24 May 2005


hey guys! sorry it's been a while, and apologies for typos... funny old italian keyboards!
so, where to start?... on our last morning in rome, expecting to get more of the same at the train station, we headed out with heavy hearts. on arriving att he station, we FOUND OUR TRAIN STRAIGHT AWAY, and we GOT OFF AT THE RIGHT STOP, and FOUND OUR CONNECTING TRAIN, and besically everything went suspiciously smoothly... which has set the tone for the last few days. the train ride got progressively slower and more beautiful, the day got progressively sunnier... the smiles on our faces got progressively wider... it was all very progressive, really.

on arrival in certaldo we set off on the 25 minute hike to the hostel. it was sunny but not TOO hot, and when we found the place (without much hassle)... WOW! guys, this is pretty much everything you could possibly want. it is an old monastary set on the side of the hill, surrounded by olive trees, vinyards... the hostel is charmingly ramshackle, with HUGE common areas, and single beds - YEP! NO BUNKS!!! - there are hammocks, benches, a pool... GAH! i know some of you were already jealous, but if the rest of you arenàt jealous of us now, then NOTHING will ever move you!

that afternoon we found a bar (a cross between a cafe, a bar and a dodgy truck stop) that had sky, and watched the cup final... those of you who care already know all about it, those of you who donàt care... arsenal won 5-4 on penalties... anyway, the point is we made the effort. that night the bar attached to the property had a band playing - very cool. it was sort of bizarre sitting in the heart (or belly button... yep, belly button is definately better!) of tuscany, listening to a fusion of jaz, irish and italian folk, pop-ish stuff... anyway it was good.

on sunday, we were LAZY. read, wrote, swung on hammocks, had siesta, went for swim... and in the evening the guys put on a HUGE BBQ, with vino a-plenty, salads, etc... guitar, etc. dan and i played a couple of NMTOD songs (Winston and Farmer's Lament) which went down surprisingly well! went on til late-ish, fell into bed, slept well!

yesterday dan and i went up to the old town, certaldo alto, and spent a few hours wandering around in the old castle - great historical notes, gloomy dungeons, cool contemporary art exhibition (sex, death and horses... from what we could make out), BEAUTIFUL views from the wall and tower... great. recommended, coz itàs not too touristy, and very quiet and lazy feeling... in the afternoon we went on a haphazard tour with brad from the hostel. included san gimignano, another old city, with more towers and therefore more tourists, and excellent gelati (esp the saffron flavour!)... then to a vinyard, where we were given a spontaneous tour of the vinyard and winemaking process by luca (luka? luka bloom? no, unfortunately not...), and a nice little tasting. dan and i have an expensive bottle of red (ginovese, shiraz and merlot, aged for a year in french oak... mmm) which we will drink soon!!!

today, off to firenze (florence) for a day trip... i know we should spend longer, but, hey... anyway we hope youàre all well. we are writing this off line to save on internet costs... but will update in another few days! take care, and love and hugs...!!!


  1. Jonny Switchblade3:42 pm, May 25, 2005

    Hello chaps!

    Ah yes, Tuscany, it all sounds very...Tuscan. The real variety too, not like the faux variety out in Kangaroo Ground (not far from Hurstbridge) that was promoted on Getaway...How I did laugh when the profiled it as Tuscany in Victoria! Surprisingly enough they didn't show any Kangaroo Ground's fantastic array of road kill. ALAS!

    I went shopping today, which was slightly difficult, as I have no money. However, it did provide an excellent opportunity to see the local bogans in their native habitat ie: Greensborough Plaza. Yes, there was even a young lady with leggings on and a pair of big ug boots. I was heartily impressed.

    I did spend a EzyDVD gift voucher and bought season 1 of Black Books. I'm hoping to model myself on Bernard and improve my customer service skills in the bookshop.

    Well, I've let you glimpse the black pit of eternal despair known as the North Eastern suburbs and no doubt you've gone mad...better leave it there.

    Jonny S. (hanging outside the post office with a stabbing in his pocket)

    PS: Yes viral Esther, I can perform all kinds of horrendous amateur surgery...don't hesitate to give Dr. Switchblade a call. As Vyv so eloquently said to Neil in the Young Ones "I'll cut your bottoms off!" I can also make your insides outsides if you so desire. I hear wearing your intestines stapled to a nice T-Shirt is all the rage in Milan. Dial 555 SWITCHBLADE now!
    PPS: I wish the Boosh was on DVD, and then I would have bought that too. It is a most lovely show, accurately described by Noel Fielding as "like the inside of wasp." TEE HEE!
    PPS: Wow Esther J! Your Andy Serkis obsession is rivalling your various others with strange English men. Viva la Serkis!

  2. esther von serkis6:10 pm, May 25, 2005

    Hey hey!! *clicks and points with both hands* (kind of sleazy new move I just made up!)

    So, Tuscany you say. Yes, jealous now. Got your point. Also, got your postcard today! with a dead arm on it! wow, dead arms. you know my tastes too well!

    i am tired, getting up at 6am does not seem to go so well with going to bed at 10.30pm after eating pancakes and drinking wine with young Genna and kiwiman Cale (the boyf) the night before. t'was all good fun though and i am all for the good fun. he is such a TOTAL FOREIGNER that he doesn't know what Iron Chef is! How is this be????!! (because obviously Iron Chef is culturally pure Aussie and not originating from somewhere like Japan, say!) So quite possibly there will be a bit of watching the new Doctor Who, followed by Iron Chef and Iron Chef drinking game. Ah, there will be much - drunkeness - to be had at Cardigan St, while I count down the number of rents i have to pay before I leave (at the moment 2 - but one is due, ooh look, today) and number of months I have left in which to seduce Genna (depends on who dies first, or when i lose interest, or, in fact, when she succumb to THE INEVITABLE!)

    love, von Esther

    ps. Jonny S, the Boosh DVD is due to come out in September this year i think!! I could pick you up a copy in England if you want! only might be the wrong thingime for Aussie dvd players, and also, would be annoying to carry round on my travels. may just have to pick up mike fielding/naboo instead. or billy boyd. or both. tee hee! *maniacal look in the eyes* oh yes! *rubs hands in glee*