Petite Anglaise by Katherine Sanderson

Finally, finally we got rain yesterday.

Starting around noon just as I was peeling garlic to make this for lunch, it began to storm and continued for a good two hours with lightning, thunder, the works. I unplugged everything as a precaution, which turned out to be a good idea because we did have a power surge and lost power for a few hours after the storm.

So what was a girl in southern Italy without electricity to do on a rainy late August afternoon? Why, make a cup of mint tea and grab the latest book sent to her by a most lovely, generous blog reader:

Grazie mille Andrea!

Do you read Petite Anglaise, the blog? You should.

I’m *loving* the book as well, I must say. Ms Sanderson is simply a brilliant writer, but don’t take my word for it. Check out her blog, and then after you emerge from hours of reading through her archives, order her book.

So I read another 100 pages or so in this charming book that I’m finishing way too quickly and in between chapters, peeked out the balcony doors and used the zoom on my camera to take photos of some pink flowers (don’t think I wasn’t thinking of you, somepinkflowers!) that were passing the time catching raindrops.

And to think I was lazily reading and sipping tea while they were out there working so hard.

When was the last time you got rained out?

What do you do when you’re without electricity?

Buon weekend!


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28 Beans of Wisdom to “Petite Anglaise by Katherine Sanderson”
  1. 08.29.2008

    Beautiful the vibrancy of the pink!!

    Once you have picked the book up, you can’t put it down, especially if you are rained in!!! Well what else are you meant to do?

    Tea, good book, and comfort, just right for a wet few hours. How lovely of your blogging reader. πŸ™‚

    anne’s last blog post..French Cheeses

    So lovely indeed! I have the best readers/friends πŸ™‚

  2. 08.29.2008

    I can’t remember the last time it rained. You lucky thing – I hope it’s heading up here.

    If I’m without electricity, I cuddle the dogs, because it’ll be due to a storm and they get sooooo scared.

    casalba’s last blog post..Riviera del Conero

    Who knows when it will rain again here, but I sure did enjoy yesterday…I’ll do my best to send you some πŸ™‚ My dogs are pretty good in storms, although Luna hates fireworks.

  3. 08.29.2008

    If y’all (I have to say that, I’m in the South) want rain, come here! I’m still stuck in Lousiana and Hurricane Gustav is on his way!!

    It’s been raining off and on her all week and today we got some dark clouds and a bit more rain.

    But, I am all stocked up on new books to read and I have plenty o’ tea on hand in my hotel room. Looks like I’m good to go!!

    Love the pink theme of the post today! πŸ™‚

    Salena’s last blog post..Eddie Mad Hatter Friday

    Well I could certainly do without Gustav, and I hope you’re spared too! Sounds like a great day ahead for you though πŸ™‚

  4. 08.29.2008

    I so so so wish it would rain in Rome. It looked like rain the other night and I was so happy…and then the storm clouds vanished and the humidity came back even worse!

    By the way have you got my book in the post yet? I asked bel ragazzo’s dad to post it but maybe it is still on their kitchen bench? I am back to Calabria for a trip to the doctor’s this weekend so if it is still there I will post it – so the next time you have a black out you have something else to read πŸ™‚

    Leanne’s last blog post..Picking up the tourist pace in Rome

    Nothing yet, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t sent of course! I’d say to enjoy your visit to Calabria, but with a doctor’s visit, I’m not sure that’s appropriate πŸ˜‰

  5. Yum! I loved those beans the first time round. I love storms too.

    We went on a spontaneous camping trip a week or so ago. In blistering heat we dug out the tent and took off with some friends. We pitched, also in blistering heat, half way up a mountain in a old olive grove and then we saw it coming, the most monumental storm I’ve ever seen. Surely the end of the world, black skies, sheet lightening, fork lightening, howling wind, driving rain… you get the picture. We left the tent and ran, dragging the kids behind us…to the terrace of a nearby bar…(I only ever camp where you can get a decent cappucino!) and waited the storm out drinking thick hot chocolate laced with rum!!! We loved every thrilling second of it.

    amanda@A Tuscan View…’s last blog post..Ferragosto

    Hot chocolate laced with rum?! Now *that* is the way to camp. Sounds so lovely!

