Thursday, 21 August 2008

Sun Sets

Although written over 100 years ago, for me, the words of Giovanni Pascoli, the famous Italian poet who lived near Barga, when accepting honorary citizenship of the city still capture the essence of life in Barga

“Voi mi dite vostro concittadino per il gusto,
che ad altri parrà singolare e che a me pare
cosi naturale, di stabilirmi in una campagna
presso di voi. Né già per un commercio, né già
per un'industria, né già per un calcolo qualunque;
ma per contemplare il sole che tramonta dietro il monte forato,
la luna che pende come una lampada accesa sul colle di Barga,
per aggirarmi all'ombra di castagni
e parlare con cuori di contadini.”

The last few lines of which say that he chose to live in Barga:

to contemplate the sun that sets behind Monte Forato,
the moon that hangs like a lit lamp over the hills of Barga;
to wander in the shade of the chestnut trees
and to talk to the hearts of the peasants.

I am open to better translations but should I have misunderstood it please don’t spoil my illusion.

Time's Up

There we were lulling around, minding our own business when someone called, “Time’s up” and pulled the plug. We still had restaurants to try and things to do.

Have yet to persuade myself that home is where it is at. A visit to Tesco was a reality shock – I hate Tesco – but at least I got some broccoli.

On the plus side, the suite that was being re-upholstered during our absence has turned out well.

Monday, 18 August 2008


After 40 days and with two to go, I have finally thought of a reason – other than family – to go home – broccoli. I love broccoli and haven’t had any for nearly six week. While it is, I am sure, true that I could have bought some at Leclerc – although I don’t recall seeing any – this would be to miss the point: despite its Italianate name broccoli is not a vegetable to be actually eaten here and is better suited for eating in places where the sun shines less.

So in a couple of days after final meals at il Bugno and l’Altana, I will once again be able to enjoy some broccoli at home. Always look on the bright side.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Sunday – Day of Leisure

Following Mass at Albiano, a chat with the Capanni’s whom we met (see June Blog) and a farewell visit to Franco and Umberta, we dropped in on Loreno and Margaret and invited ourselves to lunch: fried zucchini flowers, salad and cheese, with wine and coffee corretto.

Loreno and I had a couple of friendly hands of poker which Loreno won – but let’s not forget who won the serious championship in January.

Andrew, Jill and Joe walked to Tiglio. I suppose someone has to do it.

Another Hard Day

Turned out nice again: so another day hard day at the pool.

Thankfully, on the way down to the pool the market stall was open. When I explained my problem to the old man whom I assume is the husband of the old lady he was sympathetic but said he could only offer a “superior” replacement product – albeit that this was the same price and also made in China.

He explained that he could not give me a refund as he had already completed his tax return for the previous day. Did he think I was born yesterday? How many Italian market traders can there be who ever fill in a tax return.

Discussions continued until he finally conceded defeat and gave me my money – it is not of course a money thing but playing the game that counts.

Hope the watch I bought in Fornaci is more reliable.

Evening dinner was at the Pesce Patate Festival in the football stadium – the best fish and chips I have had outside Scotland and amazingly well organised.

Then dancing outside Onesti – well at least Joe danced with Jill/Andrew.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Ripped Off

Having only seen junk at the markets, I was pleased to find a new garlic press today. There were some cheap and nasty things but the old lady at the stall sold me a superior sexy one costing €7.50.

As we were eating at home tonight I decided to use it to season the chicken I was grilling. One squeeze and it fell apart. I have saved the pieces for the fun of trying to exercise my statutory rights and get my money back. The threatened thunderstorm did materialise so unfortunately no prospect of the market or the old lady being there. Perhaps she will be there tomorrow.


After a harassing journey from Pisa via a number of uncharted locations, Andrew, Jill and Joe suffered the misfortune of striking another car within a few hundred metres of their destination. No one was hurt and the damage was relatively minor but clearly, not the best start to a holiday. Unfortunately, Andrew had made the perfectly sensible decision not to take out the optional and extra insurance to cover the Insurance Excess.

On the other hand to restore the good/bad equilibrium, we heard that Andrew’s scientific contribution to the Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change Nobel Peace Prize has been officially recognised.

Day at the pool yesterday and walking round Barga today to see the Santa Maria and San Rocco Fiesta. Hopefully, the forecast thunderstorms will not materialise and the dancing in the piazza tonight will not be disrupted.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Hard Core

Only a few hard core Barghigiani – Jenny and I, Loreno and Margaret, Sara and Tim – remain as school commitments force most of the Scottish contingent to leave.

