Tour de Europa – 2007

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Dispatches ( dispacciare ) emails

Email Messages in fractured terminology that were sent to varied recipients during our recent 10 week trip to morocco / Dubai / Sicily / Italy mainland / Croatia / Slovenia. These survived on the net until I could rescue them on return…. Lost a few but some were written under severe cerebral dysfunction, late at nite and sometimes under total duress.
This was the message as a computer return for those attempting to reach me at the University and caused a vexatious moment or two for a couple of clients without a sense of humour.

Tour De Europa

I am presently raising the IQ in Morocco and Europe in company with my Personal Physician. The caravanserai is a veritable corroboree of Culinary cringe & a mission to vine-de-cate the DOCG Blackcock Rossi Chianti Classico is agenda item number1 for Umbria.

The Souks are succumbing to an overload of alliteration but the team Sippy are pushing through to the far climes of Croatia to further enhance the standing of the Orstrayan Onanators. The need for Subterfuge is obvious but to those that insist on communication the Cyber site is

Trips, traps and telepathy in Morocco

….. Many tales abound of the DO-buy (Dubai) stopover particularly at the Deira Town hotel with the Punjabi lounge music that permeated the soul from one of 3 nightclubs. These dens of iniquity on the ground floor blasted until 3am testing our love of different Asian music. Had a ball being the only westerners in the hotel…. that does not count the odd French bod passing thru… and a new term for Arab buffet dining has entered the dickshunary. Seems it is Allahs rite for the fat burhka wearing women to just fill up their bags at the breakfast buffet for future use. Street eating was as
an exciting pastime as could be imagined and competition between critters of all shapes and sizes both on and off the plate was a minefield of culinary trepidation.

Power is on again in Essaouira (we are staying on the coast 3 hours away from Marrakech) an event of significant magnitude. The King—- Husain VII a descendant of the Prophet has lobbed into town to visit the Infidel, plugged in the Palace and sucked all the power on the grid. This King is hanging about for a couple of days so we are in for the cold shoulder. Does he realise what trouble he is in as Eve and Elaine had to wash hair by candle light in freezing conditions… this fukker is asking for trouble. I am appeasing the natives by flying my Aussie flag out the window alongside my newly acquired Moroccan model. Great place this and was good to get out of the squalor of Marrakech.

Eve wants me to tip every cripple and homeless bod but I reminded her I am a patient in Govt employ so I need the donations. Essaoiura pronounced “Essaweara” looks feels and acts like a forgotten Portuguese entrepot port of times past. The vision of badly whitewashed walls and a predominance of blue shutters built around an existing Fort sets the scene as per any brochure.

Meals are cheap and the boats pull in with the new catch and you select the fish and the cafes grill them on the spot $3.00 to $10.00. Lunch yesterday was $19.00 for 4 pax and last nites meal was $40.00 with 5 Hurryup Heinekens and a bottle of Moroccan Rose……. must have picked up bubonic plague tho as have shattered the porcelain today. Eve is more suspicious of the ice I had in the myriad Capt Morgans that sleazed their way into my psyche. Getting a Driver in a Merc wagon to take us to Casa-the-blanket (Casablanca) tomorrow a trip of about 6 hours. Need to do this run so we can jump the big barloose (Iberia Airlines) to Spain and Rome and Georgia. I could easily drop the lot to come and run a Riad/Villa here as it seems the common denominator is that customer service is more like an illegal alien that must be deported…..

No bastard really cares and even more so when a beret wearing son of a Bitch with a hammer and sickle badge atop asks with good humour….. can we have a menu and a drink please?
Bloody hell another letter has gone into cyberspace so you miss out on the rest as I had saved this draft but the King probably sent the Securitie in to halt transmission…. no spell check as cannot take any more risks after an hour wasted.
The Sichiliano Way in Taormina
April 23rd

I have escaped from the tour group and have found the Los Vegas Internet Cafe that sells frites, beer and the ability to watch Milano play the Football.

