Traveling ….

Sept 6, 2014

It’s John’s birthday but instead of sharing this beautiful evening with him I’m sitting at this airport sandwich shop and watching the sun set over the runway…


Sept 7

Sitting in the Beijing airport waiting for my connecting flight to Guiyang, where I’ll spend the upcoming week (including my birthday) at the Guizhou International Wine EXPO.

My original connection was cancelled so I’m stuck here for about 7 hours until the next flight. At least I’m not sitting outside in the smog and, for now, the entire row of seats next to me is empty…and there’s free wi-Fi.

Nothing much to do; mainly just sitting around and waiting….Hopefully there’ll be some excitement once in Guiyang.





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Beauty? What is beauty anymore?

The Miss Plastic Surgery 2014 “beauty” contest will be held on Thursday, August 21st, in Monselice, a town in the Veneto region. I am not kidding…I read it in the Aug 15th edition of the Corriere Adriatico (one of the local papers). 

It will take place at the GrandHotel Bluedream where, at poolside, 10 plastic surgeons will select the “best reconstructed” contestant. It seems that there is a new generation of women (and possibly men, although for now, the competition is only open to women) that are proud to show off their “reconstructions”. There is no age limits and participation is free.

Any woman over 18 who has undergone at least 1 cosmetic procedure may participate . A candidate who has undergone more than 1 cosmetic surgery may request to be judged by the intervention deemed most successful, or may request to be judged in the category of  “Miss MiSonoRifattaTanteVolte.” (“I have been rebuilt many times” is the best translation I can offer).

The categories are vast and include Miss Silicone, Miss Surgically Enlarged, Miss General Face Lifting, Miss Botox, Miss Blepharoplasty, Miss Otoplasty, Miss Rhinoplasty, Miss Plastic Lipofilling, Miss Breast Augmentation, Miss Chemical Peeling, Miss vaginoplasty (not sure how they judge this one)…and if the category does not exist one can ask that it be added…

The rationale for the contest is “because it is increasingly difficult to separate the world of beauty and that of surgery” (I’m quoting from the article). Why not???

….and it will be televised on RAI TV….just to add more trash to already trashy Italian TV…



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Sunday morning

July 13, 2014

It’s 11:00, still at the kitchen counter having a coffee. The doorbell rings. Who could it be? The only people who ring the front doorbell are our German neighbors and they’re in Germany until the end of the month. Better get up and go see….it’s a couple, dressed in their Sunday best and holding a pamphlet in their hands…I’ve seen this before….oh no! They’re Jehovah Witnesses. At least I can play the “sorry, I don’t speak Italian” card. They look disappointed, they’re sorry they don’t have anything in English to give me…That’s ok, I’m not interested, I tell them in English and close the door. Hopefully they don’t come back next week with English literature.

Back at the kitchen counter, writing this, I’m thinking “what the heck are they doing out here on this country road and where do they come from” and then it hits me….of course, they came from the spaceship that’s stationed in Capodarco, not too far from here.the spaceship

That means that there are many more couples dressed in their Sunday best lurking about, always ready to hand out a pamphlet. -Tiziana

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Celebrating Canada Day

July 1, 2014

Other than me, there are no Canadians here. But that didn’t stop us from celebrating Canada Day.

I couldn’t remember all the words to the anthem and John kept messing with the opening line but he made up for it by learning and singing Neil Young’s Four Strong Winds, which almost made me cry.

I couldn’t find any Canadian flags so I printed, cut up and pasted little flags onto the table cloth. And, our American neighbour, who has a maple tree on her lot brought us maple leaves for us to pin on our chests.

Like at any great Canada Day party there was loads of foods and beer (and, of course, wine for the Italians). We also had a lovely flag cake (made by a German) and a super ugly one but with maple syrup (made by me)…

For next year everyone wants the words to O’Canada so they can all help me sing it…






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Time flies

It’s already almost 2 months since my last post…time flies…I have so much to write about but never seem to find the time to do it.

I started this post late one night almost 2 weeks ago and never got around to finish it until now.

To get through all the news I’m simply going to give you a brief update on what’s been going on:

Work: Was at the London Wine Fair at the beginning of June. The fair was good…made some interesting contacts, which hopefully will turn into orders. Next trip will be China. Still looking for importers in Canada. If anyone knows anyone, let me know…

La Canosa booth

La Canosa booth

The guest room: It’s finished and has been occupied by a number of visitors since my parents were here…Yves & Rita from Montreal, Jeannie from Santa Fe and Alex from Montreal. Terry is next, in mid-July and finally, in August, John’s sister and niece from Ireland.

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The birds: We had 2 nests this year: the kestrels were back but they were not alone…a pair of crows built a nest right next to the kestrels. Apparently crows and falcons (kestrels) respect each other and don’t eat each other’s fledglings, unlike last year when some other bird nested next door and ended-up providing food for the kestrel fledglings…The crows are already gone, they flew out over 1 week ago and today the kestrels made their first flight out of the nest…

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The garden: After a rainy and miserable spring we finally got to plant a small vegetable patch. Although our farmer neighbor told us we did it all wrong and nothing would grow it seems like we’re doing OK. Loads of zucchini already and lettuce. waiting for the eggplants and tomatoes.

vegetable patch vegetable patch flower barrel


The surroundings: Since the farmers rotate their crops, last year’s sunflower fields are now wheat fields. The wheat is already golden and ready for harvest. There are still some plots with sunflowers and other odd crops. Although the sunflower fields are not yet in bloom we’ve had some wild sunflowers sprouting spontaneously in our yard!

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That’s it for now…going off to relax. More news to come in new posts in next few days.







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Sunday morning breakfast

Sunday morning breakfast

Sunday morning breakfast

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Making a house a home

Two words that mean the same but are really not. It’s the little things that transform an habitable structure into a “home”. Slowly, but surely, that’s what we’re working on.

Little things like flower boxes on windowsills;



a mini zen rockery amidst a sea of weeds,


outdoor furniture, hand made with passion;

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and a master bedroom with ensuite…

Little by little we’re getting there…


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