Archive for January, 2009

Summer weather? Read an onion.

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

A medieval tradition is alive and well in Urbania (town about 50 kms inland from us). The weather for the coming year is indicated by an onion. On the night of the 24th January (Eve of the “conversion of St Paul) an onion is cut into 12 parts (one for each month) and sprinkled with salt. They are left outside and the following morning any changes to the salt on the onion pieces are noted and a forecast made for the coming year e.g. if the salt has dissolved it means rain. (Emmanuela Forlini is the expert forecaster. She learnt from her father who learnt from his father a farmer). Fortunately another expert in Jesi (about 50 kms south of us) does his onion reading on January 1 and for this year provides a more promising view of the year ahead – at least for the Summer. (more…)

Pascucci coffee

Friday, January 30th, 2009

pascucci signPascucci coffee  is a common brand of coffee in the cafes and restaurants in this area. In fact the company headquarters is in a small town (pop. 700) called Monte cerignone about 50 kms west of Pesaro. The company was founded in 1883 as a small food distributor but only in the 1950s did they begin to concentrate and produce roasted coffee and in the 1970s decided to concentrate completely on expresso coffee and have patented a drying/roasting process which gives their coffee its flavour.

I like the coffee as it isn’t too bitter. Normally I buy Lilly coffee for home but have wanted to buy some Pascucci coffee for home. However, the coffee isn’t sold in local supermarkets. Asked one cafe in Fano if they sold it but their tins were close to its end date. Finally I got round to searching on the net and discovered that the Pascucci brand is going international as it has coffee shops in various countries including the UK (London – on Picadilly). More importantly for me is that they also have a  cafe/shop in Fano. Can’t believe that after 3 years here and going into Fano quite often I have never seen the shop. So  next time in Fano!

p.s. worth looking at web site for the company’s values e.g. Always work with passion, especially when dealing with quality, customers, colleagues and partners. Since retiring I had forgotten how awful “mission statements and values” could be.

Cookery classes in San Giorgio

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Cookery course

In San Giorgio local residents are able to follow courses on basic computing, decoupage, English and now Cooking.

Three lads from the village who are involved in the catering business offered an 8 week course in cooking. Expecting a class of 20 they ended up with a class of 40. Each week has a different theme – fish, game, leftovers, desserts etc. All for a cost of 15 euros.

Every week the class makes about 5 dishes and so sometimes it is hard to follow what is happening as we are grouped into teams of 3 and each team does a different dish. The classes begin at 9.00 pm and I never managed to taste the food as the classes never finished before mid-night and sometimes later. I always left about 11.00 but have been assured the food is delicious. All the students will have a chance to display their talents when, in two weeks time, there is an evening for family and friends.

Are you PPC?

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Chatting with one of our more elderly residents he said that she would soon be PPC. Asking her what she meant she said the initials stood for “Pronto Per Cimetero” (Ready for Cemetery).

Goodbye corset

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
busto After nearly 3 months I can put the busto (corset) away in the cupboard. I am now offically corset free and have only to begin swimming to strengthen my back muscles. But before I put it away for good I thought you might like to see what it looks like. It had the great advantage of keeping the back straight but the bottom support pushed the stomach out and so it was not the most flattering of wear. Glad to see it go.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Friday, January 23rd, 2009
film poster Last night went to see the film “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”. The film is full of special effects and the plot is not that important so it is a good film for us to see. I was able to follow most of the conversational dialogue but lost it when there were action scenes e.g. being eaten by giant venus fly traps, chased by dinasaurs etc. As these action scenes happened quite often I just sat back and enjoyed the action. The film was in 3 D and worked really well, particularly when things were happening at normal speed. There was a really good sequence when they blew on a giant dandelion seed head and all the seeds began to float away and they seemed to be coming towards me.

At this point the film stopped, lights went on and the interval started. Yes, films have intervals. No one knows how long the interval lasts, sometimes 2 minutes sometimes 5. But one thing is certain. They will stop the film in the middle of a good scene from the film and when it restarts you miss a few seconds of the action.
The cinema has just been refurbished and it is very comfortable. 7.50 euros to get in plus 1.00 euro for the 3D glasses. Packet of M&Ms 3.50 euro.

A step back in time

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Went for the lunch to celebrate San Antonio’s day. A good time was had by all. Eating began at 1.00 and finished at 4.30, followed by dancing and bingo. Dancing was “ballo liscio” i.e. ballroom. Most people on the floor were of a certain age and one seemed to have been transported back to the 50s. Most couples moved sedately round the floor but the occasional  one or two would show off with a few quick twirls or dips. However the past and present went together as at one end of the large dining room was the group singing Italian ballads with couples sweeping round the floor and at the other end was a giant television screen showing Italian Football. The music and football stopped for a game of bingo with hampers of meat for the winners. Bingo is very popular here and prizes are given for the person who gets 2 numbers in a row, 3 numbers in a row, 4 numbers in a row, 5 numbers in a row, 10 numbers on two lines and the full card. Despite the game have been played countless times there are always problems with deciding the exact rules and whether someone with 2 numbers can include these two numbers to claim the 3 numbers. When someone claims to have won the checking process is eagerly followed and there are shouts of joy if the person doesn’t have the correct numbers. Once again I maintained my unbroken run of never having won in a game of bingo.

Saint Antonio Abate

Saturday, January 17th, 2009
Antonio Abate Today is the feast of Saint Antonio Abate. He lived in the 3rd century AD and is the patron saint of domestic animals. In some parts of Italy the day is celebrated with bonfires but here in San Giorgio it will be a special mass today but tomorrow at a local restaurant there is a special lunch in honour of the saint.
The menu will be:

Primi:       lasagna; gnocchi with duck sauce

Secondi:  roast beef and roast pork

Dolce:     choice

All this plus wine for 25 euros.
Saint Antonio Abate may be the patron saint of domestic animals but it doesn’t stop the meal in his honour being meat heavy.

Artists in San Giorgio: Giuseppe Polverari

Friday, January 16th, 2009
Polverari picture Anna, from my English class asked if her great nephew Giuseppe, an artist by training, could meet us occasionally to give him a chance to speak English. He came round last Wednesday and chatted with Bill for a couple of hours. As he has spent some time in New York his English is good. Art is his first love but he has to work to keep body and soul together.

To see his web site Click here

More useful vocabulary in hospital

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Controllo             Check-up
Impegnativa       Referral form from doctor to hospital

referral form

Lastra                X-ray
Cassa                 Cash desk
Ticket                If not exempt you pay a treatment fee – the ticket
Yesterday I went for my check-up “controllo” to the hospital. I had the “impegnativa” from the doctor and went to the Radiology Department as I needed to get an x-ray “lastra” before going to see the orthopedic consultant..  After some queuing I was registered, given a number and told that I now had to go to the “cassa” with my impegnativa, join the queue and pay the treatment fee. (more…)