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Monday, 27 April 2009

Friday 17 April 2009

I lie awake listening to the sounds of a town stirring, a van pulls up outside and a man collects the refuse, a male voice can be heard calling, ‘buon giorno’ a female voice reciprocates. We’ve had rain in the night, but as the day opens up blue skies appear, a promise of sunshine. I dress and take a stroll through town, Justin Timberlake shuffles to the fore and as I step into the piazza he starts to sing ‘LoveStoned’. The bar owner waves to me as I walk past as she opens up. I climb the steep steps up to the church and as I pass by en route to the supermarket Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds replace Justin with ‘The Curse Of Millhaven’. I purchase some provisions from the supermarket and exchange a few words with the girl behind the deli counter, who tells me her boyfriend works in London and her sister is studying in Northampton. A quick visit to the pharmacy to purchase some sun cream; factor 50, as my nose is as red as a raspberry; my skin and the sun are not welcome bedfellows. I stroll back with no sense of urgency, this time with Fleetwood Mac for company as they play ‘Tusk’.
We spend the morning sat on the terrace just enjoying the fine weather, and before long a large portion of the day has expired, once more we take a walk into the town, we stop to look into the little church on the cross roads before wandering around the cemetery. We potter about looking at the photographs that blankly gaze out from marble blocks; weak smiles and austere looks capture a moment in time long gone. I’m attracted to an image of a young soldier dressed in his uniform, his strong jaw line and thick mane of dark hair compliment his brooding black eyes, just twenty six when he died serving his country. I switch on my iPod as we leave the cemetery and Hazel O’Connor starts to sing ‘Aint It Funny’, how apt I think, a song about the futility of war. We wish our friends a safe journey back to the UK and promise to look after their house in their absence. Lunch is simple, bread, tomatoes and pecorino d’Abruzzo and a glass of red wine, well to be honest two glasses. The afternoon is very warm and the sun quite fierce with no clouds to mask her, so I choose to stay indoors listening to music as it shuffles to fill the room. Kylie Minogue, belts out ‘The World Still Turns’ followed by the Eagles, ‘One Of These Nights’. I look around the room admiring Helen’s artwork as Rolf Harris talks, his spoken introduction to the Kate Bush track, ‘An Architect’s Dream’. I sip at my glass of wine as the song takes over my thoughts and my eyes drink in the view through the balcony doors, enjoying it as much as my palate enjoys the wine. Dinner is a one pot rustic creation, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and courgette sautéed in olive oil then with these wonderful, slender pork sausages I got from a butchers in Francavilla, they’re about ten inches long and as red as claret, and taste amazing. Served with bruschetta we sit and eat as an early evening breeze drifts in through the kitchen window and Gianna Nannini sings a selection of her hits from the Giannabest album.

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