Sunday, 7 August 2011

I spend a lot of my time looking at blue

I felt rather sad when I woke up this morning and realised it was my last day here in Italy. The thought of entering the real world again makes me a little anxious. It feels like I’ve been bouncing around in a magical bubble for the past week and I'm not sure I want it to end. Still, I have another 12 hours to enjoy on Italian soil and we're at the beach again, so I'm in the right place. It’s another sweltering day, and my face feels a little burnt, so we’re sheltering on a shady terrace whilst eating lemon ice lollies.

The sea and the sky are exactly the same colour today; a rich cornflower blue. The water is as smooth as a billiards table and there’s not a cloud in the sky.

Last night we drove into Pescara to pick Carol up from the airport. We’d just entered the outskirts of the town when she texted to say she’d missed her plane. Heaven knows how! Fortunately, she managed (at great expense) to get herself on today’s flight, which means we’ll literally cross over at the airport.

We decided to stay in Pescara to see what the city had to offer - not a great deal as it happens, although we did find a rather charming mesh of narrow streets near the port that were buzzing with cafes, bars and bohemian young Italians. It reminded me of a cross between the streets of Rome, and Camden Town. Bands were playing live on a small open air stage outside one of the restaurants. We ate pizzas, and Julie was eaten alive by mosquitoes. There aren’t many advantages to being hairy, but not being bitten by mozzies would appear to be one of them. Sadly, my pizza was a bit too sloppy. I opted for one with mushrooms, which had turned into a tofu-like mush.

We went to a supermarket two days ago and I brought Nathan a little bag of Italian sweets, nicely wrapped with a lovely bow. I was incredibly pleased with them. They were little jelly sweets shaped like blackberries and raspberries. I absentmindedly left them in the boot of the car, whilst we were at the beach, and almost wept when I returned to discover that they’d entirely melted; literally turned into a bag of coloured water. For a brief moment I wondered if they might somehow magically turn back into sweets again when they cooled down, but realised almost instantly that the game was up. Very sad. Nathan has instructed me to take them (or “it” as they’ve now become) home with me. He said we can suck them out of the bag. At least the little ribbon hasn’t melted!

350 years ago, and Pepys was up at the crack of dawn, riding to London on horseback. He travelled with a venison seller, who he’d met on his journey from Cambridge to Baldock the previous day. They rested at Hatfield, and took a look at the great house there. Pepys wanted to steal a very pretty dog that was following him around, but thought better of the idea. He returned to London and found all was well, although was somewhat troubled that there was still no news from Sandwich, who was, we assume, still somewhere between England and Portugal on his mission to bring Catherine de Breganza to Charles II.

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