Monday, 26 July 2010

Message in a bottle (of milk)

When a date appears as the expiry date for dairy products you know it's getting close.

That's how I came to realise that my time in Italy is drawing to a close as we walked around the supermarket the day before yesterday.

I had wanted to keep some kind of regular blog of this trip but it just hasn't been possible due to me having scarce opportunities to access the internet, and these rare opportunities I have used to contact friends and family.

In fact, as I type, I am using the public Wi-Fi connection of Pietrasanta, which can only be accessed from the piazza (town square) where I am sat, as I do every night, keeping an eye on Umberto while he plays. I have been in this town permanently from the middle of the month, before which we were only here on weekends; spending weekdays in Rovigo, where Umberto's parents work.

While I write this, I am sat on the church steps on yet another beautiful, mild evening. A woman prepares herself next to me with face paint, ready to perform her bubble-blowing spectacolo to the people in the piazza; a performance which, as a regular to the town over the last month, I have already seen.

The piazza from which I type.

The beach at Forte dei Marmi is absolutely beautiful. Aside from rubbing shoulders with professional footballers and other Italian elites, tranquillity and relaxation can also be found here. For example, today while Umberto was off playing with a friend, I put down my copy of The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and closed my eyes. The sun blazed down, warming my face and body while the sound of endless frothy turquoise waves massaging the dusting of fine golden sand on the coast lulled me into a blissful trance where it felt wonderful to be alive.

So this trip hasn't all been struggling to look after a kid. My Italian has really come on too I feel.

However I find myself now, in these final days, nostalgically longing for home, for my friends, my family; for unequivocally English things such as trips to the pub and cups of tea.

This makes it tempting to try and make this last week go as quickly as possible however I am doing my best to savour my remaining time here, before I am thrust back under a veil of rain in a land who's hidden treasures I have long known and lived with; far from this land of which I have barely scratched the surface.

But that's all for now,
I'm a busy bee.

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