26 October 2012

music sets the mood...

I have been listening to Ray Charles on You Tube.  It happened quite by accident, clicking on a song that a friend posted on the dreaded FB.  The song was "Cry".  By the time I had listened to it I was feeling quite down, despite the positive message in it.  I tried a few more Ray Charles songs.  No ups there.

Basta! (Enough).

Here is Julie Andrews with a much better option... I listened to this while I looked at some photos of my very own favourite things (OK, my favourite people). Now I feel much, much better.  And to add to it, there is always another song, another version... it's quite sweet, really!

Dear family, I love you all very much.  Your photos are wonderful, and videos... well, what can I say? The most recent video has me in stitches, I think I have probably worn it out.  I was almost in the same room...

Laughter truly is wonderful.

Today I am grateful for private blogs.

23 October 2012

22 October 2012

second trullo painting

Painting number two, an abandoned trullo near Alberobello in Puglia. Trullo painting number one can be found if you click here.  

Today I am grateful for visiting family.  

17 October 2012

home again

Wonderful holiday, great company, interesting restaurants, sharing and laughter... and now it is back home with lots of planning to do and changes to make.

And, quite remarkably, I did get six watercolour paintings underway, which is always good. I'll finish them in the next little while.

 Life is great!

Today I am grateful for the gift of time. 

9 October 2012

random pics from august

An evening stroll in August caught the sun going down behind this rather lovely cross just as I entered the town.

Graffiti always tells a lot about what is happening in society.  This clever play on words caught my eye... remember that this is in a second (or third) language, so has extra appeal to me.

And I never tire of sunsets, this one being quite the norm as our hillsides burned this summer.   

Today I am grateful for happy memories. 

7 October 2012


An interesting floral arrangement, one of two outside the basilica in Bari.  Wedding decorations were being set up as we watched. This was gypsophilla and small roses in a cane basket. 

 More of the interesting sculptures in the museum in the Svevo castle (Norman-Swabian) in Bari.

Our hotel near Ostuni, an oasis which felt as though it was in the middle of nowhere. We were surrounded by huge gated walls and acres of olive trees.  It didn't seem to be "Italy", more like some hacienda far from civilisation.  I'll definitely go back there again.  

Some of the wares in a shop in Alberobello... I didn't see the "no photos" sign until I had taken this shot.  Oops!

Our wait for the guide to show us around the sassi at Matera was made quite pleasant as we watched a bridal party being photographed.   The guide had to collect his daughter from school and deliver her home before he could come to us.  The horses were quite splendid, with glossy black coats, long tails and manes, and white feathers in their bridles.  I would have loved to photograph from better angles, but... I am sure you can work it out from this. 

Today I am grateful for tall company. 

6 October 2012

a good choice

On the recommendation of a friend from Bari we next visited Polignano a Mare, a small town along the coast.  It was well worth the stop, (and the home made gelato in the air-conditioned shop was a bonus!)

We wandered through beautiful white streets and houses, and gazed down at the bathers below.

 A lookout over the sea had us marvelling at the balcony... or rather the drop from it into the sea.  (Look carefully at where the archway meets the rock in the photo below). A high diving competition takes place in this town every year.  That must be absolutely spectacular.

 Another claim to fame is that Polignano a Mare is the birthplace of the singer Domenico Modugno (of "Volare" fame) and this statue was a refreshing sight after too many churches and saints and too much history for a bear of little brain.  So, the next time you are listening to Nel blu dipinto di blu  spare a thought for the young lad from this pretty seaside town and enjoy the wonderful statue.

Today I am also grateful for helpful friends.  

lazy lazy lazy is good!

Today I am being so lazy that the mosquitoes have been having a picnic as I rested.  Apparently my shoulders are delectable and that is with liberal squirts of the insect repellent!


I have neglected this blog, and am way way behind with promised photos. But while these are fresh in my mind, come take a look at Bari, the port town in Apulia or Puglia, down in the heel of the boot.

The first two photos are of the Basilica di San Nicola, the church dedicated to St Nicholas, our "Father Christmas". If you read his history, the poor man was in bits and pieces all over the place.

The next two photos give a tiny glimpse of the Norman castle in Bari. We were lucky enough to be there on an open day and were able to stroll through looking at wonderful carvings and relics until our parking metre expired.

Today I am grateful for new friends in interesting places. 

5 October 2012

on the run

I've been rather distracted.  No excuses... but here they are anyway.

Kiwis, Italians, Kiwis.

Luckily I have the best PA in the world, so I am still (I think) relatively sane.

I have been looking back to posts relating to a visitor who was here over three years ago.  Wonderful memories, and wonderful presents and futures.

Happiness is...

Recently I have been to Bari, Ostuni, Alberobello, Martina Franca and the valley of the trulli, Matera with the sassi, Maiori, Positano, Erculano, and home again.  Over 1200 kilometres in a few days.  I've been to the church dedicated to St Nicholas, and the house of a washerwoman who bleached clothes with urine.  I've eaten fine chocolate and chewed on melted cheese and car-warmed bread.

I continue to shake my head in disbelief as I review my wonderfully full and exciting days.

Today I am grateful for hugs and smiles.