quaint historical centre spanning across three towers/castle type set-ups, while the outskirts basically consisted of a winding road with weird road markings, set between car showrooms. It had some amazing views and it was nice to wander around the shops. However, the shops were very touristy and sold exactly the same stuff – Leather goods (boooooo – why can’t people see that genuine leather is a bad thing?! Poor cows…), general tourist tat and rather curiously, guns, knives and swords!

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Quite a good view!

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Rare tourist free castle glimpse…

Handy gun shop

Handy gun shop. I’ve also been able to expand my samurai sword collection.

Surprisingly Alright Rimini

Rimini is a beach town. It’s alright – I’m not really that fussed by beach towns often so I’m surprised I quite like it. They often seem to have a lack of oomph about them. But Rimini has quite a nice historical town centre complete with castles and ruins but it’s quite young and lively too. The beach front has got long, sandy, wide beaches (alas, with back to back sunloungers and umbrellas). The drinks are expensive and even worse, seaglass and driftwood is non-existent! However you can walk into the sea a little way and stand on a sand ridge so that goes part way to make up for the lack of seaglass.

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Moody beach scene. It was misleadingly stormy looking – it was actually very warm and sunny! What do you reckon this wooden construction is?!

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Lifeguard house.  Ah-ha! Maybe the wooden construction in the last picture is the bottom of a lifeguard house?! All becomes clear….

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Arch leading to the town centre

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Nice large piazza numero uno

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Nice large piazza numero due

Pretty San Leo

San Leo is one of my favourite places. It’s a cute little hill-top town with a big fort. It’s nice to just wander around the town but it’s probably worth the 8 Euros to go into the fort too. The fort has some amazing views and there’s a torture room which was amusing at first (until you think that they actually used this stuff)…

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Taken from the base of the fort

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Sleepy main piazza in San Leo

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Majestic looking fort growing out of the mountainous outcrop

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I like this chair a lot. Very accommodating looking.

The photo below is of Cagliostro. He was kept prisoner at the fort…

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Was EVERYONE horrible looking a few hundred years ago? I mean, I understand that fashions change – but faces? Why do all portraits of that era show bulbous eyed, no-necked, flabby mouthed people? Did they have an influx of evil portrait painters or did people actually look like that? Who would have ever let this portrait see the light of day?! I can only imagine his confident smirk here showed him before he viewed the portrait. I suspect the ‘after’ portrait would have been of a depressed alcoholic.

School – the end is nigh…

The end is nigh! I’ve got another two weeks. The grand finale is a show with the Infants. Following on from the successful hit of the Christmas show with them in December, I’ve been allocated a 20 minute slot for an all singing and dancing English extravaganza. It’s going to be a disaster. The first song is a particularly monotonous guitar piece called “hello, how are you?” created by my good self and which the children have been screeching “singing” for the last year. Can they remember what it means? Despite going through it every single week? No….. no they can’t! They can’t even remember the words. They are only 4 years old but still, that’s poor isn’t it? I blame the teacher. Ahem.

Twittering

In other exciting news – I’ve decided to try and make a go of Twitter. I still can’t understand it but I suppose it satisfies my egotistical craving to constantly update people on what I’m doing all the time. Please feel free to follow me @suzzec.

What’s a bit odd?

Less what’s a bit odd and more what’s a bit creepy… here’s some graffiti in Falconara that I quite like.

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Creepy.. creepy… creepy!

And a road sign in San Leo…

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Sign indicating the potential dangers to your lorry if you take this road…

Right, that’s about that then. Have good weeks all 🙂

x

 

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New Flat, The Biting Insect of Horror and The Return of Sightseeing

Ciao all!

This week I bring you a new home update, the saga of the mystery bites/stings and some photos from a lovely day out around Le Marche.

My New Home!

Well the move went OK last Friday. It’s fair to say, my new town, Falconara, does not have a good reputation I think mainly because it’s right next to a large petrol refinery and there’s a busy train line which runs alongside the beach. It’s a town that looks a little bit unloved to be honest. However, from what I’ve seen so far, I really like it.

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Beautiful eh?!

The beach, which is a minute walk from the flat, is nice (though I fear it’s going to be covered in back-to-back sun loungers and umbrellas in less than a month). It’s sandy, which is unusual from what I’ve experienced around here and the water is nice and clear.  There are little promenades which you can walk along to get out to some rocky bits which protect the beach. It’s quite surreal walking on rocks a few hundred meters away from the beach.

The town itself has restaurants, lots of gelaterias, cafes and a few other bits and pieces.  Monday was my year anniversary here so I celebrated by exploring Falconara a bit with Pane Caldo and some friends. We went to a couple of nice bars and then a restaurant on the beach called La Vela (The Sail). I’m particularly enamored with my local gelateria which has the most amazing looking ice-cream and tastes great too. Seems to always have a little crowd outside.

