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Canny lass

Going places, meeting people

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If, like me, you often have time to kill in strange places like hotels and airports wouldn't it be nice to meet up with a friend for a coffee and a natter just to help pass the time?

Are you contemplating a visit to some far flung (or not so far flung, as the case may be), foreign country for holiday or for business? Maybe somebody here lives in that country, or has at least visited it, and would be able to offer tips and advice on local customs, food, or places to visit? Maybe you just want to ask a 'silly' question like do I need to bring my own toilet paper or maybe they would like to meet up just to get a bit of news from home or hear the North East 'twang' again?

This could be the first stop for you! Post your travel plans, ask for advice on places to visit, things to do and things to see or simply arrange to hook up for a chat. This could even lead to a couch surfing network, who knows!

As a starter, I'm at a relatively loose end in Bedlington, Tuesday and Wednesday (9-10 Feb) next week and will probably spend the evening in the Red Lion. It would be nice to meet any of you who are in the area. Do pop in and say hello if your passing that way. I'll Place a rolled up copy of an unmentionable newspaper on the table in front of me. Of course, there may be a chance , or a risk (depending on how you view things) that you encounter the odd intellectual discussion - this is the Red Lion and I am known for my enquiring mind! Favourite topics of conversation with me, just now, are: How many fish must there be before you can call it a shoal? How fast does a caravan go? Mickey Mouse: spherical or flat ears?

Wednesday 11 feb, I have 3½ hours to kill in Amsterdam. Anybody about between 12 and 3 in the afternoon?

 

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I'd probably enjoy that, Malcolm. I have a funeral to attend in Whitley bay at 2.15 and if time permits I'll be there.

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Thanks Malcolm! I really believe that this is the way to go. Children are an extremely underestimated Group in society today. I also believe that getting them involved in community  development at an early age, as this and the BiB Project do, will do a great deal to reduce the problems we have with the teenage population in future years. I don't think we will see dramatic results in the very  immediate future but this idea is long term planning at it's best. By including children in this way we are taking the first steps in teaching them that life is not all about 'getting' it's also about 'giving', thatl ife is not just about having 'rights', it's also about having 'responsibilities' and it doesn't harm them to learn about simple budgeting either, that everything we want isn't always possible to get whether that be on a personal or a Community level..

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See you in the Red Lion Canny Lass

Maybe Tuesday or Wednesday night.

Let us know the night and time.

Possibly Tuesday!

 

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Right so Canny Lass says the 

paper is the journal and she will

see us in The Lion at eight o clock

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The young people who spoke at the meeting at the Community did a great job Malcolm.

Their presentation and ideas were sensible and they did not forget to praise Bedlington and celebrate what is already here .

When faced with delays to a skateboard park that was promised they were positive and showed all the adults how things could be done.

Maybe keeping them informed about developments would help. After all by the time the NCC develop the Market Place many of these young people will have left for further education.

They were challenged on where they spend their money. They answered truthfully .

One young person started by saying something is better than nothing.

A truly simple statement that holds a universal truth for us all

 

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Sicily! Anybody been there? Things to do? Places to visit? Food? Customs? Weather just now?

First visit and I only have a week but I also have transport. All tips appreciated.

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1 hour ago, Canny lass said:

Sicily! Anybody been there? Things to do? Places to visit? Food? Customs? Weather just now?

First visit and I only have a week but I also have transport. All tips appreciated.

Been?!! :D  We'll yes I have, but it has changed a tiny bit since.  I'm still waiting for the Messina Bridge (local joke)!

Just at the moment it's pretty warm (for Northern Europeans) in the Southern Med but the temperatures fall fairly rapidly after sunset when the skies are clear - which is mostly. Take something warmer for night time. The real ramp up in temperatures isn't really until late'ish June.  The winter has been far far wetter than average so things look a lot greener to a local eye than usual, but the farmers like this a lot. First crop of the year of citrus is doing nicely (there are two growing seasons for a lot of things and even the cacti can struggle in August).

