Sunday, July 30

Italy: children

The first bit of Italy was Pontremoli which was full of children and ice cream, so delicious and so so sun-burny-hot I almost burnt my tongue and when we tried to go to the seaside there was no room in the sea and then when we did manage to sardine ourselves into the water between all the shiny hologram-and-tinfoil swimwear the children cried because their bottoms got itchy-salty so we had to squeeze our way out of the water and walk like egyptians along the sand among people WHO WEAR HIGH HEELS ON THE BEACH and stand in line to use the solitary shower.

the best ice cream that day was chocolate

During my Pontremoli stay we visited BIG BEN PIZZA an establishment that handed out extravagant amounts of Doritos to go with our fizzy drinks while we waited for the too-much-amount of food that gets ordered by people who are too hungry to think sensibly

the best ice cream that day was blackberry and peach

Italy - Genova

I took a train from Pontremoli to Genova - a port city. People live in  in vertiginous layers up the cliffs around the port - a network of funiculars swish you up to different levels. If you like, you can sashay back down among the palazzos on foot, along leafy, zigzagging footpaths

My landlady was Valeria, her home full of beautiful artwork and movie-set furniture. I spent a day on the funiculars and pathways and palazzos, then, next day, before heading to Pisa on the 2pm train I spent the morning with Valeria on her tropical verandah drinking coffee and eating bouncy smoked cheese from Majorca.

Italy: De'Coltelli's

My last evening in Italy was in Pisa, in a guest house full of large ugly artwork - the owner took one look at me and said

Forget the leaning tower - you need to go to the best ice cream in Italy, here is a map, this is the route ...

I visited De'Coltelli's twice before supper and once after, this is peach sorbet with pink grapefruit granita

Thursday, July 6

I trapped myself in my Gina Lollabrigida dress

I thought that I was going to have to stay stuck and travel to Italy in it and wear the wretched thing all week and that would teach me a fine lesson or two about vanity and ageing gracefully and not eating so much ice cream ... but then a man turned up to remove building rubble and I was able to ask him to help - my predicament embarrassed him but I was too relieved to care.

Yes I am going to Italy - tomorrow at very-early-o'clock, and I was going through my 'Ideal-Me' box of frocks - just in case

still contemplating mortality

Now that Cheesey has vacated his shouting post opposite my house, all the other conversations are drifting back into my windows - yesterday morning I didn't quite catch what the child said but I did hear his mother's response

well - people don't die just because they've run out of breath

Tuesday, July 4

When I meet a new cat

 -  it is important that I put my bag on the floor so they can have a sniff and see what sort of thing I am.

Just as I've been pussy-footing around in London, The Man has been in Chile filming pumas - big grey cats who wear a lot of mascara - sassy cats. 

I watched footage from a recent trip - pumas in their hundreds were creeping up on the crew, a cameraperson might feel a whisker touching their arm then slowly get up to do a controlled crouch-ey backward walk away from dinner time.

This action looked great played backwards but nevertheless I was a bit alarmed - the numbers, the closeness !!!

I was assured there was nothing to worry about

They're just bag-sniffers, they're exactly the same as your cats

Sunday, July 2

I dreamt my room was full of people

On Friday I returned from my London studies to spend a little time with The Man who was home in our house for  a brief moment between his filming trips. The quietness as I turned the corner near my home broadcast the fact that Cheesey was no longer occupying the tree outside my bedroom window. 

The Man left for Sri Lanka yesterday afternoon

While I slept last night a crowd of people wandered in to my bedroom and sat around chatting, laughing, drinking and arguing.  I woke up and challenged them about their intrusion - they said that they'd been doing it for years and had assumed I didn't mind. 

My head, clearly unable to cope with this new solitude, is re-peopling itself when I'm not looking.
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