I hoped to be able to keep up to date with my blog as I did before moving to Italy, however my (early) retirement has seen me consumed with more work than you can shake a grissini (breadstick) at.
I’m not complaining, I’ve been busy and met some lovely people through my work, but maybe I need to post some regular posts to tell you all what’s going on in Abruzzo, and share gossip about how life here is.
Hopefully in the New Year, I can get a balance between work and non-work-messing-on-the-PC time sorted to write snippets.
Even a few year’s on, it’s strange settling into living in another country and it’s hard to define that moment when holiday mode shuts down, I’m most definitely not in holiday mode as being in employment and commuting: albeit behind a farmer with tractors laden with harvested olives this month, I face each day with that known expectation of office familiarity. (Does that make sense?)
I do have wobbles; moments when I see images that are ingrained into my conciousness that cause me to have a desire to be among things that I grew up alongside. One such moment that happened recently was looking at photos posted by my friend Tim Diggles, his pottery town images grab me by the heartstrings and stir my emotions.
I do miss friends and family and sometimes the ease of living where you have one language: I have a newly profound veneration for people who have come to the UK and settled and taken on both the British culture and the English language, because sometimes it’s not easy to assimilate a lifestyle you have chosen to adopt despite it being so very different to your own.
I know I don’t miss British pubs, I much prefer the Italian bar culture, I do miss Indian restaurants and I also miss being able to just talk nonsense, using those colloquialisms that will never translate into any other language. I miss hearing the Pottery dialect, which was the reason for the title, Hiatus and thoughts about Wom – Wom is pottery dialect meaning home.
I especially miss my friends at Renegades Writers, I looked forward to my Wednesday evening meetings with this eclectic bunch of individuals, we may all have different tastes in genre, be of an assortment of ages and have vast differences in education, but it was a melting pot of interesting people and some of my dearest friendships. (And some of the best laughter I have experienced).
Those who know me are aware I’m not that bothered about being in great crowds of people, I never felt the need to be surrounded by lots of friends. I have some lovely friends back in the UK, all of whom know who they are and that they don’t have to be in constant contact with me to be assured that I value them.
We have made some great friends here in Italy, not a vast amount as we’re becoming rather picky in our old age and prefer to spend time with people that we relate to, even though it usually means more eating out at the local restaurants than would be deemed normal in the UK.
Being an ex-pat can be quite odd as people who share the same native language seem to think that you should all get along – I have the mind set that dictates that if I wouldn’t like you in the UK then I’m not likely to change my mind in Italy.
I have some great Italian friends, people I work with who have taken me in and helped me become part of their business and more importantly their family. And I have my friend Massimo, who has been my support from day one at the office, he’s always there to solve any problem I have and when we go out on house viewings we laugh so much, despite the language differences that it’s a joy to be working alongside him. So I guess it’s all working out okay for me here in rural Italy – I think so.
In Italy the olive harvest continues, normally it’s over before the full moon at the end of November, however this year the crop has been so good the local population are defying tradition and continuing to get every last olive into their baskets. So good is the harvest this year that the price per litre has risen from €6 to €9. My friend says the final price this year could be as much as €11 a litre.
I’ll sign off now, I’ve had a good day that started off with an obligatory egg for breakfast followed by a walk along the beach where we scavenged drift wood and pine cones for the wood burner back home. I then chopped wood, walked my lovely boy, Alf Alf, the dog that sounds like Scooby Doo when he barks and then did something I’ve never done before, as my iPod is always on shuffle, today I set it to genre and spent the afternoon with disco playing: Not everyone’s cup of tea but it made the day that little bit better as I danced with the dogs and sang off key, but for those friends of mine from the punk/indie persuasion I will confess to today buying Siouxsie’s new single, Love Crime.