28 Sep 2007

SEEING FRIENDS AFTER 25 YEARS

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When we were at the Garda Lake of course we had to visit old friends. One of Mr. Gattino's oldest friends from the 60th lived also near the lake but in the mountains. The first time I had seen him I was 24 and he although married, was still a tourist hunter. He always was dressed in the latest fashion only brand marks, smoked like a chemney, drank like a spunge and talked like a machine gun. I didn't like him, I feared he would badly influence Mr. Gattino. His wife was a witty, pretty girl despite the worries she had with her light hearted husband.

So I was quite curious to see them again after maybe 25 years. To my big surprise I found a very nice grandpa whose only interest were his two grandchildren a 10 year old boy and a 7 year old girl. He was dressed very casually and from the playboy was nothing left. He didn't smoke anymore and only drank wine during meals.

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In his garden he had transformed one of the garages into a kitchen well equipped with everything a good housewife would need and there he cooked with pleasure it had become his hobby. Of course he immediately invited us for supper. He didn't know exactly how many people we would be, but that didn't bother him at all, he had a pan and a pot of the size for a boyscout team. What he prepared was declicious. Fresh home made pasta with Carbonara sauce.

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The sauce consisted of roasted bacon cubes (with a special flavour) eggs and parmesan cheese.

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Finally we were around 12 people, neighbors his son and the grandchildren.

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There were also two very well fed cats.

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His son Fabrizio of course I didn't recognize, last time I had seen him he must have been around 3 or 4 and we laughed together when I told him that I had fed him with the baby bottle !

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On the oposite side of the kitchen in a second garage, he had installed himself a hobby room with television and sofa, where he spend most of his time. His wife the nice girl had become another person. She still looked very nice but didn't even join us. She sat in their appartment on the 3rd floor. When I saw her living room, I almost fainted. The walls were full of pictures of the last two popes, all saints, the holy Mary in all variations and silver, wooden or ceramic crosses with Jesus from blond to brown hanging on them. If at least the popes would have looked like Brad Pitt or George Clooney ! I respect religions, but I don't like fanatic people. We didn't have anything in commun anymore. Now I also could understand why Valerio mostly lived in his garden and came only upstairs to sleep. It's a miracle that their boy has become such a nice and normal man !
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This was the view they had out of their appartment. Unfortunately the sun was already gone and you can't see the lake in the background.

FRIDAY FEAST



Appetizer
How are you today?
Fine, thank you. And you ?


Soup
Name 3 television shows you watch on a regular basis.


Besides the fact that I don't like shows at all, this question is too national. How could one know all shows going on all over the world. Each country has its own shows and I am convinced that you only know the once in your country. Therefore I could answer "I like the Mrs Smith show, Mr. Jones show, and Miss Miller show ! I hope you all know them !


Salad
What’s the scariest weather situation you’ve experienced?

A storm ! My curtains were pulled out of the window before I could close it and the next morning I found 2 of our trees in the front laying on the street. Since this day I hate wind !


Main Course
If you could wake up tomorrow morning in another country, where would you want to be?

Good question, I don't know ! One thing is sure I would like a warm country with a lot of sunshine, mountains and a beach in a super hotel !


Dessert
What do you usually wear to sleep?

Now ? A long T-shirt. In winter with long sleeves, in summer a usual one. Most of them have a cat design in the front. Before I slept with Chanel n° 5 !



27 Sep 2007

THURSDAY THIRTEEN

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To male readers : Please take this with humor !! or replace the word "man" by "woman" most of the time it works !

13 Findings about men

1. Don't imagine you can change a man - unless he's in nappies.


2 What do you do if your boyfriend walks out? You shut the door.


3. If they put a man on the moon - they should be able to put them all up there.


4. Never let your man's mind wander - it's too little to be out alone.


5. Go for the younger man. You might as well, they never mature anyway.


6. Men are all the same - they just have different faces, so that you can tell them apart.


7. Definition of a bachelor: a man who has missed the opportunity to make some woman miserable.


8. Women don't make fools of men - most of them are the do-it-yourself types.


9. Best way to get a man to do something is to suggest he is too old for it.


10. Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.


11. If you want a committed man, look in a mental hospital.


12. The children of Israel wandered around the desert for 40 years. Even in Biblical times, men wouldn't ask for directions.


13. If he asks what sort of books you're interested in, tell him cheque books.




26 Sep 2007

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

Yesterday I have got a parcel from Scotland from Caledonia. She had asked : "What is the Gaelic name for Edinburgh and what does it mean? and for once I could answer ! Dùn Èideann. The Burgh element means “fortress” and is akin to the German word “Burg” Edin was never translated ! For the first time in my life I won something ! A lovely Teddy Bear dressed as a Scott, along with a pin badge, a book mark and a fridge magnet. I never had a Teddy bear in my whole life not even as a child !

Thank you so much Caledonia !!!



This is Rosie supposed to move and sniff at the Teddybear, but she decided to pose only !



And here you can see all the gifts in detail.
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Before somebody asks : None of the persons below belong to my family or friends ! But the two last once would have been nice !

