Maremma

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Tail-tongued

It’s been a while since I joined any of Cee’s challenges and it’s time to amend this. I guess I can’t resist a tail and a tongue.

A tail

Talamone

A tongue

Talamone

All together

Piran, Slovenia

Photo: a © signature mmm production

Another pair of tail and tongue on my new blog.

For:

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Benvenuti in Toscana! Now get washed at 40

The task at hand: lure Badfish, and everybody, to Tuscany.

Wherever you go around here, there is a direction board pointing to Terme Saturnia. This alone could tell you that it is something special, but not exactly how special. If you don’t mind a bit of sulphur in the air. Even though the latest visitor said: “What a nice smell!” For the curious: The chemical make-up of the water is sulphur, carbon, sulphate, bicarbonate-alkaline, earth, with the presence of hydrogen sulphide gas and carbon dioxide.

Murky water

He appeared all of a sudden from the depths.

I’ve been a few times but have never seen it as empty. The lady was in luck.

She was pleased too. 🙂

The images in this post, taken two weeks ago (except for my uncle), show a part of the Terme that is free to visit and bathe in. There is quite a huge free parking space and one very easy-going bar that has refreshments, toilets and showers for a fee. There is no other infrastructure.

What there is is one hot stream, at 37.5°C (99.5.°F), that after a waterfall forms little pools and flows away almost a river. There is also the official spa a bit further up the road but I have no experience with it, neither do any of my visitors.

The experience is very relaxing, and right now especially eye-pleasing since the field opposite is lush green. And nobody chases dogs away either.

Since my uncle knows all this already, he is coming over right this minute.

And to round it up, a little funny story from the day of the shooting, April 27. It was about 6 pm. All day long I kept hearing compatriots, first in Siena then in the Abbey of St. Antimo and finally in Saturnia, which happened for the first time in three years. Slovenians are unobtrusive like that. Must have been an agency trip, even though I saw some bikers as well.

The girl in the images below comes swimming by.

Unaware that everybody (well, three of us + bestia) can understand her, she exclaims in the dialect of my hometown: “Don’t you know it, in Ljubljana there is 10 cm of snow and it keeps falling heavily! Na polno!”.

Which is how we first learnt of the latest “NATO weather manipulation”. If you believe it.

P.S.: I’ll tag Badfish so that Google will have even more hits to display, hihi.

Photo: a © signature mmm production

WPC: The Earth brings forth by itself

The sentence in the title is from my university translation exam. The images are from around here and wider Maremma, taken in the last two weeks, and the photo above is from Terme Saturnia, the true Earth wonder.

The sentence was in Slovenian (“Zemlja poraja sama od sebe.”), and we had to translate it into English. We were allowed dictionaries but advised against the practical little green two-way dictionary as it was not deemed quality enough. As it is, it was exactly there that I found the collocation to bring forth. The professor was mightily pleased.

And I am pleased when my eye rests on these earthy colours.

Photo: a © signature mmm production

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Earth

MM 3-2: Monochrome Madness on my way

My this week’s contribution to Leanne’s Monochrome Madness challenge was shot just around the corner, on my daily walk to the station.

And here it is in colour as shot, since I don’t view things around me like a dog (or is it just a fable that they can’t see green?). Not that it’s anything wrong with that. But boy, are they missing out.

Photo: a © signature mmm production

For Leanne Cole’s MM 3-1: Monochrome Madness

WPC: Dinnertime, children

There was the subject of cook for another challenge not so long ago, so today let me concentrate on the places where we also eat when we don’t eat at home, even though there are some photos from there as well. More info in the captions. Buon appetito!

Photo: a © signature mmm production

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Dinnertime

Year 3 Anno Domini

Three years ago today my prince in a dark Ford snatched me away from everything I’d known, together with most of my belongings, and delivered me from Slovenia to the south of Tuscany where I’ve stayed till this day. You who were willing to bet that I’d return quickly, I wonder how many cases of whiskey this makes by now.

We kept cramming the car. So many boxes and bags. Slowly packing and waiting for amore I was sure that I had too much stuff to fit in the car. Therefore I packed winter stuff separately. After all, I was southbound. And it’s true – from April to November there is no need for socks, let alone anything else.

Highway stop near Trieste showing the first stage of our travel and the directions of winds. We are headed to where libeccio blows.

When amore told me via skype to measure my round table that I kept on my porch, which I’d already called “Tuscany table” much earlier than any talk of Tuscany was born, I didn’t have any measuring tape at hand so I took an A4 paper sheet and measured it with that. After that I had to google the measurements of an A4 sheet. I forwarded the results to amore and he proclaimed that the table is too broad to fit in the car by the palm of his hand (10 cm).

When he arrived and saw the situation with his own eyes, he immediately knew that the table would easily fit. It turned out that I’d been wrong in my calculation for exactly 10 cm. But by then I’d already said goodbye to the table in my mind. It is poor form to take the Tuscany table all the way to Tuscany.