Curry last night at Delio’s – thanks Matthew for the ingredients – followed by checking the blog and searching for copri-scopri parts for Delio’s truck.

Then final drinks at Alpino’s – thanks to Roberto and everyone who has helped us settle into life in Barga.

Seems very windy today.Andrew, Jill and Joe arriving tomorrow so – need to smarten the place for visitors.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Typical Barga Evening

After the hard day at the pool, an excellent meal at the Altana demonstrated that, in our opinion, it is the best restaurant in town.

The other contender for the title is probably the Scacciaguai which I feel verges on the pretentious – although this could be considered an unfair assessment on my part as I haven’t actually dined there.

After dinner, at about ten o’clock we passed through Piazza San Angelio to hear a band from Lucca playing classic tunes and where we encountered Loreno. We then joined up with Roberto and others at the usual venue for leisurely drinks alfresco until about one in the morning.

As a result, today was a late start and lazing around in the sun at home: also I don't yet feel ready to meet Roberto at the pool.
Tonight could well follow a similar pattern.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Another hard day at the pool.

Barga weather is now more comfortable following rain storms in the north of Italy.

The table tennis tournament final saw the two top seeds, me and Roberto, facing each other under the fierce midday sun. The fact that it was a closely fought five set match with the fifth set going 22-20 does not compensate for the fact that the outcome was a bitter disappointment. Let’s not speak of it further.

On the positive front I did finish my latest Italian novel – Il giardino del Finzi-Contini – a great read.

Honorary Barghigiani

Honorary Barghigiani “birra grande” John and Sheena send their regards to family, friends and fellow Queen of the South supporters back home.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Turning up the Heat

Yesterday was the hottest day so far but today, at 35C, is even hotter.
Celebrated Matthew’s birthday in Viareggio and at Bugno.

Viareggio was deserted and defying the laws of economics – faced with an overabundance of supply and next to no demand you would think that the price of a day on the beach would be in freefall but not so and the prices are said to be the highest in Italy – €60 for four, one umbrella and use of the pool.

There were 14 at Matthew’s birthday meal at the Bugno but I think there was food and drink for twice that number – shame that you weren’t there.

Also more pressure on the table tennis front – Roberto wants to make clear that he is two points ahead of the field and Tim only has one point: also Carla is complaining that the championship didn’t get started till after she had gone otherwise she claims she could have beaten all contenders
Exciting development at Leclerc hypermarket where the old wire trolleys have been replaced by new super light plastic ones which go where you steer them.

Tonight eating at La Mocchia which contrary to rumour – that I may have started – is not closed for the next two weeks.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Matthew and Michelle

Arrived on Sunday and have settled into Barga although they are finding the pace a bit challenging – food, wine, Lucca today, Viareggio tomorrow.

While I am here, I have come under some pressure to refer to the table tennis tournament. I hadn’t thought it important as it is still work in progress. However, if I must: Roberto is currently in the lead with Tim in second position but I am confident of pulling back the championship.
I wonder how heavy I am.

Elia and Anna

Apologies to Elia and Anna for not mentioning them and their swimming prowess previously when writing about their nonno, Loreno. For safety, I should also mention their parents, Lorena and Billy.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Giovedi Club

Hadn’t planned an update today but Loreno insisted as he is now not sure if he had a good time unless he reads about it here. Loreno, relax we had a great night with an excellent meal that started with an almost nouvelle cuisine zucchini fiori fritti in a delicate batter building up through several rounds of antipasto, ravioli and maccheroni to a climax of a fantastic T-Bone steak: but best of all was the witty and erudite conversation. We may have had some wine and grappa.

Apparently, next week is Ladies night at the club but I don’t think we can make it as it is a fish night and Matthew and Michelle are not keen on fish.

Today was a pool day with insalata for lunch and now getting ready for dinner somewhere, than drinks at Alpino

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Mo's Big Birthday

Maureen, greetings from Barga. Happy Big Birthday – sorry we can’t be with you.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Equilibrium and Equanimity

Although, sadly, there have been many departures this week – Claire, Carla, Mariann, Margery, Senga and Donna (not wishing to be considered sexist), Barga maintains its tranquillity as Loreno and Margret return to restore the equilibrium.