  6. Scicchi

    It hasn’t rained much here in the last few weeks but we had some yesterday and they are calling for some today( right in time for the first football game…figures)

    The kids love it when the power goes out at night. They get to run around with flash lights and search through the house. Why it is not the same thing if we just turn all the lights out one night, I don’t know πŸ™‚

    They(we) especially like it when it REALLY goes out, street lights and everything. The town looks so dark and creepy, but so neat as well.

    I remember *hoping* we’d lose power when I was a kid during summer thunderstorms! LOVED living in candlelight even for a few hours. The suspense of not knowing when you’d be able to live normally again was just so exciting. Now I just worry about my appliances, etc. πŸ˜‰

  7. 08.29.2008

    Great photos and that sounds like a fabulous afternoon, rain, a cup of tea and some reading.

    As for what we do when the lights are out, it is usually a board game with the kids.

    running42k’s last blog post..Feliz anniverserio

    Was just going to write in the response to the previous comment that I seem to remember board games during black or brown-outs…how fun!

  8. 08.29.2008

    We had monumental temporali on ferragosto. And the new roof HELD. Glory be!

    Judith in Umbria’s last blog post..Summer in a Jar

    Woohoo! Reason to celebrate! Was it put on by Calabrese workers per chance? πŸ˜‰

  9. 08.29.2008

    OH! Forgot, have seen this book mentioned elsewhere in my world. Review coming?

    Judith in Umbria’s last blog post..Summer in a Jar

    Once again, you read my mind. Just wrote on my to-do list last night “Book review(s) for blog?” as I haven’t done one in quite a while….

  10. 08.29.2008

    Those pictures are truly beautiful!! That is truly a perfect way to spend the afternoon. I can’t remember the last time it rained here in NJ. I think it was sometime in July. Lucky for us, the weather man has predicted thunderstorms for tomorrow!!!
    I read a review of petite anglaise over at Coquette’s site.. and then I clicked over to the author’s site. I would love to read this book. It’s on my list!! Have a good weekend. xo

    bella’s last blog high

    It rained once here in June (the second night by Mom was here) but before that, we hadn’t seen rain since early May…we’ve had a long stretch as well, and who knows when it will rain again?

    Coquette is in the book too! Love blogging πŸ™‚

  11. 08.29.2008

    Cool way to spend a rainy day with NO electricity. πŸ˜‰ I’m going to check out the book. Always looking for a good read. Beautiful flower shots.


    Paz’s last blog post..Egg Curry

    Hope you enjoy the book as much as I am loving it Paz πŸ™‚

  12. 08.29.2008

    What a coincidence!! I *just* picked it up from the library, yesterday. It has been on backorder and it just arrived!!!

    Can’t wait to dig in this long weekend.

    And to answer your question- I love standing out on my porch in the rain- just getting sprayed with a little mist makes me happy πŸ™‚ Oh, and I can’t really share what I like to do when the electric goes out πŸ˜‰

    *wink, wink*

    My MΓ©lange’s last blog post..Baked Peaches with Pistachios

    Alrighty then! Hope you enjoy the book πŸ™‚

  13. 08.29.2008

    I love rainy afternoons — a book, my fleece blanket and some pillows is all I need, with a little break to make some chai or mint tea. Sometimes, rain also gets me in a collaging mood, and I become incredibly productive with my collaging supplies which I don’t use as often as I would like.

