Monday, 30 September 2013

Orveito..

I have to tell you that I think I'm in love....with Orvieto!




it's an enchanting, medieval, fortress town...


full of tiny winding streets and stone steps leading to secret places...


small shops full of character...olive oil and the cheeses and the hams and the pasta....not to mention, hand made lace, Italian leather bags and hand made shoes, ceramics....and did I mention the restaurants and cafes?


and the Convent B&B San Lodovico Institute....


it used to be a palace in a prior life...


this is the 2nd floor ballroom, yes there is another larger one downstairs....
the B&B is run by three nuns with the help of one cleaner that comes during the week and a gardener.
it has slowly been restored, is self funded with the express purpose of saving a magnificent building.
It's certainly not luxurious accommodation, as Kristi said tonight, it is humble. The rooms are no more than basic but each have their own small but adequate bathroom, the beds are comfortable and the linen is spotlessly clean. The nuns, although speaking no English, are welcoming, warm and friendly, with hugs and greetings that surpass the language barrier... 




and what can I say about the countryside here? the spot you can see on the photo is a raindrop on my lens.....today we had rain, torrential at times....there's a song Stevie Nicks sings called 'Italian Summer', if you know it then you can imagine today..still warm, humid with torrential rain....






I met my friend Baukje on Saturday morning and what a great pleasure that was ( I will get a photograph of more than her back soon), although we had talked through our blogs for about three years, we had of course never physically met. Within a very few minutes we both felt that we had known one another for years. We wandered the Saturday market together and explored Orvieto........


the colour...


the smells...

the hustle bustle....


that's if you can call it hustle and bustle, the locals just seem to wander through the day...


doing what they do best...


eating and talking...! 

Our workshop starts today with Sue Spargo and I'm excited to be actually starting to sew, although I have been doing some work on my Bird Dance blocks, sitting in the courtyard of the Convent, watching the rain, sewing my blocks....
this is why I came...the stitching, the walking, the food, the fun....
I'll be back with more later...






Saturday, 28 September 2013

Italy.....

Well I made it, finally! So Meredithe, as promised, blog posts.... 


 Basilica Papale of Santa Maria Maggiore......


right at the end of the street that my hotel is on... 

and speaking of the hotel...


the view from the window while I had my morning cup of tea, not too shabby is it..?


the doors in Rome are just beautiful...



St. somebody or other overlooking the River Tiber...



Vatican City...


a first glimpse of, for me, the single most breathtaking monument/ruin...


it took my breath away with it's sheer size and magnificence....


an engineering feat that blows your mind...


I was totally awed...



so was he I think..   ;)


change of view tonight....



through my window at the convent B&B in Orvieto....
tonight Baukje will be here and tomorrow the rest of our group should start to arrive ready to start our workshop....
let the fun begin...  :)
xxx

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Weekend doings...

had a fabulous day on Sunday at the Crafty HiJinks blog meet

 

a great catch up with lots of bloggers



 

 and meeting people I've talked to for a few years online...


 

 Leanne, it was really so good to meet up can't wait for the next time...





and yes, there was craft stuff achieved amongst the chatter and laughter..

Annie worked on her hand quilting...



yes, yes, lots of socialising too....





crafty stuff... 


I don't know who this belonged to, but I think I might need one..!

 

 goodie bags and door prizes for everyone...



and lots of raffle prizes (alas I wasn't a lucky recipient) ...

 

 a little convoy to the Crafty Squirrel..


and from there Leanne, Jan and I took a little detour to visit Annie's Flowergarden..


which was full of spring blossom...


lots of tiny spots of colour and loveliness ...


a promise of things to come....


and a very severe warning to any marauders to stay away...
(love your scarecrow Annie)

edit: I'm really sorry but only google accounts can comment, I'm truly over all the spam and advertising crap that ends up in my inbox. I'll give this a go and if it doesn't work I'll open the comments up again and put the word verification back on....

Sunday, 15 September 2013

So where was I...?

Oh yes...........after my trip to meet Miss Penelope back at the beginning of August, life settled back into its normal busy daily routine. 

We (the railway man & I) were invited to attend the opening of this exhibition at the Melbourne Museum...


It was an incredibly raw and emotional experience for both of us....



the railway man was brought up in homes and institutions during the 1950s and early 60s and has no happy childhood memories of these places...
He has finally finished his book on those early days, an emotional, sad, moving story of the insignificance of children forgotten. It's with the publisher now and we're hoping it will be in print and out by Christmas......I'll keep you posted.


We had a celebration at the end of August though....



our eldest daughter turned 40 and had a Carnival themed party to mark the start of a new decade for her..


lots of sticky sweet fair ground treats...


Meanwhile, spring has sprung...!



..sort of! We had a few lovely balmy spring days at the beginning of September....

then of course it reverted back to cold, wet and windy....





still, the daffodils bring sunshine to the garden.....





their gentle perfume redolent of spring days and warmer weather....



our garden is definitely at its best in late spring, full of colour and tender young shoots, getting itself ready for the heat of summer...



Excitement at work too this week. Sue's daughter Sam (who manages the cafe) had a beautiful baby boy last Monday. Meet Ollie, isn't he adorable? congratulations again Sue, becoming a grandmother is just one of the most amazing experiences I can think of, totally changes your life. Turns you upside down and inside out, first or tenth, doesn't matter.....grandchildren are just all encompassing...

AND...........



Only just over a week now until I leave for Italy.......

                                       (image from here)

excitement is building. I will be meeting up with Baukje in Rome and travelling to Orvietto with her....

after my week there I fly to the UK for a couple of weeks, I'm staying with another blogger for a couple of days (tell you who that is later) and then driving up north for some serious photography indulgence....

Can't wait now..!

Gotta go...I'm off to 


 to do some stitching (a little), chatting (a lot), laughing (probably lots and lots), catching up (lots) and have a generally great day...see you there? 
XXX



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