Posts Tagged With: summer jamboree

Summer Jamboree, festas and house update…

Ciao all!

How is everybody? It’s been a busy week or two here again – in fact, I feel like it’s going to be busy until Christmas at this rate! Exciting busy rather than stressful busy so that’s ok.

So – a quick run-through of what I’ve been up to…

Summer Jamboree

My long standing readers might remember that I never made it to Senigallia’s Summer Jamboree last year (one of the biggest rock & roll festivals in the world) because I took the wrong train taking me two hours south instead of 25 minutes north where I was supposed to be going. But this year, I’m thrilled to report that I made it! And it’s such a great event – a night of great music and lots to see and do and the atmosphere was buzzing. I’ve never seen so many people in one place in Italy. Everyone makes a real effort and dresses up in 50’s kind of gear. I had a great time dancing, and would have loved to have done a bit more (stupid headache). Strangely though, despite the amount of effort everyone had gone to to dress up, nobody else was dancing!

 

Summer Jamboree

Summer Jamboree… nobody is dancing! Perhaps it was still too early (midnight though?!?!)

Castrum Sarnani

The next day we headed back inland to the Sarnano house and went to a medieval festa (“party”) called Castrum Sarnani in Sarnano. That ended up being a good evening too – lots of people dressed up in medieval costume and plying medieval trades in a medieval fashion. All Italian events seem to generally focus on food and this was no exception – there were lots of tavernas selling `olde-worlde` food which you could buy with denari (old Italian coins that a guy was making as part of the medieval trades).  We caught a “fire guy” display (I’m not sure how else to describe him) – he set things alight and waved them around energetically –  and to good effect. For once, I had access to a decent camera rather than my phone camera (which is sometimes actually depressingly better than my expensive decent camera) so I had fun playing with some effects for a change. I think I’ll take the decent camera out more often.

Fire Guy doing fire related things

Fire Guy doing fire related things

Due Sorrelle

Next up was a long walk to a beautiful little bay back around Monte Conero with Il Polemico, his friend and Pane Caldo. We left from Sirollo….

IMG_4578

That speck in the distance on the right hand on the hill is the little village of Sirollo. We walked to the point where the photo was taken, a beautiful look-out point and then….

 

IMG_4583

…we walked down to the little speck of beach you can see… The two smaller rocks sticking out of the water are the `due sorelle`(the two sisters).

IMG_4587

This was the view from the beach looking back at where we’d taken the photo on the top of that cliff

We went at a bad time of year – in every other month other than July and August, it’s usually empty because it’s a very steep, long, dangerous and usually forbidden, walk down to it. However, because it’s summer and the Italians are all off school and work, ferries run to and fro so it was jam-packed! It was lovely all the same though and the sea was really refreshing after the walk down. Then came the walk back up – it took 3 days for my legs to work properly again.

Urba Salvia

Then…. Roman ruins! We keep driving past these on the way to the Sarnano house and it’s always intrigued us so we finally stopped after a rather unsuccessful trip to buy garden furniture in Civitanova though we did find a good sized mall there so that was good to discover at least. Urbs Salvia is a lovely little park to wander around with an ancient roman theatre to look at and lots of cute little picnic spots with fabulous views. There’s an amphitheatre and a tower too (I think?) which we didn’t get to see because I was too cheap to buy a tour ticket. We must do that one day when I don’t feel like I’m about to go bankrupt (see House section).

IMG_4602

Part of the roman theatre – it looked more impressive in real life (and there was a fence hence the odd angle)

Sassotetto

We attempted to go to another festa in Sassotetto following our Roman ruin trek and though we didn’t find it (unless it consisted of a priest doing an outside mass), I’m so pleased we went. Sassotetto is a ski resort so it’s quite high up – 1624 metres and wow, what amazing views. It’s only about 20 minutes down (up?!) the road (in the winter, with my current car, I think it will be about 3 hours, if we arrives at all). I think it’s one of my favourite spots in Italy so far and you can even see Monte Conero from the top which is comforting! I’m pleased because I’d sort of developed my “favourite places” tour for visitors which was all around Camerano so now I’ve got a tour all worked out for around here too.

IMG_4657

Warning: Do not approach these flowers with flipflops

IMG_4674

Pretty pretty pretty….

House Update!

The house developments so far seem to be limited to buying everything in Ikea and OBI (the Italian equivalent of the UK’s B&Q). I am not naturally a spender – I am a saver. If I do reluctantly spend, it’s generally for the purposes of existing or to enable me to save more money for a long term plan or project. So it goes against my very essence to go into a shop and buy stuff. But buying stuff is necessary, particularly if I want to have a nice house with a fully functioning kitchen and a comfortable bedroom reasonably quickly, as I do.  So my recent extravagance is giving me a prolonged panic attack. Things should be delivered from Ikea at some point during the week of the 28th August. Note I said ‘week’. In the UK, I used to get annoyed if I had to stay in the entire morning or afternoon because companies couldn’t be specific about when they’d deliver. In Italy, you seemingly have to take a week off work to wait patiently for them to arrive. Also, I don’t know how they’ll find the house. Even I still struggle to find it. I will be nothing less than gobsmacked if my Ikea delivery arrives.

Wifi is being connected shortly too – we currently use an internet dongle to access the internet which is painful so wifi will be amazing. With any luck by the end of the week I’ll be able to Skype people again!

In terms of upcoming work on the house, I’ve been very organised and produced a floor plan and highlighted where we’d like changes and produced an accompanying spreadsheet going into more detail. This has been sent off to the Estate Agent who sold us the house (an American) and who also does renovation work with local tradesmen. I’ve also got the names of other local trades people. Going with them may be cheaper but also inevitably scarier because of the language barrier. I can chit chat in Italian but I can’t yet go into detail on building/electrical and plumbing requirements. So that’ll be entertaining.

We’ve also been doing some gardening, focussing on the terrace. Pane Caldo came up with a pot recycling scheme with some of the old things left by the previous owner that we were going to throw out. They’ve now been turned into stunning plant pots. Visiting the garden centre proved to be rather amusing with our conversations go thusly “What’s this do you think?”…… “hmm, It’s definitely a plant”…….. “Yeah, that’s what I thought. Shall we get it?”……… “Yeah”.    I’ve decided our conversations should include more by way of gardening vocabulary. Anyway, our garden centre visit has resulted in, I think, a rather unconventional strawberry plant hanging basket, a pretty plant that we hacked the roots off in order to fit into an old kettle, and two random flowering plants of which one looks mostly dead. Still, I’m pleased with the results!

Ok, well I know we have rosemary, a chilli plant, some herbs and some strawberry plants. Does anyone know what the flowers are?

Ok, well I know we have rosemary, a chilli plant, some herbs and some strawberry plants. Does anyone know what the flowers are?

You may have seen the impressive selection of veg we received from the neighbours in the last blog. Well, I have plans to share our impressive harvest with them...

You may have seen the impressive selection of veg we received from the neighbours in the last blog. Well, I have plans to share our impressive harvest with them…

I am thrilled, THRILLED to report that Klaus the Scorpion hasn’t reappeared although I did see his young nephew in the cantina (which is the general stuff storage area so hardly surprising). I happened to mention the scorpion to the previous owner in an email asking about some house bits & pieces. He reported that I shouldn’t worry about them; their sting is just like a bee sting. However, I should worry about the deadly vipers. Excellent.

Ok that’s enough rambling for me! I hope you all have good weeks.

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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!!!

Aquafan...

Aquafan…

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

Mmmm

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?!?!?!

IMG_20130803_035405

Bug Watch – Has anyone seen this bug?

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.