Thursday, June 28, 2007

Some more pictures

Here are some more pictures from the holiday...mainly from us eating ice cream :) England is still cold and rainy and very unlike summer...I have my woolly socks on and am contemplating on putting the heating on. For some reason the blogger is refusing to put the photos upright so you'll have to tilt your heads to see them.

Me and my first Italian ice cream with bouganville in the background

Us & leaning tower of Pisa just to prove we were there, even if it was very brief before the number of tourists was too much for us and we escaped

Angel/trumpet flowers in Montecantini Alto...in England you can only grow them
in a green house

Action shot of David eating ice cream

And me eating ice cream again

Moses has been amusing last couple of days. We went to the beach and off he ran to the sea, however it was quite rough and he got pushed over by a big wave twice, he didn't seem too amused but we had a good laugh. On the same walk he wasn't looking where he was going and was running at full speed over this sand dyne, he didn't notice a sudden dip in the ground and fell over and did couple of roly-polys...we were in stiches!

Yesterday we went to the woods and it was quite muddy as it has been raining for quite a while. Moses got a bit of branch hanging on his tail so he sat in the middle of a big muddy puddle and pawed it off...I guess it's one way to get rid of it!

On the news front Spice girls are getting back together...not really sure what to think about it...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Italy

So we are back from Italy after enjoying a week of sunshine. We stayed in a little town called Montecantini and explored around a bit. One of the evenings there was a n open air concert in one of the spa buildings (picture below). It was amazing to listen to an orchestra surrounded by marble pillars ...
Street in Montecantini
Random building, could have been the Muncipal building, in Montecantini
We went to Pisa but got there a bit too late, around midday, and it was boiling hot and full of tourists so we saw the tower, wondered around, had some lunch and headed back home. The train journey back took nearly three times as long as it should have taken! So the day in Pisa wasn't the best but we had a nice refreshing swim in the hotel when we got back.
Houses by river Arno

Next to Montecantini where we were staying was a hilltop town of Montecantini Alto, you could get there by a funicular. We went there couple of times and had fun exploring the streets and eating some ice cream. In the local church they had the most amazing nativity scene, it had flowing water and moving figures. We also saw lots of bats there when we wondered around at dusk.
View from Montecantini Alto
Me & Wiggles

We also went to a little medieval town of Lucca that is still completely surrounded by it's old walls. It was very cute, lots of nice little streets and not too many tourists around. We had learnt from our Pisa experience and got there early before it got too hot. We spent couple of hours wondering around the streets and taking pictures and once the weather got hotter we went and had a coffee & cakes (the picture I posted yesterday).

After that we went into couple of churches and then had a lovely lunch in a little restaurant by a square where none of the waitresses spoke much English and the menu was all in Italian...we had some really nice pasta and tasty tiramisu before heading back to Montecantini and spent rest of the afternoon splashing about in the pool.

Detail of a church in Lucca (above & below)

Drying the washing Italian style
Little street somewhere in Lucca
Me on the city walls with the city behind me
Me in Vinci

The last day we hired a car and drove around Chianti seeing some lovely countryside, lots of hills and vineyards.

The dinner is ready so I am going to go and eat some fish pie. Maybe a bit more of the holiday later.

PS: all these photos are from David's camera that's why there are no pictures of him

Monday, June 25, 2007

Back to rainy England

We are back from our travels. We had a lovely time in Italy, eating lots of ice cream, cakes and drinking coffee/hot chocolate. The sun was shining and it was hot. We got back to Newcastle yesterday evening and have spent the day pottering around the house. I'll do a proper update tomorrow with more pictures but here is a preview picture...

Night night....

Friday, June 15, 2007

Holiday...

We are off from the rainy Newcastle to sunny Tuscany :) Moses has a four star stay booked with the pastor and his wife so we are all happy. So the blog will be very very quiet for the next week and a bit unless there is an internet access in the hotel.

Hope you are all well!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Still here

I am still here regardless of the silence. I have 2000 words left to write on my report so once I've finished that I can write a long long blog entry but for now this is it...unfortunately...

