Monday, September 25, 2017

Everyday differences in Puglia: Prickly Pears

Puglia Differences: an occasional series on things that strike this Brit as so very Italian.

Wandering round the market I saw a hardware stall selling, amongst the easily identifiable tools, these devices.

Closer inspection was no help and my Italian is not up to enquiring their purpose.

A friend enlightened me. The centre piece is to take a pole and the cups are for harvesting Fico D'India - prickly pears.

I have tried them out of interest but would not bother to repeat the experiment. Pretty dry and flavourless and full of pips. A bit like a pomegranate with all the juice and flavour taken out. And spikes!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Aperitivo Classico 2017

Bar Fod, Cisternino, Italy.

One of the highlights of summer in Cisternino is Aperitivo Classico, a series of Sunday lunchtime concerts at Bar Fod. A drink, a taster of local food and an hour of music from talented young musicians.

A crowd of us book a table there every week and have done so for the last four years.

Sunday 02-July-2017

Solo pianoforte; fresh figs with ham.

Sunday 09-July-2017

Piano and violin; baked mussel and potato.

Sunday 16-July-2017

An excellent saxophone quartet; ham, fig, cheesy ice cream and an interesting fritter.

Sunday 30-July-2017

Harp; seafood from a guest restaurant, Pesce just across the square.

Sunday 06-August-2017

No Aperitivo Classico as it was the festival of San Quirico, the patron Saint of Cisternino.

Sunday 13-August-2017

We missed this one as we were at the wedding of my nephew Tom and Leoni.

Sunday 20-August-2017

Introductions from the artistic director, the bar manager and his son.

A small singer with a large voice; a selection of salami and cheese

Sunday 27-August-2017

I love that this includes Zizzi the photographer who is at most of these events snapping away.

The trio in all permutations of duos...

...and the full trio

Fritters and aubergine.

A few words from two of the brothers.

The last concert is always followed by a team photo of staff and customers. I'm the one in the Panama.

Plus a photo of the owners and staff.

Sunday 03-September-2017

An bonus concert for the first Sunday in September. Piano, singer; courgette tartlet.

After the last concert we had an excellent light lunch at Osteria Bell'Italia.

Another series series successfully and enjoyably concluded.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

The Other Place 08 - Unpacking

Cisternino, Puglia, Italy. Sunday 03-September-2017.

We actually moved into the new apartment at the beginning of May 2017 having driven down from the UK with a car stuffed to the gunwales and arrived on May 4th. We are now living here for the summer having passed several milestones like first supper on the terrace and first dinner party.

The first two weeks were bonkers hectic rather like moving house while the builders are still working there. In fact that that is exactly what it was!

We arrived to find the heating engineer still working on the boiler and only one working bathroom so we could at least have a shower in the morning. There was still the other bathroom, the air-conditioning and the heating to be completed but we were not in such a rush for that. With one functional bathroom we could at least stay in the apartment and so spent our first night here, albeit surrounded by packing boxes.

We took advantage of the scaffolding to move several larger items in via the small terrace using the builder's winch including a fridge-freeze, a glass-topped table, and an Ikea sofa. Nail biting stuff to watch.

Up on the roof the mandatory water tank is now boxed in. The water supply can sometimes be turned off at night especially during the summer months hence this requirement. We boxed ours for aesthetic reasons although last winter a number of people had their tanks burst by the exceptionally low temperatures so there is a practical reason as well.

The railings for the roof terrace stairs and parapet wall were installed. There is a requirement for a minimum of one metre high railings round a roof top which we were more than happy to comply with - it's a long way down!

We had the plumbing and wiring for air-conditioning put in should we want it in the future and decided we wanted it now so went ahead while the works were still in progress. Given the heat wave this summer we are glad we did.

