When we drove about half an hour away to the hospital for our vaccinations last week we had completed declarations giving our valid reason for movement, they would be required if we were stopped by the police. With the documents we felt confident we could stay in the town after our appointments and we went into an almost deserted square where we bought takeaway coffee and pastries to enjoy sitting outside in the sun. We hadn’t bought drinks since January when we had coffee and croissants standing beside the car after our tense visit to the police HQ to apply for our (still awaited) biometric cards.
Thursday was a beautiful day, the old buildings around the square looked gorgeous and we’d just been vaccinated, it was a simple pleasure we’d forgotten. A lady with her daughter and presumably the grandmother walking by stopped to speak with us. She lady lived in the town but had visited the U.K., been to Scotland and to York, we had a nice chat. It was a sweet reminder of how open and friendly the Italian people are, we’ve missed this contact.
The square in happier times, no tables and chairs outside the bar during lockdown, photo from the internet
Living in isolation has been fine, it hasn’t bothered us, we’ve kept busy but getting out and just embracing the everyday culture is so much better. We’ve probably got bogged down with our own little battles and frustrations, we have forgotten why we came here in the first place. We meet a few people on our walks but generally it’s a just a greeting as we pass. We stopped for wine on the way home, usually we both go into the cantina and chat with the family, since Covid I wait in the car and Mr FF is served in silence, we are no longer relaxed with each other. Thursday we had proper conversations at the hospital and in the square with strangers who were genuinely kind and generous with their good wishes. In these difficult times we’ve all been busy looking after ourselves, keeping safe, keeping quiet, hiding our smiles behind a mask. Maybe it would make a difference if we show a little more concern for the well-being of others, maybe it is safe to talk, within the rules, to those we know and also strangers we will never meet again. I am going to try to offer a little kindness to people I encounter, next time I do encounter other people, in the hope it might make me and them feel slightly more normal, a feeling that is long overdue.