Dolce Far Niente

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This only happens to me in Italy. I’ve tried to practice it here in the US, but it doesn’t work. There is always something do. There are things to do in Italy too, but somehow, they aren’t so important. What is more important is sitting with a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine and just enjoying the moment.

Can’t wait to be back!

Cappuccino and the Rooftops of Rome!

DSC02995Thou shalt only drink cappuccino or any milky form of coffee in the morning, and never after a meal.

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The first time I tasted Cappuccino was in the early seventies. My mum and crazy aunt took me to Italy, Rimini to be precise. It was one of those package tours that were so popular in England back then. We stayed in the Hotel President, by Piazza Tripoli and just a couple of blocks from the beach. I’d dreamed of visiting Italy for as long as I can remember. Not sure why, but it was (and still is an obsession) of mine.

I’m at home in italy, it soothes my soul.

Now, even though I live in the US, I return as often as possible and have travelled from north to south. I have favorite cities and towns of course. Breakfast at Hotel Vittorio on the banks of Lake Garda is wonderful. An ice-cold glass of champagne overlooking the Amalfi Coast in the Beautiful Hotel Villa Maria is heavenly. Tasting wine at one of the many Tuscan Vineyards with good friends is amazing.

However, one of the most exciting, exhilarating places to drink Cappuccino, is on the rooftop of the beautiful Marriott Hotel ‘Grand Flora’ at the top of Via Veneto in Rome! One cup is not enough as you sit and anticipate the day ahead. I never tire of it and I never will.

 

Hooked on Sunsets – and Sticky Chardonnay – Rocky Mountain Sunset

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Nothing better than sitting on the deck watching the sunset while sipping a surprisingly good Australian sweet wine.

Weekend chores and wine!

It’s the weekend so why,

Do I cook, clean, shop, iron, wash, work in the yard………..yea, I know, because it’s the weekend.

Chore lady

Maybe it’s time for a glass of wine!

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Goulash, Dirty Rice and Pouilly Fume

Very cold day in Colorado, but I didn’t let it beat me, I wrapped up in several fleecy layers, and went for a walk.  So glad I did. I enjoyed the lovely winters day.  A couple of miles was all the temperatures would allow.  My face was frozen by the time I got home, but I felt better for being outside in the fresh air.

I started cooking when I got home, it’s a cooking sort of day. Hazy sunlight outside now as the sun tries to pierce the freezing mist. Quite lovely to look at.

The rice, mushrooms and french beans are in the pan along with the rice. To heck with healthy, I’m cooking them in bacon fat. Goulash is simmering and smelling fantastic. I should drink beer with this, or red wine, but there was a bottle of Pouilly Fume in the wine fridge calling my name. Who was I to argue? Happy Saturday everyone.

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These are a Few of my Favorite Things

Sitting on my deck with a glass of wine watching the sunset!
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Flowers at Richmond Castle - England 2011

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Visiting beautiful places.

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Getting together with family

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We should all do our favorite things a little more often.

Dead of July (Small)

 

 

 

 

Hyperactivity – The Crazy Brit

 

I write ghost stories in my spare time. True stories may I add. Yes I do on occasion see dead people. OK, I’m a freak, but I’m used to it.

I see dead people

I work full-time, and my job in a corporate legal department is far from a doddle . An eight-hour day is pretty unusual. I love to work in my yard. I don’t go anywhere without a camera. My passion is travelling and experimenting with different food and wines.

Socializing is a must, as is shopping.

One of the best things in life is meeting new and interesting people.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Because it’s 9:05 at night, I’ve been up since 5:30 and have just managed to sit down after pouring myself a glass of red wine to help me relax.

I laughed as I did so because I write about Paranormal Activity, when really I should be more concerned about Hyperactivity……..mine. I get worse as I get older. My brain races way ahead of my fingers and feet.

Everyone hears me laugh..A LOT.

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I love to hear other people laugh too.

Again, why am I telling you all this? No clue, I’m just wondering why the heck I have so much energy and can’t sit still without a glass of wine on the table next to me, and my trusty laptop perched in front of me.

With that out of my system, I will now work on my short story ‘Girl on the Beach’ which I will be releasing soon.

In the meantime, watch out for my very first………full length novel – ‘Dead of July’, which will make you all gasp, laugh, hold your breath and want to read more. Hoping to get it on Amazon by September, or October at the very latest. When you read it, remember this blog, and the crazy Brit who wrote it. I wish you all a long and happy life.