We have managed to get the Cosa Nostra offside within a very short period of time and although “Omerta” is a word not ascribed to by the Kingcinni I have managed with suitable bribes of ginger and desert Cajun spices to assuage the expected Mafia hit. Dottorie Stephano has been staring with rosso-maniacle eyes into the restaurante across the alley from our balcony and a swarthy diner took umbrage and pointed his finger in gun like motions at his persona.

Now I am in a double jeopardy situation as I have planes to catch and at some stage health issues will emerge (current problem is memory loss and my skin is turning red) so we cannot allow the doctor to be knocked off.

With great motions of self preservation and personal dislocation I have had to be in dialogue down in the alley with the kitchen staff to thwart the “hit”. The menagerie adjourns to the kitchen underneath and after seared Tuna , liquor and discussion at great length alleviation of this life threatening situation is solved ……….peace is restored.

This late nite sortie has taken place without companion help so others have slept thru this and have no idea I have saved their lives. Someone has to do these jobs. This town is now aware of the purchasing power of Orstralees and this is no easy task in a town use to hard bargaining…….. Or am I misreading the fact that they know our drink order before we sit down and ask for the bar

Taormina is use to Orphans ( or Germans )… father called them orphans as they obviously could not have parents as the British would have shot them in WWII,…….. as the bastards come in shiploads led by blitzkreigging flagwaving tour Leaders filling the alleys. The town is famous for over the top Italian wedding productions with the clans dressed to the nines and nothing to have 10 in a day. Somehow with all this going on we can wedge into its nascent pervading charm helped by Mt Etna smoking away in the background.

Went to catch the 2.15 bus to Castllemole and arrived at 2.05 to find the bus gone and along with other grieving passengers enquired at the bus Terminal why for bus bugger off……
The ticket man explained the bus station time clock was 2.15 so it did not matter what our watches said. See the answer is so bloody simple dumbasses the bus station time clock is now Greenwich Mean Time. Being naturally suspicious I asked why so many “Blowflies” or Cabs were hanging about but the Bus capo thought it a miracle that 4 cabs happened to be unemployed at the same time. It is not an Einstein situation that we now had to take a taxi at inflated rates, which we did, whilst discussions of the Italian book of War heroes, reverse gears in Italian Tanks were muttered out loud.

We are slipping into the Sichiliano malaise and could well not have the impetus to find our way out of here. So when I consider we are two streets away from D H Lawrence’s house where he wrote Lady Chatterley’s Lover maybe the last couple of chapters may strike home.

Big day yesterday by private train on the Circumaetna route for 7 hours coursing our way by black lava fields and Spartan scenery on snow-capped slopes. It is interesting history for the Literary  heathen that we went to Bronte at the arse end of Etna to find that it was the Ducal seat of Lord Nelson granted to him by King Ferdinand in 1799 for winning the Neapolitan wars.
Surprised ? I knew you would be……. but that’s not all.

In England the Rev Prudy was so enamoured and obsessed by Lord Nelson that he changed his name to Bronte and subsequentially you spent most of your youth reading Emily and Charlotte Bronte in absolute disbelief that they were nom de plumes.

Here endith the first lesson.

Georgia did pay us a visit in the Costa Amalfiteri at Priano for 7 nites to catch up for a bit of Eve-lurve and Roscoe- revere but asked the question individually of us how old we were. She was absolutely knackered after a week of walking, drinking, eating and couldn’t understand the pace that was required to be an intrepid explori-arty. The red is wearing off and I will have to send a copy to myself so that I can remember what happened but rest assured little cherubs you will not escape a cerebral thrashing the next time I am let out on my own.

ecskuser the spell as i not know the spelt chex. Pleasa passa the copy to thosa not a emailed da first tima.
Roscolinguista de Bella
Toilet Behaviour Siracusan Style
April 29th

A short note while I check the availability of Trenitalia to take us from Rome via Spoleto to Montefalco…….. hoping for an internet booking. Getting ready for another Rosso revere at the trattoria on Corso Umberto downtown Taormina before we head off tomorrow for Drugs and Catania Airport on that well known airline ,Air One.

