Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mine's a large one!

I feel a bit guilty now. First time I've blogged in ages and I'm blogging over children's birthday greetings to their nonna. So to make up for it a belated happy birthday from me too Mrs R!

Anyhoo this is what has brought me out of blogging retirement as I thought it deserved a bit more publicity than it is currently getting through sitting on my phone. On a recent visit to Milan I stopped at the Panzera close to central station and as is customary ordered a grappa at the end of the meal. This is what arrived.......

Now that is only a half bottle of wine next to it but is that not just about the largest grappa measure you have ever seen?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Nonna!

Happy birthday from Dumfries!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Where did it all begin?

Where did it all begin? Well, let me tell you.

It started off up in the Tuscan hills, the Garfagnana to be specific. It was there that my great-grandfather Rizzieri discovered that there was not enough money to live on and set off for Glasgow. That was after the First World War and the story would be more simple if he had stayed in Scotland but he didn't.

He went back home after a few years and spent the rest of his days in Italy. One of his children, Maria, died at the age of 18 from one of those diseases that would probably be easily cured nowadays. Her four sisters survived to much riper ages, one of them is still alive. The only boy, Romeo, my grandfather, was born in Scotland during his father's time in the country. He returned to Italy to spend his childhood in those wild cowboy lands of the 1920s and 1930s.

However, by 1936 - at the age of 16 - he too realised there was no money and little future in that family home nestled in the hills. He set off towards Glasgow with the plan of spending a year and making some money before going back to the land where he felt he belonged.

Now that, I guess, is where it all began.