Thursday, 27 January 2011

Wednesday 26 January - self-indulgent pleasure, and a few strange translations

A gentle, pottery sort of day today.  Nice.

With the sun coming up over the hills, the pale pinks and steadily increasing blue to azure gave the promised of another glorious day.  A perfect day for skiing, a perfect day for a long, slow run, a day not to be missed.  So KP headed for the slopes whilst I pulled on my trainers.  Both very happy to be indulging separate passions without dilution.

My run was short, as these hills are absolute killers.  The climbs just go on and on without respite.  I'll get used to it, but for now I'll take it easy, build up the endurance and just enjoy the views.  I don't think I will ever get used to these views.  To be out running on sweeping, winding empty roads with snow piled almost as high as me, looking out across the valley with the mountains to one side and the sea to the other is just unreal.  Surreal.  To have this view, drink it in constantly and greedily must be the ultimate high.  Pure, unadulterated, self-indulgent pleasure.  My run was just sheer and absolute joy.

KP, too, was very happy indeed to be back on skis again, and without a moaning, grizzling, whining child tagging along.  The weather was just perfect for him, so warm you could almost ski in tee shirts.  So he had a pure self-indulgent time too, just able to please and satisfy his need for the great white stuff.

Although a full day on the slopes was planned, he did surprise me by appearing back at home at lunchtime and catching me out sitting on the terrace just enjoying the sunshine!  The runs at Passo Lanciano are a little tame, no black runs, so after a couple of hours he'd exhausted all of them.  Being on his own, he also took the sensible decision (amazing for him, completely uninfluenced) not to go off-piste.  And so he joined me on the terrace, both very happy to have had a very good morning indeed.

A little later we wandered down the lane to Roberto's.  A recently met neighbour who'd invited us round for coffee that afternoon.  Actually, he'd invited us round last Sunday but a misunderstanding in translation meant we had no idea we were invited, and he was left a little offended on a Sunday to have been stood up and no-one to eat his cake.  Oh dear, I think we may be having a few of those.  I've already been left feeling very confused when I got muddled a few days ago between pommodoro (tomato) and pommerigio (afternoon).  Why on earth was this man talking about tomatoes when I'm trying to make an appointment with him?!  Took me days before the penny dropped.

But I think we redeemed ourselves with Roberto as we ended up staying all afternoon with him and his wife (another oh dear, I can't remember her name.  Carol will know).  We had coffee and cake, talked about their heating system, antiques and home-made rose-hip tea, and we learnt a bit about them as people too.  And all in Italian, no English spoken at all!  Roberto is retired, has lived there all his life, was even born in the house and married his wife five years' ago.  His wife is Ukrainian and a seamstress by trade, but only sews now for pleasure.

We were treated to a guided tour of their house, which then followed a guided tour of Garifoli, with each house being pointed out, a little of its history told and a small insight into its owners given.  The tour was rounded off with a visit to our house where we returned the pleasure by making them tea (but the looks on their faces told me we must get a coffee pot.  Pronto).  We gave them a tour of our house before freezing their butts off, as we'd done to Tina and Richard a few days before.  They left as the sun was dipping telling us that they'll arrange for their geometra to come round and help us with the barn conversion.  We think that's what they said, and we think he's coming on Friday, but you can never be sure.

A quick building of fires then ensued by the slick, well-oiled fire building machine that we've become.  Before long we were enjoying the warmth, crackle, spit and glow of the open fire as the flames danced up the chimney.  Which, reminds me, our next job is to find a chimney sweep.  And so I reached for the phrase book once more....

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