Friday 31 July 2015

In Ilkley

We are counting ourselves very lucky to be safely home with all the problems at the Channel.  We received an email on Sunday evening at our b&b about an hour from the port to say there would be no Calais sailings next day,  we were booked to depart at 11 am next morning, and that we should proceed to Dunkirk. We got up extra early anticipating problems, they started immediately when our sat nav wouldn't work and we drove round the little French villages looking for the auto route. We found the slip road but it was closed, more travelling in circles till we eventually got on our way.  
At Dunkirk we queued for around 1.5 hours to be told we needed to go to the office and rebook our crossing, what they actually meant was go outside the compound and back to the end of the queue to start again.  Mr FF, and don't try this yourself, decided to park the car and walk back, through lines of lorries, past security staff etc leaving me sitting in the car feeling very uneasy but it worked and saved a lot of time.
We were re-booked onto the 3 pm ferry that actually left at 4 pm, another 1.5 hours queue to check in, a jam packed boat and another choppy crossing but we arrived back in Dover relieved.  A good drive back to Yorkshire including a stop for fish and chips and relax.
I really can't contemplate the return journey to Italy at present, I need time here to enjoy the calm and cool.  
I have lots to tell you about the exceptionally hot weather, stages of the Giro and the Tour de France, the madness of trying to get things done, rants will follow, don't they always.  

And while you are waiting, here's a picture of our little Italian cats Theo on the left and Lisa on the right.  Still no sign of the kittens, we are being kept informed by guests who are staying in our house and taking good care of them both for us.

Tuesday 14 July 2015

In case you are wondering

Yes we are still in Italy though only for about 10 more days and next week will be all hell and no notion as we pack our personal items and prepare the house for renters before we drive back to Ilkley to get the motor repaired.
We don't seem to have done that much since we arrived in May, lunches and dinners with friends, a day on the beach, lots of gardening and preparation of an irrigation system to look after things while we are absent.  My youngest niece and her fiancĂ© came to stay for 6 days.  Our little cat Lisa is pregnant and may give birth while we are home.  The tomatoes are ready and delicious, likewise green beans.  The weather is mostly settled and mostly in the low 30s.  I am following the Tour de France on Rai Sport which can only be good for my language though the vocabulary will be a bit limited.  We are plagued by mosquitos, the worst we have ever known.  At the weekend around midnight the municipality sent round a vehicle that sprayed the roads with some killer chemical, we had to keep our windows closed.  The spray has made matters worse rather than better, it's possibly to swat about half a dozen at a time and the devils are here 24 hours a day.  Fortunately we don't react to the bites and never scratch them.
The freezer is broken and has been since we arrived, so we only get gelato when we go out and a G and T just doesn't hit the spot without ice.  Someone is supposed to be fixing it later this week, the third person to try, I do wonder why we didn't just buy a new one but we have a rather nice large steel fridge freezer that I'd be happy to keep.  We have a new sofa that complements the cream leather one nicely, expensive  Italian designer with Ikea cheap and cheerful seems to work.
So days of intense heat where we try to get things done early morning before resting in the shade. Lots of washing of sweaty clothes but no ironing, I cannot tackle that so the sheets get put back straight from the line and clothes are smoothed out to be worn.  Nights sitting out under the stars enjoying the cool.  It's all lovely but I am looking forward to being in Ilkley for a while and to having clean feet on a regular basis, flip flops for gardening are not a great idea.