Monday, January 21, 2013

January in Umbria

We are here in the little apartment.  I am looking out the window at rain clouds that are hovering over the hills across from me.  The pigeons seem oblivious to the weather and continue to do pigeon dances of seduction.  No wonder there are so many of them.

Our arrival was uneventful. We missed the havoc at Heathrow by one day! We are so thankful we did not get stuck waiting for 6 hours on a plane.  Ugh!  That happened to me one time, and it was a horrible experience.

We have had a few adventures already.  Adelle got food poisoning, we think, from something, perhaps a roasted chicken.  She was so sick for the first day.  I was very concerned about her. The evil sickenss left her, and she has recovered herself thank god.

I have adjusted slowly to the jet lag, sleepy when I should be awake and awake when I should be sleeping.  In the middle of my nap we get a call from our realtor who is in the Piazza with a client  and wants to show the little apartment.  What????  Thankfully, The Stoic One knew we were not in any way prepared for a visit. He suggested the client come the next day.  Turns out she was looking for an investment property for her mother.  The mother is in Brazil and will see the apartment next month, when we are not here.  Ambivalent again about selling this place. As my sister Sarah says when you list something for sale, you have to expect someone will buy it....sigh....

The new apartment is making progress in its restoration.  Here is a picture of me and my friend Adelle, who has recovered, in front of the fireplace...

My friend McSorley thinks we look like TV reporters...He is a bit deranged.

Finished fireplace
This will be in the "family" room off the kitchen.  I am so happy with the way it came out.  It looks as if  it has been there forever.

Kitchen space is now ready for the kitchen.

So yesterday, we had one of those serendipity Italian days.  It was raining, cold, and we had to leave the apartment for the realtor and client to see it, so we went off to buy wine....what else is there to do?  We went to the little town of Torgiano, just north of Deruta.  We go to the the wine museum there to buy the wine we like.  

We drove into the little town and there was no parking..any where....What??? We parked way away from town and trudged in wind and drizzling rain wondering what in the world had drawn so many people.  Church on Sunday? In Italy?  Not likely. The street to our wine museum was closed to car traffic.  There were several policeman on duty ensuring no cars came through.  What is going on?

For those of you who don't read Italian, it was the feast of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of farm animals and the guardian of all animals.  There was a special benediction of animals in the Piazza Saint Antonio at 12:00. We got there just in time to see the priest blessing the dogs, cats and birds in cages, rabbits, in cages, hamsters.  Mainly dogs were present.  They looked a little taken aback with the holy water sprinkled on them but most of them were more interested in smelling the rears of their compatriots.

Everyone was so happy even the priest. They handed out the blessed bread to people, but we were on to lunch and didn't linger.

We had lunch at the most fantastic place.  I know I am always telling you about the food...we didn't take pictures this time.  Sunday is a big eat out day in Italy for families.  There were tables of 15 and 20 people.  Our little table of three fit into one of the back rooms.  

The name of the restaurant is Tavern dell'Orso.  It is in Sant'Egidio outside of Perugia.  If you are ever going that way, I highly recommend a stop.  The service was as excellent as the food.  It is in the middle of the country.

Today is Monday and we are going to Perugia to shop.  I see a bit of blue sky peaking out above the hills, so we must get up and out to check the January sales.  We are hopeful we will find some treasures.  Will let you know.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On our way

Our bags are packed and we're ready to go.  Our friends Joseph and Paul have sold their house, closed on their apartment and will be moving to Italy April 6th, ahead of us.  Ambivalence is the word right now.  I had a lovely time at Christmas with my family and friends.  I have tons of work that still challenges and rewards me, and yet I fear staying too long.  I wonder if others who are looking at retirement feel the same way.  I know I don't have the energy that I used to have, and my ability to track is not as strong.  It's kind of like being a beagle with an aging nose.

So, off to Rome today.  Adelle is with us.  We will stay at the Inn of the Forum our new favorite place to stay, and then train in to Foligno and be picked up by Simone.  We will try to make all decisions about the apartment on this trip.  The choice of kitchen is still unresolved and the air-conditioning, and the hot water heater all need to be addressed.  I will check out the fireplace and see the work they have done.  I am anxious to check in with Manuele and see how he is doing.  He has had back problems and I am concerned about him.

So the next post will be from the other half of my life.  Ciao amici.