Sunday, July 06, 2008

And I'm off for the long summer break. I've had to wait for my youngest to finish school and for my second oldest daughter to graduate with her European Baccalaureate. Now I'm organizing house and suitcases and early tomorrow morning we'll be gone. Don't try to burgle me because my eldest son will be here for a while yet!

To all of you, have a lovely summer. See you in September!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Mountain fire at Positano.

Positano is once again under the attack of mountain fires.
The first fire of the year has been lit on the road between Positano and Sorrento in the same place where it caused extensive damage and a blackened gap in the vegetation last year. The road for the moment is still open.
What this means is the sound of helicopters going up and down from the sea to the mountains holding buckets from their bellies all day long; sweeping ashes from the terrace; the smell of smoke in the air and eventually a sea full of ash and debris again. As if it didn't have enough to put up with already!

Friday, July 04, 2008

You know that it's Tourist season in Positano if ...(2)

  • You have to wait for people to have their panini (bread roll) freshly made up by the grocer before he serves you.

  • They ask for things in funny Italian. He answers in stranger English.

  • Australians are everywhere. You keep turning around to see if you know them. You try to restrain yourself from inviting them home.

  • Water pressure is less in the morning and in the evening.

  • The drains gurgle loudly from 9-10am; 5-6pm and 10-11pm.

  • They smell much worse too.

  • In the evening, you come up the bougainvillea clad walkway leading from the church, geriatric style, due to the amount of people trying to do the same thing.

  • Due to the demand from air conditioners in hotels, electricity voltage comes in flickers of lows and highs so that it seems that the bulb needs changing.

  • You finally meet up with your friends - regular seasonal 'tourists' to Positano.

  • Restaurants are full from 6pm for the English.
  • Restaurants are full from 9-12pm for the Italians.

  • You see hopeful tourists drive into town on the oneway road at the top, and then drive themselves out again at the bottom not having found a place to park.

  • They think that the price that you have to pay for private parking for one hour, is the price for the whole day.

  • They are the only ones to put sunscreen on.

  • They are the only ones to wear a one piece bathing suit.

  • They are the only ones to wear a hat.

  • They yell out : 'There's rocks and they're slippery', when they are in the water.

  • They bring sea glass home as a souvenir.

  • There is a babble of voices on the beach at midday, noisy motor boats coming and going, and what seems like an endless sequence of ferries depositing crowds of people on to the dock.

  • An unexpected rain storm means that the pinball machine area under Pupetto restaurant quickly fills up with people in bathing costumes.

  • You see them walking down at the top of the hill all along the scorching road, unsure of which stairs to take as a short cut to the beach.

  • The granita seller at a small stand at the hot Mulino bus stop, suddenly finds himself in big business.

This is for all of you who will be heading off to your holidays soon. And for all of you who thought that Positano is a good idea in summer - be warned !

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Love Thursday

Being a gardener at heart, I always look at nature for inspiration.

Dicentra commonly known as Bleeding Heart became an obvious Love Thursday opportunity when it flowered for me this week in Luxembourg.
I love plants that pick quirky places to flower . This Campanula flowers on the corner of the terrace at Positano.
It's the unexpected in nature, that makes you stop and marvel !

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

You know that it is Tourist season in Positano if..

  1. In order to have a nice view at a restaurant, they are prepared to eat their meal right on the road, risking having their elbows grazed by a passing bus.

  2. They are left stranded at Positano because the Sita buses on their way from Amalfi to Sorrento arrive too full to take on any more passengers.

  3. Tourists presume that the bus service Sita, which connects Positano with the rest of the Amalfi Coast, must contain a silent 'h'. No guesses why.

  4. They marvel at the bus driver's skills because 'Roads are carefully designed to be a little narrower than two cars side by side'. (John Steinbeck).

  5. 'Attractive little alleyways ' in hotel brochures are redescribed by tourists as having 'slopes akin to those of Kilimanjaro'.

  6. You hear tourists exclaim : "She told me that it was an easy 200 steps to the hotel. It felt like an easy 2000 ! "

  7. As you walk past restaurants, you hear the waitress saying 'Buona sera' to every single stranger that goes past, hoping to entice them in.

  8. Mobile phones are out everywhere taking impromptu videos of singing waiters.

  9. Tourists stroll absentmindedly in front of moving buses taking off from the Mulino bus stop with a granita or gelato in hand risking their lives.

  10. The bus taking off from the Mulino bus stop is always full of sweaty bodies clad in damp beach clothes.

  11. Complaints from clients about all hotels, whether 3 star or 5 star, have got at least one thing in common : Ant invasion.

  12. You hear voices over your head. You look up and see a bus load of people stopping at the Bel Vedere (view point) over your house to take photos.

  13. There are brides EVERYWHERE.

  14. Tourists hurry out of the water with jelly fish stings because they didn't understand the cry 'Medusa'.

  15. The waiters at the beach bars become distracted from their duties by blonds in bikinis.

  16. Day trippers arriving by ferry don't go up any further into town than the Mulino bus stop.
  17. The bay is full of yachts and the beach is full of sun chairs.
  18. You have to keep redirecting waylaid tourists who mistake your house for the way to the beach, back up past the sign that says 'Spiaggia, Beach ' and then points in the other direction. On their way up they help themselves to lemons off the tree.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Not just Santa comes down our Chimney in Positano!

It was early in the morning. As I heaved myself onto the white domed roof, a cat scuffled with the dog next door, letting out a menacing yowl. I walked across the roof edging cautiously to the border, afraid that the sight of the sudden drop would make me dizzy.
I took the photo that I was after and made my way back.

A scrabbling noise funneled up from one of the chimney openings. Stopping to listen, I imagined that it must be a large lizard that had lost it's grip as it was silent again.

Later, at lunch time, as I opened a can of tuna in the kitchen ( I had not been to do the shopping yet) , a plaintive cry came from a room in the distance. Again, it seemed to be the sound of a cat. I opened the door to the living room and was just in time to see two grey legs and a tail shoot into the fireplace and disappear up the chimney.

Remembering the episode on my return from last summer's holiday, when I found the window edging gnawed and a dead squirrel under a blanket on the sofa in our living room in Luxembourg, I decided to take no chances and left the door wide open for the cat to exit into the garden.

An hour passed and there was no sign of the cat. I took a broom into the opening of the fireplace and pushed it into the deep ledge inside. "Hiss, hiss , spit." It was definitely still there and I couldn't brush it out.

I tried coaxing this time, leaving the empty tuna can in the fireplace. It came down while I was out of the room but shot in again to hide itself when it saw me. A trail of pasta dipped in tuna oil leading to the garden did the trick, so as soon as the kitten was safely outside I closed the door.

Meowing pitifully, the kitten called its mother, terrified that I would hurt it. It finally left our gardens jumping down off a wall into the property below.