Posts Tagged With: Offagna

Conero Crafts is open for business!!!

Ciao!

Well this week has been really good! I bring you my new shop, Umbria visits and some new art bits & pieces.

Conero Crafts!

So after much deliberation, my shop is called Conero Crafts given my inspiration has come somewhat from the Monte Conero area. Click here to check it out 🙂

Excitement isn’t the word! I sort of accidentally came across this selling driftwood strategy – I was just intending to post some of my stuff up on Etsy, a reasonably well-known internet shop specialising in hand made products, but Etsy wanted a shop name before I could post and now it’s made me ambitious! I had my first sale today and I’ve been bouncing around the house ever since. I even have compliments slips. Exciting, exciting, exciting!

Here’s some of the latest pieces…

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Umbria visits

In other news, for “Pasquetta” (Easter Monday) we went to Assisi & Perugia (the we is myself and I shall call him for the purposes of anonymity, Pane Caldo).

Both Perugia and Assisi are beautiful places to visit. There was a nice little market going on in Perugia and after a quick wander around the centre, we had a long lunch where I ordered a Napolitan pizza not realising that it had anchovies on until my friend picked me up on it, so in a rush, I changed my order to a Napolitan without the anchovies. Otherwise known as a Margherita. I suspect that caused amusement in the kitchen.

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Lots of eateries! I can’t remember which one I embarrassed myself in…

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Market in Perugia

Then we headed to Assisi of Franciscan monk fame. I’d already been there once before a few years back but it was nice to look around again.

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One of the main squares in Assisi…

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Assisi is beautiful – looks like something from a fairy tale when you’re driving up to it…

Then earlier this week, I had a couple of friends over from London to stay. It’s always nice to see people from back home here and show them around. We didn’t get to see too much – I was at work for one of those days and there’s a fair bit of things around here to try and squeeze in. On the first evening we headed to Sirolo for an aperitivo and then back to Camerano to attempt to go to the trattoria but I forgot it shuts on a Tuesday. Then on Wednesday we went to Offagna, a beautiful hill top town with a big castle and fabulous views with the idea of going to one of my favourite pizzerias, “Sotto la Rocca” which I forgot shuts on a Wednesday!

This has been my last weekend in the Camerano flat :-(. I have accumulated quite a significant amount of stuff. I think it’ll take a couple of car trips at least to get the stuff to the new flat and I’m a bit worried that I don’t have a parking permit yet so we’re not even technically allowed to park outside to even take the stuff into the flat.  

Right, onwards and upwards! Only 4 more weeks or so of teaching to go – woohoo!

Have wonderful weeks all.

x

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Sue’s Favourite Places Tour, Teaching and living rooms…

Ciao a tutti!

Well this week has been a roller-coaster of ups and downs!

Parents

Mum and Dad came out last Friday for a week to see where I live 🙂 It was lovely to show them around all the things I’ve been talking about for so long. Hopefully they liked it (more than France which they keep going on about ;-)) – we pretty much did the “Sue’s Favourite Places Tour” as well as some new stuff I hadn’t had a chance to do before.

The “Sue’s Favourite Places Tour” took us to (Please Note: If you’re coming to visit me – perhaps skip past this section to maintain an air of mystery):

  • San Michele beach
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Lots of fisherman there at this time of year…

  • Sirollo (pretty village by the sea)
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Pretty street overlooking the countryside in Sirollo

  • Numana (another pretty village by the sea)
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View towards Monte Conero from Numana

  • Marcelli (another village by the sea…. there was a theme that day. Anyway, Marcelli only featured because one of the schools is there)
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View from Marcelli towards Monte Conero. One can never have too many pictures of views towards Monte Conero eh?

  • Camerano’s Cemetery (I know this is an odd thing to have on a favourite places list but I think it’s great! And we timed it brilliantly – we went there on their day of the dead which is an excellent time to go – it’s full of people and it’s got a bit of atmosphere about it!)
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Pretty graves. When you die, you’re put into a wall here… no rotting away being eaten by bugs… Well, I didn’t see any evidence of that anyway. Hmm – this photo isn’t in focus.

