I'm back in Italy for a week, and I find it difficult + frustrating to not speak the language. Even worse, is that after my week in France I keep wanting to use the French equivilent ('Merci' instead of 'Grazia'), or even just the French phrase when I don't know the Italian version. Still, there are many upsides to this trip. Seeing Sibling again, for one. So far there has been many shared laughs, and funny reminscing, honest speculation, catching up on tv together and much brilliant hanging out.
Tuscany is gorgeous, as usual. Even better now that it's warmer, and you can sit in the sun and feel its warmth on your skin (something I've missed terribly in London). It's nice to be warm again. There are also the fires, Sibling and I must lack the internal heating system that others have, and are always trying to sit as close as humanely possible to the fires, and we're always stoking it up trying to warm up the villa we're in. This undoubtably has its upsides. Today we speared hash brown smiley faces on the ends of forks, and toasted them in the fire. That was alot of fun.
Otherwise the trip has been about random drives, and photo shoots in abandoned countryside buildings. It's been about spotting wildlife in the dark, on the drive home (seen deer, an owl, a squirrel + rabbits so far. Hoping to see badgers + wild pigs, maybe even a fox!), and about ordering blind at restuarants and hoping you get something you want to eat.
It's been about day trips to big cities, and wandering through markets. Buying scarves, and leather bracelets and bargining with bag men, and not buying the bags. About learning the words to The Big Bang Theory's theme song, and sleeping in all day. It's been about sitting in the sun, watching hunters hunt across the ravine, and about rarking up the dogs.
About walks on muddy paths through the olive grove, and late night algebra (with weird italian translations) and eating. Lots and lots of eating - Hit (two vanilla biscuits with a chocolate creme in the middle), dried fruits and ice cream. Spinach + Feta pie, mash potatoes, blueberry self saucing pudding and madarins. Making toast in the oven, and finding things to toast over the fire.
There has been fire building + smoking out the apartment, and sitting under duvets to keep warm. There was watching seasons and seasons of tv. House, The Big Bang Theory, Grey's Anatomy, Nikita. Huddled up together in bed, or by the fire to watch whatever on a laptop, or playing game apps on phones.
It's been a good week. A brilliant week. It feels very much like a holiday. The kind that in New Zealand you'd take in a bach by beach somewhere in the late summer. Very low key, very laxed. I'm sad to leave, actually. I don't know when I'll see Sibling again, or have another opportunity to be as lazy as I have been.
This trip marks the end of my itenerary. Once I'm back it's all about jobs + routines and it'll be busy. Very very busy. I'm glad I took this week. Hopefully more weeks like this one aren't too far away.