Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Diane needs…

I found this meme at Kim’s @ Laketrees. She borrowed it from Sandee’s @ Comedy Plus who was tagged by Mimi of Mimi Writes for the The Needs Meme. Mimi was tagged by Shannon’s Moments of Introspection who was tagged by Dawn’s Daily Life ……
This one is pretty simple and looks pretty silly.
The rules: All you have to do is Google your first name with the word needs behind it and post the results.

It sounded fun so I decided to play along too. I googled ‘Diane’ follwed by ‘needs’ and these are 12 of the 14,700,000 results I got.

  1. Diane needs a pigfoot and a bottle of beer…
  2. Diane needs someone claiming to be a long lost relative….
  3. Diane needs to reconcile both sides of herself…
  4. Diane needs to wake up…
  5. Diane needs a loan from her father…
  6. Diane needs help!
  7. (what) Diane needs is a good affair…
  8. (what) Diane needs is only moist, well drained organic soil…
  9. Diane needs to be more sexy and more out there…
  10. Diane needs bossing…
  11. Diane needs to eat more…
  12. Diane needs is a f*%*&*g good shower.

Well, what can I say? Some are spookily truer than others – but I’m not telling you which ones!

I’m going to tag the following blogging friends to have a go – but only if you’d like to.

TeresaAmyJennySueColinKyleePaulwritinggbScratchbags70steenAstridDrowsey MonkeyFracasLady BananaPeteej and anyone else who thinks this might be a fun thing to do….help yourself.

Now guess what?

I made a book! The weather has been very iffy again so I took the opportunity to use some of the lovely paper I have hanging around. I think I am back in the groove…

Now I know I promised not to bang on about Italy again but that was before I decided to sort out a cupboard (looking for #1 son’s passport) and came across some old photographs from 1999.  In fact, the date stamped on these photographs is 09.09.99. and as we are approaching 08.08.08 and I have just paid the man who cuts my lawn £108 on 01.08.08  (I am coming over all numerological. Is there such a word?) Anyway, it also happens the photographs were of a magical trip to – you’ve guessed it – Italy! Portofino, Carrara and Siena, to be precise. So for what I promise will be the last time I mention Italy for AGES, here are some highlights of the trip.

First Portofino, a picture postcard perfect village in Liguria, on the Northern coast of Italy. My ex and I drove there for a wedding anniversary – 23rd I think…

The harbour at Portofino


We left Portofino and drove to Carrara to meet up with a friend, Stephen Cox, who is a sculptor. He wanted to show us the marble quarry where he buys the marble for some of his work. It was one of the most memorable days of my life – for all sorts of reasons.

All images here on in can be enlarged by clicking on them

You can see Carrara as you drive along the motorway that follows the coast in Northern Italy. The mountains behind the town look as if they are snow covered but in fact, it is the white marble that the area is famous for, gradually being revealed by the quarrying which has been going on since Roman times. In fact, the Pantheon and Trajan’s column, in Rome are made of it. This is my favourite photograph of the Pantheon.

The interior of the Pantheon

When we reached Carrara, we drove to the place where Stephen buys his marble from. It’s a huge yard with an enormous machine like a band saw which saws the huge marble chunks into appropriate sizes.

The owner of the place then drove us in a Land Rover into the mountains to see where the marble originated. We drove up to the edge of town and then suddenly started to drive up a rough, gravelly track, barely wider than the Land Rover. This is the road we were driving up.

The road up the mountain

Whenever, we got to the end of a section, we had to do a three point turn to get round the corner. The back of the car was hanging over a precipice as we got higher and higher. If you enlarge this photograph, you can see cars parked at the bottom – see how tiny they are! After a terrifying journey, we arrived at the quarry and we were astonished to see the scale of the operation up there. HUGE earthmovers and dumper trucks (which had obviously done the same journey at some point – in fact the trucks do it several times a day – loaded with giant blocks of marble) were cutting away at the mountain face, carving enormous cubes of the stone.

Here are some shots of the process.

After we left Carrara, we drove to Siena, where Stephen had an exhibition in the square in front of the Duomo (cathedral) called ‘Interior Spaces’. He had placed 4 huge hollow marble boxes which resembled sarcophagi in the piazza. It was wonderful to see people interacting with them – peering through openings, looking at the light shining through them or even just using them as somewhere to sit and enjoy the sunshine.