Drop into Rome for a Cafe Doppio and then jump straight to Spoleto and where our mate Alison will pick us up………….where with breath barely drawn it’s down to Giorgio’s, the Pavarotti look-alike Chef, whose place is booked weeks ahead . Plenty of prior warning, personal connections plus a penchant for fellow mangari has meant he has squeezed the “Communista” in.
Sichilianoed and Siracused out so need small village succour and rest from buying cheap shit in the markets. I am with the best shoppers in Christendom who have turned into the party queens of excess….may have to reinvent a new name for Doris and the next instalment could be it.

Gotta get outta here as near midnite………. the search parties will be out looking for “Moosestach” in case he is having a good time. Oh…. the toilet bit ? Well aside from various instructions on working the apartment on arrival the final one was….. Please do not flush any paper down the dunny as there is a sewerage problem in Siracusa .Go to the brasco wipe your butt but put it in a bin
beside the toilet and take it out and dump it. The question was asked where do we dump it.


In the morning, or whatever, you get aforesaid plastic bag, take it, find a dumpster some where and post a brown parcel. It’s a bit disconcerting dining out at a good restaurante and watching a pile of used wipes at your elbow growing by every visit. A brown out !
Subject: Spanking da Spaghetti
May 3rd

Fukking hopeless internet as it does not have a keyface resembling normality as there is no letter k on type face but if you press l it comes up….?

In Montefalco lower Umbria at the spiritual home of the weary Oztravellers only 4 weeks into the soiree but not weakening yet. Still recovering from the near Pavarotti experience of Giorghio who has put his restorante into a walled village of 30 houses and has singularly made it into the secret place that must be visited in Umbria by celebs and palate ponces. Glad to have met him 2 years ago as his house guest before he was just a near death gastronomical experience. Giorghio looks like and is nearly as small as Pavarotti so is an awesome site blasting his way around the old stone building. It is like something out of the Boccaccio of the Decameron crossed with the village of the dammed and Gin Alley but was an outrageous experience as his main benefactori is our friend Alison Ryde and this helps.

Started with antipasto of about 15 plates of dried/cured meats, faro, relishes, spices, olives, olio, a choice of 10 cheeses of hard/pecorino variety plus unpasturised Gorgonzolas and local sheep cheese. Next course was local faro zuppa followed by 2 primi pasta dishes….wild boar/ beef spaghett and wild spinachi, pesto Ravioli. By this time we are deep into the prosseco/whites and sancrantino rosso and talking fluid Etalion to the 15 strong table when the rabbito and roast wild boar secundos start dropping onto the killing floor. Giorgio weighs in at about 25 stone or 250ks and he is eating what dishes we leave at the same time having a conversation with any one of the other 70 odd diners.

Whilst this is going on Franco and Angelo our inherited local Montefalco compadres are yelling out “Viva la Revolutione”…… “salute “ or trying to crack onto young Sheilas like Eva-leena and Elaina and the riot continued into plates of sweets….coffee…..grappa shooters by the truckload. All this at about E17 per person but that did not take into account the expensive sacrantino from his wifes 12thC vineyard the legendary Antioneli winery.

Today … slow start but after first stop at the bakery and doppio coffees the locale vino rosso was on the deck again at 9.30am in the main Montefalco drag strip. Went off to Spello at lunchtime….. Back home again at 3.00 to let the troops sleep some weariness off…….. then after this off out to Bevagna and some “world ” famous sculptors house and maybe some sheep milking ?????

Sportzicoffs disease in Dubothernik
May 11th

Epistles from a furver place.

Yes sportz fannies it is culture time tonite as a hard day testing “domestic” vino culminates in a nite with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra in the Rectors Palace….. no this is not some anal noise works but a sedate nite in black tee and ties… no Operatic gear in this porte. All week in the old town where we are staying there is culture in the old buildings and a good choice finishing on Friday nite with a Brass Gypsy band at Karenata Club on the top of the Dubrovnik Town walls.

