The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

A chat with La Contessa

Blogging is a strange thing. It starts as a solitary pursuit but, over time, connections are made and friendships develop. It is the 21st century’s version of pen-pals. So it was a pleasant surprise when Elizabeth, aka La Contessa, contacted me while I was on vacation in the US.
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Anybody who reads Elizabeth’s blog, The Vintage Contessa, knows that she is exuberant and larger than life. But she is also one of the sweetest people in the blogosphere and always leaves the nicest comments. She also has the most soft-spoken, sing-song voice that I’ve ever heard. Those that know me well will tell you that I am quite shy, but speaking to Elizabeth about the adorable Banksy (her son’s miniature pig), soon  put me at ease. So thank you Contessa, for taking the time to have a chat with me. I am sure that one day we will make it to California, especially since visiting all fifty US states is on my bucket list, and I’ve only made it to eight.
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Now those of you that live in the area would do well to visit Blue Door Antiques as our favourite Contessa has set up shop there and she has a plethora of lovely, vintage items for sale. I fell in love with some white wicker chairs but, alas, it would be too expensive to ship them half way across the world.
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Speaking of US states, Missouri is the one I get to visit most, since my husband is from the northern part of that state, from a sleepy little town in the middle of vast cornfields at the edge of the seemingly endless Mississippi – the river that goes on forever. It is quiet, peaceful and relaxing here – the perfect getaway.
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This is Mark Twain country, just 45 minutes away from Hannibal, the author’s boyhood home. I find it fascinating to wake up in the morning and find humming birds hovering at the bird-feeder. And, although many people consider them to be pests, I love the cheekiness of the wild rabbits hopping around peoples’ yards and getting up to mischief.
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There’s not much to do around here – which is just as well – because there are times when I feel an overwhelming need to shut down and forget everything. Forget that in this overwhelmingly huge country there are cities teeming with millions of people. Forget that thing called work. Forget, forget and fall into a pleasant reverie, until the distant rumble of the freight train carrying coal to some destination unknown gently nudges me out of my dream-like state to the calming serenity of  rural America.
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P.S THE BLUE DOOR ANTIQUE SHOP is located at 321 N.L Street,
Livermore, California 94551.
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Location: Canton, Missouri, USA

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Memories of a summer trip

Well, here I am again after a rather long absence. In the past few weeks, we flew across the Atlantic and spent a lovely vacation in the land of quaint barns, wide open spaces and colossal cities – better known as the USA.
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I used to think that there was not much difference between Western Europe and the States, yet with each passing visit I realise more acutely just how big those differences are. But it’s all good because variety is the spice of life. So no complaints from me – except that the grocery stores are too cold.
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Vacations pass way to quickly and we always come back with that niggling feeling that we didn’t quite do and see all that we had planned. And my husband will probably blame me for that. But I am not a typical tourist. I don’t mind if I don’t see everything as long as I have time to linger in a place. I am always a dreamer but that characteristic seems to surface even more when I am on holiday and enjoying myself. There is no sense in rushing around. ‘Savour the moment’ is my motto. Yet at the same time, it doesn’t make sense to travel thousands of  miles and see nothing at all. And then there’s the Mischief Maker who, at nine, has his own ideas of the places he would like to visit. So I suppose we try to reach a balance without driving each other insane.
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So what did we do while we were there? We visited Washington DC, saw the monuments and tried to fit in as many museums as we could. We fell in love with a Space Shuttle. We rode a pedicab. We drove to the Ozark mountains and some of us fished (not me) while the rest of us lazed about (that would be me). We made friends with a dog called Shadow. We tried some Moonshine. We ate fresh blueberries for breakfast at a farm that was miles away from anything and anyone. We enjoyed special moments with family and old friends. We shopped (and shopped some more). We chased dragonflies. We had fun. We spent time together. We made memories. Because that’s what vacations are supposed to be about.
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More on our trip next time. Hope you’re all having a wonderful summer.


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