Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Monday 20 April 2009
Despite waking several times in the night I rise feeling quite refreshed; Maybe it’s my body getting used to this pace of life. I shower, shave and the other ‘sh’ word then head off to buy some chicken from the supermarket. Earphones inserted, I stride off into the distance as Funkadelic play ‘Icka prick’. The girl behind the meat counter deftly slices the chicken breast for me, turning it into paper-thin slices; I purchase a courgette to go with the chicken for tonight’s dinner, and with Roxette singing ‘It Must have Been Love’ I head off back to the house. It’s another damp day, with a sky full of lazy clouds that refuse to move obscuring the sun, who must be waiting for a breeze to release her from this fluffy prison. We entertain ourselves with a drive to Pescara to visit the hypermarket, ‘Auchan’. We spend a couple of hours there: ‘Avin a good nose rind’ as we’d say back home ‘int potteries’. We compare the prices here with the ones back home in Tesco and Auchan wins, not just on price but also on the larger amount of produce 'way'd buy hayer tha way conna get back at wom’ (Not sure why this pottery dialect has popped up today?) I deliberate over some steaks for tomorrow evening’s dinner, I want to try the filleted horsemeat, however that idea is shot down as soon as I mention it, and we opt (or rather OH opts for beef steak). ‘Thay shoulda kept thee trap shut’ I hear my little Stokie conscience say.
We pack our shopping into the meagre space that Pamela Pram affords us and head off to the Zona Commerciale, (shopping centre) and with hot panino con porchetta purchased earlier we sit in the car park eating as the sun finally breaks through. I don’t know if it’s the produce or the pace of life, but I tend to eat so much better when I’m in Italy. Back in the UK my fruit consumption is virtually nil, however here I eat loads of it. Maybe I just feel it’s better for me as it’s odd shaped and natural looking, rather than the uniformed EU shape restricted produce back home. I purchase a handful of gifts for people back home, then we set off back to Ari via Francavilla, or as I now affectionately call it, ‘shit hole.’ Back home and as Janet Jackson sings ‘Let’s Wait A While’ I enjoy a cup of tea, it’s Lipton’s not Yorkshire, but it’ll do. I spend an hour sat on the roof terrace enjoying a gin and tonic and just looking out over the landscape, it may sound silly, but it would really take a lot to get bored with the views in Abruzzo. X-Ray Spex belt out ‘Let’s Submerge’ as I get everything ready for dinner, it looks like I’m all set up in a TV studio with everything laid out precisely, all we need is a camera crew. “Ciao e benvenuto al mio italiano di cucina.” ‘Pack it in thee daft apath, thee wunna shut up will thee.” Maybe that gin and tonic wasn’t such a good idea, I’m now getting told off by my own conscience. Dinner is chicken stuffed with cream cheese and courgette with pasta. I sit back as OH does the dishes and sink another large G and T. Post dinner is a stroll around the Palazzo Baronale Nolli into the piazza, Alice Martineau sings ‘The Sunlight Song’, her voice a lost treasure to the music industry, Alice was born with cystic fibrosis and died in 2003 at the age of just 30. Her one album, ‘Daydreams’ a wonderful legacy to leave behind. Ironically as Alice sings of sunlight: ‘So baby lets fly into the sunlight’, we watch as mist falls all around us, it descends upon the town rapidly, quite un-nerving, wrapping its arms around everything, holding it in a grey embrace. Walking in the mist is quite an ethereal experience; the air hangs like tiny droplets of suspended water and visibility is reduced to just a few metres. A breeze catches the flag in the piazza and the slapping of damp fabric against the flagpole can be heard; disjointed and unseen. A white Fiat 500 drives up, barely discernable, its headlights peering into the gloom as it passes by and descends down the slope before driving up into town, its red tail lights glaring like a malevolent beast. A car in the distance sounds its horn, indicating its presence to others that may be driving along the bends that in daylight can be heart stopping. Echoing the horn is the morose howl of a cat cutting through the shadows
This small Italian town could at this moment be the perfect set for a horror movie, a car with just one headlight working turns into the square, it stops briefly before exiting, as a window upstairs in the palazzo is illuminated casting on orange glow onto the courtyard below. The Cyclops reappears, stopping briefly again before leaving, its one eye cutting through the grey.
Back at the house, leaving the creepiness locked outside I dance in the kitchen to The Selector hit, ‘On My Radio’; a little bit of Coventry based ska from 1979 is interrupted as another G and T is offered to me a way of saying, ‘I ‘ope thee onna gonna be dancin’ rind like a tit ow nayt?’