Again another world series pasture to play in but the only downside is the cruise boats spewing thousands of sox-in-sandal ancient passengers onto the tight streets…… but we reclaim it from the heretics and melt back into the village life. We are so ever thankful, as 5 minute natives; there is free air to breath again.

The trip from Hvar to Dubrovnik is a best and fairest bus trip….. Eve has broken the world squirting record again as it costs 60 cents to use a toilet and in the time on this ferry/bus trip it only cost $5.00…… a bit like a dog that has to piddle on every lamppost in the village. The good thing about the 5 hour odd trip is that the bus stops at any excuse allowing time to load up with a cold can or three and we also had fresh piroshkas, bananas, figs and strawberries. The bus driver certainly was not suffering from malnutrition as we stopped in Bosnia on the way he managed to slip into a
large soup followed by a large grilled elephant and spudtatoes….. all in the 10 minute break. I guess he knew he had plenty of time as we had to wait for Eve to dismount from the inevitable starting block toilets and rejoin.

We arrived in the Dubrovnik harbour ferry station to completely alienate the thronging, harassing accommodation merchants as offers of paying half the going rate caused comments like “u fuk no god cheep pipples” and these were the friendly ones .. So leaving a nasty scrum yelling we took a cab to the Pile gate at the old city to find out they had rung ahead and more vexatious ex Bosnian Rape squad ethnic cleansers ( did ask them why they were not at the Hague ) were making sweet offers. Retirement to a Tuborg torture chamber helped slake the roughness on the epiglottis and we could gather strength.

Only 4 days and my personal physician Sticky and his second wife the trauma nurse Elaina go back to the land of clean toilets and the Eve and roscoe show goes into deep character building as it is some several centuries since we have spent this much time without help.

Plan of attack is to do some missionary work ( no Georgia you dumass…not that kind) in Trogir then head to stay in the old Jail in Ljubjana… Slovenia… for a few nites with the Flash packers at the legendary bar there. Plans very loose after that as it will depend on the developing trend and whether the fines can be paid.
Rosicovitch 4th Movement
The Flash packers or trogs in Trogir circa
May 14th

Just a shortie from the vertically challenged traveller while I attempt to get transport and a booking into the Slovenian Jail at Celica in Ljubljana….. a little hottie of an environment that I found on the net…..try and you will see what I mean.

In Trogir just north of Split in Croatia and arrived and spent an hour before finding accommodation in a Sobe (rooms) with access inside a cafe kitchen that services a small outside area…. we enter the kitchen anti room area then go upstairs ….it certainly smells better than me when the piazzas are cooking.

We overlook the square outside with another 2 cafes servicing their trade there so have stuck the Aussie flag out the window to let the troops know who is in town. Dined with the establishment last nite …….and to give an idea we had ample with just the following.

Thick chickpea soup with grilled bread… carne ragout pasta and eggplant. Tuna tomato pasta and a carafe of vino rosso locale (domestic) wine….. came to ¨ten bucks” Australian each.

Today was a classico East German revisited moment…. sat in the square outside 12thC St Stephens Cathedral, a cold Croatian muscle relaxant in hand, whilst a local Brass band belted out evergreens a la Dalmatia. Performing in front, with an almost Charley Chaplinesque stagger, a troop of Marching Girls in mini skirts fumbling batons all smiling with Kim Il Jong obeisance.
Did Dubrovnik over in a large way and am trying to get adopted by a Russian Family in Budvar,Montenegro as it is luxury beyond thunderdrome. However I am not going to wax lyrical on the grandeur of Croatia as you people do not need to come here….. This is going to be next holiday destination again ….suffice.

The horror moment in an Oz flash packers daily travails is to be visiting when the dreaded cruise ships arrive….. the Germans did not have every boat in the war sunk because they are in the Adriatic carting the Sour Krauts in troopship loads. This along with a Septic Tank invasion makes the time they come to town combined rudeness day. There were up to 7 boats in Dubothernik and today there is boatload of Fatfukkers with attitude harassing the villagers…. will have to go away out of the town till they depart in afternoon.

