7 Days of Positive – Day 156: Aperol blitz


I must tell you something that happened last night.*

I’m in Puglia, Italy, on our family holiday, destination chosen – as previously discussed – by me and my daughter after we watched the marvellously cheesy film Walking On Sunshine (about 25 times on a loop…).

We’re in the very south, the heel of Italy’s boot (pleasing in itself) in an area called the Salento.

Unlike the long empty strands in the film, the sandy beaches are covered in hideous car parks of sun loungers ($15 a day), even the rock beaches are packed, it’s very touristy in parts and the food’s heinous, but I bloody love it.

More of that another time, right now I want to tell you what I saw last night.

We were in the snack bar in the park where my husband has been running an impromptu soccer camp every late afternoon for all the kids in our gorgeous hotel. He loves children and just can’t help himself. As a result they follow him round like imprinted ducklings, it’s all very adorable.

While he puts them through their paces, I sit with the parents – and I’ve never stayed anywhere with so many lovely like-minded people – and watch, with a nice cold Perroni. Or two.

I popped back in from the park entrance to order another round and noticed that the normally charming barman was rather distracted, making drinks for two fellows sitting on stools at the inside bar.

The barman got out two of those extra large Duralex glasses – the kind we use for water at home – popped in a couple of ice cubes and then filled them halfway to the top with Aperol.

My eyebrows went up to the first floor.

Then he hesitated, looking down at the bottle of prosecco he had picked up, already open, with one of those champagne stoppers in it, before clearly making a decision and getting a fresh bottle out of the fridge.

He filled the glasses to the very brim with it then, working fast, popped a straw each one and turned on his heel to put them in front of the waiting men.

They each stirred the drinks vigorously, then without picking the glasses up, slurped the contents up through the straws in one go.

My eyebrows shot up to the roof.

When they’d finished, they smiled and wiped their mouths on the back of their hands, then slid off the bar stools and left. They didn’t say another word to the barman and no money changed hands while I was watching.

By then my drinks were ready, so I headed back out to my friends with them just in time to see the prosecco slurpers get into a car and drive off. At speed.

My jaw went down to the basement.

What was that all about? Who were they? I’ll never know, but I’ve had a lot of fun imagining.

* This is now a couple of days ago, but a blog malfunction held this posting up, but I prefer to keep it fresh as first minted.


  • Sally
    August 30, 2015

    Happy holiday Maggie – sounds great from here in chilly Melbourne. Just a note, it was ages since a Positive blog landed (even my non-tech mother, also a fan, advised me she hasn’t heard from you) so I looked you up and found this post online. I notice that it is titled Day 155, and you’ve already posted that day in July! Not sure if this is a why it hasn’t hit my inbox, but thought I’d let you know…
    Then again it’s always good to relive a great day 155! Will look for another blog soon. Enjoy the sun.

    • maggie2015
      September 3, 2015

      Sorry, Sally, I have just been distracted by school holidays and all those other things which = life. Thanks for heads up on wrong numbering. I sent that post from my iPad while in Italy.

  • Annie
    September 1, 2015

    Hi Maggie,

    I really miss your columns in the weekend paper in Sydney. I want to thank you for your rave review of the David Bowie exhibition in London. Because of that, my ears pricked up when I heard it was coming to Australia. I booked my tickets and flights from Sydney to Melbourne back in March, then this past weekend my hubby and I had a wonderful short break down south. The exhibition was terrific and reminded me of my youth. Thanks again!

    • maggie2015
      September 3, 2015

      Hi Annie – thanks for your kinds words. I’m so so glad you loved that exhibition as much as I did. Which bits did you like? Did they have the Berlin room? I stayed in there for ages, it felt like being there…

      • Annie
        September 5, 2015

        Well, there was a whole section on his Berlin years, but not a room as such. I actually really enjoyed reading all the background info about how he planned the videos and storyboards, how he kept true to his creative vision and especially seeing the costumes. Such variety, colour and texture. And he was ultra skinny back in the day. We were there for more than 2 hours and did not speak to each other once as we just immersed ourselves in the exhibits. This was a long time for me as I have bad knees and cannot stand for long, so Bowie even cures osteoarthritis for a short time – what can that man not do!!

        • maggie2015
          September 5, 2015

          Interesting – it sounds quite different! Wish I could come over to see that one now… x

  • rosemary
    September 1, 2015

    I too had wondered where you’ve been – and hooped your mum hadn’t been crook, perish the thought. Holidays in Italy are a much better excuse!

  • Lara
    September 2, 2015

    Yes, I too feared something awful when I hadn’t ‘heard’ for you for so long. So relieved you are on holidays (and nothing awful)…. I am also holidaying far from home – although Far North Queensland doesn’t sound half as exotic as your location – and am enjoying trying to work out whether fellow travellers are Aussies or Europeans, if Aussies then where they call home, if not Aussies then which country is home and my favourite – what their occupation is when t home. My mind comes up with many weird and wonderful possibilities and I am usually very wrong so have decided it’s better not to know ! Daggy, I know, but it keeps me amused.

    • maggie2015
      September 3, 2015

      Sorry! I’ve just been distracted… I have so many ideas for things I want to post and then time just gets away from me.

  • Claire
    September 3, 2015

    Welcome back Maggie! I love aperol spritz, although after last year’s Italy trip, I think I reached saturation point.
    As to what that little tableau was all about… possibly the local ‘mafia’? A friend recently returned from holidaying in Puglia with with her northern Italian boyfriend recounted that small scale extortion was quite the norm… a visit each night from a man seeking payment so he didn’t key your car and the public beaches ‘closed’ unless you paid a fee.

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