Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday

It must have been late 1970s when my daughter Carly and I jumped into one of those railway station booths where they take your money then take your photos - if you're lucky. We were lucky.
Carly is now 40 years old and still as cute as she was back then.
As for me!!!!
My glasses are thicker and my hair is thinner.
Do I hear laughter in the distance?

The photo is not fuzzy - its my eyes.

Wednesdays in Italy

With a little over 5 weeks to go we'll be flying into Rome Airport, picking up the Citroen C4 and driving to Gaioli in Tuscany. Last visit was 2006 when we stayed a week in Monticchiello. The hilltop village sits high overlooking the valley with Pienza in the distance. To the east is Montipulciano and to the west is Montalcino.

 I guess you'd call that - "The Full Monty".

The only entrance to Monticchiello
Pienza and a Busker playing a touch guitar - something I'd never seen before.
The main Piazza of Montalcino - home of the Brunello fine wine.
The early morning mist from Montalcino
The road leading from Monticchiello

Sunday, August 17, 2014

No - not a Sunday Roast

During our childhood days, the Sunday roast was traditional in Australia - but things change with the influx of other nationalities to Australia. On a trip to France not that long ago, we went to the food chain of Leon's of Brussells. I even bought some Belgium beer for the meal tonight.  Moules Frites!

2.5 kg of mussels for under $10 - bargain. Plus they come from our bay about 10 kms away.I brought them home and put them in water to soak and they smelled like the beach.
Lots of shallots and Australian garlic.

When they opened, I added a good sploosh of cream and lots  of chopped parsley.
A cone full of pommes frites, Belgian beer, crusty bread and Bob's your uncle.
All good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesdays in France

Is it really a little over two years
since the changing of the guard.
I remember being there, hearing and seeing
people in the streets celebrating.

Being at the other end of the world,
I wonder if expectations are being met
for the people of France.

Are they?

I'm interested in your thoughts.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Planning a Holiday

Life is busy lately - work, house rejuvenation and those other things that take up your daily life. It's only six weeks before we jump on the big silver bird for 10 weeks of new and renewed experiences., meeting old friends and making new ones.
The car lease is almost finalized, accommodation is booked and the route is mapped. We fly into Rome at the end of September and drive to the little town of Gaioli in Chianti to meet friends for the famous one day cycling event, L'Eroica (Oct 5) which attracts over 5000 participants to ride the Strada Bianco - the white gravel roads of Toscana.
It has a magic of past great Italian cycling events and riders of days gone by. Coppi and Bartoli come to mind.
We spend a week with fellow Aussies who pretend that they are in the days of those gladiator bike riders - well there are the pleasures of those stops along the way with pasta, pizza and vino served by the locals.

We leave our Aussie friends after a week in the region to travel to Bologna and then to Bellagio in the lakes district of Italy. We've never been there before so we are quite excited. After our stay we move off to France over a four day drive to meet up with our friends in the Loire.

We have chosen the following route - so if any of our readers might offer some advice of places to see or eat at, we would be very appreciative.

Italy - Fiumiciano,  Gaiole, Bologna, Piancenza, Bellagio, Turin.
France - Chambery, Tarare, Riom, St Romaine Sur Cher.

Sue had the desire to live in France for a year but we found that people outside of the EU can only stay for 3 months - maybe our two months will help to quell that desire or maybe, just increase it. Well that's life

It was 2009 that we spent a week in this lovely cottage in Thenay, near Pontlevoy. At the time we didn't realise it came with friends. Since then we've returned twice to the warm friendship of the Loire.