We are happily back in the saddle after several days on tenterhooks: our bathroom contractor had the nerve to actually cash his check, thus depleting our bank account, which made things a bit tight until we could top off the tank, so to speak -- which we found is none too easy from abroad, especially if the SOS e-mail to your broker gets returned as spam! Anyway we did manage to get as far afield as:
Assisi, auspiciously on Sunday: En route we were distracted by the blessing of the animals (the feast of the “cult” of St. Anthony in the suburb
We also ventured back to San Sepolcro for the street market, picking up some fruit and cheese and a pair of sneakers for Piper. Aside from the fact that the ones she brought were in a sorry state after having served as Stella toys, she had been advised to wear some…. Well, let me back up. We had, in a precipitous experiment, gone to the local elementary school and through a series of broken Italian phrases, hand gestures, and other gyrations, gotten Pi admitted to what was essentially a 4th grade class, to see if she liked it. (It should be stated that she was very excited by this prospect.) If she did, we were prepared, or so we thought, to enroll her for the duration of the trip. As it turned out, she was not thrilled, since of course it was rather stressful to be the only person in the room who spoke not a word of Italian. We also came to the decision that having her in class every day for at least a half day would curtail our activities too much. Anyway one of the kids urged Pi to wear sneakers upon her return. So now she has nice new shoes.
The rest of the time we spent close to home, prowling around San Giustino, sipping the odd cappuccino, buying newspapers to burn – whereby we learned of the oncoming winter storm in Umbria, which had in recent weeks roared through the rest of Europe with hurricane force and subzero temps. We were somewhat of mixed emotions yesterday when it started snowing. Beautiful – but we had yet to purchase chains for the car and would definitely need them if the roads were snowed in.
Cheers Sean / Robin/Nick/Piper
In the interim since I wrote the above we paid a visit to
To give the kids a break we are tending to spend roughly every other day in town, if not the Molino. The other day R & I braved the chill and walked down, passing a morning with coffee, Internet at the friendly Algerian’s place, and walkies in general. Today I broke away and drove to Pieve Santo Stefano, a riverside village that looked like it ought to be more interesting than it turned out to be; I drove another 20 klicks to Chiese de la Verna, up in the snowy mountains, which were bright with sun. The tourists were milling around La Verna itself, slightly beyond -- the retreat of S. Francesco -- so I didn’t stop, but it gave me the lay of the land.
Yesterday we spent the better part of the day in
Hope all is well with you – we all miss our friends and relations – wish you were here, as they say!
Sean / Robin/Nick/Piper