Archive for September, 2011

Brightest house in SG

Friday, September 30th, 2011

orange house

Coming into most Italian small villages there are always some modern houses that have been built in concrete and never painted. Concrete grey is not the most appealing colour in the world but it is not surprising that they remain unpainted as it is an expensive job e.g. to paint our house we were quoted 8000 euros.

In or near historical centres the houses are meant to be painted in pastel colours but further afield anything goes and in recent years Italians have been opting for bright, bright colours. And so one family in San Giorgio has gone for orange. The picture does not do it justice. It is an orange that would warm an Ulster protestant’s or a fanatical Dutch football fan’s heart. It’s great.

Feeling protected in San Giorgio

Sunday, September 25th, 2011
Being a catholic country most villages have small shrines dotted about the place. Here at San Giorgio things are no different. Here are photos of 3 of the shrines. Saint Joseph is on the road from Spicello to San Giorgio. The Sacred Heart is on the road from Monte Porzio to San Giorgio and the Holy Family is on the road to Poggio. statue
statue statue

Ethnic Food in the cinema – Maltesers.

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

The Giometti multiplex cinema in Fano has been taken over by UCI (United Cinemas International).  This forms part of the Odeon/United Cinemas Internation group. The films remain the same but a few changes have been noted. They appear to have stopped selling coffee in the foyer. The last time few times we went they have introduced the trolley being brought into the cinemas during the interval. As all films in Italy come with an interval this is an ideal selling opportunity but most italians still prefer to go out for a fag and buy something in the foyer.

Last Wednesday we went to see the film Contagion and noticed that the foyer shop was not particularly well stocked – certainly looked as if the old stock was being run down. However, there was a large pallet with boxes of sweets waiting to be put on the shelves. Among the boxes were Maltesers. I have looked for these before but haven’t seen them, not even in supermarkets. I want them so I can make a very simple but very delicious dessert – malteser ice cream cake. A dessert first given to us by Bill’s niece Sam. We were very impressed until she told us the recipe – allow some vanilla ice cream to soften, add crushed maltesers, refreeze. Now I can make this anytime and all it will take is a visit to the cinema.

Recently read in San Giorgio – the Scarlet Letter

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

scarlet letter cover

During the summer a family from Milan comes to stay in San Giorgio. Marco, the son and I met a couple of times a week to practice his English. The English teacher had given him some reading material for the summer holidays. He had a parallel text version of McBeth and Merchant of Venice to read through and to get an understanding of the story. So each lesson he would read some and then summarise the plot in English. The other book he had was an abridged version of  “the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne” I knew of the book but had never read it. Thought it would be a very worthy 19th century novel (published 1850) but not very interesting. The book is set in puritan Boston in the 1640s and in the opening chapter a young women (Hester Prynne) is brought out of prison to stand in front of the citizens of the town. She has a red letter A sewn on her dress. This stands for adultress as she has had a child out of wedlock and refuses to name the father. She will have to continue to wear the sign so she and all the citizens will be reminded of her sin.

We never got the abridged version finished but I was hooked on the opening and so decided to get a copy of the book in order to find out what would happen to her. The book spans 7 years an is really a psychological study of the main characters – Hester, the husband, the child’s father and the child herself. Occasionally the language is rather complex but the book works at lots of levels – a tragic love story, a psychological study of the human condition and an insight into Puritan society in that period. Well worth reading.

It made me laugh

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
berlusconi tarantini

Recently the newspapers here have been full of revelations about Mr Berlusconi’s private life and his alleged use of Mr Tarantini (equally vertically challenged) to procure young esorts for his private parties. The revelations are becoming rather boring but yesterday one of the recorded conversations showed the humourous side of Mr Berlusconi and it made me laugh.

The newspaper was indicating that the girls procured were like a “United Nations” in that there were girls from Brazil, Argentina, Poland, Sweden etc. According to the tapped phone conversation Mr Berlusconi told Tarantini not to “hire any Russian girls as “they are too tall and we are only little’uns.”

Rain at last

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Finally the rain arrived. On Sunday night it started and then continued into Monday. Then again Monday night and into Tuesday morning more rain. Not only rain but good rain in the sense that it wasn’t torrential but steady and so allowed the earth to absorb it. We were fortunate because some parts of northern Italy got real thunderstorms causing flooding and damage. In one area of north Italy they had more lightening in one day than they normally have in a year.

Today, Wednesday, we are promised some more rain in the morning and then the weather should improve again i.e. the sun comes back. However, the heat of the last few months has gone. Yesterday morning started out rather nippy and at 10 the temperature was 13 degrees – very cool when you have been used to maximum temperatures of more than 30 degrees and even during the night it never went below 25. Today when the sun comes back even the maximum temperature will be low 20s and the cooler nights will mean being able to sleep without the fan whirling in the background.

Funeral at San Giorgio

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

At the weekend the local news reported that a women had been murdered in San Lorenzo di Campo, a town about 15 minutes drive away. Talking with some friends on Sunday they told us that the woman, Gabriella Petrolati, 42, was born and grew up in San Giorgio and was now living in San Lorenzo. She had recently left her partner and had started a new relationship. On the evening of the murder she had gone to the home of her previous partner to collect some things and he had murdered her. As she hadn’t returned home the current partner had called the police and when they went to the ex-partner’s home they forced an entry and discovered the body.

It was a very large funeral as even though she was no longer living in San Giorgio most of the 40 somethings in San Giorgio had gone to school with her and the parents are still living here.

Water Ban

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
garden sept 11 torrette beach sept 11

The very hot and oftern humid weather has continued here at San Giorgio. It has been a dry summer and the usual thunderstorms which come in August did not arrive and so it is now more than 6 weeks since we saw rain and as you can see from the photo the garden is suffering. At the beginning of the month a water ban was introduced. This allowed us to water the garden on Monday, Wednesday and Friday but only between 9.00pm and midnight. Now a a complete ban has been introduced and so to keep some of the pot plants going we are opting to safe the water from the showers and hope the plants don’t mind the soapy water too much.

Of course the continuing sunny weather means it is till possible to go to the beach. The season is definitely, in terms of  holiday makers, over but the beach is still busy at the weekend with locals. During the week it is very quiet and only the pensioners arrive in the afternoon for a chat and a bit of sun. The bars on the  beach are closed and there are only a couple of young vendors are walking the beaches trying to sell things.

Music, boars, hares and deer

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

fonte avellana
On Friday Elizabeth phoned to say that there was a concert on at Fonte Avellana. Its a very ancient monastery in the hills and we had been to a concert there last year which we had both enjoyed. We said we would think about it but at 8.15 that evening faced with an evening of Italian television we decided to go. We decided to follow the route suggested by the TomTom and brought us in over the hills behind the monastry. The roads were narrow and windy and on rounding one bend we had to break as a wild boar was sauntering across the road. Further up we again turned a corner to have a hare scurry across and finally nearing Fonte Avallana we had to stop as two young stags were standing in the middle of the road. We were almost expecting to see white horse with Snow White and her prince coming round the next corner.

Even if the concert had been bad the trip would have been worth while just for the animals. We arrived at the concert only 5 minutes late but had to stand outside as the small church was full. The concert was given by two young pianists who played selections of opera pieces followed by some Strauss etc. Bill and Elizabeth enjoyed it while I was less keen. When it was over we met up with Elizabeth and retired to her place for refreshments.