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25 Sep 2007

COMPILED NEWS

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Spain : National Court judge has today released, without bail, the young man Jaume Roure Carellas, who last week set fire to a photo of the King and Queen during a protest at the visit of the Monarch to Girona. Oh my god ! Lese majesty ! How could he ??? And Juan Carlos is such a good looking guy maybe a little better when he was younger, but still to use his picture ! Fortunately I could light my barbecue with our kings picture without any problem ! As long as I don't say "son of a bitch" (for example) to him, they probably just would take the picture away and tell me "shame on you".


UK. Princess Beatrice is getting ready for her close-up. The Queen's 19-year-old granddaughter will have a small role, believed to be a non-speaking one, in the film The Young Victoria. It's the first time a member of the Royal Family - Beatrice is fifth in line to the throne - has taken a part in a movie. I can't follow anymore. The british royal family becomes so modern ! I would'nt be surprised to see the queen playing Miss Marple in an Agatha Christie movie.


Oh God and now him ! Prince Charles to star in Hollywood movie telling us how we all should live. He's dabbled in painting, written a children's book, worked in television and launched a range of biscuits.With so many strings to his bow it is perhaps unsurprising that Prince Charles should graduate to starring in a Hollywood movie. What ?? another movie star in the royal family ?? What will he play ? the newest James Bond ? Or the partner of Kim Bassinger in an erotic movie ? I leak my lips like a cat after a treat, how exciting to see Charly with his big ears flying over the screen, shooting and kick boxing around ... a dream !!



The Queen could be dropped as Australia’s head of state within three years under plans drawn up by the man tipped to be the country’s next prime minister.A staunch republican, Mr Rudd wants Australia to cut its constitutional ties with Britain, replacing the Queen with an elected president. I don't know this Mr. Rudd, but I think he is not right ! Imagine to have a commun human being hanging on walls and smiling from stamps without crown and heavy jewlery ?? Just an ordinary suit with an ugly tie or an expensive waitress dress if it's a female ?? How awful ! All official places would look soo bare !


Mariah gives PA a boob jobMARIAH CAREY is doing nothing for her diva image with the revelation that she has a personal assistant who is solely responsible for her tit tape. What an exciting job ! Must be like the one who handles over a silk gold embroidered handkerchief to the pope each time he sneezes. That was an official job at the Vatican. The poor man was totally overworked when the pope had a cold.


NAOMI CAMPBELL wants a baby — and says her greatest love is God. The ex-junkie, 37, modelling glitzy bikinis at Milan fashion week, said: “I have it in my heart to have a baby.
I don't want to do any blasphemy my comment box would be full of anonymous insults, but it seems to me that I heard that already from a certain Mary.


A SHY pizza delivery boy aged 20 has stunned pals on holiday — by becoming the new lover of maneater PARIS HILTON.

This girl is really not normal. A normal woman would sit in a window in the red line zone and at least ask money ! She really is not a business woman ! And the poor guy what a bad taste ! couldn't he find something better ? He looks very handsome on the picture. Ah ! I understand, now everything is clear ! HE takes the money ! He is a business man !


Amsterdam to cut back on brothels !
The Dutch city of Amsterdam is to close one-third of the brothels in its famous red light district. Prostitutes hire the windows for around 100 euros (£70, $141) for part of the day. One window is usually used by several prostitutes a day. I wonder if Paris took my advice and is working now in Amsterdam. Has the city to close down because of her ? I am sure Paris could afford one window for her alone and now no tourists come anymore, they usually want to see nice looking girls. It's a pity !


Foreign students visiting the UK are to be educated in one of Britain's most important etiquettes - how to queue properly. Youngsters used to scrumming at bus stops in their home countries have upset locals by barging past them in queues. Now the bus company, South Vectis, is contacting local language schools asking them to pass on tips to their students on the correct way to queue. That is a great idea ! I have already 10 million Belgians available for such courses, minus the babies of course !


A police force has banned hundreds of its officers from riding bicycles for safety reasons. Greater Manchester Police has stopped 300 fully-fledged officers and PCSOs from patrolling on their mountain bikes. Police chiefs say they fear the officers do not have enough training to handle road conditions across Greater Manchester. How caring ! And now ? Maybe they will all get roller skates and have to fix a thick cushion on their bottoms to protect them. It would look so cute on the streets ! I would suggest a red or orange color maybe with black or dark blue little hearts.

24 Sep 2007

MANIC MONDAY - KIT

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MANIC MONDAY LINK



A SURPRISING PLACE



We left the Garda lake on saturday morning. Our car was so packed that not even one bar of KitKat would have fit in there. It wasn't because I had bought Italian shoes, leather jackets or clothes no, it was because of Italian food !