Congratulations to Loreno and Margret who today celebrate their fortieth anniversary.

Commiserations on the other hand to Roberto who was pick-pocketed in Florence: but if you will insist on wearing a shoulder bag what can you expect.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Quiet Day

Didn’t get back from Lucca until 02:00 this morning. Carla managed to summon up the energy to go globetrotting and shopping in Viareggio. We on the other hand and despite sleeping until nearly 11:00 are too tired to do anything today.

However, although we don’t usually read papers or keep up with home news while on holiday, in this instance we – or I at least – couldn’t resist going out to get yesterday’s Sunday Times to read about Gordon Brown’s latest misfortune.

Perfect Evening

Leonard Cohen in Lucca preceded by dinner.

To make things even better, Roberto lost the bet – he was certain that the concert would start with Bird on the Wire – whether I will ever see the €180 is another matter.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

No Worries

We now have our very own internet connection thanks to Michele who has lent me his spare Vodafone 3G modem but we will have to proceed cautiously for the time being as I have no idea who much it will cost.

This morning we got up early – about nine o’clock – to take Carla on the walk to Sommocolonia following which some of us have had to have a siesta while I did something useful by going to Alpino to put some money on the internet SIM card, have a beer and then sort out the connection.

Now catching some more rays before dinner at home tonight. Last night we had to eat out again – great seafood with Mariann, Delio and family.

After dinner we plan to go to the Barga festival which tonight features a Beatles tribute band.
Tomorrow – Sunday – we are going to dinner in Lucca and then have tickets for the Leonard Cohen concert.

Hopefully we will be able to squeeze in a trip to the pool tomorrow between Mass and Leonard Cohen.

Friday, 25 July 2008

San Cristoforo

Jenny speaking again. After a nice pizza and one of those flaming (literally) Barghegiana panna cottas, I went into town to await the arrival of the big procession for San Cristoforo, the patron saint of Barga. I had already seen some of the bands pass the restaurant I was eating at, but the full procession was amazing.

It went on for half an hour with bandsmen, drummers, and marchers mostly in mediaeval costume, some carrying banners and others carrying very heavy looking crossbows. After cutting up the backstreets to just below the Duomo, I watched most of them come past again through the dimly lit streets with their flares lighting the way.Just after I arrived home I heard loud explosions outside.

When I looked out from the balcony I saw a fantastic firework display which was happening just yards away from the back of the house. I believe it was part of the post procession celebrations for the participants.

Ray on the other hand went to the Giovedi Club and had lots to eat and drink.

Ringing in the Changes

Yesterday we decided to go to the new pool at Albiano for a change of scene. It is cheaper and you can swim more lengths as it is smaller. Unfortunately when we got there at 11am, the usual opening time, we found that it does not open until 2pm on a Wednesday.

No great problem as Mikes lives nearby so we popped in for a drink and a chat while we admired the house and the view.

After lunch back at our place we had a quiet day in the garden and on the balcony, reading and sunbathing.
Then, after a wander around old Barga, the evening meal was at La Mocchia. Mariann came too and did a great job of driving up the narrow road and parking in the car park – a feat in itself. Well done Mariann.

Today was back to the Barga pool after dropping in on Mark to admire his house and see the great job he is doing painting the back wall.Ray is off to the Giovedi Club tonight. This is traditionally a Boys Only night out on a Thursday. Girls are not invited unless ththey answer to the name, Bob.

Carla, Mike, Senga and Mariann invited out for a meal by Franco and Umberta.

Hence, Jenny is writing this blog – another change.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Life too Hectic

Following on from meal with Delio, Mark and Mike on Saturday evening then meeting Roberto and Mike (Francesca’s brother), I finally conceded defeat and was asleep in bed by 21:30 last night.

Awoke this morning more than twelve hours later and smartened up the house for our visitor and then went to collect Carla from Delio’s. More good news is that Carla can get a lift back with Mariann to the airport, thus avoiding a 03:00 drive to Barga. Back to Delio’s for dinner tonight.
Having missed the Scottish Pipe Band yesterday, we caught the tail end of a procession with drummers. The drumming continued for about three hours. We have no idea what it was about and I am guessing there may have been some flag twirling and tossing – perhaps Loreno or "doggybag" can advise.

We still haven’t made it to any of the rock bands, maybe mañana.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Memorable Dinner

Carlo celebrated his birthday with a dinner party for 16 people. I am sure you can guess where. Very enjoyable evening rounded off with more drinks at Alpino where we met Mark and Mike – Mike having just arrived – and others. I think we left about quarter to one and there were a few tired people at the pool today.