Gotta go now as Doris D the Gray headed chief Flash packer is ready to ramble. We are now on our own with sufficient drugs to last as the erstwhile Dottore Stephano is in Vienna on way back to practise for the Pillowbiters Golf trip.
Lack a liquor at Lucca
May 19th

Left Ljubljana in Slovenia by train for Lucca after a great 3 days getting the cerebral makeover with the Slovenian Philharmonic in the Academe at a brilliant price of nix. Arrived after a lungo day as guests of Trenitalia the trenchant Train trakkers and only spent an hour and a half in line to buy a ticket at Florence to get a connection. After all the wait….to be put on a Regionale 20 stop train trip that put us in Lucca at 8.45 with no accom prospects in a chokers town. Just as well we had a few interesting interludes with the worlds greatest mutton floggers….such as a drug shooting gallery in one dunny and 2 blokes out of another…… plus interesting dialogue with a sri Lankan ex Army guy who is outlasting the Italian authorities in being an illegal immigrant…… this whilst wondering if we were ever going to make Lucca.

Only smart thing we did was to ring a B & B from Il Traino and ask if our booking was made…. this was of course to a non English speaking person. On arrival I gave my phone to a young girl and got her to ring La Gemma Di Elena to check on Mr Roscoes booking and directions….. this piece of prestidigitateuring somehow got a booking, albeit in the honeymoon suite, of a yesterworld pensione of scarlet brocade.

Slovenia is that last vestige of the successful crossover from Stalin-Euro and is a gem of unbounded decadence to those wresting with the Australian Peso. I wandered the street with the Hammer and Sickle star a top the beret to eves chagrin….. did bring a few raised fists ….answered by “Viva Le Revolutione” plus the odd disenfranchised adherent gave me a hug.

Put on 20 kilos eating at the Bacchus Cafe,restaurant,nightclub,discotech come any nomenclature known to eating out man…. man sized Zuppa du jours plus the piece de resistance the mixed meat plate that had the left over’s from Tito,s Zoo on board.
Gotta go people pressing for machinery.
Monterosso rosso Cinque Terre
May 23rd

Back in the cinque terre after a session or to in the Baltic states and nothing has changed at Casa Manuel in Monterosso al mare the family home of Manuel the mad artist. In fact the only  improvements are actually detrimental to the patina of the place and we slipped straight back into the same slothful ways of the last visit 2 years ago. The trip has picked up a pace which we do not want to recognise and a worry is that reality is going to be on the agenda again before we know it.

Lucca in Tuscany was a revisit to refine the memories of a town that we could all spend time in and reminds us that travel generates some good comfort zones…. well it paid the psyche back. Stayed at a gem of a pensione with a Ma Clifford University of Canterbury aura….. well we did get off on the scarlet brocades, sofas, chaise lounges and curtains bit. Staggered around piazza Frediano and found an alimentary cum osteria that had a menu of 6 items at E6 to E7, locale rosso at $10 bucks a bucket and an attitude that defied any chance John Cleese can successfully do Italian. One night they actually refused to serve us ……just went about doing their own thing like talking to girls and tossing back campari. So pressing hard I served myself and the routine continued…. well they did charge in the end but not much.

This is the best small town in Italy with a bit of class thrown into the mix of conviviality and culture….. see you did not know Puccini was born here or that yet again a famous relic of Christianity has luckily emerged in Italy. I am talking about a real life carved portrayal of Big J on the cross probably videoed by another apostle at the Duomo downtown Lucca. The psychology of Saints body parts and bits a bones lurking in marble edifices goes a long way to creating relic-dom ala Euros-ville.
Tosco roscoe
Gotten Himmel Mien Kinder
May 24th

It seems the same fukwit is at the internet statione that I was at last nite….. does he not realise that aged people cannot be going to hip-hop bars at 12pm after consuming buckets of rosso with no prospects of parking a shoulder on a wife that has retarded…..sorry retired intellectually damaged some hours before.

