Nonna ( Grandmother)

To escape the cloud and threatening rain up here in Martina Franca we decided on a giro  (a trip) to Mola di Bari to take some photos for Sam one of the readers of this blog. He was born there but now lives in Toronto. I had never been there before and so it was a fun  Harbour


place to have a look at.  The harbour is large and clearly very much a working one with loads of trawlers and small fishing boats rather than the luxury gin palace type of boat.

The fish market sits alongside the harbour and I found a small bar there that served Dreher beer for the same price I pay in my local bar up here but the above is the view from the sitting area. Dream ticket stuff.

The large piazza was quiet on this, a national holiday, and most places were closed including most of the restaurants and bars. This is the church in the piazza.



The sky in Martina when we left was black and threatening just look at the difference on the coast just 12 miles away amazing isn’t it. So we sat by the harbour enjoying our beers and the locals playing cards around us and I glanced up at the restaurant behind and saw that many items on the menu  written on a board outside had alla nonna alongside the item ( by grandmother) and it reminded me of a review I had seen on tripadvisor of a place in Martina by an Italian from Milan. He wrote saying that he was fed up with nonna. Why he asked do I have to keep paying extra for some perfectly ordinary dish just because it is made by some old girl. I tell the waiter, he wrote, skip nonna tell her to cook someone else’s food I am happy with the under chef cooking my spaghetti vongole and charge me less. He went on that he had been haunted by nonna all the way down from Milan when stopping in various restaurants and running into her and her more expensive dishes. Why can’t she just retire he pleaded and let Italy eat more cheaply and it is true always be wary of restaurants that have that moniker added to a menu item. You are going to pay through the nose for it and trust me there is no aged old lady in the kitchen!

60 years ago today Queen Elizabeth II was crowned queen at Westminster Abbey. I was 5 and remember the day well. We had bought a TV for the occasion and it was the first one on our street. Over the 6 hour broadcast the whole street filed in to look at this new marvel with a 9 inch screen and huge magnifying glass on the front. At 4 pm we had our street party and each child had to sing a song. My friend at school then was a french girl who taught me this and I sung it on the day

By the age of 15 when it was decided I would not be sitting the French exam for fear of embarrassing my school I still had no idea what it was about !

Sweet rationing had just stopped but meat, butter, margarine and sugar still needed coupons. Only one home in 500 had a car and only one home in 400 had a phone which is amazing when you think of a household today.  The number one record in the charts was also  played on Children’s Choice on Saturdays because of it’s content. I listened each week on what was then called a wireless. Like the new TV you had to turn it on 5 mins before you wanted to listen to allow the tubes to warm up !

After the only public singing engagement of my career I received a coronation silver spoon and then sat down to enjoy heaps of spam sandwiches. However sitting in the choir stalls in Westminster Abbey singing his heart out and looking angelic was one Keith Richards who later co-founded The Rolling Stones. I still have their first ever 45 rmp single.

Boy we could dance in those days couldn’t we ?


About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
This entry was posted in Driving in Italy, Expat Italy, Ferries From Bari, Puglia, Puglia Guide and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Nonna ( Grandmother)

  1. Dave Johnson says:

    Hi Firkin (from another left-handed, Stones fan, part-resident in Puglia). Just an overdue thank you for the pleasure your blog has given me so far. On Coronation night, I wasn’t quite 13 months old. As I was being a little noisy, they put some gin in with my milk, upon which I allegedly uttered my first word – ‘more?’

    Very best wishes, Dave

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