I hope you like seafood!  If not you'll get by nicely providing you make this very clear: "niente mare". The town you are staying in will warn you that theirs is the only one not run by the Mafia, you should smile and thank them because all towns actually believe this, and believe the worst about their neighbours.  They do not speak Italian in the South so it's pretty pointless trying to learn anything but the basics from locals.  English will do just fine unless you are addressing someone over 40 or not in trade or authority.  Never ask "Parla Inglese" though as the answer will almost always be a frightened stare (it's standing up in class time all over again) or a non; just speak very slowly; they may respond in dialect but they will generally understand you or have enough English to say what they don't understand. Failing that it's generally phone a friend time (for them)! :)

Don't forget to bring plenty of your visiting cards to hand out to (illegal) immigranti. ;) It's now a lucrative industry because Merkelville is paying generous allowances - with UK money!  Privately locals will tell you their deep worries, and that they've never seen anything like it in scale; publicly they've been bought-off, for now.  And, whilst you are there you'll notice something else.  It may not hit you in the face but it becomes evident to any travelled sentient person.  I'm talking about the huge deficit of children and younger people generally.  In large part the EU and the Euro has done this; unless you have really good "connections" it's impossible for anyone to get work.  The only option is to leave for the North, and up there it's not too much better these days.  So, let's all hold hands and make Europe a better place - for Germans!

https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/sicily/sicilian-cuisine-cannoli-arancini

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2 hours ago, threegee said:

Been?!! :D  We'll yes I have, but it has changed a tiny bit since.  I'm still waiting for the Messina Bridge (local joke)!

Just at the moment it's pretty warm (for Northern Europeans) in the Southern Med but the temperatures fall fairly rapidly after sunset when the skies are clear - which is mostly. Take something warmer for night time. The real ramp up in temperatures isn't really until late'ish June.  The winter has been far far wetter than average so things look a lot greener to a local eye than usual, but the farmers like this a lot. First crop of the year of citrus is doing nicely (there are two growing seasons for a lot of things and even the cacti can struggle in August).

I hope you like seafood!  If not you'll get by nicely providing you make this very clear: "niente mare". The town you are staying in will warn you that theirs is the only one not run by the Mafia, you should smile and thank them because all towns actually believe this, and believe the worst about their neighbours.  They do not speak Italian in the South so it's pretty pointless trying to learn anything but the basics from locals.  English will do just fine unless you are addressing someone over 40 or not in trade or authority.  Never ask "Parla Inglese" though as the answer will almost always be a frightened stare (it's standing up in class time all over again) or a non; just speak very slowly; they may respond in dialect but they will generally understand you or have enough English to say what they don't understand. Failing that it's generally phone a friend time (for them)! :)

Up to this point you were doing very well. I was almost beginning to believe you might be human!

Thanks for the good advice. "Warm" and "green" sound wonderful after all our 'cold' and 'white'! "Seafood" sounds anything but wonderful. I wouldn't dream of putting anything in my mouth that's been anywhere near the sea. Do you know what people do in it or what ships empty into it? It's got to be the dirtiest part of our world, so I'm very greatful for "niente mare". I'm practising as I write. Sweet stuff (link) sounds right up my street.

I've usually managed with spanish in mainland Italy. I don't suppose it's anything to try in Sicily?

 

Edited by Canny lass

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4 hours ago, Canny lass said:

Sicily! Anybody been there? Things to do? Places to visit? Food? Customs? Weather just now?

First visit and I only have a week but I also have transport. All tips appreciated.

Taormina, Agrigento, and a wonderful Roman Villa fairly near Agrigento.  I will go and find my guide book for it, and let you have the name.

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6 minutes ago, ex Bedlingtonian said:

Taormina, Agrigento, and a wonderful Roman Villa fairly near Agrigento.  I will go and find my guide book for it, and let you have the name.

The Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali) is a Roman villa built in the first quarter of the 4th century and located about 3 km outside the town of Piazza Armerina, Sicily, southern Italy. It contains the richest, largest and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world,[1] and has been designated as one of 49 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy.[2]  From Wikipedia.

Etna is worth a visit too, but take something warm, it is VERY cold up there after the warmth of the coastal area.

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There's a faint Spanish influence in the mainland, but not i think as much as in Sicily; you'd do better with Greek here.  They sort of like the Spanish and refer to them as our Spanish cousins, but Spaniards don't seem that keen on visiting.  So, it would be reasonable to assume that your Spanish might do a bit better there, in some places at least.  The French aren't desperately liked here - one wonders why! :)  With Germans there's more ambivalence, but in parts of Northern Italy they really can't make their mind up if the are German/Austrian or Italian, so that's sort of understandable. I could do you a pamphlet about "The English", but in private it is generally confided that "The English: they drink too much!" - so, please don't reinforce the stereotype, unless you can pass for Scandinavian! :D

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Oh, forgot the important bit!  The mozzies are now out in force, and right on cue I've just been bitten!  Take plenty of good quality protective, and don't wait until you are bitten.  Apply generously well before the sun goes down.  Autan works well but can be ridiculously expensive.  You are in the malaria zone on the South coast of Sicily, but it's not the anopheles mozzie that's the main danger at the moment.  West Nile disease (tigre mozzie) is always a background risk, and Zika is a disaster waiting to happen (the climate is just right for aedes aegypti).

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Thanks ex Bedlingtonian! I'll put the Villa Romana del Casale on my agenda. Etna was already on it as it, and the Maffia, amount roughly to my total knowledge of Sicily. 

3G - "the English drink too much" is an infinitely better reputation than that of the Scandinavians who, according to the spanish, "drink to get drunk". I'll do my best to avoid both by behaving sensibly!

Good advice on mozzies. I'll see that I'm "well-oiled", so to speak. Not too worried about Zika though. My chances of becoming pregnant are zero.

 

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13 minutes ago, threegee said:

Oh, forgot the important bit!  The mozzies are now out in force, and right on cue I've just been bitten!  Take plenty of good quality protective, and don't wait until you are bitten.  Apply generously well before the sun goes down.  Autan works well but can be ridiculously expensive.  You are in the malaria zone on the South coast of Sicily, but it's not the anopheles mozzie that's the main danger at the moment.  West Nile disease (tigre mozzie) is always a background risk, and Zika is a disaster waiting to happen (the climate is just right for aedes aegypti).

Avon Skin so Soft works a treat, and smells much nicer than Autan.  I have been using the pink one for the last few years, but got the blue to try this time.  Guess I need to think about digging it out.

Edited by ex Bedlingtonian
added last sentance

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It's funny you should say that, ex Bed., the forestry workers here swear by it! I might give it a try.

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deet is good but does tend to rot clothing and is NOT water soluble. I have heard a lot about avon soft and seems to work on some but not on others  - depends on the individual skin chemistry you have. I would get down for a beer, and my well do so one day, but its over an hours drive for me - so not easy!!

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Have a great time Canny Lass.

You may even meet some economic immigrants from the NE of England.

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14 hours ago, pilgrim said:

deet is good but does tend to rot clothing and is NOT water soluble. 

Does this mean I could put it on at the beginning of my week and that's it? Doesn't come off in the shower, sea or swimming pool! Sounds good to me!

Another week before i go, Maggie. Everything arranged att short notice so no preparation, otherwise I'd have been gleaning as much information as possible on Internet and in books. We are two 'old ladies' with a return ticket, a rented car, one pre-booked hotel night and an open mind. We'll take it from there!

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The church where they filmed the wedding scene for The Godfather is also there somewhere, but not sure exactly where.  There is a restaurant beside it which I believe does very well out of it's reputation for feeding cast and crew while filming.

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6 hours ago, Maggie/915 said:

Have a great time Canny Lass.

You may even meet some economic immigrants from the NE of England.

They'd be going the other way, and trying to avoid the stone-throwing queues blocking Brenner.  ;)

 Don't SEND any more: Germany issues ULTIMATUM to Italy as millions of migrants enter EU

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