27 March 2011

sunshine, birdsong and domestic drivel...

The past two weeks have seen a mixture of serious debate, political comment, personal stories and a fair amount of laughter... not to mention copious amounts of tea, coffee and vino rosso. I have upped my coffee intake to the point of needing a fix this afternoon, and the assorted cheeses visitors left in the fridge are probably not what a healthy body requires. However, despite being laid up on the couch for some of it, it has been a good social time.

Guests who wanted to see "real Italy" certainly did. I sent them off with a tight train connection and... of course, it was impossible to make as the first train was running ten minutes late. So I then directed them to a bus that didn't arrive. It was not the best of days for them, missing both the palace and the abbey, but at least the weather was OK and they certainly had a chance to watch "real Italy" passing them by! (Beached as, they were!) That day was probably the biggest casualty of my sore foot, otherwise I would have driven them to the Cassino connection. I also learnt, along the way, that there was a direct train that ran to Caserta about 20 minutes earlier that is not showing up on the Trenitalia website... VERY useful info for others coming later, but frustrating for the Antipodean visitors.

Last night we went to one of my favourite churches and via Latina, and I hope that was some compensation for the disappointments. That particular church is very different from anything they will see on the tourist route. Here are photos from another visitor to the chiesa de S Maria della libera (Aquino). Tradition has it that Thomas Aquinas, born in neighbouring Castello, Roccasecca, which was then part of ancient Aquino, was baptised in this Benedictine church.

Today I managed to forget that daylight saving began overnight, and then I adjusted my watch the wrong way. Will I ever learn? (No blonde comments thanks, I am simply upside down here). That meant we were a little late getting to the market, but still in time for one guest (who shall remain nameless) to buy a handbag for her collection.

My car let us down yesterday, so getting to the station this afternoon meant calling on my super-helpers once again. I had borrowed a small car, driving it down from the piazza through the steep and winding cobblestone street that is little more than a footpath or mule track, only to find that the passengers and suitcases were not going to fit into the tiny vehicle. Thank goodness we had plenty of time up our sleeves.

A worrying aspect along the way has been Piccolina's health. She has developed weepy eyes, scaly dry skin and hair loss on her face and head, and an itch. She can still chase cats and eat so I wasn't too worried, until the vet said that (worst scenario) it might be a fatal virus brought by a certain type of mosquito. Luckily she seems to be responding to treatment for a lesser complaint. Needless to say, even just writing about it, I am scratching and itching too. The power of suggestion is terrible at times! It's time for a damp cloth and disinfectant wash for the whole house so it smells clean and tricks me into believing that I am not itching at all!

Now, with sheets in the washing machine, Pickle looking happier and the sun still streaming in, it is time to recharge the batteries for a week, catch up on a few neglected tasks, and prepare for the next visitors who arrive in a week's time.

"Under The Lazian Sun", anyone?

Today I am grateful for medicine for Pickle.

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