Who, me? Superstitious?

In past years, one of the local supermarkets in Myrtleford has provided calendars to their valued customers. This year, no doubt as a cost saving measure, they are not offering this little freebie. So, I went to the local discount store and bought one.


I don’t recall many things my mother told me, but as I looked at the pages of the calendar, I heard her warning, from at least 70 years ago “Never put up a new calendar until the first day of the new year. It’s very bad luck to put it up before then.” I’ve never once disobeyed her, and I’m not about to start now. 

So, what, if anything, are you superstitious about? Do you remember the origin of your personal superstition(s)?



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Ta-Da! Thank you John

For those of you who might suffer from short term memory degradation, here is a reminder for you. This image first appeared in a post a few days back, but unfortunately,  none of us could fully understand the dialect of Naples.


Thanks to a bloke who lives down in the big capital city of the fair state in which I live, and thanks to him having a friend who could do the job, we now have a translation. 

(I think I’ll just hand my post over to the bloke and Maxine!)

The new commandments of a true Napoletano

1.  The football team of your heart is Napoli
2.  On Sunday you must eat Pasta with meat sauce
3.  Every day you must say something in Neapolitan Dialect
4.  At Christmas time you must eat Struffoli, and at Easter the Pastiera* and the   Casatiello**
5.  You get angry at Naples, but if you leave it you long for it.
6.  You spend all your money,
7.  You’d stay in bed all your life.
8.  You’ll do everything tomorrow.
9.  You don’t do anything, but if you must, let someone else do it.
10. You are born tired and you want to rest during the day and sleep at night.

[There you go Yvonne. From one of my Australian Italian friends who was born in Tunisia.]

  •  If you’re wondering what pastiera is:    pastiera
  • ** If you’re wondering what casatiello is:  casatiello


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Ta-da! Thank you, Maxine

Maxine has now arrived back home from a trip away, and she went straight to the computer to share her recipe for Struffoli.

Please, if any of you make them, let us know. And, I’ll send my address to you, so I can be a test taster. I think that’s only fair. 

Thank you again, Maxine, you’re a star.

Struffoli – aka honey balls
2 lbs flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoon baking powder
3 shots of anisette or sambuca
5 large eggs
Cream together sugar & butter, add anisette and eggs, gradually add flour and form a ball. Knead in flour until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Now, cut a chunk of dough, not very big, just enough to make a rope with the thickness of your thumb. About a 1/2″ round and slice it in 1/2″ pieces. Then drop into hot oil. I use Canola and fried to a golden brown. I usually test it by cut one open to make sure it’s not doughy inside. Continue until all the dough is fried. In another pot, I pour in the honey and heat it up. Then I drop in the balls.I find by doing this you use less honey and it covers the Struffoli better.

If you want to, you can decorate with sprinkle and candy fruit. Let me know if there are any questions. I hope that I’ve written the directions clearly. (Absolutely clear, Maxine.)

The next post will reveal the secret of the 10 Neapolitan commandments, thanks to the sleuthing of another friend.



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Not quite Banksy, but interesting

Scattered around Naples, often in tiny side alleys, street artworks of varied kinds can be found.


What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of this piece of “art”?


There must be a story/legend attached to this one. I hope someone can enlighten us.

This one was intriguing, it is written in the Neapolitan dialect, and seems to be the new 10 commandments for true Neapolitans. Is there anyone in the group who can translate this for us? Number 4 caught my eyes, it seems to be what to eat at Christmas (Natale) and Easter (Pasca).




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Madonna with a pistol

I assume most of you have heard of Banksy. If not, trot off and read a little bit about this mystery man.  Banksy

Before my somewhat truncated visit to Naples, I had read that there was a work of Banksy’s somewhere in Naples, and I was determined I would find it, no matter how long it took me. I didn’t have to look very far, it turned out to be just at the top of the street where my apartment was located! Huh, that took all the challenge out of the search. I  ate a nice rhum baba, just for spite.

So, here’s what you will see, if you walk up Via San Gregorio Armeno. I never expected to be up close and personal with one of Banksy’s works. It’s kept well protected from the busy folks who graffiti every square millimeter of space in this city.



There, now you can see the pistol

This image from street art in Naples shows how casually exposed the stencil was before it was given some protection.

street art napoli

Have any of you seen works by Banksy? I think they are to be found in many places around the world.



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Playing chicken while knitting

There may be some amongst my followers who pursue the gentle craft of knitting. If so, some of you may know that heart-stopping moment when you have a certain amount of wool left, and wonder whether it will be enough to knit to the end of that row, which is a preferred place to begin a new ball of wool. I used to call this “playing chicken”. Sometimes I won, often the wool did. Then, I was left with the choice of joining the wool in the middle of the row (ugh, it never looks neat), or ripping back and starting a new ball at the beginning of that row. Are you still with me, or have I cured your insomnia?


Oh, good grief, is there enough wool to get to the other end of the row?   

Well, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I no longer suffer from this demoralising problem, and I’m going to share this happy knitter’s tip with you.

Here’s what you must do, beloved reader/knitter. Simply measure the width of the garment you are ruefully gazing upon. Multiply this width by 4. Now, measure the length of yarn dangling there. If it is greater than the result you had obtained with the mathematical exercise, she’ll be right, mate! (I suppose if you’re into doing complex patterns you’d better add on a bit more, just to be on the safe side.) I can confirm that it worked for me. I’m in knitting heaven! And, I’m hoping I’ll wear the finished project in Italy one day.


I felt so smug

There, I’ve broken my blogging drought, and it’s nice to be back. 



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My stay in Naples has come to an abrupt halt, and I  am on my way back to Australia to meet a tall, dark, competent orthopaedic surgeon. Talk about your drama queen, eh?

Behave yourselves while I’m  not here  to discipline you. Don’t  do anything I would do. 😊



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