Posts Tagged ‘australian’

Untouched Puglia – a little slice of Italian heaven

September 25, 2011

Growing up, the Italians living in my hometown always said that Perth weather was very similar to the Italian Mediterranean climate. I never really believed them and after travelling to Milan and Tuscany I still couldn’t see the similarities.

Then I went to Puglia. Located in the heel of the Italian boot, the region borders the Adriatic Sea and therefore is south enough to have agreeable temperatures all year round.

Similar to the Aussie bush but with ancient stone instead of billabongs

Puglia has a diverse history, being ruled by Ancient Greece, the Romans, the Byzantines and the Normans in various points in time. Visiting the town of Ostuni, this history can be seen in the architecture. The white washed walls remind me of Greece yet strong Roman influences can also be seen in the pillars and arches that surround the town square.

White-washed walls are reminiscent of Greek architecture

Of course, none of this reminded me of Australia, but the environment sure did. The nearby beach was very clean for European standards
and virtually deserted which made a change from the usual ritual of fighting for a space to lay your towel.

Deserted beach on the Puglia coast

The food is inspired by the region and the seafood was the freshest I’ve tasted since moving from Australia to London nearly three years ago.

Straight out of the sea

We stayed in a villa called Impisi. Built by a British couple, they embraced their natural surroundings, constructing the guest rooms out of ancient limestone rock found on the property. Both artists, the pair have decorated the grounds with sculptures and mosaics; whilst making sure the design remained true to the area’s interesting history.

A sculpture within the villa's garden

Sitting on the roof terrace of our villa, you could see Ostuni in the south and the ocean in the north. The garden is dotted with olive trees and cacti, plants that grow in abundance in the Swan Valley region of Western Australia – the similarities were apparent.

Plants that need little water are suited to the hot climes

The villa’s pool seems as though it has been carved out of the natural limestone in the ground, giving the effect of a rock pool that you might find at the beach rather than a manmade swimming hole in the middle of an olive grove.

The view of the pool from our room

A very relaxing trip in inspiring surroundings, I’m surprised I managed to do what I came to do – write! Stay posted for my Italian short story.

As for Puglia – I can’t wait to go back!

'Impisi' Villa

To check out how the villa was built, watch this episode of Grand Designs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6VPZKlDTaM

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Robin Williams calls us bogans and Ruddy hits back!

March 31, 2010

You're looking pretty bogan yourself there Robin!

Robin Williams has poked fun at Aussies on the Dave Letterman Show in the US, calling us ‘English rednecks’. Ruddy, the Aussie Prime Minister, took offence and hit back saying that perhaps Williams should go to Alabama and learn about rednecks before he calls us one.

Personally, I think his skit was funny – you can watch it below. Obviously he’s just taking the piss and it was meant in a light-hearted manner, not for people to get offended. His Aussie accent is pretty good too!

He calls us a pack of pommy bogans, but to be honest, poms are often bogan in the first place! Although I do remember when I first told my parents I was moving to the UK, my mum remarked, “Great! You’ll learn the true art of conversation!” Obviously she didn’t believe I could pick up ‘the art of conversation’ from good ol’ Perth from my mates whose speech involves a slang or shortened word in each sentence.

When I was a teenager, my parents were forever on my back, correcting my grammar and telling me to ‘speak properly’. They are from old Rhodesia, where people spoke ‘proper’ English – it was more posh than England most of the time, it seems!

I remember when my mum’s best friend met my boyfriend for the first time. She said he was the first Australian she’d met with proper manners!

So, is Robin Williams right? Are we just a bunch of bogans who can’t speak properly and run around with a ball in a g-string? Or should he have some more respect about for sunny nation?

British meat

December 3, 2009

I really don’t want to start my blog off with a rant, but I have a feeling it cannot be avoided. I often get slagged off at work for so-called ‘British bashing’. Don’t get me wrong, I love living here, but I also love to whinge (something I feel I have picked up from the poms).

And whinge I will because last night I bought steak from Sainsburys. The packet informed me that the expiry date for the meat was the 7th of December, in five day’s time. I took it home to make Irish stew, only to discover when I opened the container that the meat was brown. What is with that? Surely, if it still had nearly a week left before its used by date, why was it already going off?

This never happened to me before in Australia, whereas it is happening almost weekly over here. Can someone explain to me why Australian meat is so much fresher? I thought England had cows too, right?