So today:
- I have written lots
- it has rained and rained and rained
- we had Jansson's temptation* for dinner
- we've had to have the heating on because it is cold
- i've eaten some chocolate
- i've got to write some more before going to bed

*strictly speaking it wasn't Jansson's temptation because I made it with gammon rather than anchovies but it still tasted good

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Poppy field

I accompanied David for a quick photographic excursion this evening. On the route to Moses' usual walk in the woods this poppy field has suddenly appeared. Lots and lots of pretty red poppies. So we headed there tonight alongside with half a dozen other photographers who were lining the side of the field with their cameras, tripods and all the fancy gear they have. These are my attempts of capturing the sea of poppies with the little compact digital. I'm sure David will put some of his master pieces on his blog when he has some time.




Saturday, June 09, 2007

It doesn't make any sense

When I was little we use to go and pick up berries from the woods, blueberries, rasberries, logan berries, artic cloudberries...lots of berries. It was good fun - even though I'm sure we used to complain about it too. Picking wild rasberries was especially fun as the bushes were quite tall and when you were little it was like a maze.

In England there aren't any great woods (because they all got chopped down for building ships to conquer the world with) so people can't go picking berries which means they head to supermarket when they want to get some berries. I still can't justify spending sometimes more than £2 on a tiny tiny (125grams) punnet of blueberries that I could have picked up from the woods in less than five minutes! But they are the latest craze here thanks to their amazing beneficial qualities...and I just use to think they tasted nice :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

It's cold - random ramblings

It is supposed to be summer but for the last couple of days it has been really really cold here. We've had the heating on in the evenings. Last night I was chatting with my parents on the phone, I had my woolly socks on and a big thick fleece and they were telling me it's been 26 degrees in Finland! Not fair...

I've tried David's new camera couple of times and it is really nice to use. Above is my attempt to take a picture of dried roses...I don't think I'll win any photographic prizes with it but it's fun to play with it. I'm not really sure of all the settings on it yet so at the level of my competency is limited to the setting David has left it on.

I had a midwifes appointment this morning and everything was well. Wiggles heart beat was normal, my blood pressure was normal as were protein and sugar levels which is good...I can eat ice cream (provided that the sun comes out and it gets warm again).

I've got a date with a Finnish girl tonight who lives couple of kilometres away from us and is also pregnant. I think she is due in July. So Wiggles will have a little Finnish speaking friend close by which is nice.

Alan, the pastor, came over last night and plastered the walls around where David knocked the wall out between the kitchen and dining room. It looks really good. Can't wait to paint it and get it all looking nice. David is contemplating on sanding the floors this weekend but I think it might be a bit too ambitious, especially as we are going away* the weekend after so he can't finish it then. And also the wall paper needs to be stripped before that. I'll be working on my progress report over the weekend so I wont be much help.

* the most exiting news of the last couple of days is that we booked a last minute holiday to Tuscany, Italy for a week** and after we get back we are going to Wimbledon on the 25th. We also get to see Gaenor & Rob as well be staying with them on the way to the airport and for couple of more days when we get back, they are only 25 min from London so we can go from theirs to Wimbledon

**And the pastor*** and his wife have promised to look after Moses so we don't have to pay for kennel

***
The same one who did the plastering

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ye a'reet?*

Some people at church organised a Geordie neet (night) to raise money for pregnancy councelling centre the church is starting. So Sunday night was dedicated to all things Geordie. There must have been about 80 of us and it was good fun. And we even had true northern food - pie and mushy peas.

We sang lots of Geordie songs (we even heard the Geordie national anthem), thankfully they had provided sheets with the words on but sometimes it took rather a long time to work out which song was being sung...

Between the jokes and the songs there was a quiz. It must have had 4 or 5 different rounds ranging from translating Geordie words to English to recognising places and famous Geordie faces. Against all odds our table won, regardless of having the most foreigners (South African, Finn, Southerner (David) and a Yorkshire lass) in our team. And the prize was worth it - big tin of chocolates :)

Geordie language is suppose to have more in common with Scandinavian languages than English but I think my Swedish must have got rather rusty as a struggled to understand many of the words...but I learned some, hinny is honey, canny is nice, netty is loo and hoy is to throw...if I remember right...

*Are you ok?