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September 19, 2008

Travel: I will be here...


Lucky me, I will be here in a couple of hours.
Can you guess where ?
Happy weekend !

Photo: by Comenius Roethlisberger via Lumas Gallery

September 17, 2008

Now I have to live with this ...


Our windows are ready!

Look!

What is this?

Who has chosen these shiny hinges?


Oh, no!
Nobody has asked me to choose hinges!
I would have never chosen this colour! Not this shape!


Oh, no!
Was it a language problem?
I don't even know if hinges is the right word in English... (maybe cardine in Italian?)

Or was it a trick to get rid of these ugly pieces?

Oh, I am so stupid to not have though myself of this!

Big mistake! Big mistake!

We have discussed about colour and material and shape for the window frames, but that was it.
Windows need hinges and handles... an important detail!!!
Now I have to live with this...
... maybe I can paint them white?... every year.... sh*t!

Windows, windows... we have around 24 windows ...

Did I tell the other story about our windows?
That we had to order the windows in two different colours? White for the inside - and brown for the outside, because our architetto claimed that this is a restriction from the commune?
Pah!! Mistake!
This summer we learned, that white window frames for the outside is historically totally correct for palazzi in the historical center of Pizzo. Brown is more for the area around Serra San Bruno, mountain region...
No, this is not funny!

Okay, I have to admit, that maybe white windows might not look that great on our facade as we have white plaster like a second frame around the windows (see picture). So a brown window frame (or green or grey, also allowed by the town council) might look a bit less pale. We will see.

But not these window hinges and handles!
Big mistake: to not pay attention into details!

Another mistake (from my point of view) was the granite chosen for the window sills.

September 16, 2008

Living with or without IKEA

When we moved to Bangkok (Thailand) with 2 suitcases only, I had to setup a household. Bangkok has never seen an IKEA shop. And I had the problem to find my kitchenware, dishes and bed linen around a town with never ending traffic jams. How I envied the colleagues that have moved to Singapore where they had a one stop shopping weekend at IKEA and they have been setup with their household.

When I moved to Beijing (China), I moved into a fully furnished house (mainly furnished with IKEA items). However I appreciated to have IKEA around. It was a 15 minutes drive to the biggest and newest IKEA in Asia. Sometimes you need a chocolate powder shaker or a nice new bathroom floor mat or just lingonberry sauce.

Now I live in Stuttgart (Germany). And today, I decided to go to IKEA to buy some storage containers for toys and clothes. This requires to drive on the German Autobahn... about 30 minutes. Somehow I am not used to drive fast anymore. Everything over 120 km/h makes me brake out in sweat. Mercedes, Porsches, Audis are over passing like rockets ... finally I reached IKEA and I was surprised that it is packed on a Monday morning. Maybe I did not get the special breakfast voucher buy one get three.

I did not find what I wanted - the toys container, yes - but IKEA has no air-tight containers for clothes and I did not remember the name of a clothes-rail I used to buy (Ryäkösnix...? nor its product number) as the lady at the information counter requested.

I wondered about some rattan products made in Vietnam that used to be cute tourist souvenirs from a South-East Asia holiday and now, going global, are to be found at IKEA for 50 cents.

After having filled out my application for a Family Card (with no significant advantages), I bought some lingonberry sauce and went home. Maybe my next IKEA trip (if there is one) will be more fun.

But, I could use an IKEA to complete my palazzo household (one day in the future). My new neighbours, in Pizzo (Italy), bought some stuff at IKEA. And when I asked them where they went (I actually hoped, they will tell me that a new IKEA has opened not far away), they said, they went to Bari... from Pizzo, this is a 3 hours drive, one way ...
'Oh', was my answer.
No more complaints.

There are 15 IKEA outlets in Italy. Mainly in the North. Spain (mainland) has less. France has some more. Germany has 3 times more IKEA shops than Italy and 2 times more than Sweden. Interesting.

I think IKEA is still new in Italy and not that popular as it is in Germany. Italians have a lot of well-designed and affordable furniture and like the classic style. Even young people usually decorate their homes with antiques, combined with some modern classics. And nowadays added with some Scandinavian clean chic items by IKEA.

PS: In China, I saw once a room decorated with stuff from IKEA, mainly in white, in an Art Gallery. It was an installation. It could have been anybodies room anywhere in the world. Globalisation. Uniformation. Levelling.

PPS: Where is your next IKEA? What was your last IKEA buy and experience?

September 11, 2008

Precipitevolissimevolmente !

When you want to say 'as soon as possible' in Italian language it might be too late... because you will not be able to finish this word of 26 letters in time: "Precipitevolissimevolmente finish the facade and install the windows!"

Is this maybe the secret behind la dolce vita, that this word is just unpronounceable ?

Does 'as soon as possible' just does not exist in the Italian every day life?

Ah, it is not that romantic, of course different expressions are possible, egg prima possibile.

The history of precipitevolissimevolmente (hey, slowly I can remember it) and the longest Italian word can be found here (in Italian).

September 08, 2008

No Title

The old town of Pizzo, the centro storico, from the seaside.
If you are familiar with my blog, you recognize our house - next to the church, 54 meters above sea level ...
This picture I have, because it is floating in cyber space (attached to a sent email in yahoo). The IT guys are still working on the rest.

September 02, 2008

Back from Italy

I am back from Italy.

And I am starring at my blog and don't know what to write.

At least I want to write something interesting with some pictures.
But this is the problem.
The pictures.
I took hundreds of pictures, hundreds of landscape pictures, hundreds of family pictures and of course some pictures of the house.
My husband downloaded them to an external hard drive. And that's now not accessible. Not readable. Broken, or whatever.

I can't believe that all is gone. I still have hope that some magic IT guy will do some magic moves and *magic* all the pictures are back.

So in the meantime, I can give you a 'black & white' update:

I survived a month holiday with my Italian MIL. Actually, it was really nice. We have been a big Italian family - nine family members in peak times. And even more when friends were invited for dinner.

But you will ask, what about the palazzo?!
The house, the house... August is a holiday month, and so the workers left for holiday shortly after my arrival. They should be back today.

There was not that much progress in the past months. Two of the four workers had been working on another project (an Irish couple became new pizzitani, citizen of Pizzo, at least for the summer time).

However we met the architetto and met with the hydraulico and the electicista. The marmorista was also seen on site one day. The guy who is supposed to deliver the windows was on holiday as well, but we heard that the windows are ready. The doors are not finalized. Meaning that the wooden doors are not designed or decided. However the internal metal bodies of the doors were already mounted.

We made some decisions on the lighting of the seminterrato (basement). And I was measuring the six bathrooms to be able to make decisions on sinks and shower plates.

In the last days I was a regular visitor at Duravit & co (see my bath links on the blog roll). And I found out with my sister - while observing our kids playing in the sand box - that we have common interests in supergliss and softclose that can be ordered for Starck 3 toilets.

And some very pleasant news from Pizzo.
We met new neighbours!
They have been living in the same street for a year now and we met thanks to my blog. They bought a former furniture warehouse that was located in the seminterrato of a plazzo with same sea views from the same rock as ours. They used to work with another architect. And I was really impressed how they changed the dark warehouse space into a modern but cosy Mediterranean open space loft style apartment.

It was great and helpful to get some hints for our renovation. E.g. instead of terracotta tiles as flooring they use oak panels, everywhere, including the entrance, kitchen and bathrooms. And they painted walls with bold colours, in the kitchen and the bathrooms instead of using tiles.

That's enough for today. I will be back with more 'black&white' posts, or I will have to use some flickr pics for a change.