Monday, 1 August 2011

The most beautiful iridescent blue

I finally seem to have internet capability after a two day period in an Italian black spot. Life in the mountains is so relaxed and slow-paced that no one understands the need to be instantly contactable. I have been texting my blogs to Nathan, so apologies if they haven't been up to my usual standards!

It’s clouded over this afternoon for the first time since we’ve been here. Those with envious dispositions will be upset to hear that I’ve gone a lovely shade of brown. My hair, on the other hand, feels like straw, my eyebrows are going orange and my lips and skin are permanently encrusted in sand, salt and mountain dust. I guess these things are a small price to pay.

I feel like I’m gradually slowing down; gradually relaxing, although the 15 year-old daughter of a friend of Julie’s just shouted “Bhatti Boy” at me, which made my skin freeze. I’m not altogether sure she knows what the term means, and quite how offensive it is. I also think it might have been part of another conversation that I wasn’t party to. I don’t really want to ask why she said it for fear of opening a can of worms in front of her father. She seemed genuinely horrified when I recoiled, and I later over-heard her saying that she thought it was simply something that rappers said! They also say "nigger" quite a lot, but I'm convinced she wouldn't have shouted that at a passing black person! There also seemed to be a simultaneous conversation going on with the lady who owns the beach hut who was asking Julie what “girlfriend” meant in the context of an English older woman asking if she could rent a room for her “girlfriend and herself.” One assumes there was a little hint of homophobia here as well. I'm choosing to believe that she was just asking the question so that she wouldn't offend the woman later on by assuming she was straight.
I went jogging this morning through a glorious grove of trees which lines the beach. It was fairly early in the morning, but I immediately regretted my decision to run a) in the extraordinary heat and b) without socks. I returned, sweating like a pig, and covered in blisters.

The food here is sensational. I have seldom tasted such incredible fruit and vegetables. Tomatoes are in season at the moment; great big beefy things which taste like the sun; sweet and rich. Yesterday I ate two nectarines which were like honey.

350 years ago, and Pepys went with the two Sir Williams to Walthamstowe to visit Mrs Browne, and the baby they'd watched being Christened on a muddy day in May. They ate a venison pasty and caught up on the gossip du jour, which scandalously revolved around Sir William Batten's wife, who was apparently a "man's whore", although Pepys chose not to believe the tittle tattle.

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