Archive for July, 2009

Spot the difference

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
street lamp street lamp

Until this morning the entrance to our parking bay had been blocked by a street lamp. One could get in but with difficulty. We had asked whether it would be possible to have it moved or removed but hadn’t really expected anything to happen. Then this morning we noticed the mayor and a workman looking at the lamp and a couple of hours later the light was gone and now we can get onto our parking space with ease. Thank you San Giorgio.

Would you let this dog on a plane?

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009


This is Dante, Mike, Monique and Luke’s dog. Every summer he comes over with them from New York to spend his holidays in San Giorgio. He travels in a doggy bag which they are allowed to take on as cabin luggage. This year, travelling with Air France, they arrived at the airport and were told that “Dante was too fat” and that he would have to travel in the hold. The maximum weight of dog allowed in the cabin is 6 kilos and Dante is “slightly” over. Unable to bear the thought of Dante in the hold they decided to change Airline. They got a flight with Delta Airlines whose policy was – “if he can fit in the bag then he can travel”. All the changes meant that they arrived in Italy later than planned and also in a different town – Pisa instead of Bologna – which meant a 5 hour instead of a 2 hour drive to San Giorgio which meant arriving at 9.00pm instead of 11.00am.

For the return flight in September Dante is avoiding Air France and will be returning with Delta Airlines. In case the airline changes its policy on “animal weights” Dante is going on long daily walks.

San Giorgio is going green.

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009


A recent report on recycling in Italy showed that some small towns in the Marche were recycling a high percentage of their rubbish. San Giorgio was not one of them. So in the near future the current system of large public bins will be discontinued and the town will move to “house by house” collection. People will be expected to “sort” their rubbish into paper, glass, tin etc.

There is also a proposal to have Enel, the national electricity company, establish a solar panel plant near the town and have the energy fed into the national grid. In recent report in the Financial Times indicated that Italy may be the first country where production of electricity by solar power will be “cost equal” with gas power stations.

Rosé Wine

Friday, July 10th, 2009
blogwine.jpg The English classes have finished for the summer and the “students” very kindly took Bill and I out for a meal and also bought us some bottles of wine from our local vineyard.Included in the wine were some bottles of fizzy rosé wine which the vineyard has only recently started to produce.  A bottle has already been opened and it makes a delicious aperativo.So they were among the many vineyard owners who were happy when the The European Commission abandoned its plans to allow European winemakers to make cheap rosé wine by mixing red and white wines together. Traditional rosé wine is made in two ways and sometimes by blending wine produced by both methods. Red grapes and their skins are macerated, or fermented, for a shorter time than usual, producing a lighter coloured juice. Alternatively, immature red wine is “bled” and the liquid which is siphoned off goes on to become rosé.(The blending of white and red wines to create rosé is permitted in Australia, the US and South Africa. Imports of this blended rosé are permitted by the EU.)

Courgette yesterday, Marrow tomorrow

Friday, July 10th, 2009


Bill planted some courgettes (zucchini) in the garden. They have done very well. Unfortunately he didn’t pick them while they were the size of a small courgette. He left them a couple of days and they had turned into small marrows. In the picture the courgette on the left is a medium sized courgette, the white bottle is a litre bottle of milk. The remaining “large” courgettes” are what we have harvested two days later.

We are now expanding our recipes for cougettes. We have had stuffed courgettes, ratatouille and courgette risotto and are thinking of writing the book on “100 things to do with a courgette”.