The previous night, Thursday, we were invited out by Franco and Umberta with Mark, Margery and Gemma.Tonight we are going out with Delio and Fede together with Mark and Mike. It might be nice to eat at home tomorrow.

The rain forecast for yesterday never materialised and apparently we now have a high pressure from Africa that will ensure good weather as far as the eye can see.

Barga is rock ‘n’ rolling at the moment with nightly bands in the Piazza Angelio – some of you may recall this from our holiday a few years ago. Due to dinner commitments, we have missed the first few nights but we should be able to make it tomorrow night; if not there are another seven nights to go. Unfortunately tonight we will also be mising the Scottish Pipe band.

I have now sussed out all of the available internet options in Barga – though I am open to more suggestions – each has its drawbacks and sad anorak that I am I miss my cable connection.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Dramatis Personae

Today the same old same old as yesterday except tonight there is the Mercato sotto le Stelle. Tomorrow is likely to be the same as today though rain is possible.

To help you follow the plot, the main players are:

Roberto (and Francesca arriving soon) with Sara
Carlo and Claire with Giorgia and Rocco
Mark and Margery with Gemma

Andrew, Jill and Joe eventually
Loreno and Margaret arriving
Mike and Senga with Nina
Delio and Fede, Veronica and Michele and Carlotta
Late breaking news: Matthew and Michelle have also decided to join us

Franco and Umberta (local)
Mike and Donna with Matteo and Chiara (Francesca’s brother)
Carlo and Remo Padreschi with their families
Marie, Cliff, Roberto, Wanda and many others

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Social Whirl

After a long day at the pool, we finally decided to come home for a light lunch at about 17:00 but then were waylaid by Mark at Alpino so we had to stop for a quick drink.

Finally had lunch – melon and prosciutto – at about 18:30 but decided to regard it as the primo of tonight’s dinner.

Now watching our current favourite programme on Italian TV – Il Commessario Rex. In fact a German series about Rex – a police inspector’s dog – dubbed into Italian. It is so dire that it has to be watched.

After we eventually get round to dinner, we will then probably go for late night drinks with the gang at Alpino again as Mark has a late night pass.

A few heavy meals ahead: Thursday – Franco, Mark and, if he is up for it as he only arrives that day, Mike; Friday – Carlo’s Birthday; Saturday – Delio, Mark and Mike

Monday, 14 July 2008


Walked to Sommocolonia along a trail that starts just up the road from the house. The path passes through woods and then up a medieval cobbled mule track up the hill. Although the trail is only 3km at most, the last part rises through 300m. It seemed much longer on the way back along the hillside road even though it was downhill.

We are taking up where we left off in June and have been welcomed back at a couple of restaurants – excellent slow roasted lamb at Da Riccardo tonight. Jenny discovered the delights of panna cotta.

I was greeted like a long lost friend by someone at Alpino. He had attended our old school although he was about four years ahead of me – disappointingly it turned out however he thought I was Loreno.

In case you have heard about the storms in the North and Tuscany, there is no need to worry as this hasn’t affected us though there was a thunder storm earlier this evening.
Pool beckons tomorrow – may checkout the one at Albiano but expect we will probably end up at the Barga pool.

Carlo found a snake on his terrazzo yesterday and had problems unlocking his car today but we are celebrating his birthday at the Bugno on Friday.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Livin' la Vita

Italiana that is and even a bit loca.

Interestingly we both felt like it was coming to another home rather than being on holiday.

The apartment is an old 20th century Italian apartment but if you haven’t seen one that won’t help you; it has large rooms with high ceilings some of which are painted – though without the skill of Michaelangelo – and lots of windows allow the mountain breezes to pass through.

We are a relatively short distance from the Alpino and Onesti drinking centre of Barga – of which more later – and not too far a walk from the pool.

Barga has all the cousins and friends we expected but is said to be quieter than usual – either because of the pending economic Armageddon or the fact that Loreno has gone back to Scotland, although of course Scottish accents remain prevalent.

The pool is much quieter than I remembered – possibly due to the relatively quiet season and – is very pleasant with shade and cool breezes.