Monday is market day here and our road is closed off for it which means we have to park elsewhere. The landlord had warned me about that and said I’d have to clear the car away by 8.30 Monday morning. Come 6.30am, I poked my head outside the window to check on the car and there was an angry looking man with a van walking incredulously around my now lone vehicle. I spent a good couple of minutes whistling at him to get his attention so I could tell him he didn’t need to walk around it any longer and that I would remove it forthwith but he didn’t look up so I had to run downstairs pretty smartly. That was a prompt Monday morning start.

Yesterday there appears to have been some sort of Bouncy Castle Festival in the park behind the flat. Alas it was only for children (why are bouncy castles only ever for children?!?!). And then there was a religious procession around the streets – I’m not sure what that was in relation too but was quite interesting to watch.

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Bouncy Castle / Slide Festival

In terms of the flat, I have mixed feelings about it. Things I like about the flat:

  • It’s nice and airy. See Exhibits A, B and C
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Exhibit A: The bedroom is nice and light with a balcony which seems to get the sun most of the day

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Exhibit B: The very wide hall…

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Exhibit C: The spare bedroom…(soon to be the Conero Craft Studio)

  • It has really cool shutters which completely block out the light. See Exhibit D.
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Exhibit D

  • You can see the sea and walk there in a minute. Handy for the supermarket too. See Exhibit E.
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Exhibit E. View from the living room

  • It has a gelateria opposite that I think has the best cherry amaretto flavour and an excellent tiramsu flavour too.
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Exhibit F. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • It’s close to the train station.

Things I don’t like about the flat:

  • You can hear trains all night! Exhibit G below.
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Exhibit G. One street away from the apartment

  • The bedroom monstrosity ceiling light!  See Exhibit H.
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Exhibit H. Ugliest light of all time?

  • We have to buy a bombola (a gas canister) for the gas just like we’re camping. I love camping, but not in the flat.
  • We have to turn on the hot water and wait an hour and a half for it to get hot and then it only manages to fill an inch in the bottom of the bath.
  • There is dark imposing shiny furniture everywhere. I prefer lighter furniture. And I prefer bathroom doors that aren’t so dark that you headbutt them because in the middle of the night they look like they’re open but in fact they’re shut. And I prefer that they’re not so shiny that if there’s background light, it looks like there’s someone walking full pelt at you.
  • None of our neighbours appear to have left their wifi unprotected. Suspicious lot. We’ve had to buy a dongle.
  • We’re overlooked. I think there’s at least 20 other flats that can look into every room in our flat. I might be forced to get net curtains. See Exhibit H below.
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    Exhibit H. Slightly overlooked.

  • You need a parking permit to park anywhere near the flat. Pfft!

Conero Crafts

Conero Crafts has gone a bit quiet of late – I’ve been chatting to someone on the Etsy website that has suggested I try and produce some smaller, easier pieces to send through the post. I completely agree. I sent one of my items to Canada recently. The conversation in the post office went thusly:

Sue: I’d like to send this box to Canada please.

Post office worker: That’s difficult.

Sue: OK. I’d still like to send it.

Post office worker: It’s not easy.

Sue: Huh. Erm. Well, I’m sorry about that.

And it went on a bit like that before finally costing 30 Euros to send so I made a bit of a loss on that.

Mystery biting / stinging creature in the car

I’ve been stung! Or bitten. And down my dress too! And whilst I was driving. The Italian public were very nearly subjected to a screaming stripping girl at the side of the motorway (but they did get subjected to a screaming girl just flapping about like a lunatic). It got me 4 times! I spent the entire next day sensing things on me but assuring myself I was being paranoid (after all, yelling and running to the bathroom to strip off manically to get rid of a non existent bug can’t be sustained in the long run)……..Only then I found that one of the “sensations” was indeed a wasp on my neck.  I’m considering getting myself one of those suits that bee-keepers have.

Out and about around Le Marche

I was invited to a university school outing yesterday by one of my language swap buddies who’s a university professor in Ancona. I had a lovely day out. It reminded me of when I first came here, investigating new places. We went for a nice long walk in a couple of pretty little villages around Arcevia – Piticchio and Montale. The trip was linked to some work Regione Marche are doing to boost tourism in the area. I’m bursting with opinions so I’m going to write to them to offer my services as an enthusiastic and somewhat full time tourist here!

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View of the main archway in Pittichio

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View from Pittichio where we started our walk

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Pretty view from the walk

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We walked to Montale on our walk, another hill top town nearby

What’s a bit odd?

When there’s a baby born they put ribbons up outside the house. In Arcevia they put massive “So&So has been born” type signs and the entire street seems to be decked out with ribbons! Quite sweet really.

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Blue for a boy…

Right, that about sums up this week.

Have good weekends all.

x

 

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