Chi è l’ultima?

Chi è l’ultima?

Chi è l’ultima? (Who is last?)Our doctors doesn’t have a receptionist nor does it have any queue system, when you enter the waiting room you shout Chi è l’ultima?

Hopefully someone will reply Io! (me!) this system works providing you are not visiting the doctor for deafness, laryngitis or because you are an Englishman.

So here I am on a cold Monday morning sat in the doctors with 15 other ill people waiting for our doctor who is late as per normal.

This Chi è l’ultima system works perfectly for Italians in doctors surgeries throughout Italy, that is until somebody decides they have something more important to do than sit in the doctors.

Maria ( let’s call her Maria) has just thrown a mini tantrum waved her hands in the air complained that the doctor is still not here and walked out. All very interesting, now we are having a fab discussion as to who was before Maria and who is after who?

I am trying not to giggle, especially as I forgot to ask Chi è l’ultima when I came in and after sitting here for twenty minutes I have forgot who came in after me plus I keep hearing l’inglese..

Forty minutes later the doctor has turned up, on crutches! everybody is suitable impressed, amongst the waiting room of Italians the doctor on his crutches looks sicker than any of us.

Those that were complaining bitterly are now looking at their feet as the doctor drags himself his bag and crutches across the room

And just to put the icing on the cake Maria must have seen the doctor arrive because she has re-entered the waiting room and is trying to negotiate her position back in the queue. I of course helped her by calling io ultima!!!

Update…..

The doctor said I have to rest my leg, I know my Italian is not very good, but I am sure he said I was not to make any more cups of tea, clean the kitchen or any other house related jobs.. I will need to break this news to Mrs Sensible gently. Because I know she was worried

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A War of Words: The Pen and the Kalashnikov.

Following the terrorist attack in France, MM has put pen to paper and created a brilliant post. Please read it and share it.

Multifarious meanderings

Bleu, France, Rouge. Mr and Mrs Playmo were very emotional. Bleu, France, Rouge. Mr and Mrs Playmo were very emotional.

On Sunday morning, I awoke in beautiful, permissive, perverted France. I swung my legs over the side of the bed and went down to the kitchen. I prepared the filter coffee, and put a couple of butter croissants in the oven to warm. Because this is France.

After breakfast, I pulled on my inappropriately tight and short running attire, and went outside to do whatever I pleased, wherever I wished, dressed as I deemed fit, and whether or not my husband agreed. I ran through the vineyards that year after year offer up hectolitres of delicious and ludicrously cheap wine for the “perverted” people who commit the ultimate sin of enjoying the privilege of being alive. I reveled in life, ‘The Eagles of Death Metal’ resonating in my ears and determination coursing though my sinful veins. I appreciated my liberty…

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Bagna Cauda and Wine

The C.O.S.I group has chosen winter for this months joint post. Italy is full of great things to do and I am sure the C.O.S.I bloggers will have lots of useful information from visiting wonderful places in Florence to skiing in the Alps. I personally think skiing is far to dangerous for a mere black sheep (Pecora Nera)  So instead I will tell you about food, wine and dinning with good friends, which is much closer to my heart than skiing.

It is difficult to drink wine whilst skiing

It is difficult to drink wine whilst skiing

Mrs Sensible and I were invited to the 50th Bagna Cauda  evening in  Cortandone, by a wonderful couple (Mr & Mrs K) who we had met a few months ago. Mr K and I appear to have a couple of things in common, we both enjoy a laugh, we have Italian wives who are bilingual and neither of us have mastered the Italian language, allegedly Mr K knowledge of Italian  is a bit better than mine.

The festivities took place in a little village in Asti about 48 kilometers (about 30 Miles in real money) from where we live.

Bagna Cauda, according to the nice old guy who was sat at our table, is a traditional Piedmontese winter meal; the ingredients are remarkably simple and are guaranteed to your sinuses; they are garlic and anchovies cooked in olive oil. We took our seats and I was mildly impressed to see there was already a carafe of wine on the table.

While Mr K and I sampled the wine and tried to decided if it was Barbera or a Grignolino (we finally decided it was definitely a red) the waiter arrived and poured some of the mixture into our dishes. Now it is very hard to describe the texture and colour of the Bagna Cauda, it certainly smelt of anchovies and garlic, there was obviously a lot of olive oil mixed in the mixture with bits floating in it and it also looked a little bit like a primeval swamp.

