Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Mon 2 May - A Hippy Wagon & A Scrabble Challenge

Sharon, collected from Pescara last night by KP and a spruced up Phil, arrived in amazingly good spirits.  Not sure how she did it, or that I'd be quite so cheery after driving to Stanstead with a dodgy tyre and flying Ryan Air, but she just breezed in, with lots of noise and squeals:  "Oh, isn't this sweet!" and "Look! I've got my walking shoes on!" 

She certainly had.  Ballet pumps with bows on the front.  Three days with someone who has a jewel encrusted Blackberry and thinks bow bedecked ballet pumps are walking shoes.  Oh boy.  Our first visitors.  This is going to test our diversity.  

I think this is a washing line, and this a peg,
but which way up should one hang one's shirt? 
First job though was for Phil to wash his clothes from yesterday.  This is going to be interesting, said Sharon.  But he did it!  Not only did he manage to load the washing machine and press the right buttons (with a bit of help with the translation), but he hung it out too!  All to the muffled squeals of delight from Sharon who made us go get the camera. 

And so we started our day.  I think this is going to be fun. 

The next test was a drive (not walk) to the Abbey for a gentle wander around the grounds.  And this was a test.  Of their resilience and adaptability, and ours to switch to Plan B.

Oh, how fabulous.  What fun Philip!

The Renault had a puncture.  Oh dear.  We could either change the wheel now and spend the day driving round these mountain roads on a skinny wheel, or take Rosemary.  Sharon in a Rosemary?  Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.  But she loved it and showed us her hippy CND bangle recently bought for the trip to "fit in".  Hilarious.  So off we trundled in our hippy wagon to the Abbey.

Still smiling!
I think the trip to the Abbey might have been OK if the rope hand rail hadn't been broken half way down to the plunge pools and tombs, or if the path wasn't quite so steep, slippery and devoid of any steps of the man-made kind.  But, never mind, it was nothing a sit on the bench at the top couldn't sort out once we got back up to the Abbey.  

Next stop was Manoppello for a wander around the old town and maybe lunch in the surprisingly good Pizzeria at the top that has the fabulous vaulted ceiling.  This will impress them.  

The wander was good but the pizzeria, and everything else was closed.  Well, what did we expect, it was 2 o'clock and way out of season.  No problem, we'd been meaning to try out the little restaurant on the Serra to Manopello road so this seemed like a good time.  It was open.  Empty, but open. 

La Cascina
The very cheery owner was highly amused by us wanting to sit on the terrace rather than in the beautifully dressed restaurant and laughed the entire time she made up a table for us.  But it was good, and a very pleasant, very long drawn out lunch we had.  We were served a number of courses of apparently typical Abruzzese dishes for us to try out, all nicely rounded off with a delightfully light Tiramasu.  The bill, however was not good.  Way over priced.  Shame really.

Feeling rather full and very mellow, there was nothing for it but to go home for a siesta.  So far, so good.  The big test will be how to spend the evening all huddled in our little kitchen with just the two pink armchairs.

This was very easily solved, and would set the scene for the next few days.  Scrabble.  On Phil's iPad, courtesy of his Apple wi-fi converter.  Brilliant.  Boys -v- girls.  What a great evening we had, snacking and vino and being fabulously, but dangerously, competitive.

The boys won.  But more by luck of tiles than anything resembling skill.  Re-match tomorrow, and we'll slaughter them.

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