Friday 26 August 2022

Two years later

We were back on the beach, again for MrFF’s birthday, this one no 74.

We planned to go back to the same place we celebrated no 72, at San Felice Circeo.  We packed the car the night before with our folding chairs, sun umbrella, inflatable lilos and pump plus next morning our beach bag and the cool bag with picnic, but after a two hour journey we found it impossible to find a parking space.  We decided to drive down the coast and stopped for a coffee at our favourite gelateria and yes I checked they had my favourite delizia al limone for later consumption.  I took our cappuccini outside while MrFF got chatting to the barista about the parking situation and he recommended a friend who had very inexpensive beach set up with parking just down the road.

So we went and after a quick phone call found Marco the owner who was very nice. We got parking, two smart sun beds and a large umbrella for 23 euro, with toilets and changing across the road in his bar.  We were actually on the public beach and the equipment was on a vehicle parked by the entrance.  We thought it quite enterprising and were happy to leave all our own stuff in the car.  In fact we thought Marco had the ideal job, wheeling beds onto the sand, setting everything up then sitting in his shorts on the beach waiting for the next customer.  Definitely a better and less stressful option than the many tv programmes we have watched recently about people frantically struggling to renovate overseas property as holiday rentals.

It was about 30 degrees at the beach with a nice breeze and not crowded at all.  Lots of well behaved people following all the rules of very bronzed bodies at the waters edge, regular passeggiate, family afternoon card games under an umbrella and football or bat and ball games for the teenagers.  This was MrFF’s spot for the day  as usual he spent most of his time in the water while I sat with our possessions and a book.

We stayed until after 6, there was a slight blip at the gelato shop when the delizia tray had gone but when I asked the lady went into the back and got me some.  Then our usual farm shop for bufala mozzarella was closed for the holiday but we found another place, very smart, where they made the cheese on the premises but sadly no bufala to admire.  It all worked out well, we had a lovely day …. except we received another stupid set back from the water authority.  We won’t talk about it now, luckily my expectations that we were making progress were low,  sometimes it helps to be a cup half empty person (and to paint your toe nails in a colour called under water).

Thursday 18 August 2022

Out of sorts

For the last 10 days or so I haven’t been well.  Nothing serious, at first I thought just an upset stomach but after extensive Dr Google consultation I think I’ve had for the first time irritable bowel syndrome.  The abdominal cramps have been horrible, worst during the night and keeping me awake for hours.  I’ve felt exhausted and had no appetite so I’ve taken a probiotic, bifidus yoghurt and a sports drink to keep me topped up.  I’d already stopped drinking alcohol a while before and I only have one coffee a day and one cup of tea so those weren’t the triggers.

I tried to speak to my Ilkley doctor, requested a call back and explained that we are in Italy.  The receptionist called back asking me to go into the surgery for a consultation.  I explained again we are away, what I thought I had and asked if the doctor might recommend some over the counter remedy, no was the simple answer.  I know I could go to our doctor here but after MrFF’s experience when he had a urinary tract infection for which he was prescribed anti biotics that made no difference, inhalers, a chest x ray and two other unrelated items which I cannot now remember, I preferred not to.

I’m feeling much better now, physically and mentally as things were starting to get me down.   Yesterday I went to bed in the afternoon, slept for a few hours then last night slept like a log with no pain at all.  I’ve done light dorissing today and a little gardening.

This IBS seems a strange illness, there are no tests for it and no cure.  There are various dietary recommendations to alleviate the symptoms as well as avoiding stress and anxiety, I’ve no idea how that’s possible in Italy.  I think my experience has been a result of many things, diet, months of extreme heat, another year living with major building work, huge disappointment with the garden, constant battles with bureaucracy, our water supply fiasco.

We are both 74 soon, certainly we don’t have the same enthusiasm or energy we had 20 years ago when we bought the house.  We’ve decided for various reasons to give up our residency which we took out during lockdown so we could stay indefinitely. As non residents we can be here 90 days in every 180 which we happily accept feeling that our usual 7 or more months per year here is too long. 

We submitted the required forms to the Comune and subsequently have asked 3 times by secure email if we need to do anything else.  We’ve heard nothing, not even an acknowledgement, we still have our permission to stay and health cards. We assume that after our residency ends we can stay 90 days but since we have no end date we cannot calculate when we need to leave.  As I said I need to avoid stress and anxiety so I’ll stop now.  Be interesting to see if my symptoms recur when I’m back in Ilkley, whenever that may be.

Monday 8 August 2022

Grey and wet - I like it

At last we are getting rain, yesterday afternoon we had spectacular lightning and a few hours of steady downpour that at least dampened the surface of the garden

Today we had heavier rain and some hail, now plants are perking up, the cats are more active, we are all refreshed.

Early this afternoon we were able to open the doors and windows to let in cool air, usually we cannot do this until after 7 in the evening when it becomes hotter inside then out but still hot everywhere.  

And don’t worry about the hail bashing our tomatoes, we don’t have any.  The orchard is now being invaded by a large porcupine, I have him on film.  He’s eaten the fruits, smashed down the tomato plants and my lovely sunflowers, stripped the leaves off just about every plant edible or ornamental in the orchard and not even left me a few quills. The only deterrent seems to be fencing but too late for that now, another disappointment to add to our list this year.  

Let’s hope now we’ve had rain all these animals will find what they need up on mountainside and leave us alone.  Speaking of which Mario told us he was outside early one morning last week and counted 22 young wild boar in his garden.  If they grow to be adults they really will be a problem and less than 10 minutes walk from here.