Not fair on Evie as she has had a day of retarded trains…. to those that do not know. If an Italian train is late it comes up on the arrivals screen as ‘retarded’. We have had a day that seemed forever going nowhere….. ended up after 3 days on the Cinque Terre and not really taking any part in it. We went walking north to Levanto and did not get home and when we did someone or some substance interfered with the psychology.

Yes sportsfanz it was a day of the intellectually interfered with on IL Trainos and we did spend “abnormal” hours catching the elusive little steamos around the Italian Riviera. What caused more anxt than normal was that I had booked the wrong tickets …. so at some stupid stage in my intellect I admitted to not having the right ticket…… Eve’s protestant totally correct upbringing came into play and she shit herself…………So the animal cunning degree came into play and my advice for Eve was to go into first class act normal and stay calm……… say no more Eve had more furtive looks than a badly choreographed Disney cartoon and Mr Guardia was more worried about returning the insurrectionistos to their lower station than checking the paperwork.

Missed a station or to ….. and did an evening soiree into Venazza /Cinque Terre ……one station more than the ticket…..
Hell! another ticket aberration.
Wandered around the village as we thought that we could snooker a pleasant meal get back to Casa Manuel ….glass or two of rosso and bed. Voila the eternal “Manual” the mysterious Italian/Cinque vanishing waiter was present yet again and an order was impossible. Eve spotted the kitchen practising bacterial agent familiarity … licking only some parts of the body and
playing food games which caused us to retired unhurt.

Hard to find a good a place after that but spotted a small advert for a Siciliano cafe which found us space…. the beautiful part was that they were so nice and to be not unkind to all that are involved in the story from here on ….. smart bastard-tidos.

Eve in not to halting language engaged the waiter in small talk interspersed with the odd Italian phrase (to sort nuances in the menu)…… you know the sort of Pidgin English type drawn out sentences.
The smart corniche knew a how to run a number as He said Madam you speak English quite well????
I am afraid there is not much more mileage I can get out of this other than getting onto Ruperto El Fox Newismento or not allow Eve to read this .
Yes it is hard work being an Ambassador at large and there is only somuch largess that can be shared with the microcephalics of headshrinking land. but rest assured while you sleep ……………. people out there looking after the interests of you and your children.
We do have to return to Orstraya as at this stage the 20 games of lotto per week that I invested in before leaving are not coming to fruition. I will come back to penury, subservience and the cerebral thrashing that the investment of developing what I thought was a small growth (stomach) emerging near the belt region will cost.
Monterosso rosso from rosso
26 May 2007

Have arrived back in Monterosso the spiritual home away from home and Alison has booked us into a apartmenti right above the internet……and the site of a major football game telecast… so….. red wine, deafness and a lowered intellect will help.

It is not hard to leave Italy…. it’s only the thought that I am going to be misunderstood by the philistines in my yellow shoes and European tan but I guess that the erstwhile Dottere has been back interfering with bodies, saving lives and plumb bobbing the fairways of life.

We have arrived into the “wine cantina “weekend which has booked the village out and so there should be space for a serious thrashing to take place and with Evies mate Helen flying in from Sweden for the weekend (to renew a 20 year break in meeting )….. it’s about my IQ. Already Alison has dropped off a small 5 litre peasant sacrantino into the unit along with some sweet passito Rosso in case the taste buds deteriorate overnight. The scale of provisioning is quite frightening and I can feel the weight actually pouring off the athletic frame so much so that Eveanista actually bought in a chocolate and yoghurt gelato in case I collapsed from malnutrition.

It is very hot and after getting off the traino we went into the pool …..followed by yet another pecorino proscutto,and the shocking Monterosso Sacrantino……. what is happening to these poor touristimos who only want a simple life without temptation ???

