Italian Language Flash Cards

Italian Language Flash Cards

I have just finished my third Italian lesson, whoop whoop whoop!! Driving home I considered either uploading the recording as I struggled to read the latest passage which was full of ‘gli’ and ‘gn’ words or uploading the amazingly long list of verbs I have been instructed to learn.


I know some of you read my little blog, because it contains very sensible information on Italy, for example my post on the cost of living in Italy  (Link) …. which I have to add is rising.

For those who are desperately trying to learn the language and are struggling just like me, here are some flash cards I have produced to help you.

Italian Flash Card Wine

Italian Language Flash Card

Flash Card Italian

Flash Card Italian Language

Police Italian Flash Card

Have a great weekend…. PN

Ooops I have gone and done it…

At 3 pm on Sunday the 18th October,  I pressed the button and launched my little book project on the  Kickstart website, Taa Raaa, I shouted as it went live. I then realised the enormity of what I had done. Not only had I offered a weekend stay at our house, complete with a wine tasting at my favourite cantina, as part of the rewards but the realisation, that I might not receive any backers suddenly hit home……  I would have to change my name from Pecora Nera to Billy No Mates!!!

Pecora Nera changes his name to Billy No Mates

Pecora Nera changes his name to Billy No Mates

Driving through Asti later that evening my phone blipped… I received the following message Hooray! Susan Fischer just backed your project.   followed almost immediately by Hooray! Jo Ellen Prutz just backed your project. To say I am excited is an understatement, there are three questions that need answering. 1) Will Mrs Sensible be able to put up with my current elevated level of excitement? 2) Will the project reach its goal? 3) Will I have to tell Mrs Sensible about the ‘Spend a weekend at our house reward?’

The wonderful Kickstart Backers are:-

Susan Fischer  one very cool lady

Jo Ellen Prutz who is beautiful and obviously also generous

Danie Cutter known for being utterly amazing

Wonderful Kickstart Buddies Page

Please feel free to go over to my kickstart page, one of the rewards available is a signed book or just back me with thrupence or even just make me happy by spreading this around Facebook and other social media etc.

Ohhh and ASP (at some point) I might have to tell Mrs Sensible about the weekend invite reward

Sending you all virtual hugs

Pecora Nera

Pecora picked a peck of pickled peppers;

For the past seven years I have managed to avoid private lessons. My self-taught Italian has fared me well when ordering wine, grappa and pizza, but even a Black Sheep (Pecora Nera) such as I, realises that I need to try to learn more than the 20 words and 3 phrases that are currently in my vocabulary.

Last night I completed my first Italian lesson with a real live tutor.My tutor has excellent qualifications and experience to tutor me. During the day she teaches the Italian language to 7 to 10 year olds at a primary school and is therefore qualified enough to teach to my standard and level of intelligence.  Obviously I checked her credentials and found that she has the patience of a saint and to date she hasn’t gaffa taped any of her pupils to the chair when they misbehaved.

As long as I behave she wont gaffa tape me to the chair

As long as I behave she won’t gaffa tape me to the wall

The English help students to articulate correctly by teaching them tongue twisters, these are little rhymes that become increasingly more difficult to say  as the volume of alcohol is increased. You didn’t know this famous English drinking game?

Here is an example of a typical English tongue twister

Pecora Nera picked a peck of pickled peppers;

A peck of pickled peppers Pecora Nera picked;

If Pecora Nera picked a peck of pickled peppers,

Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Pecora Nera picked?

The Italians have gone one better, they have included a tongue twister as part of their daily language, it is a word that I am going to try my best to avoid. What is this fabulous word I hear you cry.

It is non other than Gli 


I hope this chart explains what gli is please feel free to enlighten me

Here is a clip I found of a young boy pronouncing gli

As you can see It is not difficult, unless of course you are an Englishman, here is my pitiful attempt.

Many many thanks to my wonderful tutor….

Mario the woodman

Last winter, we saved € 280.00 by not ordering any firewood from the local woodman; instead I invested € 120.00 in a very scary looking chainsaw and proceeded to cut down the trees in our garden. With a loud cry of timber, down went 2 huge walnut trees, 5 hazelnut trees an apple tree and I think an old pear tree. Mrs Sensible called a stop to my tree felling activities when she pointed out that the orchard was beginning to look more like a cricket field with tree stumps than the lovely orchard that someone had taken the time to plant.