We spent a few days in Siena which, as I have already mentioned in my previous post, is a beautiful city. It is famous for a horse race held there twice a year called the ‘Palio‘. It is hotly contested by 10 of the 17 ‘contradas‘ or districts of Siena. Each contrada is named after an animal or a symbol and has it’s own flag, colours, uniform and traditions. The race dates dates back to medieval times and during the year each contrada parades in the streets playing music and waving their flags to drum up support. I saw the ‘Aquila’ (Eagle) contrada parading through the streets.

Contrada flags

Here is a video I found on YouTube of a Palio race. It is my ambition to see one but perhaps not in the middle of this crowd – on one of the balconies overlooking the Campo would be my choice!

This has been rather a long post but I had to get it all in – promise I shall move on from Italy now.

At least for a time anyway…..arrivederci!

28 responses to “Diane needs…

  1. strugglingwriter August 2, 2008 at 3:51 am

    Just saying hello right now. The season finale of Doctor has just finished and I haven’t watched it because my daughter was still awake. We videotaped it, but my wife has now fallen asleep with the little one. I sooo want to watch it, but will wait for my wife.

    Anyhow, great book and I will comment on this post later when I have more time :) Also, I’ll do the meme.

    In the meantime, pigfoot? Ewww. Beer? Yum.

  2. Creechman August 2, 2008 at 4:06 am

    Number 7 sounds good to me if you can continue to take snapshots like that.

    Sensational photos darling.

  3. Pingback: Silliness « Paper Kitty

  4. Daddy Papersurfer August 2, 2008 at 7:41 am

    “It was one of the most memorable days of my life – for all sorts of reasons.” – how enigmatic. The mind begins to wander in all sorts of directions. Mmmmmmmmmm ………

    ……… and next time you don’t write anything about Italy please remind me to make a sandwich and a cup of coffee before I start reading.

    [Love quarries – never been there – must go there]

  5. Diane August 2, 2008 at 9:05 am

    SW – you are so good! Waiting for your wife – I would be nudging her awake….but then I’m an impatient, nasty person :-) I hope you have seen it by now and enjoyed it as much as I did. Let me know when you have seen it and we can talk about it – don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t seen it yet (see, I’m not so nasty!)
    Glad you want to do the meme – it’s a fun easy one to do!

    Mark – I think my ex took some of the photos (as I’m in them!) I’m going to say that I took anything I’m not in but after so long – who can say? :-)

    DP – that’s for me to know and you to find out…..
    I know it was a long post, but so much happened during those few days. And I for forgot to mention that we were taken to the bit of the mountain where it was obvious that heavy machinery had not been used to cut out the marble. It was now abandoned but it was where Michaelangelo got his marble from (so our guide said) I picked up a piece from the floor and still have it – it’s beautiful. Purest white.
    And after the longest post, the longest reply to a comment….. :(

    And that is my last word on Italy.

  6. scratchbags August 2, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks for tagging me Diane, will do it. It sounds interesting.:) Hmmm Diane needs a good affair. Is it?:-P The first two pictures are BEAUTIFUL. Did I ever tell you that I have this thing for stationery? In fact my dad used to tease me that all the stationery shops in town run because of his hard earned money that his daughter spends exorbitantly in buying all the useless diaries and pencils. I think I share the love of books with you. I’ll be missing all these Italy posts. Meanwhile, till you come up with next post on Italy, I’ll keep reading and re reading the older

  7. Teresa August 2, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    OH MY GOD, you went up that road??? It reminds me of the road we drove on (in a mini-van type car, no less) in Capri, but times 100. No, I don’t have a fear of heights or narrow roads. ;P

    That meme is hilarious! Pig’s feet…we had some in Vancouver (as you saw in my photos). I’ll do it! It may be Monday, but I’ll do it!

    Glad to see you’re doing books again. Very pretty. I like the large blue flowers (they look vaguely familiar, like anemone or poppies or something).

    Those photos are beautiful! I guess either you’ve either always been an incredible photographer or one just can’t take a bad photo of Italy. Now I want to go to Portofino (maybe not Carrara).

  8. RennyBA August 2, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    What a great photo sharing and some secrets in the beginning too – a great read and look :-)

  9. Diane August 3, 2008 at 12:03 am

    scratchbags – well, Google is eerily psychic on some of them but I couldn’t possible tell you which ones :-)
    I am addicted to stationery – I was in a gorgeous stationery shop in Devon a week or so ago and I said to my friend that I would love to have a shop selling that kind of stuff – and my books. She said it would suit me :-)

    Teresa – I do have a fear of heights and trust me it was VERY scary. The worst part about going up there was knowing that we had to come down! I sat in the back of the Land Rover with Stephen and tried to take my mind off where I was and what was happening by talking ten to the dozen! Poor ex was sat in the front and had the full ‘hanging off the edge of a sheer drop’ experience!
    Glad you liked the book – and the photos – it’s all Italy – so photogenic :-)

    Renny – glad you enjoyed it. Hope you are still enjoying your Swedish vacation. The nice weather you sent hasn’t arrived yet :-(

  10. 70steen August 3, 2008 at 9:55 am

    hee hee I have done the meme but mine is no where near as revealing/ funny as yours… think I can guess some of the truer ones on here lol ;-)
    It is strange I have never seen a marble mine before or imagined what it would look like… but I think I would pass going to see it if it meant that drive up the mountain… wow.