    I read Petite Anglaise on and off since the beginning of her blog — though ironically I missed a big part of the interesting stuff in 2006 — I’m not sure why either. I need to check the book out from the library πŸ™‚

    City Girl’s last blog post..Fashion Friday — A Lesson from Audrey Hepburn

    Ooh I love creating when it’s raining outside…something in the water that inspires for sure πŸ™‚

  14. 08.29.2008

    You are so lucky to have both the rain and the time to read! I’m so happy for you! I will have to go check out that book asap. I’m always on the lookout for a good read. When it rains I usually iron…how dull, I know! But, the clothes are not going to iron themselves, are they? she said sounding exactly like her mother! I put on the TV for company and have at it.

    Saretta’s last blog post..Scuba Boy

    Oh goodness I don’t iron, rain or shine. You’re welcome to come here next time it starts raining πŸ˜‰

  15. 08.29.2008

    We have also gotten dumped on with rain recently. We needed it badly. I think our area got 4-6 inches. Of course it is back to hot and humid today. I do live in the southeast area of the U.S. after all.

    When hurricane Isabel came through here a few years back we lost power for 8 days. You read that right…8 days. Some in our area lost it for 2 weeks.

    We used our grill a lot and went out to eat. Luckily it was in September, so we didn’t miss the A/C or the heat. I went to a friends to shower and catch a little T.V.

    Thotlady’s last blog post..Make me mad…

    OK losing power for a few hours is kind of fun…EIGHT DAYS? Not so much. Wow.

  16. 08.29.2008

    Oh I love rain and I love curling up with a good book and in my case coffee instead of tea..sounds like the perfect day!
    The pictures are beautiful!!
    I will most definitely check out that blog!
    Have a fabulous weekend, loving your little election updates on facebook..too funny πŸ˜‰

    Tea just seemed appropriate reading an English girl’s book πŸ˜‰ Glad you’re enjoying my tweets from Twitter (that appear on Facebook). I’ve been hooked on election coverage these past few days!

  17. 08.30.2008

    lack of electricity around these parts usually means a hurricane has arrived so…we board up the windows, fire up the generator & hunker down! or we evacuate! i prefer the hunkering down types myself…out come the candles, books, stories, games. if you can get past the howling wind outside, it is quite cool.

    qualcosa di bello’s last blog post..summer’s safety net

    Howling wind doesn’t thrill me either, Qualcosa…but those candles, books, stories, and games sure sound fun πŸ™‚

  18. Andrea

    OMG! Shriek! I got a shout out! I’m (kinda) famous now. I’ll try not to let it go to my head. haha
    Glad you’re enjoying the book!

    That’s right, and you’d be even *more* famous if you’d start a blog….

  19. 08.30.2008

    An american girl in Italy!! Buon Giorno!!
    I found you through Gills blog, glad I came to visit!
    I’ve dreamed of visiting Italy one day, It must be
    I am writing the name of the book you’re reading
    I will read about it and possibly suggest it for my
    book club.
    thanks! Your blog looks so inviting, love your flowers!
    (oh, to answer your cute questions…
    I can’t remember when i was rained out last, but
    i do remember that we were powerless a few years ago
    and my youngest son and I played board games by candlelight)

    lucy’s last blog post..Somewhere Out there

    Hi Lucy! Thanks so much for coming by πŸ™‚ I do hope you enjoy the book and also make it to Italy πŸ˜‰

  20. Shelley

    Long time, no talk, Sognatrice! (For old time’s sake!)

    So I’m finally on the other side of the pond. And finally getting caught up on blogs after being off the radar for too long! (That’s what happens when a baby hits the scene).

    Lovely flowers. And I trust you’ll be the next blogger to write a book? That is, if you beat Arlene to it. Baci! Come visit me on my English or Italian blogs one of these days…

    Ciao bella! I have been peeking in on you (in both English and Italian); just haven’t had time to comment, but will do so shortly!

  21. Gil

    The pictures are just beautiful. I was reading about all of the fires in Southern Italy earlier in the evening and was going to ask you how you were making out. If you had rain all should be okay?

    When we were young we didn’t mind a little power outage as my Mother had a gas stove and we ate just the same! In fact my Wife & I have the same stove. Now I miss the lack of water, well, lights, and heat in the Winter when the power goes out! Just about getting old!