My orchard was rapidly becoming to resemble a cricket field

My orchard was rapidly resembling a cricket field

On Monday I drove to the local woodman and asked him if he would deliver 20 quintale of wood (2,000 kilo) Mario the woodman agreed and said the price was €14 / quintale and he would phone me tomorrow to organise when he would deliver it.

Tuesday at around 4pm Mario called me.

Mario: Are you in?

Me: Yes here now! (In very bad Italian)

Mario: Ok I am on my way. (He also said some other things that I didn’t quite understand, mainly because he didn’t use the key words that I understand. IE: wine, grappa, food and can I buy you a drink)

I checked my wallet and counted out my money, and by stealing some money from Mrs Sensible I managed to raise €160.00 a short fall of €120.00. I jumped into my little Mini and went haring off to raid the money machine.

On the way back to the house I received another phone call from Mario.  

Mario: I can’t find your house!

Me: Ok, waiting please at Gullivers Supermarket, you me I find.

Mario couldn’t find my house because my house has two completely different addresses, (see link) this problem has managed to confuse Telecom Italian, The Gas Man and DHL. Mrs Sensible and I have had one or two discussions as to which address we should use. Personal I use both; I think it’s cool to live at two different addresses at the same time.

Mario was patently waiting in the car park of Gullivers Supermarket. As I drove up to his big shiny tractor I was immediately shocked to see it wasn’t towing a trailer stacked with wood.

Me: Hello where wood is?

Mario: I will bring you the wood tomorrow; I just want to see where you live.

Me: Please speak you slowly, I understand.


Me: OK

Mario arrived the following day with his big grey tractor and an enormous trailer filled overflowing with wood.  The Italian words I used as he tipped the wood onto my garden are not printable here, besides I am not sure I could spell them properly.

Jenga, the wooden puzzle that will give you hours or even days of fun

Jenga, the wooden puzzle that will give you hours or even days of fun

Mario: It is difficult to calculate how much wood is in a trailer until I have weighed it on the weighbridge, so you don’t have 20 quintale, you have 26 quintale.

Me: Who erh! What?

Mario: 26 Quintale not 20 Quintale.

Me: F€##%@, &#%!@?!

Me: How cost much?

Mario: €364.00

Me: &#%!@?!, F€##K

While I was searching in my pockets and my wallet for the extra money, Mario tried to reassure me that the wood was worth every penny of the €364.00 that he was demanding.

Mario: (holding a piece of wood in his hand) This piece of wood is called Rovere.

Me: OK

Mario: What do you call this wood in England?

Me: Hardwood

Mario: Ardvood ?

Me: Yes Ardvood

Mario: (Picking up a different piece of wood) This wood is very good it is called Quercia, what do you call this in England.

Me: I was very nearly tempted to say Ardvood, instead I said Heavy Wood

Mario: Evy Vood?

Me: Yes Evy Vood

While Mario was searching in the enormous wood pile to find another piece of wood to show me, I was crying inside as I realised all this vood, erh wood would need stacking by me, helped by myself and I

Mario: Ah now this lovely piece of wood is called Bujer, look at the yellow core of the wood.

I was slightly miffed, when I realised that not only did I have to stack 2,600 kilos of wood but the money I was going to use to restock my wine cellar had vanished into Mario’s pocket.

Mario: And what do you call this piece of wood in England

Me: Cost a lot

Mario: Costalott?

Me: Perfect, yes Costalott!

Mario: Thank you, for telling me the English names for the different wood, next week I am delivering some wood to another English customer and now I will be able to tell him exactly what wood he is buying.

I’m in a book!

Linda from Expat eye on Germany has written the following post titled I’m in a book! This is a charity book that a number of crazy bloggers have got involved in, I hope you will go over and read her post and more importantly buy the book when it comes out.

Expat Eye on Germany

Or, at least, I’m going to be.

It all started one evening when I was working hard arsing around on Facebook, and Veronica from The Dangerously Truthful Diary of a Sicilian Housewife popped up for a chat. We engaged in some very important discussions about life, love and the universe – or maybe I talked about my cup of tea – and then she told me about an idea that she and Pete, of Black Sheep fame, had come up with.

The idea was dangerously simple: invite funny expat bloggers from all over Europe to contribute to a comedy anthology, publish it on Amazon in time for Christmas and donate the proceeds to charity. They’d had the idea around nine months ago, but hadn’t really got around to doing anything about it.

While Irish Linda was lazily formulating the thought, “Ah sure, it’s grand. Eight months is no time at all, at…

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