During the whole week of our stay, friends and family anxious that we would die of the bad food quality in other countries brought us wine, cheese, ham, beef, saussages, self made conserves of vegetables (especially green and red pepper) home made pasta sauces of all kind and of course self made pasta. All my protests that it wasn't necessary and we could find these products in Belgium too were useless and anyway nobody believed me. Mr. Gattino behaved like a hamster and with radiant eyes and watering mouth collected everything. Of course the wine was from the cousin of the brother of an uncle, the cheese from a friend's friend who's brother made the cheese himself, the meat came from a friends father's uncle whose brother in law had a butchery and so on. I have to admit that the whole stuff is really very good. The last holes in the car were filled up with Italian crime stories and other books so that I am now able to open an Italian library. Well equipped we could now return to our home, where people were in bad health because of bad food quality. With this whole kit and caboodle we drove towards north.


The highway (motorway) was fully packed with returning tourists of all countries and the first jam happened at the toll station for the highway in Italy, there you have to pay. Next was the Europe's bridge* which connects Italy to Austria over the high mountains where you have to pay again. In Austria you only have to pay once for 2 weeks, one months or a year for using the highway. In Germany it is free but we got stuck before Munich. The Oktoberfest had started at 12 am sharp and there were a lot of people going to Munich to get their beer and fun. I listened to the radio and heard that 4000 toilets and 2000 pissoirs had been installed to welcome around 10 million people from all over the world.


After 8 h driving I had enough. I pushed on an invisible button on Mr. Gattino who drove like a robot only thinking about his 5 cats at home now and asked him to take the next exit to look for a hotel.

We landed in Geiselwind (litteraly translated "hostage wind"). It was a charming "town" of 2323 inhabitants in Lower Franconia (Bavaria) maybe they are now 2326 since Wikipedia published this information. There were about 15 half timbered houses around the cute little church. It looked very beautiful and cosy.



I got out of the car to the only hotel and asked if they had a room. They had. And to my surprise for a quite cheap price only 53 € !






The inside of the surprisingly big hotel.


It had 3 restaurants and the owner had at least 10 awards for good cooking on the wall. And he was an excellent cook. I had a trout which was so fresh it almost still moved on my plate. Mr. Gattino had a Wiener Schnitzel, which is of veal. The fish was catched in the to the Hotel belonging river and the meat came from the to the Hotel belonging butchery. The same was with the delicious rolls we had next day for breakfast, the bakery also belonged to the hotel. The jam was homemade of course. And I learned that you only have good food in your own country. Apparently the Italians in Italy and the Germans in Germany.


The Hotel was built in 1580, housed a catholic congregation and became an Inn in 1875. An historic place ! But we didn't sleep in an 1580 old bed, the room was was very modern with TV and bathroom of course.



In the restaurant I found this hanging on the wall. Apparently this place was also well known by American military and when we had our supper there were 10 American guests around a table in this lost village !

The next day we drove home smoothly there were no trucks on the highway they are not allowed to drive on highways in Germany on a Sunday. We didn't need our emergency kit or any others and arrived home safely where we were greated by our 5 cats.



*Europabrücke, or Europe's bridge, is a 777-m (2,549.2-ft.) long bridge spanning the 657-m (2,155.5-ft.) Wipp valley just south of Innsbruck, Austria. The A13 Brenner Autobahn passes over this bridge, above the Sill River, forming part of the main route from Austria to Italy across the Alps. Built between 1959 and 1963, it was once Europe's highest bridge, standing 192 m (629.9 ft.) high.


23 Sep 2007

SOME ADVICES FOR NON ITALIANS

If ever in your life you have to go with an Italian in his country be prepared that as soon as they are on Italian soil they change. If at home they hardly talk to strangers (unless they are Italians of course) when they cross the border it starts. The first victim in view will immediately know where he was born, from which city he came, how long he had been abroad, what nationality has his wife (or the person with him), who he will visit and how long he will stay. This can be the man at the gaz station, a shop owner or a person with an Italian licence plate on a parking.


Next are the waiters in a bar or restaurant. There he will take time and go into details.


Then the friends, with them they don't have to explain where they are coming from but of course all the miracles they have accomplished in the time they were away from "home". Especially in small towns (worse are even villages) they have to stop at each and every person they know or who know them and to tell their life story all over again. This is especially annoying for the person who travels with them and who is not Italian. If they don't know the language it's even worse. I suggest you take a book along, anyway they won't realize because they are far too busy to tell their actual life to each other or what this and that person they both know has become. This takes time and therefore a book is useful. If you have room take a seat with you. Try not to bother that you will hear the same story six to ten or more times per day. You will be able to repeat them by heart much better then a poeme you once learned at school.


After a few days half of a city or a whole village will be up to date of the latest news. The person with him will feel like a dog owner; a dog stops at each tree, the Italian at each person he knows (or thinks to know). For a way which usually would take 10 min it then takes at least an hour. Not to count all the glasses of wine you have to swallow to celebrate this event of seeing each other again. If he lives in a touristic place, no way to get him to the beach because there are only tourists there and nobody would know him.


There are only two solutions to make some holidays out of your stay. You go alone to the beach while your Italian is busy telling his life story to the whole city or village or you go with him and try not to get drunk. Take only one zip of the offered wine or pretend you don't support any alcohol. Then maybe you can survive !


PS. Warning !! Please ask your Italian to never mention your blog because then you need a tent and a sleeping bag while he tries to explain what is a blog. Without any success of course.