Friday, February 15, 2008


Just a few thoughts and observations for you tonight:

I never thought I would say this but I feel some empathy for Fabio Capello, who yesterday took a break in Sicily [Pantelleria] - for one day! It seems he just wanted to stroll along to the bar, read a newspaper there in leisurely, Italian fashion and enjoy some sunshine. [It's a good thing he didn't choose today as it has been rainy and cold!] My friend the Winchester Whisperer reminds us of the possible status of that gentleman's efforts to master the English language.

Talking of bars, you can see all of life if you sit in the Altro Posto for long enough at lunchtime: the "regulars" are nearly always there by 12.45, most of these being business folk who cannot get home for lunch but still want their piatto di pasta. It does amuse me to watch them transfer from their comfortable chairs at their tables to take the parting espresso seated on barstools and I often wonder why; perhaps they are afraid to get too comfortable, in case they won't want to move? Then along comes the old chap who just sits awhile outside, or inside on a day like this. No one moves him along or is unkind to him. Just after 1.30pm the bank managers all arrive. I think you can always pick them out, in any culture! And finally, we witness the entrance of the madonne: beautiful, busy young women whose features you would recognise wherever you come from as these have adorned Italian art down the centuries. I like observing what they are wearing and taking fashion notes. But I haven't seen Mr Gorgeous for ages, ladies!

This week it has been reported that the price of bread and pasta could go up by as much as 12% by December and imports are mostly blamed for this. Imports in general are becoming a worry as, in this wonderful country where every foodstuff anyone could wish for is cultivated or produced, tins of Chinese tomatoes are sometimes found on sale!

Tonight the lights of the Colosseo, Fontana di Trevi and other tourist attractions in Rome were switched off for half an hour to mark the anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol, whilst in Florence tonight all are dining by candlelight [which does not seem a bad idea to me every night of the year!] I gather that the lights of the Tour Eiffel were also switched off for a period. What do you think? - A meaningless gesture but a gesture nonetheless or total nonsense? Was the occasion marked where you are?

Buona notte from Sicily.


Indigo-Daisy said...

I am quite embarrassed that my country (the US) seems to be the only one that has no intention to participate in the Kyoto Protocol. I think I will protest and participate on my own.

Ellee Seymour said...

Cheap food is at an end and in China, not just because of demands on biofueels, but because of drought stress. I wrote a post yesterday called From Food Mountains to Food Shortages on behalf of my MP which explains some of these issues. In some parts of China, food prics have gone up buy 70%, they cannot afford to put meat on the table. One Chinese woman said, "we can put up with not having higher salaries, but please don't put up food prices". It's going to be a desperate situation, that's why I enjoy my work with the National Institute of Agricultural Botany, they want to develop seeds so farmers can produce crops to feed the future generations during climate change.
I'm sure Fabio enjoyed some excellent Sicilian hospitality during his brief visit.

Gledwood said...

Don't want to sit on comfy chairs..? Italians have some odd customs!


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, indigo-daisy. You can't be held personlly responsible for what your government does and as you are protesting, I think you are doing great! Thanks for the extra info, ELlee. I'm sure you are right. Will be over shortly to read yourpost on this. Let's hope Fabio was cheered up by his flying visit! Coffee in nearly always taken "on the go" here, Gleds, but nyou're right - it is strange, to us. Hope you're OK and have a good weekend too. Auguri x

Sharon said...

I noticed when buying garlic that it was imported from China. Seems a shame to be using such a staple like garlic from another country.

I'm not a Fabio fan, sorry!

Leslie: said...

Towards the end of my stay in Italy, I sort of got the hang of ordering coffee and standing there drinking it. But I still prefer to sit and linger over a cup, instead of rushing off. Besides the fact that standing in one place puts pressure on the stenosis in my spine and causes my legs to go numb. :(

jmb said...

I'm afraid I think it is a meaningless gesture as far as saving electricity but perhaps it reminds people to conserve energy so that makes it a good thing in priniciple.

Poor Signore Capello, I'm sure he has mastered the rudiments of soccer practice and strategy and his minions will do the rest for him.

Crushed said...

I have to say, it was totally unaware of it.
Quite a lot of food is now coming in from Poland.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Sharon. Gosh, imported garlic as well ! Whatever next?! I'm not a Fabio fan either! Hi, Leslie. I like to linger over my coffee too. I know what you mean about pressure on the spine. Hi, jmb. Yes, I fear it was meaningless too, unless it has drawn a little attention to the problems. I'm sure FC has minions for the linguistic duties! Hi, Crushed. Hadn't realised that.

Whispering Walls said...

The Kyoto anniversary passed me by. Am amazed by your story of Chinese tomatoes. There's a Polish delicatessen in Bournemouth and I ventured in the other day only to find a few salamis, some tins of cabbage and six shelves of fizzy drinks.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, WW. The Polish deli sounds very disappointing. Let's hope it improves.


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