Monday, June 30, 2008

Mare Monnezza a Positano

Last year was a good season at Positano. The sea was relatively clean, and jelly fish were not a big problem. Waking up in the early morning, the sea would be crystal clear, as it was on the day that I took these photos, this past week.

But by the time 10/10.30 am arrived, and I am very very sorry to have to say this, the sea resembled an industrial area in the outskirts of Naples.

This unfortunately is not uncommon. This is the harsh reality of a place that does little to defend it's natural beauty. Do you know what the Municipality's response to this problem is?

It's this meagre motorized paddle boat with two poor men unable to cope with the extent of the floating rubbish and the area (three main beaches) which they are supposed to keep clean. They come to Fornillo beach every other day around midday. By this time, the debris has extended right along the shore and is impossible to clean.

The tourists visiting, look on incredulous and have their photo's taken wading in the garbage.

The owners of the private beach establishments do their best to fish out refuse close to the shore with nets; meticulously clean the beach of anything washed up during the night and when questioned about the situation confess that they are embarrassed and ashamed -'Signora, mi vergogno' that such a sight should befall their shores.

The locals are different. They are philosophical and resigned to this phenomenon.

'Sono le corrente' - 'It's the tide's fault'- currents in the water bring the rubbish in from nearby is the excuse that I hear often.

It's come from a dumping in a local river; it is dumped by the yachts; people are trying to sabotage the tourist industry in Positano; are other reasons that are bandied about.

Whatever the reason, locals are determined to have their swim in the place that they consider the most beautiful on earth. To admit that there is a problem would be admitting that there are faults in the system. They let their children play in the water, waving away the rubbish or swimming beyond the tide of plastic, reasoning that the debris is superficial and that Positano has obtained the Blue Flag for micro biologically clean water again this year.

And again the tourists look on along the shore line.

As for myself , I don't even bother to go down. I would be too embarrassed to show my face and be associated with such a dump.

What would you do ?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fruit galore

Look at what was waiting for me at Positano.

I went into the kitchen and pulled open the fridge door. Three more trays of ripe apricots perfumed the fridge ! I picked out the best ones for myself and got to work making nine jars of jam with the rest.

When I got back to Luxembourg yesterday, the garden was burgeoning with ripe soft fruit of all types.

To reward the family for their generosity in letting me have such a wonderful break, there will be homemade pizza for dinner followed by Vanilla icecream in a bed of quatre fruits rouges (cherries, strawberries, mulberries and red currents for garnish) topped with a colis aux framboises (raspberry sauce). Mmm... I'm for seconds !

Friday, June 20, 2008

Positano Beach Day

You know you are having a typical day on a Positano beach if:

  1. In the morning, you hear the scraping of rakes across the pebbles, as the people working for the private beaches level the shore.

  2. You hear the occasional plop as the larger rocks are thrown back in.

  3. You can only beach lounge sardine style in summer.

  4. You are so close to your neighbour, that you can tell whether they shaved their legs that morning.

  5. People walking into the water look like clumsy tightrope walkers, arms- a -flailing.

  6. You can wade in the water over rocks for only two metres before suddenly hitting a ledge and going under. You pretend you did it on purpose.

  7. You get into the habit of checking the water for jellyfish before going in (and listen attentively for cries of Medusa along the beach).

  8. When the boy comes to ask you for the payment of the sun loungers, you tell him you'll pay at the bar later (because you know that the boss will give you a discount).

  9. You install your self on the lounge, placing your bag underneath.
  10. The ten a.m ferry to Capri goes past and five minutes later causes a mini tidal wave wetting anything you have placed under the sun lounge.

  11. You go to the bar for lunch al fresco and order arancini and a panino with a delicious parmigiana di melanzane which Luciano makes for you.

  12. You decide to get the umbrella because the heat is unbearable at midday.
  13. At midday, the wind picks up and the bagnino tells you that either you close the umbrella or hold it, to keep it from spearing the sunbather two rows behind you.

  14. You sit there looking stupid with an umbrella billowing in your hands.

  15. A Chinese lady comes up to you and asks if you want a massaggio. (A massage ! What? On the beach!)
  16. You decline and have to watch while she plummets your beach neighbour's legs and arms.

  17. You hear the familiar cry of Cocco Bello Cocco Fresco in a sing song voice. A very deeply tanned man in a straw hat arrives holding a tempting ice cold basket of coconut pieces. The cry "Cocco bello, cocco fresco" is the Positanesi equivalent of a Mr. Whippy ice-cream van. Children clamour to have a fresh piece of coconut.