The major achievement has been getting an internet connection through Vodafone G3 here in the house although we are reliant on Roberto’s continued goodwill for the use of his PC card. Unfortunately his promised ASDL line has been delayed to the end of August and therefore we will have to find an accommodation but- sad to say for Roberto – possession is nine tenths of the law.

Food and alcohol are as always a problem and Jenny and I have been the last to leave Alpino’s each night – or more correctly each morning as we have been drinking alfresco till after midnight – personally I blame Sara.

Need to sign off now and go for a siesta.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Chapter 2 - Starts Here

Another day another holiday - this time going for six weeks. We had intended to go for five but misclalculated the dates.

Anyway, going over tomorrow leaving the wet English summer behind for what is said to be glorious Italian weather though after our last trip we are being only cautiously optimistic for the moment.

Barga looks to be lively over the summer - Roberto and Mark are already there, Carlo is arriving as I write, Mike arrives soon and Loreno at the the end of the month. Carla also coming over and Mariann is going to Ponte All'Ania. Hopefully, Peter might also get across all being well. Not to mention of course respective paretners and some children.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Home and Answer

Home is also a good place to be.

Uneventful journey back and collected by Fran from the airport (thanks to Fran and Matthew for the taxi service).

We don’t envy Jim and Margaret their trip home – left Albiano at 7:00am this morning, getting train from Pisa to Rome this evening, flying early Sunday Rome – Munich – Heathrow - Edmonton

Our new combined weight – which no one guessed correctly – is 127kg

Friday, 13 June 2008

Last Day

Friday morning more rain

An extended lunch at Loreno and Margaret's . A most enjoyable afternoon. Loreno on cracking form – strange how wine seems to have less effect in Italy.

Glorious afternoon and managed a final swim before another dinner and another thunderstorm which lasted more or less all night. As a result the garden and roads were awash when we set off this morning.

Azzurri live to fight another day.

See you soon.

Close to end

We finally managed to get up in time for a trip to Cinque Terre although somewhat tired and emotional from the previous night.

Despite some minor disagreement with the lady on the Sat Nav system, we found our way there and back although I am sure she doesn’t know her way back from Lucca. Jim did a superb job of fitting the car into an impossible space in the car park.

I have never been to Cinque Terre before. It is beautiful but possibly too much so – a fairy tale place.

We started at Riomaggiorre then took the train to the end of the line (10 minutes away). On the return leg we stopped at Manarola, the village before Riomaggiore, and then walked back along the coastal path.

A light drizzle started as we set off on the 20 minute walk back but of course being Italian rain it was warm and dry.

On the drive back it rained and summer appears to have disappeared from Barga also.

Glorious Summer

We had a weather scare in the morning stemming from a text message from Phil saying he would be on TV as RAI was covering Wednesday’s Papal blessing. As it turned out RAI chose to show coverage of a parliamentary debate about rescuing Alitalia. However while trying to find Phil we saw an Italian Air Force officer giving the weather forecast saying that it was going to turn nasty later in the day.

We therefore called Loreno to change our dinner plan from a BBQ to a restaurant. However, by 4:30pm the weather was still glorious so we reverted to the BBQ option, did a quick shop and had a great BBQ. We then walked up the hill to Albiano for grappa and limoncella before venturing back though the vineyard in the moonlight and following the fireflies.

Summer Time

Surprisingly summer arrived on Tuesday as had previously been forecast.

Disappointing meal at il Molino with surly service.

False Start

Looked a promising start to the day but by the time we had finished coffee with Ann and Ricco Capani at about midday it had turned cloudy again.

The Capanis have a small but beautiful house with a spectacular view of Barga.
Evening dinner was at Da Riccardo where all the tables were occupied with people with Scots accents. Even the owner and her daughter were Scottish Italians – nevertheless it was an excellent meal.

More dark days – this time on the Italian football front.

Dark Days

I know I promised not to speak of the weather again but enough is enough. The weekend was particularly bad with heavy rain and thunder storms.

Jim & Margaret’s friends Vic and Gay came over on Sunday with their daughter from Rome and her partner with their two children. We BBQd the lunch in the rain and ate indoors. The children and I managed a brief swim in the pool but I only went in because there had to be an adult in the pool with one of the children who couldn’t swim.

Defrosted the fridge with a hair drier.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Sunday Mass

The church in Albiano is very small as is the size of the congregation, most of whom seem to be returned Scottish-Italians I remember from the olden days that Sunday Mass was a time to meet people and socialise and this appears still to be the case. So we ended up talking to the Capanis whom we met last week with Peter’s friend and who were at the wedding yesterday. So they have invited us for coffee tomorrow.