  • Portonovo (lovely little coastal beach area)
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Pretty bay. Towards Monte Conero don’t you know…

  • Loreto (the hill top town which hosts Jesus’ mother’s house which was carried there by angels from Palestein. Read about it here)
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Rather poor to average shot of Loreto. Mary’s house is inside the basilica straight ahead. People go around the house on their knees. They’ve worn two large grooves into the marble. They should probably put some sort of cushioning around the house if people insist on doing that – I don’t think it can be healthy for their joints!

  • Frasassi Caves (I’d not actually been there before but it’s been on my list for months – the caves are absolutely huge and incredibly impressive. Definitely a good thing to see. Here’s the website)
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You can’t actually take pictures in the caves – so here’s a picture of the parking lot where you go to get to the caves

  • Monte Murano (mountain just up from Serra San Quirico – all my photo’s have parents in so here’s a picture of a nice sunrise instead)

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    Sunrise from the balcony

  • Offagna (hill top town with a castle)
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Offagna’s lovely castle

  • Castelfidardo (to look at the Accordion Museum which, you’ll never guess, was shut. We did meet a very happy singing man that escorted us there though so that was er, interesting).
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The museum was shut but there was a shop with a lot of accordions… (if you’re coming to visit and you’re worried I’ll try and take you to an accordion museum, don’t worry – this was a one off)

So all very nice. I think I could be a happy tour guide when I grow up. However, all that coincided with…

The Scary Week of Teaching Terror

Which involved teaching… let me see… about 260 children English. It has been stressful. And I’ve started the classes in such a random fashion that I don’t really know who I’ve done what with now. However, I’m now famous (or infamous) in the schools. One of these teaching type websites recommends you start the lesson with a hello song and finish with a goodbye song. I’d found some stuff on youtube.com but there wasn’t internet access in the classes so… I did what any nervous, inexperienced teacher would do and took my guitar in and sang to them. All children in the Marcelli and Numana areas can now sing along to “Hello, how are you?” and “Bye bye, see you again” songs. They are incessantly catchy. I can’t imagine ever having a night’s sleep again without them going round and round my head. Anyway, my reputation proceeded me on the last day and I got a song request even before I introduced myself. It’s a good job my embarrassment threshold is relatively high these days.

My language school that contracted me to the state schools suggested I have lunch with the staff on Wednesday as I’ve got a two hour gap between lessons. “Lunch with the staff” was misleading. It was lunch with children. I was at least 20 meters away from the nearest member of staff. I think I was supposed to be keeping them (the children, not the staff) in order. However, by the time pudding came round, there was a little crowd of children around me and the other teacher had to come to tell them to sit down. I suspect I should have done that.

There was only a couple of er, “difficult” classes so I suppose that’s ok. One teacher said I need to be harder on the kids. I’m not entirely sure how without actually using physical violence. I’ll have to look at the regulations in Italy but I’m pretty sure I can’t do that.

The plus side is that the latest teaching stresses have almost removed my driving stresses! On Monday I actually looked forward to getting in the car.

Living room

I HAVE ONE! Marco changed my old bedroom into a living room a week or so back and now I even have a nice flatscreen tv. WOOHOO 🙂

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Living room plus legs…

Right, I’m supposed to be lesson planning, not blogging. <Sigh>.

I hope you all have wonderful weekends.

Buonanotte!

xxx

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Croatia, Blackmail and Helicopters…

Ciao!

And how is everybody? I know I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a while now but it still feels rude to launch into a monologue about me! Anyway, launching into a monologue about me…  I’ve been out and about a fair bit in the last week with the housemates again and also sailing. So this week’s excursions have been:

  • Offagna: I really like Offagna – it’s a hill top town half an hour or so away with a big castle at the top. We (the housemates and I) went for a pizza at “Sotta la Rocca” – we had a lovely pizza and then wandered around the town a bit. Lovely, lovely, lovely. And the countryside around there is spectacular too. I could live there.

Offagna

  • Portonovo – I’ve been here a few times now and really like it. I’ve not been to the beach there before for a sunbathing/swimming session but we (still the housemates…) parked up and walked a bit around the corner where it was pretty much empty and spent the afternoon there. Portonovo is FABULOUS for snorkelling… the water was crystal clear and the rocks, though a bit perilous to try and get out for a swim, meant there was a lot of fish, crabs and other things to see.
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I snorkelled to that rock sticking out – turns out it was a long way (only realised that on the way back).

