Thailand in December…

Olivespastavino went on a trip to Thailand for a couple of weeks. This post is more about photos than writing, enjoy.

This is the house of our host (my son) absolutely beautiful….

We stayed in The Dog House in his garden….


and then in The White House  200 metres away….

The White House
The White House…on the Romance Resort…

Thoughts on Thailand.

pretty cow

Cow Bells


sunny afternoon

Misty cool mornings and sunny hot afternoons…


Street food, barbecued pork and chicken, squid on a stick.

Fried Insects
Fried Insects

Pancakes, chai-tea, fruit smoothies, fried insects…yes really!


Coconut flavours and coconuts everywhere, banana trees,(tiny sweet bananas),


fruit growing in abundance, mangoes, durian, papaya and more.


Bananas for the …….


Elephants – a little sad as not in a sanctuary but more a tourist industry.

Chickens, stray dogs, tropical birdsong.

A sleeping stray dog…they don’t move, not for anything…
night market
Night Market in Pai


Laundries, open fronted shops, jewellery, cheesecloth clothing, aging hippies left over from times past. Modern day hippies, young, tattooed.
7/11 stores and oh….in Chiangmai there was…..


Tescos…Hmm, Tesco/Lotus –

Wall of Rice
Wall of Rice

the largest store I’ve ever seen with a wall full of different types of rice in mega large packets.


Love the Thai food….

Flip flops…the most popular footwear for Pai.

Flip Flops

Busy Chiang Mai town. Mopeds, tuk-tuks, red taxis. A singing language impossible to interpret,
Sawadii (hello), mai pen rai (it doesn’t matter), sabai (chill/relax).

One of many Temples

Music and chanting from the temples can be heard for miles around, the sound travelling across the valleys.

Smiling faces. Barefoot children.
Hard working Thai people, on the land in the rice paddy fields. Heads covered in straw conical hats or headscarves. Many wear face masks to avoid breathing in the fumes from the hundreds of vehicles buzzing around town.

Colourful Hats
Colourful Hats

Colours, primary and bright, plastic trinkets in contrast to the local crafts and colours of the long neck tribes.


Water – everywhere. Pouring down from the hills. Jungle terrain except where cleared. Winding roads, 762 bends between Chiangmai and Pai and don’t we know it! We travelled the road 4 times.


I miss you Pai and Thailand, looking forward to the next visit already…don’t know when – but it will happen.






Last Sunday we went to the market in Rubianello, a small valley town about 5k from Petritoli. The sun was shining and I wanted to buy another pair of cheap comfy trousers to keep me going until the summer comes at which point I can’t bear to wear anything but a loose fitting lightweight dress.

The market people travel from place to place so you often see the same stalls in different towns. The stalls are varied; don’t think food with tempting pastries, pasta and other delights. These markets are functional, mostly clothes, household items, fruit and vegetables, flowers, shoes, haberdashery.

It’s a time for all the locals to passeggiare stroll and chattare chat to friends, take a coffee and browse the stalls. There’s lots of laughter and of course a great deal of gesticulating. It often seems when the Italians speak that they are in the throws of a massive argument as voices are raised and hands fly in every direction but usually it’s friendly banter, probably about football or husbands.

We bumped into a couple of people we know and did our own bit of chatting and we saw ‘our honey man’ from Petritoli. His small table was heavy with boxes of miele in favo honeycomb, several jars of different varieties of miele, honey, also beeswax and small jars of pollen. I’m not at all sure what you’re supposed to do with pollen it looks like a jar of Dijon mustard.

We wandered over to the fruit and vegetable stall as I spied some rather delicious looking strawberries from Sicily. They were only €1 a punnet. The stallholder then cajoled us into buying some red oranges; actually, he cajoled The Man as I am never easily persuaded to part with my money. It always seems when The Man comes shopping we spend twice as much and come home with too many treats!


The flowers looked fantastic, so many bright colours, mostly pansies and primulas but there were a few early geraniums. We bought half a dozen daisy things to put in the pots outside the front door. It cheers up the place so much and it really feels as though Spring has arrived!


Markets in Italy are well supported by vendors and buyers, I hope they continue to thrive even though there are now more out of town hypermarkets opening up. I love strolling down to our local market twice a month, chatting with locals, buying my honey and taking a coffee or two. It’s a great pace of life here in Le Marche. No hurry, there’s always tomorrow.

NOTE: I haven’t blogged for over two weeks…my ribs have been hurting, they’re much better now but that’s not the only reason I haven’t posted a blog. I am inundated with emails telling me that there is a [New post] from Bladiblabla – blog or whatagreatwriterIam – blog…Sometimes as many as three times a week! I think if you post too many times people get turned off but maybe I’m just jealous because I don’t seem to be able to blog regularly even once a week and on occasion not even once a month! Oh, It’s Wednesday again so teaching this afternoon, better put a bottle of wine in the fridge to cool ready for when I get back. 🙂

Delicious oranges and strawberries
Delicious oranges and strawberries

Evening Market…

Piazza Del Popolo
Piazza Del Popolo

Fermo Antiques Market in Marche, compared to Arezzo in Tuscany, is not as big and doesn’t have as many furniture or larger antique stalls but the atmosphere is fabulous. It’s held every Thursday evening during July and August and when darkness falls around 8 30 pm it gets very busy and there’s a distinct hum of excitement, money exchanging hands and everyone looking for a bargain.

Antiques and Bric-a-Brac
Antiques and Bric-a-Brac

It was a wonderful balmy evening last Thursday and we met friends for a delicious supper in the Capolinea Café before strolling around the market and savouring the excellent variety of goodies on offer including local crafts, food, bric-a-brac and antique stands. The Piazza del Popolo was buzzing with a mix of tourists and locals enjoying the relaxed ambience, friends greeting each other, laughing and chatting in that familiar Italian animated way, arms and hands flying, purchasers and vendors negotiating for lowest or highest price depending on which side of the deal they were. The Italians strolled about in family groups, like little gangs, Nonna holding the hand of the little ones, Mamma or Babbo, pushing the buggy and straggling behind them, the teenagers eagerly keeping an eye out for school friends they could escape with to enjoy a coke and a conspiratorial chat.

Books and Photos
Books and Photos

Apart from the main square the market spilled over into the big road leading from the Piazza and several side streets; the stands here were mostly craft and local foods, salamis, pecorino cheeses etc., A favourite of mine is ciabuscolo which is a smoked and dry-cured sausage made from pork meat and fat, typical of the Marche region. I love the moist texture and spicy taste. Not sure it’s good for your heart though to eat too much of the delicious stuff. Olive Ascolane are another popular local dish; large green olives which are pitted and stuffed with sausage meat, dipped in breadcrumbs and deep fried. Yummy, my mouth is watering!

Olive Ascolane
Olive Ascolane
ciabuscolo (pink sausage on the right of the photo)
ciabuscolo (pink sausage on the right of the photo)
I loved this stall 'Any Old Iron' !
I loved this stall
‘Any Old Iron’ !

standsHope to make the market at least another twice before then end of this season!