As we were cramming the car, with back seats folded, I could not help but admire how much space there was. Everything fit: all my boxes and bags, even the winter stuff. We put my orchid in as well. Must be a potted plant when moving, I saw it in American films.

Orchid at the end of the road after much dust had been raised.

And in the end, since the car still seemed half full, I pushed my office chair in as well. (The orchid died a while ago, whereas in the chair I’m sitting right now.)

And off we went. Actually, it was me behind the wheel so we can’t call it whisking away. And I drove all the way to Florence, about 480 km, where he took over for the remaining two hours and a half.

Finally in new home: our volcano (nah) and the ford which could do it all.

And now? In a sense, it is still exactly like it was three years ago: I’m happy, not too homesick (especially since I visit about three times a year and I’ve got visitors even more often), exploring my surroundings, taking it easy. And yet it is completely different too: a few months after my arrival we got bestia, which changes everything and now I can’t even imagine not having him.

The first things I have unpacked in my new home. The framed photo is of one of the three dogs that our family brought up by the bottle. The story of how we found them is touching and you can find it in my blog if you are lucky (hint: it was posted in March last year).

Okay, I know a bit more Italian now (here I’ve written about my early language learning). Enough to explain to the vet any trouble, and defend myself when people think I don’t understand them. I find it typical that the words I use most often are allora, va bene, eccolo, and my favourite, tutto a posto.

So here I am, 260 photo folders later (not to count the photos but there are a LOT), with two years of blogging behind me (and one year on FB!), with red painted nails, on my hands too (!), with an e-reader (and I was SO against them!) but also with many new books, and with newly acquired taste for melanzane, zucchini and this fruit:

I took this photo on the day of my arrival, thinking – how cute, tomatoes are indeed considered fruit here: they put them in the fruit bowl! Then I saw the skull and bones, chuckled at the thought of my theory that natives let the settlers have all the plants from the nightshade family forgetting to inform them they were poisonous, and ran to take the photo.

Little did I know that in no time at all I’d learn to enjoy the best ragu, melanzane parmigiana (which is a COMPLETELY RED DISH, something I used to run away from) and pasta with tuna in tomato sauce. The only thing I (still) don’t eat are raw tomatos in salad. And cetrioli. Too much chlorophyll. 😀

In short, it’s been good for me here, and I’ve been good for it (that is to say he and him, well, bestia is alright too). There is no reason why it shouldn’t continue to be just so. Grazie per tutto!

First photo shoot on the roof in 2013.

(And you who had to say in the typically Slovenian malevolent, down-putting, jinxing, jealous manner how you were willing to bet that this wouldn’t last and that I’d return in no time – beware that I don’t return for real if only to collect those cases of whiskey you owe me by now.)

As the poet Rade Šerbedžija says (I’ve translated the entire poem here):

we are still here
we have yet to be scattered by beasts

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈

You and me – best of all worlds. 🙂

Photo: a © signature mmm production

SL-WEEK 38: Yellow WordPress

Sylvain said that he would be gone and we had two weeks to deliver our yellow pages. And I thought, ahh, that’s a long time.

Alas, just like in school, even the longest time passes. He is back with a new theme, and I’m stuck with so many yellow photos gathered! Let me post them anyway, even if late.

I think this is the longest gallery on my blog. Yellow is my blog’s background colour, after all, and the colour of the wall in my bedroom. Location info is in the captions.

Photo: a © signature mmm production

For Sylvain Landry’s SL-WEEK 38: Yellow

WPC: Future wave

Today marks one year since I joined my first photo challenge. It was Weekly Photo Challenge and the subject was Afloat. After that, and joining some other challenges, my blog was much less lonely. Today is a good day then to see what the future brings.

It was a lovely if a bit windy day in south Tuscany. Visitors were clearly plotting and gathering evidence.

Ninja half has just assumed position, possibly to consider future actions.

Until the moment when…

The only thing one can really be sure of is the 7th wave.

Photo: a © signature mmm production

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Future

Three years of bestia

Our companion Fonzie a.k.a bestia celebrates his third birthday today! It has become the tradition that for each his birthday the past year is presented calendar-style, one photo of him for each month, starting with last April.

Yes, he is named after Fonzie from “Happy Days” which, however, I was never able to watch as it didn’t air on Slovenian television. But Italians all seem to know who he is and agree that they look a bit similar. Well done, G., for naming him!

Today he will meet his ‘friend’ Angie-the-cat again. Maybe she will even play with him just a little, as a present.

Live long and prosper, bestia!

Photo: a © signature mmm production

I’ve been sitting on these for a month and now they will serve as a suitable land-escape. They happened when we reached the top of Castiglione della Pescaia and looked down. The sea colour is natural and the clouds said they would contribute. Sometimes this is all it takes.

Photo: a © signature mmm production

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Landscape

Thursday Doors, March 31

Today I take you to the town that by a strange and unforeseen strike of fortune for almost three years now I call home.

I don’t live in the old town itself, but it is up there, on the hill, looking down on me with its many many doors. Today let’s concentrate on knockers and close-ups.

Photo: a © signature mmm production

For Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors challenge.