Figs and Things

But firstly this is my 100th post, so 100 days of blogging, almost 5,000 views from about 40 countries. It started as a winter pastime and here we are 100 days later. Mind you today the Martina Franca weather has taken on a more wintery feel. Last Tuesday 36C  (97F) and today 21C  (69F) with a windchill down to 18C. so it feels like March.  I have enjoyed writing it and hope you enjoy reading about life in the heel. Still as John Mortimer said “The only rule I have found to have any validity in writing is not to bore yourself” and I haven’t.

On my walk this morning I picked my first fig so the season is underway. By next week I will have to resist picking them as more and more trees on my route ripen. The Pugliese don’t seem that big on figs though every garden boasts several trees. The only way they really eat them is cut in half and dried in the sun under a light cover to keep the flies off. Often they place an almond on each half as well.

But I prefer a fig ripe and fresh, ready for the eating and dislike the dried ones.

Ken Russel went to my old school and was always treated as a famous old boy though he hated the place. Alan Bates was a great actor especially I think in several of the Thomas Hardy novels that were filmed in the 70’s.

It is also oregano time now the flowering is over. We have wild oregano near our lavender bed

Oregano and lavender


that’s it in the forefront of the picture. We cut it then dry it on window sills around the veranda

Dying on the veranda


Then into a plastic bag and rub all the leaves off before removing the bare twigs leaving the dried oregano in the bag. The smell when doing this is gorgeous .

So Silvio ( Il Cavaliere) Berlusconi has been found guilty of having sex with underage  Ruby ( 17 at the time) . Perhaps the Italian definition of sex is different. I thought her testimony was rather nice. ” he tried very hard but he is 76 and eventually he gave up and fell asleep”. She should be a diplomat. Anyway don’t expect to see him in jail, it is very rare here for anyone over 75 to go to jail.

I was only once called cavalier. After two years at sea P&O Orient Lines decided I was having far too good a time as a purser and that maybe I should go and have fun elsewhere. They allowed me to resign much to The Purser’s disgust . He had me into his office and sat me down ( he was only 5ft 3ins and so made you sit down while he stood up ). I have written a damming report and reference he said, you might never get another job. He read me what he wrote ‘Jones has a cavalier attitude to life and has demonstrated this throughout his time at sea’. I’m afraid I annoyed him more by telling him it was probably the nicest thing anyone had written about me.

Twenty years later I was running the Sub Continent for British Airways and was invited to a drinks do thrown by P&O in Bombay where we were living. There across the room was my old Purser now head of Goanese crew recruiting. He spilt his drink when he saw me and I went over to say hello . He was flying back on British Airways in Club Class. I couldn’t resist it I’m afraid. I offered him an upgrade to 1A in First Class. He stood rooted to the spot , it was as if I could see his brain twisting and turning ‘ I hate this man but a First Class seat ? no I loathe him and told him he was useless but a First Class seat…. ‘ eventually through clenched teeth he said ‘ that would be wonderful’  My report on him – no character. Still he got his 1A.


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 Beaches, Puglia Food, Puglia Guide and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Figs and Things

  1. Steve Colomby says:

    Congrats on your 100th post. I have enjoyed reading them!
    Looking forward to arriving in Puglia in a few weeks. Building in Carovigno so hopefully our place will be ready ( più o meno).


    Steve from Toronto

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