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Preview Dead of July

STOP TALKING TO ME

A Very Fine Restaurant and Wine Bar – Sketch

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Last night I tried this restaurant for the first time, but it won’t be the last. It was a very friendly, European style restaurant. It was extremely busy, even at six o clock. The food was excellent. We started with a shared platter of antipasto, deliciously fresh olives, prosciutto, aged gouda as well as many other tasty treats. A great way to start the meal.

The Service was a little on the slow side, but I believe they were training new staff, and did I mention how busy it was? We were in no rush, and ate a leisurely dinner, enjoying each others company.

For my main course, I had home-made gnocchi. It was to die for. The tagliatelle also looked good, as did the risotto. We shared a salad of shredded brussel sprouts. Everything was cooked simply and to perfection.

I can’t believe we drank two bottles of champagne. It was one of those nights. We wanted to celebrate life. I highly recommend this casual, friendly restaurant. If you are in the area, give it a try. If it is a Saturday night, I suggest making a reservation.

http://sketch-restaurant.com/

 

Why I LOVE the French! Train to Cannes

My first visit to France was in 1980 or 1981. I can’t remember the exact year, but it was magical. I had been married only four years and it was the first trip abroad with my husband. We got on a train in London, crossed the English Channel on a Ferry, and then boarded another train destined for the French Riviera. It was so exciting. The train itself was an adventure, with its bar and disco carriage. Have you ever tried dancing on a train?

We danced late into the night, and then slept in a ‘couchette’.  When we woke up the next morning we were served a very ‘French’ breakfast as we sat by the window viewing the French countryside for the very first time. When I first set eyes on the beautiful blue waters of the Mediterranean I was speechless. The scenery was breathtaking.

div_french_italian_04When we finally arrived in Cannes I was so excited I could barely move. Not having much money, we stayed in a moderate Bed and Breakfast. It was close to the beach with all of its style and beauty. If you look a map of the Cote d’Azur, you can see the attraction.

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We took the train to beautiful old town of Grasse, famous for its perfumeries. We wandered the streets of Cannes by day and by night. We enjoyed the food, the wine, the atmosphere, but most of all the people.

Eating was an incredible experience. On our ‘special meal’ of the vacation, the chef actually came out of the kitchen when he didn’t think that our choice of appetizer complimented our entrée. This was the first time I had ever tasted ‘bouillabaisse’. It was delicious and still my favorite French food.

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Most of our meals were not as fancy as this because we were a young married couple with a tight budget. We ate in small local restaurants, eating ‘a prix fixe’ menu, or simply buying seafood from vendors on the sea front. Fritti di Mare were delicious, tiny, deep-fried fishes and we ate them often, washed down with a cheap bottle of local wine and accompanied by French bread. Times were simple, we were young.

There was so much to take in, so much to see. I took hundreds of photographs, which I still treasure. Every night ended with a firework display, high over the harbour in Cannes. It was the perfect way to end each perfect day.

 

 

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It’s the Wine talking!

I love wine! I am prompted to write about it right now, because I am enjoying a glass of extremely good Cabernet Sauvignon from the Lodi region of the Napa Valley. It is called ‘Freakshow’ and is from Michael David Winery. Red wine helps me relax, it helps me sleep. I believe it’s good for my soul.

Very good wine

Very good wine

Red wine tastes better when poured into a beautiful tulip shaped crystal glass. My husband spoils and buys Irish Crystal glasses for birthdays and Christmas, and I really appreciate them. I am drinking from one now.

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Collecting lovely glasses has become a hobby for me (as well as photography and writing). I have Champagne flutes, Champagne bowls (did I mention champagne is my favorite tipple), red wine goblets, crystal glasses for white wine, and I use every single one of them. Life is too short not to drink good wine from beautiful glasses.

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I prefer dry wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and sometimes a good Pinot Grigio, but if I had to choose a wine that both my husband (who prefers sweet wines) and I could drink, it would have to be this one. We discovered it whilst having dinner in Cafe Diva in Steamboat Springs. We asked for a wine sweet enough for my husband to enjoy, but not to sweet for me. The owner of the restaurant got it just right!

If you venture to Steamboat Springs, you absolutely must enjoy dinner in Cafe Diva, one of the best restaurants in Colorado.CIMG1132

So this really has been a wine ramble, but it’s my blog and I am allowed to ramble if I so desire.

I will take another sip of my wonderful ‘Freakshow’ and then maybe go to bed.

Cheers!

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