I'm Tamsin Hickson, I live on an olive farm in Le Marche in Central Italy with my husband, sons, father, cats, dog, chickens, ducks (until Christmas).

recipes

  • Penne al profumo di primavera penne-primavera

    This means literally scent of spring. The finely chopped vegetables cooked for about twenty minutes form the basis of the sauce. Just before serving the fresh mozarella, basil and chopped tiny tomatoes are mixed in, making this a fragrant and tasty meal, perfect for spring. Use between 100 and 250grams of dried short pasta [...]

Italian

  • Not Naples not-naples

    Well, I am not in Naples but Sam is, lucky boy. This is the time of year when schools all over Italy bus coachloads of happy children from side of the country to the other, to enjoy wild times on the coach and ignore every shred of culture offered up to them. One of the [...]

making things

  • Sketchbook venetian-sketchbook

    Many years ago I used to paint regularly, now I just do it on holiday. I found this little folding sketchbook in Venice a few years ago and have slowly filled it up with sketches, mostly drawn whilst waiting for yet another delicious platter of seafood to be placed in front of me. It is [...]

Optical illusion

piazza santa stefano

Last weekend we drove to Bologna, the car packed to the roof with enough tomato passata, jams and assorted food stuffs to feed a small army for a month or three students for a fortnight. (Actually Sam shares his flat with four other people, but two of them are girls, who doubtless rarely eat jam).

Aldo and I hung out in my favourite square, the Piazza di Santa Stefano, at the Caffe Sette Chiese. He was stationed in Bologna for eight months during military service, and his stories of that time are so full of fun times and nights out that I suspect they had little time to suffer hardship, let alone do much marching. bar dei 7 chiese

Back in June Jasper and I spent a day in Bologna helping Sam move house. While I threw away empty bottles and scrubbed floors Sam drove his things to the new place, a total of four trips. A month later we received four traffic fines: he had driven on a bus-only lane for a distance of 50 metres. With this in mind we approached the drive into Bologna with some trepidation. Our hotel offered parking and a day’s travel permit but knowing how difficult it is to spot the signs regarding bus lanes and other dangers, we carefully followed their instructions on entering the city only to find the main road closed halfway. We turned off, got lost a few times, and finally found our way back to the station. Then, seconds too late, Sam said from the back of the car “I think we’re getting to that bit of road….!” It reminded me of my favourite gag in Bugs Life: ”Don’t look at the light!”optical illusion

The cobblestones from the Piazza sometimes look concave, sometimes convex. Perhaps the police of Bologna will look at their photograph of four frozen fearful faces snapped through the windscreen of our car and say “Not them, again! It must be an optical illusion.”

 

2 comments to Optical illusion

  • Alex M-Mason

    I can’t think why I haven’t subscribed to your bloggings till this moment! I dip in from time to time – and always have such pleasure getting these gently humorous, insights into your life in Italy…
    You really have such a talent (one of so many!) for writing. Some of your other talents are very much part of my life – Your painting hangs on the wall in our bedroom, your silver earrings and bracelet (fishy ones) come out for special occasions, and happy memories of evenings spent in the back row of the altos at the HCS make me smile. I wish I could see you (and Sam and Jasper) again – and meet Aldo too. Travel becomes more difficult but I haven’t given up hope, though doubtful if it’ll be 2014. Looking forward to future blogs and, in the meantime will catch up with the ones I’ve missed in your archive. X

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