  18. Your son begs you to buy some (2 euros for three small pieces!) and when he bites into it he promptly breaks the braces on his teeth.

  19. You close the umbrella, take the lilo and float out to the deep waters.

  20. Your teenage son's friends in the water all say 'hello'. He pretends he doesn't see you.

  21. You elegantly struggle back out of the water and with your lilo, narrowly avoid hitting the 90 year old lady in bikini, who is sitting on the water's edge talking to the (younger) old man in a Speedo.

  22. You decide not to tell her that she has tiny black stones sticking to her bottom, and then you check yours.

  23. The only thought at the end of a day when the shadow lengthens on the beach, is whether to chase the sun across to the other side, or else to lap up the relaxing atmosphere at the bar by having a gelato or iced tea with friends before heading home.

Thanks to the rubbish crisis in Naples, I've found a last minute flight from Luxembourg to Naples direct - and I'm going for a holiday to Positano on my own !!!! Leave my husband to cope with the rest of them for a week - I'm chilling.

See you after the 29th !

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Love Thursday - Love Reading

Look carefully - there's a heart shaped pebble from Fornillo Beach !

I LOVE reading. There is nothing more comforting than a good book to get lost in.

See these books ? I picked them up at the second-hand book stand at the European School Fair on Saturday, here in Luxembourg.

More importantly, do you know what they mean to me? Holidays !

My book shelves at Positano are bursting with light (trashy) beach reading that I pick up at the stands for 1 euro per book. It doesn't matter if they get thrown in the beach bag with the wet towels, have suntan cream squished on them, or have stracciatella gelati drips on one side.
They are there to soak in the sun and atmosphere with me under the umbrella.

As soon as I buy them I'm on a high because the summer is not far away.
They are also useful if you want to avoid talking to the person next to you!

(sorry for the late posting- my camera wouldn't work)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

They made it!

Last night between 8.30pm and 10.45pm, there was not a car on the road in Luxembourg. They were all in front of the TV watching the expected victory of the French team over Italy in the European Cup.
Ha ha - we beat them!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

You know you're in Positano if...

There are some things which are peculiar to Positano.

Living with beautiful scenery has it's ups and downs. Simple life can become involved and maddening.

And it's not just the stairs that get in the way!

Over the coming weeks, I will be posting a series of 'You know you're in Positano if...' taken from the Facebook group of the same name.

You know that you're in Positano if:

  1. Locals tell you that the stairs at Fornillo beach are a short cut and then they take the elevator.. your calf muscles are killing you the next day... you overtake tourists with high heeled sandals going down the stairs to the beach... your legs feel like jelly when you arrive.

  2. You post a letter from Positano to someone in Positano and it takes a month to get there...

  3. The village cemetery has a view to die for... (sorry)

  4. You are about to yell at the kids to sweep up the sand they spilt and you realize it is invest in about seven cans of insecticide and spend half your holidays plastering cracks with adhesive tape in order to keep the ants at bay.

  5. As soon as you leave you just want to go back...

  6. Work goes on in houses unofficially without anyone seeming to notice...You can't buy everything in Positano but you can buy (almost) everyone.

  7. The highlight of a day trip to Capri by boat, is returning and seeing Positano nestled in a backdrop of sunlit mountains.

  8. The post office is so disorganized that it runs out of stamps.

  9. After 6 months of mayhem in the postal services at Positano, the director is promoted... to another town!

  10. Due to the lack of things to do in winter, some Positanesi go to the local council meetings for what they call 'circus entertainment'.

  11. In winter you have to stand aside on the stairs to let burdened donkeys go past on their way to a building site.

  12. The council effort to clean the water of floating rubbish has resulted in a modified paddle boat with a netted scooper on the front.

  13. You learn to live with nature: You have a close encounter with a baby gecko in the shower and don't bat an eye lid; A well camouflaged lizard watches you perkily from the garlic basket while you wash the dishes and you don't run screaming for a broom; You learn to stomp down the stairs leading to the garden to allow lounging snakes to slither away before you see them.

  14. Crisp air, soft evening light and the smell of wood smoke accompany you through the alleys on your way home from a deserted beach in winter.

  15. Ninety- year- olds sit casually on the beach in their bikinis.

If you have a Facebook account, you can have a sneak preview of the rest of the entries and of course join the group and add your own !