Eating and Prize

Our (Jenny’s and mine) combined weight on departure was 125kg and we have had a few meals. A special prize will be awarded to the person who accurately and flatteringly guesses our correct weight on our return.

To give you a pointer, we had two complementary meals here courtesy of i Cedri. Friday was foccacia, maccheroni al ragu, and stuffed suckling pig that had been BBQd for seven hours . Saturday was antipasto, risotto, pasta al pomodoro and talgliata (slices of grilled steak that was close to perfection).The only problem was that i Cedri was catering these meals for a birthday party and then the wedding. Therefore we should have realised that there would literally be hours or so between courses making for a late night. In fact last night’s dolce did not arrive until this morning – not that we would have een in a position to eat it last night as we were had already eaten too much.


The wedding party entered the Duomo to cloudy skies but returned to sunshine. Shortly afterwards a torrential downpour with thunder and lightning forced them to retreat indoors from where they emerged periodically between the successive storms. Anyway it appears to have been a great success.

The bright spells in the afternoon enabled us to do some swimming and I think I have cracked bilateral breathing for my crawl which now looks even sexier.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Hard Life

On principle, I refuse to mention the weather and this is our last word on the topic – it is raining now but summer is now forecast to arrive around 10 June. However it had previously been forecasted to arrive yesterday.

Nevertheless we are catching enough rays to develop a tan but enough is enough.Despite the weather, arrangements continue for and English wedding here at i Cedri. Although we are not involved, we are benefiting from a free pre-wedding meal tonight and the wedding dinner tomorrow. After a few drinks tomorrow, I may try to work myself into the wedding party.

Mum and I, stumbled upon a wine Cantina yesterday morning and then stumbled out after a generous wine tasting (Claire should have been there) with a 5 litre bottle of wine. Unfortunately, I cannot now remember what it was so that we bought so will have to go another day. Particularly exciting was the fact that we found out that my nonno’s vineyard recently won the prize for the best wine in the Lucchese (i.e. Lucca) region and that they have it in stock. I may have to bring you some provided you keep it as a treasured family heirloom and don’t drink it – in which case I need only buy the 8 euro version.

The apartment we have rented is a traditional Italian house dating from the 1920s when it was built by a local who had emigrated to Chicago. Without any justification we like to think that it could have been Al Capone. Three large bedrooms that can sleep six, a bathroom and separate walk in shower room. There is far too much space for just the two of us; so we need some visitors. A great feature is that it is a convenient stroll down to Alpino and Oneste’s to catch the last evening drink and then back for poker.

Unfortunately neither of our trips is long enough to warrant our own internet connection and the Italian idea of an internet access points is like being back in the dark ages.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Forza Azzurri

Preparations in hand to watch the football in suitably non-partisan surroundings.

Apartment for return trip looks really good although limited garden. Walking distance for getting back from Oneste and Alpino for poker. Sleeps six so start booking your places now.

Weather continues miserably but summer is said to be arriving before we go though we have heard this before.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Food and Thunderstorms

Both are continuing but still enjoying ourselves despite the major frustrations of Italy's (or at least Barga's) internet system.

Lunch with Loreno and Margaret at the Bugno - an enjoyable light two course snack with wine before dinner.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Weather from Scotland

Barga maintains its close ties with Scotland by importing the Scottish weather as result of which everything is unseasonably green and we are now sheltering from the rain indoors, blethering and blogging - although without the essential internet link.

Saturday and Sunday were pretty good, for Scotland, and we were able to sit out, swim and prendere il sole – possibly too much in my case as I fell asleep – due to some tiredness from alcohol with our meal the previous evening at the Buigno with Delio and Fede and the fact that someone – no names, no pack drill – forgot to pack my pillow.

At mass on Sunday, we met a lady, Mhoira McFarlane (no Scottish, or English, spellchecker for that matter) who knew the Scottish artist Peter Luti from his days with the Scottish Highers. She is now with the Foreign Office in Florence.
Dined at the Altana Sunday night and rounded off the evening with the usual grappa and limoncella at the Alpino with Loreno and Margaret and trying to spot people Loreno doesn’t know.

Off now to drive round Barga and see if we can find a wireless hot spot to access the internet before resorting to the internet access point at D&D.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Watch this space

On countdown now and hoping the weather improves.