Print Story Attn: Italian Infidels!
By Breaker (Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 07:11:21 AM EST) (all tags)
Many thanks for your recent hospitality of the family and I.

Your men are friendly and courteous, your women graceful and charming.

And if I wasn't already married, I'd have proposed to every chef that fed me.

Also, for the endless schoolboy laughs I got everytime I saw "fagioli" on the menu.

10 days in Salo, on Lake Garda, with my parents, MBW's parents and MiniBreaker.

What could go wrong?

Very little, as it happens.  The olds got on well, although I discovered my father in law is a committed big state Socialist, a man made climate change believer and incapable of holding any decent quantity of wine.

I also discovered that my own father very nearly joined the Communist party when he was young.  Oh, the shame.

We made a point of trying to sample as many of the local style food and drink as we could, and it was indeed most agreeable.  The wines we had were very nice, and the pasta was incredible.

Polenta doesn't really go down too well in the heat; it was done well but I think it'd be nicer in the winter months.  The local salami's were damned fine though, especially the chilli peppered one.  Even though we took a punt on many of the restaurants we ate in, we never had a bad meal at all.  Every meal we ate was done very, very well.  I don't know how the Italians stay so skinny on meals that consist of starter, primo piatti, secondi piatti then dessert though.

Driving a 7 seater people carrier on Italian roads, on the wrong side of the road in rush hour is indeed an intense experience.

The place we stayed in was incredible.  Very, very old (circa 1550 I think), well restored and modernised.

This is what you see walking into the place:

And the ceiling to the staircase:

Also went to the Arena in Verona - fucking impressive.  The place has stood through war, earthquakes and hundreds of years.  I wish I had a plastic sword with which to stand in the centre of it and salute an imaginary emperor.

MiniBreaker loved having 4 doting grandparents fussing her all day; but last night when she was due for a bath she was getting fretful whenever I left the room to check the water level / temperature or get towels ready.  Probably too used to there being a pair of willing arms to hold her over the last couple of weeks.

We also suspect that she's not far off teething; can't see or feel anything on her gums as yet but the chew toy she has got a battering.  Her vocalisation is getting very cute with gurgles, high pitched yodelling and lots of giggling getting the grandparents eyes crinkling.

But for her Dad, the single greatest moment was this:

Not yet 5 months and making a rockfist.  My daughter is metal to the core.

And so, back to blighty, marred only by MBW's parents getting on the train to the wrong airport (Verona Airport rather than Verona Brescia airport, also known as Montechiari airport and two other names), getting fined 50 euros a pop on the train for not validating their tickets, then 90 euros in a mad cab ride to the correct airport.

I am never flying Ryanair again if I can help it though.  My mum walks with a stick, my wife with a baby and me carrying a pram - was there any assistance with any of the above?  I leave that as an exercise to the reader.

Holiday diary ends, BreakerMatic diary begins; Labour apologists look away now

For fucks sake, are Nu Labia trying to lose this next election completely or what?  This new ISA database - the "paedophile unless proven otherwise" plan is surely the last straw for not only middle England but for the rest of us too.

Gordon "Texture Like Debt" Brown has been further vacillating and hiding over the Lockerbie bomber, despite an hourlong dressing down by St Obama.  The mission to rescue that fuckwit journalist was his idea when the special forces brought the journalist out, then it was all Bob Ainsworthless when it transpired that a soldier and interpreter were killed in the rescue.

Lord Mandy of Fondlebun and Boys was caught out totally lying through his back teeth by Toenails Robinson, of all people, and emerged as one of Britains most hated politicians.  And the public voted that "virtually anyone" would do a better job as PM than Gordon "Texture Like Debt" Brown.

Unsurprising as he's now accepted that there have to be cuts.  But these won't be evil baby eating Tory cuts, these'll be Labour cuts which are of course far more benign cuts.

Farrago steps down as UKIP leader to contest Red Tory Berk-cow's seat in the next GE; I really do hope he wins.  Not because I have much time for him but Bercow is a complete knobend.

Tony Bliar fingered for not being in UKia for much of the time; using that 90 days wisely to claim non-dom status and freedom from Gordon "Texture Like Debt" Brown's 50% taxation policy perhaps?

Speculation that Gordon "Texture Like Debt" Brown is indeed suffering from mental issues seem to be dying down now; I wonder if any of the spineless cretins in the HoC will have the nads to openly ask him if he is on strong medication though?

Did I miss any in the last 10 days at all?