Naturally you can add your own quirks here too...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fridges and Ferries

The coffee cup clinked on the plate, as our fridge in Luxembourg let out a low wail reminiscent of the ferry sirens at Positano.

'Today is San Vito, ' my fridge reminded me.

'Today is San Vito ' I reminded my husband.

'It's the Patron saint of Positano, isn't it ? I asked him, before I crunched into my flaky croissant.

I check the web cam, and contrary to the past few days, brilliant sunshine and perfect weather lit up the colourful facade of the village. A swarm of tourists were already descending from the ferry and milling around the dock.

I imagined the deep sound the ferry would make as it left the village. The web cam did not make a squeak. The hum of the computer and my children bickering was all I heard.

On feast days in town, each boat leaving Positano signals it's respect by three long and loud sirens. San Vito, San Pietro, the feast at Monte Pertuso and the feast at Ferragosto on the 15th of August are the more important days. I am rarely at Positano for the first two of these feasts as the school holidays don't coincide, but the memory lingers on .

Fireworks lit high in the surrounding mountains arrive at Positano first as a distant flash of light, then as a cannon sound hitting the mountain's side several seconds later. They coincide with the main mass in church and then the procession with the saint' effigy through town.

The town's brass band can be heard in bursts from our house, depending on which side of the mountain it is playing. It starts at the very top and makes it's way down hill on the one way road, stopping occasionally to let the building traffic and buses through.

In the afternoon there will be bancarelle, or stands selling toys and goods straight from China.

'No you can't have a gold fish - it doesn't travel well in a suitcase and we can't bring liquids into the plane.' I explain to my youngest in English.
The tiny tortoises are tempting, but as I foresee them freezing in the Luxembourg winter, I harden my heart.

My son chooses a toy which will probably break before we arrive home and we make our way up the stairs to watch the fireworks, away from the crowds.

It's funny how a fridge can do that.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Best Foot Forward - Pero`, senza Zoccoli !

Sometimes, when you have nothing to say on a blog, the papers supply you with brilliantly absurd material. For instance, one of the small idiosyncrasies of a well trodden tourist resort is that they have to think of every particularity. In Positano, there is a new by-law applicable in July and August regarding the use of footwear. You are now not allowed to wear noisy sandals of the wooden type, zoccoli, especially in the quiet hours.

Is the flop in flip-flop too heavy?

Define a noisy sandal ? Is it the fall of the heel on the stairs ? Is it the weight it carries that makes it noisy? Is it only the wooden type they are talking about or are any flip flop types worn loosely to be banned?

Try to walk down any stairs without making noise in Positano -unless you are wearing closed rubber shoes, it's almost impossible.

What are they going to do? 'Take your shoes off Signora or I'll have to fine you?'

What about the noise of the mopeds ? Don't they merit a legislation? The traffic noise in paese can be a nightmare to those living in houses along the street, definitely drowning out the sound of zoccoli.

Personally, I like zoccoli. I can hear people approaching in my very quiet area of Positano. I can peek out up the stairs, to see if the arrivals are waylaid tourists or that someone I have been waiting for all morning.

In fact, if they are trespassers or someone wishing to relieve themselves in our garden,
I hereby declare that they are not allowed to put one foot forward into our property without a noisy sole beneath it !

No ball games allowed on the beach either!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Love it or hate it !

Look at what I found when clearing out my pantry.

Not a lot of spreads generate strong reactions, but Marmite and Vegemite ( the Australian cousin) are definitely an adore it or can't stand it category.

A bit tricky to find in Italy, many will bring it from home rather than do without on their stay overseas.

My sister brought a tube of Vegemite from Australia when she visited Positano last year with her kids. Not too fussy in general, the kids had to have their Vegemite for breakfast.

We soon had them converted to fresh figs !

What about you ? Do you love it or hate it ?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Weird things that happen to us, in our house in Positano

  1. The new hairdryer disappears.

  2. A rat runs under my legs while I'm seated on the terrace.

  3. Mice get into the washing machine and eat the wires.

  4. A bat does wee on my husband while he's sitting outside in the dark.

  5. A hummingbird moth gets his tongue stuck in a jasmine flower.

  6. A heavy glass candle holder that has been sitting on the fireplace mantle piece for years is found on the floor in the morning unscathed.

  7. The television emits a flash of light when it's turned off.

  8. People party on our roof when they think we are not home.

  9. A stranger comes and relieves himself in our garden.

  10. Our garden is used as a stepping stone for those who forget their keys to their house.

Stories will follow another time.