Pro Loc

These guys in the red shirts volunteer to serve during the evening.

 

On the table there was a couple of platters of raw and cooked vegetables, including potatoes, radish, peppers and celery.  I even found a couple of large and fantastic spring onions to throw into my pot.  As you can see I was correct, it was red wine.

 

Bagna Caulda

Bagna Caulda complete with a little candle to keep it hot.

 

The following is not a very good picture, but I think it is important to show you the size of the spring onion I rescued from the vegetable platter and stuck in my pot… much to the dismay of Mrs Sensible.

Just a little spring onion, just in case the garlic and anchovies havent produced enough flavour

Just a little spring onion, just in case the garlic and anchovies haven’t produced enough flavour.

 

After a second refill of Bagna Cauda, the waiter arrived with some plates of pastina. Pastina is a light soup with very small pieces of pasta floating in it.

Pastina

Pastina with egg pasta

I very nearly got into trouble at this point because Mrs S asked me if I was enjoying the pastina, I said yes it is OK; but it tastes like soup with scrambled egg floating in it. I was informed by Mrs S that it was egg pasta!!! Which was why to me, it tasted of scrambled egg in soup…. Still it was very nice, a little unusual because I normally prefer my scrambled egg on toast.

After the scrambled egg in soup, a waiter arrived to ask if we wanted the meat dish. I always become a little worried when waiters (or my wife) tell me it is meat rather than pork or beef. The nice old mans wife asked if I like meat. I confidently answered.”Io mangio tutti” Mrs Sensible, said he means “tutto not tutti” Apparently with my limited grasp of the Italian language I had just informed the nice old lady that I eat everybody rather than everything. Oh well.

Then the meat arrived.

The Meat

The Meat

There were two items on the plate that I recognised and a couple of pieces that looked like maybe they had come from dubious origins.  While no one was watching too closely I  slide the strange-looking meat onto Mrs Sensible’s plate and kept what looked like a slice of beef. I know the round thing was cotechino and under normal circumstances I would have eaten it, but what with scrambled eggs in soup I wasn’t going to take any chances. Plus I had eaten salami at the start of the meal, unfortunately I forgot to take a picture.

We had a quick raffle, I failed miserably, I didn’t even win a cuddly toy.

 

No winners here

No winners here

 

And then the sweet arrived and the waiter kindly brought another carafe of wine.

sweet

Fantastic apple strudel and moose mousse.

I won’t say Roberto was the highlight of the evening; but he came very close to it. He arrived at out table with a bottle of grappa in one hand and a bottle of limoncello in the other.

Roberto, the hero of the night

Roberto, the hero of the night

Which would you like? Roberto asked. “Yes please” I answered. As Mrs Sensible rolled her eyes to heaven he poured me a large measure of grappa and a glass of limoncello. Roberto then turned to my friend and asked if he would like a glass of both. I am not sure his wife approved and I think Mr K tried to say it was my fault, that I was a bad influence.

This morning I awoke to find the bedroom windows had been mysteriously opened by Mrs S in the middle of the night. I think the smell of garlic, anchovies, spring onions, wine, limoncello and grappa had become too much for her sensitive nose.

 

Verdict on the evening.

Brilliant, The food was great and it is always a pleasure to spend time with good friends.

 

Georgette (Girl in Florence): What to expect when you visit Florence in winter
Andrea (Sex lies and Nutella): Surviving the Italian winter
Gina (The Florence Diaries): A foreigner’s guide to surviving winter in Italy
Rochelle (Unwilling Expat):Without winter there would be no summer
Misty (Surviving in Italy): Italy in the winter: Baby, it’s cold outside
Maria (Married to Italy)
Rick (Rick’s Rome): How to enjoy winter in Italy

 

 

Vodka Jelly, Grappa Cakes and Tequila Surprise 

  To all my blogger friends, I am having a little party tonight to celebrate another birthday milestone. You are all invited either in Italy or here in bloggo land.
PS Mrs Playmo is down in the cellar checking if there is enough wine…. or at least that is what she should be doing

Baci tutti