Thursday, January 30, 2014

New Years Eve 2013 Florence
"Honey, I shrunk the van!"

New Years Eve in Piazza Duomo in Florence, Italy.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Su's retrospective: Leaving Melbourne 

One of several retrospective comments from Su, about us leaving Melbourne. We will add more sections  over the next few days. 

12th December 2013

Ready to Rock and Roll...
Had a great dinner with Toni and Graeme at Pomodoro Sardo in Lonsdale St. They are the playmates that, since 1993 in Malaysia, have always been ready for music food wine and laughter at a moment's notice. 

Saluti a tutti!
Stefano the proprietor, and his staff, looked after us wonderfully, and tonight, here in Florence, I am trying a Sardinian white wine that is very similar to the one he gave us that night. Thanks Stefano, for two years of delicious Sardinian food. Hoping to try some local Sardinian delights soon.

13th December 2013 -  in the Marriott bar

Headquarters of fun
and good company.
When I wrote last, I didn't relate the episode of the spontaneous farewell drinks, that started with Helen, Con and Heike, who were toasting Helen's birthday on the night we were leaving Australia. Sally, Bill, Margaret, David and Nicky appeared soon thereafter and drinks were in order!  (We missed you Maureen and John but had to soldier on. Catch you both next time) A lovely warm gathering. Hoping to see you all over here in Florence sometime.

Half an hour before we left for the airport - there was a Xmas function with lots of people milling and mingling. Someone, walked into a waiter carrying a tray of drinks ... I was the recipient of a cascade of long tall cocktails! Soaked!

Sally and Nicky were there to sop and soothe, but all my under-things were saturated! Sally offered to whisk me away and hair-dry me upstairs, meantime, Nicky arrived with a replacement garment. Thanks girls! 

Most concerning, was the idea,  two hours later, of sitting on an aeroplane, billowing fumes of alcohol at the cabin crew as I begged for my complimentary bubbles!

We grabbed our luggage and headed off to the airport. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Australia day to all

New Apartment...

Panoramic view from our kitchen window. Uffizi Gallery is adjacent to the tower on the right

Front door
Yes, we are finally in our new apartment...It's on the 4th floor of a 5 story apartment block, built in the 13th century on the remains of a Roman theater, thought to have been built several centuries earlier.

Su struggles with the 1 tonne door
It has been recently restored with taste and style, to a 5 star luxury hotel standard. It has two large bedrooms, two bathrooms with showers,and an open style area with a modern kitchen, dining room table, chairs and a comfortable lounge. 

 It is completely equipped with towels, bedding, cutlery, TV's, coffee machines, microwave, oven, kettle - but no toaster! 

We nipped out to the local supermarket on day two, and bought one.  (Whoa, I'm starting to sound like a Real Estate Agent - "mind the step")

Rod thinks he could be Caravaggio
 Mind you, its a little noisy, as we are in the middle of a nightclub/student area, but earplugs work wonders.

 We have actually taken options on this apartment for three months, 'till the middle of April, so better get your skates on if you want to catch us in Florence.

"We are waiting you in Florence!"
We have been a bit slow updating this blog, but after spending all the previous month struggling to find a suitable apartment, and with all the frustrations of language, the holiday season, trudging to find unknown locations of apartments, to meet with never-seen-before agents, we sort of just heaved a huge sigh of relief when we found this place, and have settled in to enjoy it.  

Anyway, we are now back on track and will endeavour to keep the raconteuring up to date.

Next week, we are off to England to see friends in London and Humberside.... a quick dash over on EasyJet. The trains from London to Humberside are more expensive than the flights from Pisa to Gatwick. More later.

Just a quick word on comments; some people have said that they have had trouble making a comment on the posting. You just need to click on the word "comments" (in small blue font) at the bottom of the post.
Love to hear a comment from you.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Here it is New Years Eve!

We awake this morning, to a brisk and crisp Florentine winter's day - the last day of the year 2013.

Our new, favourite restaurant "The Touch", is booked out for this evening "Been booked out for months!"  says our host Max. I don't know why I'd thought there would be any other outcome.  

So we decide that we'll eat at home and then wander down to the Piaza del' Duomo where all the action is likely to be.

So, off to the meat market that we found last week. The meat market is worth a para or two. 

This little piggy....
A bit like Victoria market in Melbourne, only quite compact. The covered section contains butchers and fishmongers - the most popular meat seems to be pork - and the fruit and garment stalls are located outside around the periphery of the building. Last week, I bought some slices of delicious cooked roast pork at one of the food stalls outside.

vegetarian delights
Anyway,  I bought a lovely roast pork stuffed with orange and herbs. (Su: I wasn't there!)

See what a Sensitive New Age Guy I am? I did think about Su's vegan dietary requirements - I could have bought a plain pork roast, without any oranges or herbs!

il Duomo
A change of plan - we have manage to book a table at a new pizzeria near the Piazza Duomo, down into which we will wander, after dinner, to see in the New Year. I've taken a bit of video of that evening, which I will put up on YouTube when we get our internet sorted out.

Anyway, the roast is now reserved for New Year's day. 

via Dei Bince, 19

STOP NEWS: we viewed an apartment this afternoon at Via Dei Benci,19 (check out Google maps!) It's a beauty - it meets all of our list of 12 Important Apartment Requirements, (that we should have made up before this) and we will probably, almost certainly, take it. More news later. 


             HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

p.s. Our first guest arrives on Friday 3rd Jan 2014