Ciao Bella!

So.....my long awaited Italian vacanza is finally here....this time tomorrow I will be in Italy.....woo hoo! We will be flying to Parma in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy and then driving to......

.....Bardi....isn't it beautiful? Bardi is a pretty small market town up in the mountains but it is the main town for a whole host of small villages.....my in-laws came from these villages....my father in law Giovanni from Costageminiana and my mother in law Luisa from Casanova, just the other side of the mountains.
My in-laws both left for London to work when they were about seventeen years old- they grew up about 20 minutes away from each other in Italy but didn't meet until they got to the big city. I always think it is so romantic that they must have been within touching distance of each other in Italy, at the market or a hundred and one other places on many different occasions - since they were the same age and the villages they came from were really small, but they never actually saw each other! They married in London and then had their family here....I think my father in law would have gone back to live in Italy but my mother in law became very attached to London and so here they stayed.
My father in law used to tell his children that Costageminiana was the capital of Italy.....when my husband first went to school, the teacher asked the class what the capital of Italy was and you can guess his reply....he never lived it down....although I am sure his Daddy was probably secretly very proud and had a great chuckle over that!
I always got along very well with my in-laws, they were really special people, but I know I am hoping that this trip will give me another insight into them just by seeing where they came from - and the places that were undoubtedly always in their hearts.
I met my husband and his family about fifteen years ago but have never been to Bardi.....I have heard so many stories about it and seen so many photos though, that I almost forget I haven't actually visited! I am so excited to go and to take the children there. My husband spent most of his summer holidays there as a child so he has really happy memories of it and a very strong connection .....we still have a lot of family there so I am sure there will be a lot of reminiscing.....along with a lot of long dinners!!
As some of you probably know, my father in law passed away just this March and my mother in law just fifteen months before that, so I know that at times there will be some sadness while we are in Bardi......my father in law loved Italy with a passion and I know it's his voice that I will hear a lot of the time as we explore the places he grew up in.
They would be thrilled to know that we will be there on holiday. My father in law's younger brother and sister live there -I have to tell you that his brother, Zio Lazzaro, is the youngest sibling at age 70 - I saw him in March and he looks not a day over 50, seriously - a true testament to the happy and healthy life he has lived in a truly beautiful area. He and his wife used to own the local osteria and while my mother in law was a really wonderful cook, Zio Lazzaro's wife's cooking is apparently absolutely amazing...uh oh, I'm in trouble....best not take my skinny jeans!
My brother in law has a new apartment there and that's where we will be staying....from the window you can see where my father in law lived and the church that he went to as a boy. My mother in law lived about 20 minutes away but the house is still there even though I don't think it has been lived in for some time.....I just can't wait to see it though.....I have always wondered what made an incredibly shy girl who was barely seventeen and who spoke not even one word of English leave her home to travel to a city as busy as and as alien as London must have been....how's that for an adventure?
We will spend 6 days or so in and around Bardi and then we will drive via the coast and the very pretty town of Lucca to Florence.....

I have visited Florence a couple of times but not for many many years.....way too long! We will be spending around 4 days in Florence before flying back from Pisa....and hopefully seeing the famous leaning tower.

This is how I would like to be travelling......


......but right now, it is more like this, still some work to do....

I hope to blog while I am away.....we have our laptop and should have an internet connection....I can't wait to share more about our journey.....my 100th post is coming up quite soon and I thought while I was away, I would do a little Italian shopping for my giveway :)
Arrivederci....ciao for now!

The Perfect Spot.

Heavenly.....

Peaceful....

Stunning....


Perfection....

No phones.....no noise....

Disappear altogether....

Tranquil....

A quiet space above the hustle and bustle....

Beautiful....

Blissful....

A good book, a cup of tea, a scone with jam and cream...perfect....

Glamorous....

Breathtaking....

The perfect end to the perfect day....

A room with a view....

Pure fabulousness....

On duty this week-end will be Mr Owen who will be very ably assisted by....

....Mr Jackman.....available for tea-making....cocktail shaking....page turning....general compliment-giving.....whatever your pleasure may be....these boys come highly recommended....
Happy Friday....

London Calling....

Big Ben....



Tower Bridge....

Black cabs....

The Houses of Parliament....

The London Eye....

The famous red telephone box....

The City (the financial district) from the air....

Nelson's Column, Trafalgar Square....

The Natural History Museum....