    Love the latest book… oh I would love a stationary shop just imagine the joy of the buying trips ……….

  11. Lady Banana August 3, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    I’ve done the meme.. Easy but fun nonetheless!

  12. Diane August 3, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    It’s not hard to work out is it?! (I’ve just had a shower by the way….)

    If I had a stationery store, the buying trips would be wonderful but I would want all the stock for myself – not ideal.


  13. Diane August 3, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Lady B – you got some good ones! I especially liked the first one :-)

  14. Daddy Papersurfer August 3, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    I thought I’d pop over to help you look for your birth certificate ……

  15. CharmaineZoe August 3, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Love the photos, they take me back to my trip to Italy years ago, so beautiful. Will be back to try the meme but in the meantime I have nominated you for the Kick Ass Blogger Award.

  16. Teresa August 3, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    LOL, Diane! I was being sarcastic. I have a dreadful fear of heights myself. It’s one of the reasons I hate to fly. I think you were very brave to take the trip up the mtn. I would have said, “I’ll be waiting for you at the bottom with my *insert alcholic drink here*.” ;)

  17. Comedy Plus August 3, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    How fun. I love your Diane needs meme. Have a great day. :)

  18. laketrees August 4, 2008 at 4:16 am

    ariba derci Diane…
    the Italian photos are fantastic !!!
    which half of you went on the trip…..
    that new book is gorgeous…off white and cornflower blue…winning combo….
    will you let us know when you are having your affair…. :) :)
    did you like Beatrix Potter??

  19. laketrees August 4, 2008 at 4:17 am

    oops I think cornflower should be spelt cornflour.. eek!!

  20. Pingback: Sue Needs… « Perpetualplum’s Weblog

  21. fracas August 4, 2008 at 5:40 am

    lol Diane, I also need a a f*%*&*g good shower… one with a really good shower massage feature to untwist my shoulder!

    I shall now go see what google tells me I need!

  22. pete August 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    This is the funniest meme I’ve seen to date! I’ll definitely be doing this one. But it will have to wait maybe a week or so – I have a big surprise in store.

    Love the photos you posted. I have to say, I always wondered what a marble quarry looked like. That’s amazing.

  23. Diane August 4, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Charmaine Zoe – Thank you! Too kind! I do my my best to ‘kick ass’ as often as possible :-)

    Teresa – I needed a stiif drink when I got back to the bottom again :-)

    Sandee – your answers were pretty funny too!

    Kim – I think you were right first time – cornflower blue! As for letting you know when I am having an affair – chance would be a fine thing :-)
    Miss Potter was very sweet and very sad but I’m glad it had a happy ending – don’t like being left feeling all maudlin….

    fracas – hope your shoulder gets better. I expect that Google (being psychic) will tell you you need a massage. I look forward to reading your list :-)

    Pete – you can’t leave us in the lurch like that! A big surprise? I’m itching to know what it is…..tell me, tell me….tell me….. :-)

  24. Jenny August 4, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    A lovely long post! Your pics are so wonderful … but no way could I have gone up that road. That is truly horrifying. But what a sight!

    Good to see one of your gorgeous books again, too. I had missed them.

    I’m still working on your last meme tag (which has been SO much fun and has provided a great deal of blogging fodder, and so I thank you again my friend, but these things do take time) but I’ll get around to “Jenny Needs” even though I KNOW what Jenny needs: Johnny Depp.

    I’ll bet that won’t come up when Googled … but if it does, I’m off to the south of France even if I have to hock my Chihuahua to buy the ticket.

  25. Diane August 5, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Ha! You always make me laugh! Let’s hope Google isn’t that psychic or the poor dog will gone so fast!

    Sorry if I have been plying you with memes – only do them if you want to. I just thought that these were fun ones .

    Glad you like the book – I’m back in the groove :-)

  26. Pingback: Norma needs… (meme) « WRITING GRANDMA’S BOOK…finishing what she started

  27. Pingback: Swedish Beach » Diane needs… « Much of a muchness

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