Any strange things happen to you ? Do tell !

Dolphins in Positano

Two dolphins were found at Positano in the past week. So sad that they had to be dead ones.

Positano News, the day before yesterday, published an article on another dolphin found floating in the water in front of the main beach. This one was decapitated. Obviously the work of human hand.

Last week they wrote of a dead dolphin found trapped amongst fishing nets in front of Laurito beach, and there had been reports of a vessel illegally trawler fishing in the protected area of the National Marine Park of Punta Campanella towards Sorrento.

Dolphins, once a common sight, in this area, have become a menaced species. Climatic changes have been blamed, as well as the scarcity of food and chemical dumping in the water. Then these trawlers don't help. When I think of what they deliberately did to those poor dolphins, it is beyond me.

Coming from Australia, I am used to living with and respecting nature. Dolphins, even in those cold waters of the southern seas where I bathe in Melbourne, are part of everyday sightings. Take a motor boat out and you will be likely to have dolphins playing in its wake. Seals populate other areas and yes, whales do get beached occasionally on the shores but I like to hope that there is no human hand in that, other than to save them.

I have heard of dolphins being in the waters around the islands of Li Galli although I have never seen them. A friend told me of a whale he saw around the Germano area, while fishing early one morning a few years ago. But the only mammal life in the sea that I've seen, has been from our house.

Today another dead dolphin was found in the water in front of Arienze in Positano. It's unbelievable ! Obviously someone is out to get them. Positano is part of the protected marine area. I hope they find these awful people very soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What's growing in my garden today.

When your garden brings you so much joy, it's a pity to keep it to yourself.
I'll post photos regularly of our garden in Luxembourg during it's growing season.
Hope you enjoy them too.
Do you remember the Verbascum? It's flowering.
Lime green Lady's Mantle

Sweet smelling Philadelphia

What are your favourite flowers?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Jigglers not danglers

I'm a jiggler not a dangler. I like to see what lies beneath me. Especially in deep water. If I can't see right to the bottom, you won't see me on top.

My children are the opposites. Once they learnt how to swim, they went straight for water which is out of their depth. In summer I watch them from the house. They swim out to the end of the swimming area delineated by the tube and float in the water while chatting to their friends who are hanging off the lilo. They dive off jagged cliffs impervious to what might lurk underneath. They'll jump off the boat into deep dark blue waters preferring to throw themselves to the mercy of jelly fish rather than risk a sting from the wasp flying about. There's no chance that you'll find me doing that. Oh no...

First of all, I'm not a strong swimmer. If I take a dip, it's in the early morning to midday water when the water's at it' clearest. If I go out of my depth, it's on a lilo or with flippers and a mask.

On a lilo the way I use it, it's not easy to get around as I hang off the edge, keeping myself cool in the water. My eyes are open at all times.

I was once floating in crystal clear water, and saw this long thing kind of swimming my way. I jiggled as far as I could from it, and shortly afterwards found it close to me once more. I jiggled away again and realized the thing was following me. I yelled to my husband who said I was being ridiculous because it was just a piece of seaweed being brought around by the current. He swam over and fished it out with his hands. Then gave a cry and dropped it straight away.

It was a sort of hippocampus or a pipefish. Not quite a seahorse, but long and slim with the same sort of mouth. Half dead already and probably thrown into the shallows by fishermen. Not quite what you'd expect when you pick up a piece of sea grass.

I've seen small children become excited when snorkeling along Fornillo beach with their nets, finding moray eels amongst the rocks just off shore. Tiny octopus are picked up in buckets and played with before hopefully being released again. Parents fish out fascinating sea urchins and give them to my youngest son to hold in the flat palm of his hand while the long spines move slowly in a circular motion on the shell.

Our house in Positano is in the enviable position of being high on the mountain but very close to the sea. Sort of like a bird's eye view. That means if the water is clear on the day, we are able to see what goes on underneath.
A few years go, in the morning at around 9.30, I was looking down at the beach and under the water I saw a dark creature loom towards the shore. As it came closer into the shallows, I got out my binoculars and the unmistakable shape of a stingray took form. The stingray waved it's wings and glided around the shore exploring the rocks under water for quite some time. I expected to hear the babble of excited voices from the shore, but there being no one in the water at the time, the stingray was invisible to the sun bathers.

The next day at the same time, the sting ray returned. This time children were splashing about on a lilo . The sting ray wandered around a little, came close behind the children, then seeing them flew off into the deep and never returned. The children were ignorant of the creature who had shared the water with them. I asked at the bar the next day. They hadn't seen it and were sceptical when I described what I'd seen from above, saying that these were animals from the deep waters far away.

I read the sad news yesterday that two dolphins have been found at Positano this week. Both dead. One caught in a net and found at Laurito beach and the other decapitated by human hands. It's beyond me how people can do such a thing to harmless creatures which were once common in these waters and are now on their way to extinction. You can read about it here and here.

It's a real pity. I'd be happy to dangle with dolphins any time.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Snakes in Eden

Snakes are creepy. No, literally. Ok so they don't have legs, but it's the way they arrive, unheard and unannounced on an average, nothing will happen today, day.

I've never seen them in the forest in Luxembourg, although I know they exist. I saw a piece of one once in our garden, probably dropped by a bird, but I have seen them in Positano. Every year. And at our house.

Snakes are not the only reptiles around at Positano. We get our fair share of lizards , gheckos and whatnots all over the house. But it's what makes the news at home. I don't run to my husband and tell him I just saw a lizard on the wall. But when it's a snake on my path, I do.

Our house at Positano is surrounded by gardens. Not only our own, but also the wild, unkempt gardens leading up from the Fornillo beach area. These gardens have plenty of hiding places for wildlife (not always desired) and are probably a touch too shaded for a snake's cool body. They slip up the terraced stone walls, and slide over the edges into the sun, into our garden, our terraces, our house.

La Terrazza dei Poeti

Now, you'll have to bear with me, as all our gardens have been given personal names to distinguish them, as they are mostly terraced.

I have come across snakes sunning themselves on : the terrazza dei Poeti; in mio giardino; nel quadrato (the courtyard ) ; nell'orto (the fruit and veggie garden); nel giardino giu` (downstairs); on the wall where I hang the sheets to dry; on the garden wall in the public alleyway in front of a Residence; and on a path next to a garden when I was laden with shopping bags.

In most of these occasions, the snakes saw me before I saw them, and were able to silently slither quickly away before I stepped on them. At other times, I have been able to watch them from the bedroom window as they bask in the sun.

They are mostly black, and I have been told they are not dangerous. I have seen pale ones with markings on them without being able to distinguish the type, as they move too fast.

I remember when my husband's uncle was living downstairs. He came up and asked for a broom. He said he needed it because a snake had come inside the bedroom and now lay writhing on the floor unable to get a grip on the shiny majolica tiles. Just a push and it was out.

Another time, when my eldest was young, our friend Dodo came to spend a day scuba diving at Positano. Well, they got all dolled-up or rather, wet suited and set off up the stairs on the side of our house to go to the beach.
They hadn't reached the gate of our property, when my eldest came running back and says 'Dodo wants a zoccolo (a hard shoe).'
'What for ?,' I asked.
'Don't know !' he replied.
Bang, bang I heard.
My son came running back,
'Here's the shoe.' he said, 'There was a snake on the stairs and Dodo had to kill it.'
'A black one ?'
'No, a small Viper !'

I had always been told that there were no vipers at Positano only in the mountains. But my daughter's friend confirmed that there were vipers even far from the gardens, right in the middle of town. He lives just off the main road, and they found a viper on the steps outside their front door. The reptile slipped into a hole in the steps and having nothing else at hand, in true local style, they poured bleach into the cavity! I don't think it would have made any difference to the animal. May have slipped out a little paler in the end.

I'm not shedding any skin over this... Just stomp my feet harder before going down stairs.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sand at Positano's Fornillo Beach

Today Massimo Capodanno, a fotoreporter who has adopted Positano as his home, took photos of the action on Fornillo Beach. The sand taken from the dock area was transported to the public beach area as shown in the pictures here.
In one Massimo's pictures, there is the boulder where you'll find me in summer. My son likes to sit on top and pretend it's a ship. In winter, the waves actually do come in and surround it with water.

Dig away!

Check out the Positano Web Cam. It seems as if they are finally digging the sand out from below the ferry dock to bring to Fornillo Beach around the corner. Go guys go !

Love Thursday

Inspiring blogs open my eyes to little nuances in life to which otherwise I wouldn't have paid attention . Bleeding Espresso is one such blog. Every Thursday, which no doub't all my (five ?) readers know, Michelle has a 'Love Thursday' post, where she finds love symbols in everyday places.

So when I saw this flowering in the garden, I couldn't help but think of her. The hearts were so perfect.

But then I looked harder.

And found this;

And this;

And, this...

Love is everywhere. Just have to see it...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ti va` un Cappuccino ?

The bars in Positano are the living room for the locals. When the beach season comes to a close at the end of summer, Positano is hard up for things to do. A stroll to the bar becomes a habit interrupting the daily shopping or to simply recharge before facing the stairs again.

A bar in Positano that I was very sorry to see the demise of quite a few years ago now, was Bar DeMartino or Da Ciro at Punta Reginella. The bar was run by the sweetest man you could want to meet. Ciro was not from Positano but from Praiano, a neighbouring village and was always full of smiles when he saw us. We would often go for a breakfast treat there with the children when they were young, and sit on the umbrellas on the road side, the view of Positano beach spread out before us. Locals would ride past on their Vespas and stop to chat and have a coffee. It was the place to sit and watch the world go by. If I ever strolled past myself, Ciro would call out and offer me a coffee, a granita or some Chupa Chups for the kids.

In the evenings, locals or habitues of Positano would be all found there. Artists, poets, and personalities mingled with their local friends. There was no food served. It was a simple bar with pastries. But everyone knew each other. Guitars would come out and there would be spontaneous singing. It was the real dolce vita.

Ciro was eventually forced to leave by the owners of the bar , who caught on to the commercial value of such a central location. He's not seen easily at Positano anymore. The soul of Positano was transformed into a trendy cafe`/restaurant for tourists. It has none of the atmosphere that Bar DeMartino had. The tables on the roadside have smart tables with large white umbrellas to which the tourists flock because of the view. But you will be hard up to find locals sitting there any longer.

Another bar which is particularly appreciated by myself and other Positanese, is Bar Internazionale at the top entrance to the town. It's been run by Mimi` and his wife Virginia for many years now. In fact I remember arriving in Positano for the first time as a tourist over twenty years ago and being instructed by my friend Sergio to call him from the phone in the bar (Mobiles weren't invented yet!). The name stuck in my head. My first taste of local pastries like la sfogliatella, and la zeppola were in this bar. Mimi` and Virginia always have a smile and friendly word for all. If you want to bump into someone local, this is the place to go.

Apparently Mimi` will no longer be selling daily newspapers in the bar. No longer will we be able to linger at the table reading news while we wait for someone. No longer will we have the excuse of 'Just popping out to get the paper' and disappearing for hours on end because we found someone at the bar to chat to. The pastries and coffees on offer in the bar will always be a good excuse to go though. As will be the fruit shop nearby and the mini-market.
Oh, and the post-office...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I came across a comment the other day, on a web forum for tourists. The member who had just been on a trip to Sorrento was describing his tour of the Amalfi Coast:
"...Realise that G... Tours have cornered the market in feisty mature ladies as their couriers. This one is a hoot. “We are not allowed to take the bus down here, but we don’t care”. “ We don’t see the four passengers from the Mediteraneo, but it’s time to be off or we will be late at the toilet stop.” That lady could run a railway tour of the Amalfi Coast ".

Doesn't that just sum up the Italian attitude down south ? A new law regarding the non-accessibility of the Amalfi coast drive to these mega buses ('torpedone '-more than 12 metres) has just been enforced this year to help make life more bearable for the locals. These buses create many traffic jams along the coast because it is impossible for the Sita bus to get past them. Positano News just yesterday published an article about the critical level of traffic along the coast and how paralysis along the coastal road affects internal Positano traffic as well.
As John Steinbeck said, tongue in cheek 'Roads are carefully designed to be a little narrower than two cars side by side'.
The skill of the local Sita bus drivers is to be admired the way they just scrape past these monsters by millimetres. The tour organizers are making so much money out of tourists that they don't give a damn about the menace of heavy fines. It's no wonder that the Sita buses are always running late.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Space Invaders

Should I leave them or should I not ?

Would you feel like weeding these out ?

Verbascum, poppies, campanulas, forget-me-nots, foxgloves, raspberries and strawberries are all quite at home in my Luxembourg veggie garden. They know that the lady in charge, is a sucker for pretty free plants. They self seed where they please, elbowing for space and occasionally running through other plants. I know that they can be considered weeds.

Can't bring myself to throw them into the compost heap just yet.

The string beans will have to wait.

The promise of things to come...