Maria's activity

Questions Asked

we are driving to scotland from Italy this christmas.I'm a bit worried as it'll be the first time we'll be doing this in the winter. Instead of Calais we though we would try the Amsterdam - Newcastle ferry.

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 10:15

 Hi .Does anyone know where I can buy hatching eggs (hen eggs ) for my incubator? In Britain I simply buy them from Ebay and there's loads of breeds to choose from.

Fri, 07/17/2009 - 12:40

 Hi I'm Maria. I'm originally from Ayr (scotland) but I've spent half my life in Tuscany as a result of meeting my husband Luca.

Fri, 06/26/2009 - 13:25

Comments posted

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 05:44

Building work brings literally hundreds of litres of water into the building and it's a good idea to have a dehumidifier to dry out the moisture when work has been completed and also frequently air the house. Make sure the new pointing has been done with "breathable materials" Certainly the cement used nowadays is almost completely chemical and will not allow the building to breath.It is best to opt for "calce" to repoint any old building as it's what was used originally and it lets the moisture evaporate more.I think plastering inside or out would only make the problem worst as you would be adding more moisture and certainly not getting to the root of the problem.I agree with the advice about cooking. I think also that the houses in Britain probably have condensation but a lot of materials such as wood, wallpaper, carpets etc probably absorb it and disperse it slowly.That's our idea anyway_My husband is an italian builder and it's the only explaination we can think off. It seems to be a modern day problem due to all the heating nowadays and hence resulting condensation obviously the plastic- like building materials  the trade uses doesn't help.

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 05:19

thanks for all your advice. It's really good to hear from you. Today seems to be panic day for the Italians and snow  alert time again!!(one of my sons even thought it might be too dangerous to go into school today! We have decided that we're setting off on Tuesday no matter what(just about)!!Until yesterday I was quite happy in the knowledge that I had ordered and was getting snow tyres put on my car. No, apparently, our car has very rare-and- difficult- to- find tyres( so I'm told) and we're still waiting!!!!! Our german mechanic friend (the same one who ordered our special-made- to- mesure - super-winter tyres)thinks we should go through Innsbruck on or way to Amsterdam as the German roads (according to him)  have no problem whatsoever with snow. Needless to say, I am fast losing faith in him so would appreciate advice from anyone who's tried this experience.   I do however predict that there will be one less German in the world by the day's end !!Sorry, I know ,got to think positive.........!!!!! thanks again

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 09:59

i've been wondering about this for age......What do we then use as rubbish bags? 

Answer to: Old bricks
Sat, 07/04/2009 - 07:17

 Sounds like "terra Di Siena"-type bricks if they are yellow. They are easily found in Tuscany. You can get old stuff but it'll be extortionate. The new ones are not that bad ,you can make them look old by experimenting with paints for staining wood. I'm not sure though if they used "terra di siena" in Abruzzo.Good luckmaria

Sat, 07/04/2009 - 07:02


Sat, 07/04/2009 - 07:00


Sat, 07/04/2009 - 06:56

 That was meant to be a joke!! Thanks for the encouragement . I love language as a topic for discussion in itself. You're right, if you've got something to say just say it and never mind all those hang ups about spelling ect.It might just be that we are in the process of inventing Italian English. Although , some things said in Italian English really annoy me eg How do you really say "ho un problema" ?RegardsMaria

Sat, 07/04/2009 - 06:45

 HI Gromit, thanks for your advise. I did put the word "villa" in inverted commas and I think those little plastic gnomes might be more suitable !! By the way , did you know tha those statues and pots on the "autostrada" are actually made of 100%, pure, unadulterated cement!  Lovely!!Regards Maria

Sat, 07/04/2009 - 06:35

 Hi Liz,Loved your  blog, i wish I was as good at writing as you! Incidently my son has just recently made friends with Slitti junior and has been allowed to help himself to the chocolate!!!(lucky so and so)  I agree with you that it's a great place, I always take my friends there when they come over. I could meet you in Montecatini Alto ,I'm not THAT busy , I do my best at on my land but it still has the feel of abandonment lurking roud the corner. The brambles always seem to come back again and again and by the time I've strimmed everything it's time to start all over again .I love Coreglia Antelminelli and especially rustic houses . We went mad two years ago when we were hill walking there( Garfagnana) and we came across a "For Sale "on a tiny tiny dilapidated shepherd's house out in the sticks.We had been seeing this place all these years ,we were just completely blinded by its beauty.Luckily the  owner had just stuck the sign up the day before and he was wanting rid of it as sooon as possible . Also and most importantly the asking price was peanuts. Anyway we got a loan from the bank and bought it practically a month later!!!(that was while we still had a leaky roof over our own heads and no tiles on our bedroom floor - we still don't have those!!!). We now have planning permission to fix it but we can't afford to do it right now which is a nuisance but never mind we are so lucky to have it, we pitch our tent there sometimes.Regards Maria

Sat, 07/04/2009 - 05:42

 I'm new to this forum stuff I don't as yet have a clue!!  Where do I find the gardening and northern Tuscany groups?