It is so hot here the sheep are going to be moved from Alison sons farm over the hills to the summer pastures which sounds simple except there is a lot of village and countryside to pass thru . It is traditional grazing rights granted to his wife’s family and there are 20 dogs that only live with the sheep to guard them from wolves ….they do not actually help as only humans move them but the sheep are attached to the dogs and cluster around them.

The farm milks the sheep twice a day and is the only provider in the lower Umbria that still is allowed to make the unpasteurised cheese and its like biting your own nuts ….something that’s individual but fantastico. We spent time in the Cinque Terre with our mate Manuel but there was a serious tourist influx and we were happy not to die of sunstroke and went north to quite exciting and new places. Walked from Monterosso to Levanto( about 3 hours) to visit Ernesto a mate of mutual friends . He has been in Oz for periods but is the most erudite and passionate
aficionado of food wine bon homme and life in general that we would all love to be around. It was with great embarrassment that we had to settle in to sample an instant array of the best Ligurian food within 5 minutes of arriving.

This did not stop there as we cruised the village sucking in history and the odd cold brew…. but it was only a precursor to the main event of arm breaking pressure to stay for dinner. Yes a lovely nasello fish on the coals …a bit of baked stuffed herbed vegetable and some Mantova garlic and wine salumi to break the breath down followed by the obligatory Botrytis Sichilliano blanc…. I am
worried about the weight I am loosing and I am going to find a real Doctor who understands my problem.

Went to Portofino to see how the seriously money encrusted lucky fukkers do it and felt quite honoured to buy a Becks Beer from the alimentari , sit on a park bench, and watch as Generalissimo big nuts sat down in his $10 million dollar boat to dine. Yes he needed to be seen or why would you park a mammoth yacht/boat in a tourist haven and set a table for 6 and dine in front of the great unwashed.

The soccer game is getting spastic ,along with my psyche, and you need real undies to be in this place as an Italiano team starts to get into full swing so going to try to escape without more damage.

Moochers from Montefalco
May 29th

In Roma after an all dayer on Monday prepping and cooking a meal for 26 Italians and the odd sprinkling of Antipodeans…… had to put a dent in the 5 litre Montefalco Rosso whilst this went on and today has been a particularly brutal exercise getting into the big fumero of Rome.

Interesting organising and provedoring for the event as had to go around the Umbrian countryside to get the goods from very particular places according to local advice. Only bread was from the road to Bastardo a forno woodfired bread…. patisseries….came from the place Leopardi and the veges from the roadside market on the way to Spoleto.

The machinations behind getting meat and trying to explain the pork collar cut for the slabs of porkey pig was cross cultural.

I knew the negotiations would be lengthy when 4 of us were invoved …Butcher , Italio mate Franco, Expat Alison all coping with translations from local dialect to Italian and my input of mimed chopping of the equivalent human areas adding to the histrionics. We had to do this crowded in the back of a store amidst the Proscuttos hanging in the ceiling which all had beards of gray penicillin growth wisping from them. Casual mention of the hams was translated into an explanation they had hung for 18 months so surely due diligence was there?

The Italian “ sheepers” came in at 8.30pm on the nite with one of the Marama wolf dogs used for guarding the lambs from the wolves ( 2 recently spotted near flocks). These guys had just finished milking the sheep and had to front up at 5pm again so were a hardy bunch and evidently still talking about the Oz tucker this morning. Cooking Oz style food was something they had never come across before and led to interesting asides. Char Sui style marinated pork neck, balsamico roasted vege… celerac, 2 types of potatoes, saffron beans, chickpeas and roasted onions. To have this all
on one plate was an alien methodology due to primi, secundo normality and nobody would eat the salad until after. In fact if the meat had not been placed on the plate they would be hesitant to have had meat with anything else. Got out the winter woollies as temps have turned down to 15 c today so we will suffer when getting to Singers tomorrow…. I wonder how Eve will like the booking in the “ Presidential Suite” at the Crowded Inn ” backpackers…. hopefully it is Flash packers but at the price maybe lucky to have electricity.
Barchee Roscoe