    We have a gas stove too, so there’s no issue there without electricity…only that instead of starting right away, I have to use an old-fashioned lighting method–Aim and Flame!

    We’ve been pretty lucky with fires this year in my immediate area, actually. We got another soaking on Friday, so hopefully the ground is saturated now πŸ™‚

  22. vanessa

    ha we had a HUGE thunderstorm in the middle of last night. Woke me up it was SO loud (thunder and the heavy rain) and went on for hours, or so it seemed. I’d say last time it rained before that was maybe June or perhaps May.

    Last time we had a blackout was during another storm, in the winter and this time the problem was the rain. I was home alone on a Friday night. With the baby of course. I heard a few loud bangs and followed the sound outside. The rain was soaking through the electricity cables (taped to the outside of the house – oh so safe Sicily!!!) and they were sparking big time. Even though we are not near to our neighbours i guess the bangs and the sparks were loud enough for them to hear. ANd certainly out of season for fireworks!! So we had a few balcony audiences. I actually couldn’t watch safely so went back inside in time to hear the grand finale explosion and the electricity to disappear once and for all.

    So i spent the the time calling ENEL, my husband and various other people who would know what to do. In between consoling a tired hungry baby whose dinner had been interrupted, that is. There was the obligatory confusion as well as the landline was down so i had to use the mobile and ENEL had trouble grasping why i couldn’t look on the website for the correct numbers etc. So typical.

    Anyway, to my great surprise, a repair truck arrived within the hour and in the pouring rain, 2 men got out their ladders (NO safety equipment anywhere to be seen!!) and proceeded to cut out the burnt section of wire and rewire in a new one. When i mentioned the rain they put an extra layer of duct tape over the join. So far it’s been good. But i have to say i had NO time to sit down and read a nice book by candlelight!!!

    Oh that is such a classic Sicilian tale! I didn’t get to read by candlelight though…the blackout was during the day πŸ˜‰

  23. 08.30.2008

    Well, it’s rained here in Florida for several weeks now, and pretty much, I’m just trying to keep the tiny Hello Kitty umbrella over Eliza’s head while trying not to get too wet myself from the extra water from said umbrella. πŸ™‚ Clearly, there’s no reading here… too many kids.

    But the last time the power went out, we drug out the board games and had a family game night. Lots of fun, actually.

    Chel’s last blog post..Platform 9 3/4 … tonight … don’t be late

    Well I don’t think I really want *weeks* of rain, but a few more small storms would be nice…with the option of electricity though. If it’s lightning outside, I’ll pull the plugs anyway, but it’s nice to be able to turn things back on after the storm passes πŸ™‚

  24. 08.31.2008

    I can’t believe you got rain!!! When are we going to get some?! Great photos!

    Delina’s last blog post..Naples in August

    Thanks Delina; hope you get some rain soon!

  25. 09.01.2008

    We usually break out a board game if we’re without power. We’ve had lots of pretty strong rain storms this summer, but surprisingly we’ve kept power through them all.

    Shan’s last blog post..once again wondering where they come up with this stuff

    Why is it not at all surprising to me that Canada’s electricity is even more reliable than ours in Italy? πŸ˜‰

  26. 09.03.2008

    This makes the fourth book I want to read as soon as Don Quixote is done. And I SO want Don Quixote to be DONE. It’s great, actually, it’s just keeping me from too many other things.

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Wednesday: End-of-Summer Gratin

    I think you’ll enjoy it Jen; she’s a wonderful writer πŸ™‚

  27. i have read petite anglaise! love it! πŸ™‚

    Hope you are well hon! πŸ™‚ The weather in england has been awful! NO SUMMER AT ALL!!! boooo whooooo!

    Ah we got plenty of summer here…still have it in fact with another mini-heat wave over the past few days. I’ll trade you for a few days of rain!

  28. 10.31.2008

    A perfect rainy afternoon, I say…

    Agreed Irene πŸ™‚



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake