Back in Pugia after 2 weeks in the UK doing family stuff. Whilst waiting for our pick up I ran down and had a look at the new rail station at Bari airport and very swish it is too.
The trains don’t seem to have set times but there appears to be one to Bari Centrale every half hour or so . From there we could connect to Martina Franca. Several Easyjet British passengers were off to use it to get to Lecce and to Taranto so it is catching on. However none of them seemed to have too much baggage with them. it appears to be all stairs and no trolleys so not heavy baggage friendly . Still if ever we are going to the UK with just hand baggage ( pretty unlikely to be fair) it is another option.
This morning in pleasant sunshine but with a brisk northerly wind blowing I went to market. Every Wednesday is market day in Martina Franca and I needed to replenish both my supply of olives and lupini. This is my man and those are my lupini in the bag.
Now you will notice that despite the 20C temperature today my man is dressed for winter. So may I add were 90% of his customers at the market. Martinese have clearly decided that this year the switch over day from winter to summer clothes has yet to arrive. Most years it is in early May and the jungle telegraph goes around and one day they are all in winter stuff and the next day all in summer. Once the switch is done though there is no going back. Winter clothes appear on washing lines all around Martins Franca and are dried and then put away in storage until the next jungle telegraph tells them to switch again. Last year at the end of May there was a really cold snap of weather and people could be found wandering around the market in T shirts in 12C weather looking rather chilly.
I love lupini with a glass of beer on a summers evening sitting in the garden and throwing the shell like exteriors over the garden wall . I must remember this year we now have a patio on the other side of the wall.
Italians use the bitter lupin bean as they consider the taste better. I must admit I had no idea that if wrongly prepared you can get seriously poisoned eating them. To prepare them properly they must be first soaked all night in water then boiled in water and salt for at least two hours before being placed in a tub under a fast running cold water tap for 7-14 days !! Finally they are stored in salt vinegar and brine water before sale to the likes of yours truly. I must make sure that I am very polite to my man from now on lest he skimps on one of those steps.
The symptoms if you are an hypochondriac like me are confusion, slowed thought process, disorientation, flushed face, slurred speech and dizziness. Now I don’t know about you but I get those quite often after a session in the bar or lots of red wine a lunch and had always blamed the alcohol but actually it was just the lupini !!
On Friday we are going to have an heatwave according to the weatherman though two days forward in actually accurate weather forecasting down here seems to be quite problematical so I am not holding my breath. North African hot winds are to arrive in the shape of anti cyclone Hannibal. Which, I presume is the Italian weather bureau’s idea of a good wheeze. Still after the really miserable April and May it will be nice to have an heatwave.
I was reading in the UK about the letters that Jackie O wrote to an Irish priest telling him how much in love she was with JFK despite his many dalliances . One of those was, of course, with the singer of the song above. Mind you I also read a review about a book on Jackie Kennedy written by Christopher Andersen who says that Monroe phoned Jackie to confess the affair and that she hoped to marry JFK to which Jackie replied“Marilyn, you’ll marry Jack, that’s great… And you’ll move into the White House and you’ll assume the responsibilities of First Lady, and I’ll move out and you’ll have all the problems”.
JFK certainly makes our own lothario Silvio Berlusconi look like a rank amateur by comparison. But come to think of it Silvio can sing and so if nothing else they could have made a good duet .
It is not the first time Hannibal has been to Puglia of course. The man himself was here in 216BC and defeated Rome at the battle of Cannae. The Romans lost 50,000 men to Hannibal’s 6,000 dead . it was a huge victory and took place just up the road. This time Hannibal will just be a load of hot wind !!