Saturday, 25 April 2009

Getting back to Web 2.0!

I read Larry Ferlazzo's posting yesterday highlighting a few good resources and I came across the "English Companion" Ning group, which looked very interesting. I had a delve and decided there and then to join and I am now a new member!! Thank you Larry for your recommendation. I also looked through and commented upon Nancy Devine's blog which is fabulous. There are so many wonderful blogs in the blogosphere. It is so hard not to add them all to my sidebar. I'd also like to try out "Wallwisher" as recently highlighted on Nik Peachey's blog. My friend and colleague Jane Barden from the Lake School of English has set one up as a teachers' resource and it's a fun way of collaborating and sharing information. In this respect, "Wallwisher" is like a smaller type of wiki, which is quite eye-catching and easy to use.

The Future of E-Learning is Social Learning

I have just viewed Jeffrey Hill's excellent "The English Blog" and spotted this slideshow presentation by Jane Hart on the future of E-learning. I like it because it is concise and practical. I learned a lot by viewing it. Thank you Jeffrey for pointing it out. I feel that it shows exactly how I am learning at the moment- mostly via my computer and across different social networks and personal learning spaces. I agree that social learning is at the heart of modern day"pick and mix" personal development.

Restaurant Review: Jamie's Italian in Oxford

I am one step removed from Jamie Oliver! How come, you may well ask? My sister Adua was once his personal shopper for ingredients in 2000 for the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC in Birmingham. She worked alongside him on her British Gas stand. What brings me to talk about him? Well, I ate at one of his restaurants called Jamie's Italian in Oxford during the last week of my stay in the UK. One word opinion? Buonissimo! Would I eat there again? Assolutamente!

The Food

I chose to eat "Lenticchie" soup (Lentils) and it was indeed as good as the Lenticchie I always eat in Santo Stefano di Sessanio where they originate from. Below is an extract from the "Borghi Italia" website:
Local Products

"The lentils from Santo Stefano di Sessanio, which have always been organically grown, belong to a rare and ancient variety which is grown only in arid mountain lands at elevations between 1200 and 1450 meters.

They are dark brown and very small, with a wrinkly lined surface. Their special flavor has made them famous all over Italy, and they are used by the best chefs for preparing both traditional dishes and nouvelle cuisine creations. They keep for long periods without losing their flavor, and cook in just 20 minutes.

Local dishes

Lentil soup served with small squares of bread fried in olive oil is the most well-known of the many soups made with this legume, which can also be made with potatoes, with volarelle (homemade pasta, cut into little squares) and with sausage.

The area also produces excellent lamb, raised on the Campo Imperatore high plain: one specialty is lamb alla chiaranese with cheese and egg."

The Ambience

Well, it was pretty crowded by the time we got there at midday and after approximately 40 minutes of waiting at the bar, enjoying a glass of "Prosecco", we were led to our table by a very affable and courteous young waiter. The atmosphere was very lively and everyone seemed to be enjoying their meals. I liked the authentic "Italian" decor and while I was gazing round the room my eyes travelled inexorably towards a group of small olive oil containers sitting high up on a shelf. A simple idea flickered through my mind...

"Ginestre 12" Olive Oil

After the truly delicious meal, I went up to see what one of the containers was like and decided to take the bull by the horns (as I invariably do ) and asked a member of staff if Jamie Oliver might be interested in buying my olive oil in the future. I explained that we are a small holding in Abruzzo with only 61 olive trees and that I had personally hand-picked all the olives (with a little bit of help from hubby K). I proudly mentioned that our olive oil is 100% Extra Virgin and that reports so far from family and friends have been very positive. I was given a card with contact details and since then I have sent a tweet to Jamie Oliver on Twitter: " Loved your lenticchie soup @ Jamie's, Oxford. Interested in buying my 100% Xtra virgin olive oil from Civitaquana, Abruzzo?" and have written to his website as well. I have had an automated reply from his website but nothing since then. Not to worry. It was a long shot. I'll contact again another time....

31-Day BBB Challenge

Today's task on Day 19 of Darren Rowse's excellent Pro Blogger involves giving an opinion. Here goes. I will say something about what is in the news today. The following news item from "Il Centro" caught my eye.
"G8 Summit to be held in Aquila"
Upon Silvio Berlusconi's suggestion, world leaders have agreed to hold the G8 Meeting in Aquila instead of Sardinia in July. I think this sounds like a good plan and it will attract even more attention to the plight of this city which has been devastated by the recent massive earthquake. The money saved by not hosting the Summit in Sardegna will apparently go towards restructuring the stricken city. This surely must be a good idea. What is your opinion? Is there a hidden agenda behind the proposal? I sincerely hope not....

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popps said...

Ok, OK! ;-)
Give us YOUR lentil soup recipe. I'm starving now!
And while you are waiting for Mr Oliver can I buy a bottle of your olive oil?

LLJB said...

My recipe is a combination of Jamie Oliver's and Farmgirl Fare's recipes, so nothing original, I'm afraid.

Will be very happy to take orders for 2009 crop as our limited 2008 supply has nearly run out. My hubby and I will be handpicking our 61 trees sometime in October/November this year.

popps said...

Will it be prohibitively expensive to send a couple of litres to France?

Janet Bianchini said...

According to local P.O. approx cost would be 20 euros. Over to you..

popps said...

how should i pay you?

LLJB said...

Will email you re details.