Ah, that's worked off the holiday relaxation nicely; give me a couple of days and I'll be back to apoplectic rage again.

260 more days to go under this benighted "government of all the talents".

< scenes of canada | The Economist Magazine >
Attn: Italian Infidels! | 26 comments (26 topical, 0 hidden)
(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 07:43:46 AM EST

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I love polenta by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 07:48:02 AM EST
So easy to make, so versatile. Essentially, anything you do with pasta you can do with polenta.

Except that you can also fry it up and pour maple syrup over it for breakfast, like pancakes.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

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We always called that by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #13 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 09:34:22 AM EST
corn meal mush.

Cooked, cooled, sliced, fried. Butter & maple syrup.

I remember the first time I saw polenta. "That's just mush," I thought.

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(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 12:20:22 PM EST

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Mush by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 12:26:00 PM EST
Mush is common in the midwest where I grew up (it's mostly a German settled area). I've never seen mush in New England, but have seen polenta everywhere. Then again, New England has huge Italian enclaves. (Boston North End, for example.)

For some reason I thought polenta was Spanish. Is that wrong?

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(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 12:30:21 PM EST

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I couldn't make head nor tail of it either by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 08:18:20 AM EST
Tickets said "Verona-Brescia", all the road signs were "Montechiari".  Very confusing, but I suppose the locals know what each other is on about; it's just tourists that get confused.

The polenta I had was served with a couple of chops of veal (IIRC) and a wine-mushroom sauce.  It was much, much nicer than any polenta I have had over here.  Which is admittedly not a huge sample, but still.

Verona - I was just preparing to lift the pram up a couple of steps when one of the local lads ran down the stairs, gave me a nod and lifted the front of the pram for me.  Then nodded again and disappeared into the crowd before I could thank him properly.  So, polite neonazis, at least.

We did have the various abodes of Mussolini pointed out to us on a boat trip.  And as far as evil dictator lairs go, a big old place on the shorefront of Lake Garda is pretty good going. 

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(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 09:22:10 AM EST

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Lessons learned from Ryanair by me0w (4.00 / 3) #2 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 07:46:26 AM EST
Don't fly with your pimp stick, don't have babies, and don't have prams.

Clearly Ryanair should receive some sort of award! (except for the pimp stick part - I mean, that's kinda fun)

"Pimp stick"? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 08:19:52 AM EST

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old man. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 09:26:33 AM EST

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I can't believe I'm doing this ... by me0w (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 10:16:18 AM EST
Oh my! by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 11:00:30 AM EST
I learned a new thing today, but I am not happy about it!

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The NYT had an article to that effect by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 09:50:22 AM EST
"No! Go away."

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

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<ignores politics> by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 08:12:08 AM EST
I love Italy. Great food, great art (even if it is a bit old), and the people are great too. They share our sense of humour more than anyone else in Europe, which makes communication without knowing each others' languages easier I reckon.

I want to go back soon, I'd like to visit Florence.

It's political correctness gone mad!

Yes by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 08:21:01 AM EST
The people really had time for each other, I think. 

I am definitely going to Rome in the next couple of years.  What's the attraction in Florence?

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Art and history by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 08:26:28 AM EST
It was the centre of the Renaissance, whereas Rome is more your ancient Roman stuff.

It's political correctness gone mad!

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Not quite into the art so much by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 09:17:54 AM EST
But give me big old buildings and artifacts and I'm chuffed to bits.  I'd love to see some of Da Vinci's fantastical machine drawings.

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I'm going to rome next week. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #12 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 09:28:03 AM EST
I've just read through about 1000 years of history of the city, and I've gotten up to 70 AD.

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(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 3) #14 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 09:36:41 AM EST

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I like both really by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 10:21:54 AM EST
Though I err on the arts side.

Fingers crossed I'm going to visit Egypt and the MOTHERFUCKING PYRAMIDS early next year. Now that beats the crap out of art.

It's political correctness gone mad!

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(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #20 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 10:27:16 AM EST

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/jealous by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #22 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 11:01:17 AM EST
Egypt is also on the list.  Please to be taking photographs of everything when you go!

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Oh yes by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 11:03:58 AM EST
It's only a maybe at the moment, but momentum is building...

It's political correctness gone mad!

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What an awesome vacation! by R343L (4.00 / 1) #15 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 09:40:46 AM EST
Perhaps being all family-ified isn't so bad. :)


"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

It was good by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 10:04:29 AM EST
Can't wait for the next one though!

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Attn: Italian Infidels! | 26 comments (26 topical, 0 hidden)