Feeling Lucky and Grateful

I find myself feeling lucky and grateful right now.

I’m sitting on my balcony on one of the last days in March, all the kids are out and I’m making the most of a rare moment of solitude.

The sun is shining and spring is here. It isn’t warm though. Being a Brit, I’m determined to sit outside. I’m a bit of a softie Brit though and haven’t put my shorts on. Instead I’m in my padded jacket and my hands are so cold that I can hardly type but, the sun is out so I should be too!

I need the sun at the moment. I put a colour on my hair to darken it. Mainly because I’m sick  of being called bionda. Sadly for me it’s too dark and in an attempt to lighten it, I’ve put lemon juice on my dull head and need to sit in the sun, The next step is a chamomile rinse!

Many people don’t realise that here in Italy it isn’t all sun and heatwaves in fact winters here can be long and cold. Here in northern Tuscany, we get 6 months of lovely warm sun when there is little rain but that is countered by 6 months of grey depressing cold weather with lots of rain and even snow when temperatures can often drop to -8  or even -11.

In my rustic Italian home, there isn’t any traditional central heating. My bedroom temperatures reached 2 degrees and at one point recently, there was ice on the INSIDE of  my windows. I’m not good with the cold. I’m like a squirrel and I  need to hibernate in these dismal months.

In an effort to keep warm, this  year I discovered, courtesy of my friend, the housecoat. The younger generation, brought up in warm, cosy houses may not have heard of this phenomenon but when I was very small, ladies often wore a house coat which was a  kind of dressing gown. My rediscovery of this wonderful item of clothing was my saviour this year.

I bought a couple and could wear my more flattering wardrobe underneath instead of dreary fleecy tracksuits which I loath. If anyone came to the door, I could simply whip the housecoat off revealing my glorious and glamourous self No more going to the door feeling dowdy and drab.

Next year I think I’ll buy more so I can be a different colour every day.

Meanwhile,  my lemon juiced locks are now dry. Chamomile rinse anybody?

Rockabilly Romano

I went out with my Italian girl friends last Saturday to San Giuliano Terme which is just outside of Pisa.

We went to see a friend of ours, Ricky Rialto who is a rather handsome Rockerbilly Roman singer/guitarist with a band who specialises in 50’s rock and roll music. The concert was hosted by a bar / restaurant Route 66 which is done out in the style of an American diner. Well, the Italian idea of an American diner!

Here in Tuscany non Italian venues are popular such as Irish pubs, American style eateries etc. I don’t personally think that these places compare with a traditional Italian pizzeria or Osteria and a slice of tasty pizza or bowl of pasta as well as a great atmosphere but as these things are relatively new here they have particular novelty value.

We had a bite to eat so I will post a review of this shortly and had just finished eating when the music began at 22.30. One thing to remember is that here in Italy it is normal for the entertainment to start quite late.

As usual, Ricky played a great set. He had a table of followers (not just us) some of whom were great jive dancers and who were quite happy to show us some steps. We were thrilled to have “had a go” an my friends, all of who dance regularly but the Salsa and latino dances, want to learn to dance the “boogie woogie” as they call it.

The night was over at around 1.30 and we made our way home