Tuesday 30 October 2012

Retirement as we know it

I am about to start the first day of olive picking.  Mr FF has just taken delivery of a lorry load of sand cement and building accoutrements.
See its not all pasta and prosecco round here but it is lovely and sunny.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Better now thank you

My little blip of sadness has passed, thank you for the kind and helpful comments, it was comforting to know that I am not the only one who gets the homesick blues.  A few UK meals, a beef casserole and toad in the hole, plus more social activity probably helped.  We had friends round for a long al fresco lunch, they are a Danish couple who are in Lazio March to November, the wife says she feels much the same as summer fades and is almost ready to back to Copenhagen.  We had a day on the beach which despite all the establishments being closed, no bars, beds, showers or toilets, just miles of sand, was lovely.  The sea was like a millpond and Mr FF swam round the bay while I did my usual beach combing walk and found a little plastic dinosaur, result.  The gelato shop was still open and well stocked (biscotti and amarena for me) and on the way home we stopped at the beautiful farm shop that always makes me happy for bufala mozzarella and other delicious foods.
Friends from Rome called by this morning and also Mario who after an inspection told me that I can start collecting the olives next week.  Meantime he has shown me how to cut out the tender new growth to keep the centre of the trees open and pronounced that my secateurs are rubbish.  
We are at friends for lunch on Friday, they are cracking on with their harvest but they live down in the valley where things happen a bit quicker.  
Busy times but we still manage a bit of relaxation in the sun, unfortunately the forecast is for lower temperatures by the weekend, let's hope the end of flip flop life for another year doesn't plunge me into the depths of despair.  I doubt it as I caught myself looking longingly at a cashmere jumper this morning when I fished out a clean sleeveless t shirt to wear.

Monday 15 October 2012

Home thoughts from abroad

When Robert Browning wrote this lovely poem, and I'm sorry I can't give you a link to read it, blame the iPad, he was in northern Italy and thinking of spring back home in England.    But suddenly I in southern Italy in autumn have gone all home sick too. It's something I've always suffered from, hard to describe but a sad empty feeling that seems to take over early evening.  It has little to do with distance from the familiar because often as a child I'd be taken during the long summer holidays to stay with my Gran or to my cousins farm, both a few miles from where I lived and either have to be brought home after a few days or arrive with my case then refuse to stay at all.  
I did ask Mr FF last year before we embarked on our first long visit if we could  return if I got homesick, at the time he agreed but of course once I got sad there was no way we were going back and the feeling did pass.  I have everything I need here, including my husband, and I know that if I did go home, I am not even considering it, I'd instantly want to be back in Italy.  Strangely I only feel this way here in autumn, during high summer I am fine and equally strangely I may long to be in Italy when we are in Scotland but never in this heavy hearted displaced person way
Feel free to give me a good talking to, I'll be fine in a few days and boring you all again with tales from our glorious life in Lazio.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Seven days of sloth

We've been back in Italy for over a week now and probably had more than seven days of pure idleness.  The weather has been gorgeous, sunny and warm, and our days have gone something like this.  Early morning tea, breakfast on the terrace, move to the easy chairs, perhaps a glass of juice around mid morning, lunch, usually a little snooze, tea and cake late afternoon then dinner and a bit of telly.   Lots of reading and chatting, some days a walk down to the village for coffee or an afternoon visit for ice cream.  All very very relaxing, I imagine a cruise must be like this, flitting from one meal to the next and sitting around in between.  We were so busy in Scotland the two weeks we were home but the conservatory roof was fixed and all the lovely new energy efficient glass installed, such a relief to get the work done and we seemed to run out of steam when it was over.
This can't go on, for one thing whilst I have plenty of reading material, three books finished so far, I've knitted almost two pairs of socks, I only have enough yarn for four more pairs and I must have knitting for the long drive home.  So I've been gardening to keep me away from the needles and Mr FF is forming plans for his next project here.  Fortunately it's outdoors so I'm spared the dust and disorder, gives him the chance to get his treasured cement mixer out and there is the promise that when it's complete I can buy some large pots to plant up for the newly created area.
So that will keep us occupied until the olives are ready, the cruise is over.

Monday 1 October 2012

An Italian wedding

While we were staying in Tuscany there was a big wedding at the local catherdral, officiated by the then RC Archbishop of Glasgow who apparently is a relative of the family and had flown out specially.  Irene and I were there we see the action.  
Lots of smart guests, linen, vertiginously high heels and stylish wraps were much in evidence.
Beautiful bridesmaids, the grown ups in plain but elegant dresses.
The bride arrived just a little late in this gorgeous old Cinquecento driven by her Dad, it had to be left down the hill as there is no road access to the church which is as usual at the very top of the old part of town.
Father and bride walked up the steps together 
and into the cathedral.  All very understated and extremely elegant, so Italian.