  • Croatia – Sailing was great! We had a little flotilla thing going on – 3 boats. There were 5 of us on ours – my friend Catherine and three really nice guys.  We left Ancona on Thursday night and did a night sail to Croatia which took 12 hours. We got there mid morning and headed to a Drogana (place where you take your passports – I hadn’t really appreciated before that you need to sort of check in when you sail places) in a place called Sali (I think) and then off in between some islands for lunch, a swim and some sleep.
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Sali (quite possibly) Only stayed here an hour or two.

  • Then we moored up in a lovely little bay somewhere else for the night – I’ve only ever been in marinas overnight so it was interesting! And there’s this well known wind (the Bora) in Croatia which is known for blowing boats off their moorings so we all anchored up next to each other and had ropes tied from the boats to some rocks and trees on the shore and then we tied ourselves to each other as well so all in all, it felt like quite a secure mooring! Or at least if it wasn’t, the plus side was we’d have all been blown away together (and would have taken half the Croatian countryside with us as a souvenir).
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We spent a good half an hour motoring around this bay looking for the ideal place to er, park (moor probably)…

  • Next day we headed to another bay (I wish I’d paid more attention to where we’d gone!) with a Caribbean style white sandy beach and crystal clear water. The people around there have a lot of money – we were amidst some very fancy power boats. I’m somewhat envious. Apparently they don’t have pirates in Croatia. I think there’s a clear niche in the market. I’m definitely going to consider becoming a pirate.
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Lovely bay… somewhere in Croatia. I recommend it!

  • So in summary, I had a great time and I think I’m more tanned than I’ve ever been, though also more bruised than I’ve ever been. I haven’t nailed walking in a straight line on a rocking boat. There’s not a bit of my thighs that I didn’t bang into something with. I look like a domestic abuse victim.

I’ve been doing a lot of drawing lately – I drew a lot of portraits on the boat but I need to practice more. I’m not good with my shading yet – everyone looks like they have beards. Apart from the people that actually have a beard and then it just looks like they haven’t washed. I’ve decided I’m going to set up a portrait drawing business in Marcelli (seaside resort where all the Italians go during summer) in the next few weeks so I need to get better (Piracy and Portraits R US Ltd?)! Portrait drawing doesn’t seem to be done much in Italy. And the Italian’s seem relatively easy to please on the portrait front so far (fortunately!) so hopefully if I can improve a bit, I’ll be onto a winner. I love doing portraits anyway so even if it doesn’t work out, it’ll keep me amused a bit whilst the piracy business takes off 🙂

I’m still frustrated as ever with the language but after a couple of pep talks from friends I’m slightly less depressed about it – apparently it takes a while! Anyway, the plus side of being inept at Italian is that some of my errors have had me giggling for ages, and still make me laugh. I asked one of the guys on the boat if he wanted his portrait taken… Only I asked him if he’d like to be blackmailed instead. “Portrait” and “Blackmail” are very similar sounding words in Italian!  The best thing was his reply “nah, not today, maybe tomorrow eh?”!

I’ve had two housemates leave and another one move in this weekend. I think I might have yet another soon too. Or tomorrow. Or next week. Who knows! Marco is not forthcoming when it comes to providing housemate information.

I failed dismally at my bureaucracy quest last week – I went back to the Comune armed with every document I could think of but I still require more. I’m less and less sure about this residency malarkey anyway –  the reason I’m questioning it again is that apparently I now have to buy private healthcare insurance because I’d be “resident” as a student. So this is my understanding: if I was working and therefore paying taxes then that would be fine, I don’t need to pay for healthcare insurance. But as I’m not at the moment, then I’d have to pay for my healthcare. But I let out a property in the UK so I’m already paying taxes which go towards healthcare and I shouldn’t have to pay for healthcare twice eh? And by becoming resident in Italy, maybe it means that rather than paying tax to the UK even though my house is there, I pay it to Italy but then I don’t want to pay tax here – the tax is a lot higher (who’d have thought!). So, to sum up – I’m thoroughly confused. The internet only adds to the confusion. So, next stop will be to email the tax folk in the UK and see if they’ll advise. Meanwhile, I’m very seriously thinking about flying back to the UK, buying a car and driving it back here.

This week’s ‘What’s a bit weird’: Look at this graffiti on the wall of my local school (below) – look past the “porn”… “Helicopter”! Isn’t it sweet? Some little ruffian has been practicing their English! Unless of course it means something entirely different in Italian…

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Buonanotte all!

x

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