27 April 2011

eggs, songs and pickle

I had already eaten my Easter egg when the "right" day for it arrived. Dark chocolate, and lots of it. A Cassino friend had brought me an early gift. I wasn't going to buy any eggs. I had baulked at the price (from 12 to 40 euros for a fancy one, smaller ones from 8 to 12 euros) but then found a great one at a reasonable price and relented. I was glad that I did, as it was the first Italian egg for my Kiwi visitor. She was horrified when I said I had already demolished one all by myself, but perhaps my one wasn't quite as big as this...

The mass that I chose to go to (yes, I do go occasionally as it is a normal part of life here) was the lighting of the new light on Saturday night, the mass starting at 9.30pm. I was out shortly after as there was so much incense that I thought I was going to have an asthma attack. Are there no Catholic asthmatics? My lungs were still screaming the next day, and I am not really an asthmatic. Sunday was better, with a slow start to the day. We went exploring by car across the valley and into my favourite church at Aquino, and caught up with German and Italian friends for home-made Colomba and a glass of bubbly.

Yesterday was a trip to Rome for the ANZAC service. We had an early start to catch the 6.10 train, and then took a taxi to the Rome war cemetery. I will write a post about the service on the Legato blog later, and upload some photos. I was very lucky to be standing next to Bonni for the singing as the earlier rain meant that there was no sound system. How wonderful to have a voice like hers in the group at the service. I'm not sure that I was in key, but I did my best to add some volume.

After the morning tea at the NZ Embassy it was sad goodbye to Bonni who was going back to Civitavecchia. We had a lot of fun over Easter, lots of laughter, and I will miss her terribly when she leaves Italy in a few weeks time. I was home by dark and the dogs were delighted to see me as they had been alone all day. It was good to see Piccolina just as excited as Zacchi.

This morning the vet showed me the blood results for Piccolina. They are Ok, not perfect, one level on the high side and one very much on the low side, others a mixture, but all are still in the normal range. Strict diet for her, nothing to put a burden on the kidneys, and lots of skin care too.

The problem is that she is contagious so if she is bitten my those particular mosquitoes (I believe it is actually a sandfly) she will spread the disease to other dogs. I am going to spray outside regularly for sandflies and mosquitoes, I don't think the council did it at all last year but they usually do. I will watch with more attention this year when the mozzies start.

Pickle has three types of tablets, and two different washes for her skin, so her treatment is time consuming but her spirit tonight when we snuck out for a walk in the dark away from curious eyes was most reassuring. (I walked them at night because she is not at her prettiest at the moment).

Walking is a very good idea, as, surprise surprise, Easter is also a time of over-eating here. The 40 egg cake (this being the smallest version, as the recipe is actually for 80 or 100 eggs) from Pontecorvo is very yummy! My own contribution to over-eating was this pineapple upside down cake. Because I used a non-stick pan the sugar turned to toffee when I caramelised it and the result was better than I expected! Bonni and I, with a little help from passing friends, soon demolished the "dolce" so I didn't eat it all by myself. Thankfully my foot is much better the last couple of days, I think I can go bandage free now and also work off a little cake.

This has been more of a letter, not a great post, but at least you are up-to-date with me again. I have a frantically busy time ahead of me with Legato and touring with my friends from Tirau, not to mention trying to keep my students going at the same time. There may be big gaps in postings. It will be great though, as these tourists want to meander in smaller towns and through the countryside, and I have planned a trip with some great places to visit. We are staying in monasteries and apartments, and the first accommodation will be in the trulli houses! I am really keen to see them myself. There will be photos in time, to make you want to come and visit too!

Today I am grateful for dogs that take me walking again.


nicola said...

Who cares about chocolate I WANT A PIECE OF UPSIDE DOWN CAKE!!!!! That looks AWESOME.

Sarah said...

Why do you always make photos of yourself so tiny? *grumble*

Sarah said...

I mean really...just compare it to the size of your cake photos!