Wednesday 01 September 2010 – Today we have a meeting with our lawyers in Lanciano. We arrive in plenty of time and after a coffee and a bite to eat at, Laperlanera, on Corso Trento e Trieste, we walk around. It’s passed lunchtime and with the exception of a handful of bars, the shops are closed. We’re walking along when we’re met by Massimo, our bank manager. He says he’ll see us later when we pop in to get the cheques signed for the house purchase. Purchase? Surely it can’t be completed so soon?
We walk through the cool side streets, still not sure what will happen later at the notary’s office. Sometimes I think you have to leave the main areas of towns and cities to get a real feel for the place. Here in Lanciano, at the moment it’s quiet and peaceful, but don’t be fooled, there’s evidence everywhere of a lively, vibrant town. There’s a fair set up near the Duomo, as the town has a week long festival starting. Il Mastrogiurato. www.mastrogiurato.it
We meet up with Piero, our lawyer and he says everything is now complete, and we can do the public act, or rogito. This basically means sign the deeds and the house purchase is complete. Massimo sorts out the cheques for the sellers and we walk across town to meet Paolo the notary. We sit in his cool air-conditioned office and the sellers arrive. The house is owned by a mother and daughter, Domenica and Maria. After a marathon session of signature signing, we hand over the cheques and receive the keys. It’s over, we now own our very own little piece of Italy.
Thursday 02 September 2010 – We have an early flight from Pescara, so leave in the dead of night. En route to the airport we stop at endless petrol stations, to fill up. However all the card links with the UK are down. We try many cash machines and they too are down, so sadly have to return the car with only half a tank and a letter of apology. We file through the departures area, it’s not really a lounge, more a corridor leading into a blank room. This must be one of the few airports that don’t have a public toilet in departures.
The flight is full, and everyone is shoe-horned into the plane, I pass the time listening to music, the first song to shuffle forward is the aptly titled ‘Go Home’ by Eliza Doolittle. 2 hours and 10 minutes later, we’re instructed to switch off electrical devices ready for landing; the captain telling us we’re 20 minutes early.
Tuesday 07 September 2010 – Since we got back into the UK all we’ve done is yearn to be back over in Italy. We’ve spent everyday visiting kitchen and bathroom stores, checking prices and getting ideas. We had an idea about what tiles we wanted in the kitchen, but when we went to buy them, we changed our minds, as the tile store had an offer on Italian white marble ones: bargains at just 50p each. I had a call from Italy today letting me know that the electricity people have been in to switch on, so that’s a start. We have decided that we’re going over again, this time driving, so we can take some things over that are just sitting in boxes over here waiting to be shipped out. Looks like we’ll be going over around 18-19 of this month.
As Daughtry play ‘Tennessee Line’ I take a photo of the keys to our place in Italy, there’s one huge key to a bedroom, a small one for the second bedroom and a normal one for the front door. A bit much to be carrying around in your trouser pockets.
I grab a few things from our local Tesco, and pop into the cafe for a drink and a bite to eat. Opposite me is a young couple, she keeps showing him what I imagine are photographs taken on her iPhone. He smiles in mock surprise, and they giggle away, she then shows him, a video she has filmed on her phone. I can see the screen from where I’m sat and am treated to a home made porn film, of the two of them. She stops the film and switches to still photographs of the man, naked posing for her. I wonder if they want people to see them. Is this hi-tech exhibitionism?
I drive home with ‘Germs’ by The Exploited playing, aggressive and raw and a hark back to my misspent youth.
Thursday 09 September 2010 – Today I take a trip up town and nothing much out of the ordinary happens, I bump into my friend Silvana and then pop into the O2 shop to enquire about my mobile phone repair. A pretty ordinary day, until I see a sign advertising cod and chips with bread and butter and a mug of tea for just £4. I think, I’ll have some of that. I arrive at the eatery and take a seat and opposite me is four students. The four girls are all very different, one is tall and willowy with a haunted look about her, another is short with a red blunt bob and lipstick the colour of calves liver. Opposite her is a blonde with a puggish face and spilling over a chair next to her is a huge Irish girl. They are all moaning, one about the place she’s renting, another about the price of pots and pans. The Irish girl is stuffing a burger into her face and nodding in agreement, her gestures the only input she has in the conversation. My dinner arrives, and I almost choke on a hot chip when I hear the following from the moaning students. Pug: “I love your tattoo.” Irish: “It’s an exact copy of Cheryl’s.” (Cole/Tweedy) Bob: “Oh, I can’t stand her.” Irish: “I love her, could just eat her.” Good job I’m choking, it helps me fight the desire to shout out, “Look’s like you already have love.”
I’ve not been over to my allotment for a few weeks, what with going to Italy etc. All I have left to harvest are potatoes, and my four fat pumpkins, which are turning orange. I went today and rescued my chilli plant, it’s a bit bedraggled, but is still producing some of its’ tiny fiery orangecoloured chillies.
I spent the afternoon, packing boxes ready to take some stuff over to Italy, when we go over on the 19th. I’ve still got so much stuff lying around in boxes, both from our house move and the office closure. As music plays I start sorting some out, I come across things I’d forgotten we had, and lots of pointless things, the pointless things are dumped in the bin. I find a DVD with nothing written on it, so pop it into my laptop and it’s a recording of a Maori Phowri, or Haka, which we were greeted with at a school we visited on our 2007 tour of New Zealand. So I copy it and publish it on You Tube and on my Facebook page. Donna Summer, shuffles to the fore with ‘Dinner With Gershwin’ as I find some old photo albums, and settle down to see which snaps will be consigned to the bin.
Friday 10 September 2010 – Well a miserable day it is, Mary J. Blige sings ‘PMS’, which just about sums the morning up.
I decided today to check my blog statistics, to see if anyone actually reads this. I discover I have quite a few regular readers, one from China checks in every week, some from Italy, USA and a handful of Canadians to name a few, and a Lithuanian that comes to read this every Monday. So thanks guys for checking me out.
The morning passes by with me doing very little, apart from check out the Abruzzo forum and my Facebook page. Lunchtime arrives as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds start to play ‘O’Malley’s Bar’, from the splendid Murder Ballads album.
We went out in the afternoon, looking at and pricing up kitchens. We saw one we liked in Wickes, and at a good price. It’s self assembly, which we think we can easily do, but we’ll have to get someone to come cut and fit the work surfaces for us.
Stickers! I can’t stand stickers. Today I got five, nice slender outdoor lights, the solar powered kind, not expensive, actually just £1.45 each. The problem is each one has 3 stickers on it, and they are buggers to peel off. So as Joan Armatrading sings ‘Your Letter’, I’m peeling off the offending little blighters.