Posts Tagged ‘Tuscany’

Those restless flies. How many did you ingest?

December 6, 2016


The heat was evident early on. The previous night, one slept restless. This is often a sign of change in weather. We decided to go and visit a large book-barn situated not far from here. It is called Berkelouw’s Book Barn. It has books but also an indoor/outdoor restaurant and wine-bar. Berkelouw specialises in both new, second hand and antique books. At this particular venue in the middle of a vine-yard, they also hold weddings. On special requests one can also organise a ripping funeral as well. Something to keep in mind for the future. It would be rather nice to be buried surrounded by friendly books. They are so forgiving and don’t hold grudges.

I was rather chuffed to read that Berkelouw’s actually started their book shop enterprices in my birth city of Rotterdam in The Netherlands. Here a link;
Do please read this fascinating bit of a successful Dutch family’s migration to Australia.

After Helvi and I arrived at Berkelouw’s book bar we decide to have a coffee and browse through some books. We wanted to find large print editions of John Mortimer’s memoirs. The heat by then was getting hotter and with our dog Milo in tow I went straight to a table in the shade of a large conifer. Conifers always give shade and welcome humans for rest, giving a free renewal for mind’s spirit. A sustenance not easily obtained in pre-Christmas shopping malls! While Helvi was inside browsing Mortimer books, I ordered a Margarita Pizza and changed the coffee into two beers instead. You can see the two glasses of beer and the table setting at a photo on top of this blog.

I don’t know why this is so, but flies in Australia are almost an institution. You rarely see politicians being interviewed in the open air without battling swarming flies. They fling their arms about as if seeking flight. It is known as the Australian wave. The flies too are housed comfortably at Berkelouw’s. Especially after a pizza arrives. When the Margarita arrived to our table, the flies knew they were in for a treat. I understood why most of the people were inside. It took bravery and persistence to eat outside. Even so, it wasn’t too bad if you kept one arm free. One had to be tolerant, and imagine that the black spot on your slice of pizza moments before inserting it in your mouth was just part of an olive instead of a fly.

Of course, the setting of this book-barn is absolutely mouth watering. Just look at that row of poplars above the table. Next door is Berkelouw’s vine-yard. The whole place is built out of local sandstone. Superb architecture of stone and wood with magic fireplaces in use during winter. The flies are a minor issue, really. One could easily imagine being in Tuscany or even a French country-side somewhere north-east of Montpellier. At the end of our lunch I had eaten at least twelve flies and Helvi reckoned perhaps eight or nine. A small price to pay for such a lovely setting. The Margarita was great. Fresh herbs, especially the basil was spot on. We will go again but perhaps after a good thunderstorm. Flies usually disappear after a good storm. At least, that is what we say. It gives comfort.