To be honest the title of today’s instalment is a little bit off the mark, but not enough for it to be click bait, but it does sound better than the semi-naked crime fighter.
So, just who is this naked fighter of crime?
It was Wednesday night and I was retiring to my bed when I saw headlights shining from the rear of my neighbour’s property. Now the property in question is empty as they’re having building work completed at the moment so this car raises my suspicions. I opened a window and could hear voices over the running engine. So I leapt into action and grabbed a pair of pyjama bottoms and a torch and exited the house at speed to confront the assumed thieves. As I ran along the lane I realised that shoes or at least slippers would have been a good idea, but it’s too late now.
I arrive at the house and the vehicle’s headlights illuminate two bemused looking Italian men, who from their point of view are being approached by a semi-naked man in pyjama bottoms waving a torch and looking like he’s escaped from a high security mental health establishment.
“What’s going on?” I say, trying to sound in control yet now realising this could probably be the most stupid thing I’ve ever done. They then smile, big toothy grins that threaten to slice their faces in two, “We’re here delivering sand for the builder.” Is their reply.
I smile too, say something inane along the lines of, “Okay, have a good evening,” and shuffle back up the lane, vowing to give up crime fighting, now knowing that I’ve given two delivery men something joke about in the bar.
Today I popped to the post office. I park up and see an elderly gentleman walking down the road towards me, I wish him a cheery good morning, hoping it will make the drizzly day seem better, but no, not so much as a smile let alone a reply.
I’m walking away when a woman comes to ask me if I’ll be parked for a long time, I tell her I’m just going to the post office and she shrugs and tells me that I’ll be too long and she wants the space for her friend to park, so she wont get too wet walking to her car. I try to tell her I’m sure I wont be too long, but she ignores me and walks off slamming her front door.
There’s a handful of people in the queue before me and the at the counter is the cheerful woman and the miserable man who hardly says a word. I’m trying to work out if it’s possible I’ll get cheery woman when the door opens behind me and a woman enters. One of the gentlemen sitting gets up and offers the woman his seat but she declines and shuffles past him to sit at a vacant seat further away. He looks at her and asks if she’s all right, to which she responds by telling him to mind his own business.
My turn comes and sadly I’m left with the man behind the counter, I can’t offer my turn to anyone else as this would cause consternation in the queue and throw post office etiquette in the air. I hand him my bill, he takes it, sniffs because the edge of the paper is torn, so he takes a pair of scissors and trims it before holding out his hand for the payment. No words have been exchanged and he just drops my change onto the counter and when I say thank you, there’s still no response.
I am beginning to come to the conclusion that everyone in town is miserable today. Maybe it’s the rain?
I’m walking back to my car when a man wishes me good morning, I turn and he’s smiling beneath his umbrella. A bright pink umbrella with a frill. I guess he’s so comfortable with his sexuality that he’s happy to be seen with this feminine umbrella.
I wish him good morning and climb into my car as the miserable woman from earlier comes out of her house to stand in the now vacant spot. I shake my head in disbelief as I watch her getting wet as she waits for her friend to arrive.
This morning as the sun streamed through the windows I was checking my emails when Alf barked, I looked up and at the top of the lane I saw Michele, (pronounced Mick-ay-lee) I waved and went outside to say hello. He told me had walked up from Merosci to wish me a happy New Year before he heads off to visit his family in Rome. I feel blessed to have such a friend who takes the time whenever he’s passing to drop in and chat. Acceptance by the local community is important to me, and I’m grateful that so many of the Italians have taken the time to say hello and ask how we’re getting on with the house and garden.
View from Bomba
It’s January and a sound floated across the valley that I’ve been hearing everyday for the past nine months, but today it stopped me in my tracks and made me smile. The sound came from the farm where my friend Nicola works in the afternoons with his brother who lives there. The farm has chickens, rabbits, pigs and for the past nine months three big fat turkeys. Today the sun is high and the morning warm; unlike in the UK where there are several serious flood warnings, and as I pootled about on my orto the gobble of a turkey reached my ears. I looked up and there among the chickens was one solitary turkey. I wonder if its thinking, where have the other two gone?
I know they’ve gone to the dinner table, Nicola told me a few weeks ago that the turkeys were for Christmas, so this is one lucky fella to have made it through to the New Year.
I have to go to the shop, and as I drive there I notice I’m smiling, something I used to do when I first arrived here in Italy, today the weather is nice and the snow on the mountains is as white as a freshly laundered napkin. With only one solitary cloud in sight, the sky is an ocean blue colour that compliments the silver underside of the olive leaves that move in the gentle breeze. The grass is a deep and lush and the fallen leaves of brown and gold look like gems amid the green. Surrounded by such beauty, who wouldn’t smile. I’m lucky to live in a place that makes me feel so good as I go about a mundane job like shopping,