Posts Tagged ‘marzamemi’
Damn I really need to blog more – instead of aimlessly surfing the internet at lunch, I need to get some blogs in 🙂
I mean, in the last few weeks I’ve been to a BBQ out in the country, watched timetrials for a rally, watched a local Palio in Cesaró, been to Marzamemi, checked out places for a reception near Catania… oh, and wrote a bloody big report for Open Uni (at least 2 hours every night! Thanks Sonia!).
Help, I’m too busy to blog!!
Also too busy for Flickr, I’ve taken several hundred photos and haven’t found the time to post one to Flickr!
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Sonia has posted a beautiful photo of Marzamemi – taken outside the old church (bombed in WWII) this photo shows the renovation of the old piazza. Sonia remembers when it was all overgrown and was one of the main roads in the village – now it’s (mostly) pedestrianised and at nighttime it’s full of people and kids just walking about, sitting at the outdoor cafes etc.
The arch in the background is an aquaduct for bringing water from a well inside the church to the palace next door.
After Ignazio went to all that work getting the house in Marzamemi ready for my family to stay in, it’s only fair that he should get something back for it. So he’s going to start renting it out for August.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s a long overdue step. The place is big enough for 10 people! Seriously, with 5 family members, Sonia and I, Sonia’s sister and her mother – no problemo. Right on the main street, but around the corner from all the bars and market stalls, so it’s not completely overwhelmed by the crowd walking around.
Probably be cheap too, as it’s the first time it’s getting rented. Hopefully with the money that brings in, Sonia will be able to plan implement some ideas that she has.
Come to think of it, if anyone’s reading this and needs a place in Marzamemi… sean.casaidhe at gmail is the guy to email! 🙂
Saturday afternoon, pack the bags, pile into the car, collect Sonia on the way, and Marzamemi here we come. 3 hours later and we’re heading to the beach to catch the last rays of the day, while Nuccia and Ignazio work on something for dinner (something? First course of pasta, second of breaded steaks, followed up by a big cake for my birthday last week). Suitably stuffed to the gills, Sonia and I work it off by a leisurely stroll around the piazza and the Balleto – several times. That’s something I still don’t get, strolling for the sake of strolling, to be seen and to see… but Sonia loves it, so I go along arm in arm, round and round and round…
It’s quite relaxing actually, just strolling with nowhere to go and nothing urgent to do. I could get used to this.
Been a while since I wrote anything in here as it’s been a mad few
weeks. I’ve been in Dublin every week for a few days, working with a
client to deliver a new system for managing the back-office procedures.
Every Sunday, Sonia dropped me off at the airport in Palermo to catch
the 9pm flight to Stanstead, where I would find a quiet niche to get
some sleep in my bag, before waking up at 4am to get through security
while it was still quiet, and then catch some more sleep on a bench
airside, before finding the gate and waiting for the flight.
got to Dublin, I’d get the bus into town, head into work, get a shower,
shave, and change into the obligatory suit, and head off the the
client’s offices for a full days’ work. At least the client gave me a
voucher to eat in their canteen – man I haven’t had that many roast
dinners in 1 week since leaving EuroConex, where trips to the Silver
Tassie were an almost daily occurrance at times.
Thursday it was the 9pm flight back to Stanstead, another overnighter,
another early-morning flight, this time back to Palermo, then straight
into work with the inevitable hung-over post-Ryanair feeling.
as soon at 18:30 rolled around, it was into the car and off to
Marzamemi to relax and recharge!
Anyway, back in Sicily now so here’s hoping everything returns to normal.
Working on a Sunday on a Bank Holiday weekend. That sucks, right?
Well it should do – but it doesn’t. That’s largely because I’m working over VPN and Remote Desktopping on a virtual PC hosted in the Dublin office! But what’s new? That’s my daily grind.
Well, I’m not in the office, I’m in Marzamemi.
No, not here! I’m sitting in the cortile at the back of Sonia’s house. We’ve cleaned up all the weeds and set up a little table for my laptop, and here I am, shaded by a big fig tree and my biggest worries are the slow connection, the bloody mosquitoes, and how much food Ignazio is going to try to stuff me with at lunch!
Sonia has a post about how fantastic Marzamemi used to be when she was young, and how the old house is getting a bit run-down, with no-one in it from one end of the year to the next. We spent all of Saturday cleaning it up (the downstairs at least, the upstairs belongs to her uncle). Ignazio had to get a couple of guys in during the week to repair some of the walls due to salt damp, as Marzamemi is below sea level and the old houses here are built of some sort of sandy-concrete concoction. Then her parents arrived with Erika and a couple of new mattresses for the beds, and so this morning I’m free to get on with some work that’s waiting for me in Dublin.
That’s what I call a work-life balance!
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Just back from Modica, where they were having the Palio della Contea, a festival. It’s a good distance from Marzememi to Modica, and the roads aren’t great, so it was a long trip, especially for Sonia who was driving.
Modica itself is another city which was largely rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake, and thus is hugely important for it’s Baroque architecture, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. But we weren’t there for the architecture (I’ve had enough Baroque in Noto, thanks!), but rather the Palio, which has it’s origins in the battles between Roger II and the Arabs in the 13th century, and basically is a bunch of horsemen with lances racing up and down a course, collecting rings which are attached to points along the way. The horseman with the most rings and the fastest time wins.
Modica has the honour of having served me the worst food I’ve ever eaten in Sicily – some sort of foglia with mushrooms which looked and tasted like a sheaf of Kleenex that’s been dipped in mushroom soup. I threw mine away but Sonia was hungry and ate all of her’s, which she regretted later when she started feeling ill! However on the good side, Modica boasts a unique type of chocolate, all crumbly and full of cocoa crystals. Not the sort of chocolate you’d eat like a Mars Bar, but the sort that you’d nibble on one piece after dinner as a desert. Fanstastic.
The failing light caused problems for me (dusk is fast in Sicily) and I’m still struggling with the new camera, so I don’t have a lot of good shots of the initial parade (a bunch of young people dressed up as medieval nobility and others carrying flags or playing music), and then a parade of the horsemen (about 20 in all) with attendent groomsmen, also all dressed up medieval style. I do have a few good shots of that, we’ll see what I load up to Flickr.
And after that, the tournament began – one by one, the horsemen entered the course, picked up their lance, and were off, racing full tilt down the course. Luckily I was quite near one of the rings, and near enough to a second, so I was able to snap some images with lots of movement. I didn’t notice at first that the rings got smaller as the competitor went along, with the first ring being the biggest and the last (15 in all) being the smallest. All good fun but after 15 riders, I got a bit bored and Sonia and I took off for the end of the course where there was a turning circle, in the hope of snapping some action shots there, but the crowd was 10 deep so we gave up and went off to get some chocolate and get back to Marzamemi before it got too late.