Mr FF’s Italian isn’t great, in fact after 15 years of visits, latterly for up to 6 months at a time, it’s awful Only last week a neighbour was berating him because she couldn’t speak with him. He gets me into situations, like when he said a visitor wanted to know what I was feeding my rather large courgettes, I answered ‘just water from this’ holding up the hose pipe ‘and not every day’. In fact the person wanted to know why we hadn’t put a jacuzzi in the corner of the garden instead of vegetables.
At the weekend he came back from a walk having met Giovanni who he said had invited us to go up for coffee at 11 today. We were late setting off as Mr FF had been to the builders yard, en route we met the elderly gentleman who has a lot of olive trees around us, we chatted then he insisted on giving us a bag of peaches from one of his trees so it was turned up for 12 when we arrived at the house.
As a gift I’d made an apple and blackberry crumble with fruit from the garden, I explained how to cook it and that it could be eaten with ice cream, yoghurt or whatever. Milena turned the oven on immediately and put the crumble in, I didn’t say anything. She also took the bag of peaches from me, I said they were a gift from the old gentleman, I’d envisaged there would be confusion and was happy to relinquish them.
We had a walk round their lovely garden then Giovanni asked Mr FF to look at some cracks inside the house that were worrying them, he asked me to go too to translate. Our Italian classes didn’t concentrate so much on building terminology but between us we were able to reassure Giovanni that the cracks were cosmetic and the house wasn’t falling down.
When we came back Milena asked me if I liked porcini and onions and other things and said she was going to make a sugo. I told Mr FF I thought they planned to feed us though I wasn’t quite sure if she wasn’t just interested in my diet whilst wanting to crack on with their own lunch. The four bread buns they arrived at the table were a giveaway and yes they did provide a delicious lunch with lots of homemade and homegrown food. The crumble, cooked for 20 minutes and cooled arrived with a large plate and a knife for me to serve it. I had to ask for dishes and a spoon, there was no accompaniment, then we ate the peaches.
Mr FF insists they didn’t invite us for lunch and that they only provided it because I took a pudding, who knows. The are such a sweet generous couple there was no awkwardness and mostly they speak to Mr FF as if he understands them.
He is currently next door helping other neighbours who’ve been having problems with their septic tank, he did manage to find them a company that can empty the tank and clear the pipes, they are working there now. With Mr FF’s command of the language I won’t be surprised if the contents end up in our garden.