Hey everyone, hope you’re all well.
With the above title I’m going to deal with the “last” bit first, and the “first” bit last. Make sense? …Probably not but I’m sure all will become clear… (maybe)!!
Okay, so I write this blog travelling on the train from Calabria in Southern Italy going back to the airport for my return flight home. It is the last and final visit of the year and so it’s always with a slightly heavy heart that I leave this beautiful part of the world. On a previous blog I showed some photos of this slice of heaven and several of you wrote comments asking where they were taken.
I apologise for the length of time it’s taken for me to tell you, but yes it is the Calabrian region of the South. For me very much the real deal, very Italian, and the main tourists are the Italians themselves from the north of the country. If the map of Italy is shaped like a boot, then this is the foot (opposite Puglia which is the heel and is also stunning). Having said that, the Calabresi describe themselves as the “poorer cousin of Puglia”.
In any case I love it!! And not just the scenery and the food, but the people too!! I have made so many friends here over the years. Just in case you’re imagining some amazing villa in the rolling countryside with an Olympic size swimming pool… well nothing could be further from the truth!! Lol!!
I’m in a village in the middle of nowhere (I like that!), in an apartment where all my neighbours in the building are Italian and live here all year round. At 1,000 feet above sea level I’m lucky enough to have the top floor and the roof terrace which has 360 degree panoramic views. To the one side is the old church (I love the sound of church bells) and the mountains, and then to the front is the sea, which is only a ten minute drive away.There is a gravel parking area where if your windows are open you can hear cars drive in and out. I am hardly ever in my flat more than 10 minutes before there are several knocks on the door and the arrival of a whole array of delicious home cooked food appears before me… because “I’m obviously hungry” after my journey!! Strange but this custom seems to continue through my stay?
They’re a noisy lot, my neighbours. Not only do I wake up to the sound of chickens and the goat herds with their little bells on, but also Maria shouting across to Rosella asking what the fish was like the other day (there’s a little fish man who comes around in his van a couple of times a week). At the beginning I thought they were all arguing, ’til I got a better hold of the language and realised they’re just a passionate lot… about everything!!
Then there’s the beach, and the wonderful family who run it. The daily routine goes something like this… I arrive and have my coffee at the lido and wait for them to write on the blackboard what dishes they are preparing for lunch that day (although to be honest, they will cater if possible to any request). I then place my order and mosey on down to my parasol and sunbed (some people have had the same ones for 40 years, so me at 13 years I’m virtually a newbie!!).
When I decide I’ve had enough sunbathing and relaxation I then drag myself up to the little restaurant, where at whatever the time of my arrival they start to prepare my previously ordered food. The rest of the day is spent enjoying the sun and the sea, only punctuated at times with the odd gelato or three (all homemade of course!).I could go on but hopefully this description coupled with the previous blog photos gives you a taste (almost literally) of why I’m so in love with this part of the world. Also if I continue too much I may decide to stay here another week!!
Not a chance… too much happening in the next few days at Q Towers!!
Which now having covered the “lasts”, brings me to my “firsts”, and roll out the red carpet for the Today’s Special Value (TSV) on Monday from Centigrade. Now I of course realise that we have enjoyed many a fabulous TSV over the years from this fabulous brand… but never a Biker Jacket!!
Very exciting indeed in a host of colours and I’m sure Glen Campbell will be waxing lyrical as no doubt we all will. I just love this style and we’ve really seen it increase in popularity with other brands (and in general). It’s not only a great looking style, but is also perfect for this time of year as we start the whole season transitioning process (having said that I’ve just looked and it’s a forecast of sun and 24 degrees this Thursday in the south!!).
I will also be launching Saturdays TSV from Lakeland. If you haven’t already seen their Laundry Airer you really must tune in.
Okay, I realise that many of us don’t get terribly excited about doing the laundry but I can assure you I wouldn’t be without mine. It just saves so much time… and money! No more hassle trying to dry things over radiators when either you don’t want to incur the cost of tumble drying when it’s raining, or just simply when there are items that you can’t put in the dryer. Great company, great guest and importantly a great price too!!
So that’s about it for now folks, I’m now at the airport (there were a few interruptions) and there is my final gelato of the year to enjoy before getting on that plane. Not quite on par with that of my friendly lido family but who knows, if my flight is delayed… I may have to have an extra one!
Well it would be rude not to. No?
So it’s a big arrivederci Italia…. and an even bigger buongiorno QVC and some great offers coming up this weekend!!
See you all then hopefully.