Now it is all finished this is the end result:

Kitchen-Dining Room (1)

Kitchen-Dining Room (2)

Living Room (1)

Living Room (2)

Bedroom (main)

Bedroom (guest)


San Cataldo opposite

I have to say it is all very lovely and we are now right at home.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Locus Festival 2017

Locorotondo, Puglia, Italy. Saturday 15-July-2017 / Saturday 08-August-2017

The Locus Festival has provided us with some excellent music and all of it free (at least those we attended). I quote from their website,
"The program of the XIII edition of Locus Festival represents the confirmation of Locorotondo’s Festival progressive and international character.
One of the “Most beautiful villages in Italy”, in a territory summing what of the most magical and suggestive atmosphere Puglia has to offer, prepares itself again to host geniuses and significant experiences of the worldwide contemporary music scene, announcing the complete line up of the edition taking place in Locorotondo from the 9th of July to the 12th of August."
I'll go with that. We went to four concerts. After the first we subsequently went armed with folding picnic chairs, plastic glasses and a couple of bottles of wine.

Saturday. 15th July. Piazza Moro | Free Entry

Grand Opening: Danza e musica fra cielo e terra con ELISA BARUCCHIERI e VALENTINA MAGALETTI

The support act was more Cirque du Soleil than music and very spectacular. Suspended from an invisible-in-the-dark crane behind us and beautiful, balletic acrobatics in the sky.

Heliocentrics were very enjoyable.

They seem to be doing a series of gigs all over Europe - see their FB page.

Saturday. 29th July. Piazza Moro | Free Entry
h 21 – live: DAYME AROCEN

Think About It. Local band, good stuff.

Dayme Arocen. Up and coming Cuban singer with a great voice; we bought the CD.

Sunday. 30th July Piazza Moro | Free Entry


Opening: ITALIAN SOUL SUMMIT feat. Serena Brancale, AinĂ©, Davide Shorty

Italian Soul Summit - groovy set.

Robert Glasper Experiment. Enjoyable...

 ... apart from at one point the sax player went off into a long, cacophonous, discordant solo of self-indulgent musical wankery. But then our companion thought it was an excellent solo, so that just goes to show how musical tastes differ.

Sat. 5/8 Piazza Moro | Free Entry

h 21 – live:  YUSSEF KAMAAL

Opening: PANORAMICO – Locus EP

Panoramico - first number was enjoyable but it got a little experimental after that. File under "interesting".

Yussef Kamaal = Yussef Dayes + Kamaal Williams. The duo had recently split but all dates were being honoured by one or the other. We got Yusef Dayes and his band. Yusef plays drums.

Very enjoyable.

So, loads of free music and a good time was had by all.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Titanium Implants No's 6 and 7

A long time in the planning. Upper left 4 and 5 have been on the endangered list for over two decades; since 1991 to be exact when UL5 was crowned.

UL4 went a long time ago and UL5 was fitted with a cantilevered crown to help bridge the gap. That clearly puts strain on the root as there is a rotational component.

Note also the two dots at the top of the roots. They are little pieces of silver from root canal work I had done in the late 1970's under a general anaesthetic in John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

Eventually, earlier this year, the root cracked under the strain and had to be extracted. The game plan had always been two implants when the inevitable happened.

There was a wait of three months to let the site heal and allow for some bone regrowth. Once the wait was over the implants went in under sedation, as with all previous implants. Another period of healing for osseointegration where the bone and metal bond.

The next stage is to cut through the newly re-grown flesh and bone to extract the temporary, stainless steel, centre screws. Then the posts (or impression copings as they are correctly termed) were, temporarily, inserted for the taking of impressions and casts.

They are replaced with "mushrooms" around which a more shaped gum will form while the casts are sent off for the lab work of making the crowns.

Finally the grand finale: remove the "mushrooms" and fit the abutments (special screws that have a special shaped head which support the crowns) and crowns. Rash declared himself happy with the result.

It still feels a little odd with teeth filling the hole that my tongue has got used to over the last six months but that will pass. I am pleased that I will still be able to chew my steak when I am 103. A wise investment.