After a quick lunch at my mother's today, the children and I spent today being tourists in London.....it was so much fun....Big Ben, St James's Park, Buckingham Palace, Green Park, Piccadilly, Laduree, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Embankment, sushi and noodles for dinner, Covent Garden.....and home to bed....phew :)

My family moved to London from Wales when I was just 6 years old and, probably because they weren't from London themselves, my parents spent a lot of time taking us into town and showing us around.....I haven't done that so much with my two children and so it was lovely to be doing some of the same things with them.....we had a wonderful time....the children really enjoyed it....

My son on the bus: "Where's this Mummy"
Me: "This is Piccadilly Circus"
Him: "Police Circus?
Me: "No sweetie,Piccadilly Circus"
Him: "Where are the clowns?"
Me: "No sweetie, it's not that kind of circus"
Him: "Look, there are some policemen, it must be the circus"
The logic of a nearly 4 year old....my daughter and I had to avoid eye contact at this point!

By complete chance (honestly), we walked past Laduree.....their Burlington Arcade shop....it's small but looks like a small gold grotto, all wonky shiny walls.....absolutely gorgeous.....after going in to admire the shop, it would have been very bad manners not to buy any macaroons.....so we bought blackcurrant, rose, mint, orange blossom and bergamot.....A-MAZ-ING....we girls loved our....my son said his tasted like soap....clearly he has a lot to learn :)

As my husband was tucking my son in tonight, I heard my son saying that he had seen lots of castles today and that he had wanted to go in to the Queen's castle but Mummy had said the Queen was too busy....."I think Mummy was right Daddy because I heard the King calling her and she didn't answer him"!!!

Just a little rest for some tired feet....good times :)

Lovely Laundry....



I remember visiting friends in the US quite some years ago and thinking it was really unusual that they had a separate laundry room.....on the whole British homes tend to be smaller than American ones and generally over here people usually have their washing machines in their kitchens.

The idea of a separate washing/utility room is increasingly popular though and people now tend to squeeze them in wherever possible.....I know I would love one! I have a friend who has managed to fit one in on the first floor of her home (nice and easy for putting all those ironed clothes away) and another friend has a room behind her kitchen which doubles as a "mud room" and is perfect for her three rugby playing boys....dirty kit goes straight into the machine.

You won't ever catch me underdressed on laundry day.....

I can just see myself throwing clean items of laundry nonchalantly into these buckets!! I can also see my 3 year old son scaling it and getting his bottom stuck in the very top row and yelling to be rescued!! I love the look though.....very stylish....

LOVE LOVE LOVE this....now THIS would get me doing laundry....listening to the radio at the sink.....I would probably move a chair in there.....

Simple but functional....love the hanging space....

I love those enormous jars for pegs and powder.....lots of space too....

A lovely tucked away space....you could probably even hide down here and read, I don't think my family would actually recognise a laundry basket or a washing machine so I could probably lose them for an hour or two!!

I would need to add some colour but isn't this SO nice and neat.....

Some very nice touches....

Lots of space and I like those laundry bags on the door....very organised....

And yes, I have been doing laundry today.....my ironing basket is in fact empty.....mission accomplished :)

School's out for summer!

Woo hoo.....after an insanely busy few weeks and after finishing off a couple of commitments this morning.....it is finally the summer holidays......we made it....I made it....I feel positively giddy!!!!

Free and exhilarated is how I feel right now....


....tonight I will be doing this....

....followed by one or several of these....

.....followed by several weeks of blissful unbroken sleep....a girl can dream right?!

Freedom from the school routine is a wonderful thing :)

A Little Friday Perfection....

Can you imagine arriving here on a Friday evening? The perfect getaway from the heat and hum of the city....



Is this the most perfect holiday destination in the world? Quite possibly....

The perfect week-end hideaway....

The perfect view? You would never tire of it would you.....


For those moments when you really need to escape from it all....

Ab-sol-utely....

I shall meet you at the end, glass in hand and we shall chat til the sun has disappeared completely....

The prettiest ice EVER...
Image by frenchblue

A colour to suit everyone....

Perfectly gorgeous....

Perfectly pink....

Perfectly dressed and so preciously pretty....

The perfect summer dessert....

Perfectly nestled....perfectly private....

Another Friday is here already and in a few hours time, it will be school holidays.....almost eight weeks of freedom, fun and probably a little madness :) I am so looking forward to it. We have quite a few plans for next week and we leave for Italy in 10 days time - had I mentioned that?!

One final mention, I saw a wonderful film last night "Seven Pounds" starring Will Smith.....fabulous......"Australia" was good but this was really something....I fully recommend it.

Happy Friday....


« »
Related Posts with Thumbnails

The Bottom of the Ironing Basket All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger