Friday, 5 August 2011

Like some kind of magic, like the light in Italy

Another day spent almost exclusively on the beach, soaking up hours of glorious orange sunlight. As a result, there’s very little else to say. We went to a hypermarket first thing and I had a great deal of fun browsing through countless aisles in search of bizarre-looking food. I have a passion for foreign supermarkets. I find them intriguing. I love the smells, and the colourful packages with strange and amusing names. We had a German teacher at school who had a large box in her cupboard filled with bottles and cans and magazines from Germany. She brought them out when we were doing role plays, so we could learn what to say when we were lucky enough to visit a restaurant in Germany. For some reason, the roll plays always started “Herr Ober,” which surely can’t be a phrase they use these days. Anyway, the cans and tubes were all similar to the ones we had in England, but different enough to properly fire the imagination of an 11-year old, and an obsession with foreign supermarkets was born...

I’ve been missing Nathan very much today. It’s so wonderful out here, and so relaxing, that I wish he were here to share it with me. I'd like him to spend some time with a peaceful Benjamin who isn’t trying to do a million things at once. It’s strange, on that note, to think that the holiday is nearly over. I could probably do with another week to properly recharge the batteries, but, with any luck, this dose of sun should see me through a few months. I just need to be careful not to hit London in a rush hour for at least a few days after my return.

The beach is particularly lovely at this time of day. It’s about 7pm, the shadows are lengthening and everything is turning the colour of golden syrup. Even the crests of the breaking waves are a shade of pinky-orange. There is, without doubt, a magical light in Italy.

Monday 5th August 1661, and Pepys travelled from Cambridge to Huntingdon. It was raining rather badly, so he borrowed a coat from a man who was riding with him, and paid him 6d for his kindness. He went to Brampton and found his father there, looking well. His aunt had already away vacated the house. Keen readers will remember that she’d been given 10l to sling her hook when her husband died, and Pepys was, yet again, complaining about the financial inconvenience of this act of "kindness". He spent the rest of the day in the villages around Brampton, visiting various relatives and sorting bits of business. He returned to a "quiet" house - no aunt, you see, busying about, whinging about the death of her husband and demanding money from anyone who would listen. I don't know... these grieving widows, eh?

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