Sunday 14 November 2010 and the sun is doing a grand job of warming the Italian countryside. After breakfast we drive over to Atessa. The town is quite high up in comparison to where we live, and the change in temperature is quickly felt. Locals walk around wrapped up in top coats and scarves, I am one of those crazy stranieri that walk around in November wearing short sleeves> This attracts looks of amazement from the townsfolk; surely I must be aware that it’s molto freddo? The town affords wonderful views over the countryside, and my camera is working overtime to capture them. Why don’t the pictures ever really capture what the naked eye can see. We wander around the side streets for a while, waiting for a vintage car rally to begin, however only one car has turned up. We walk through the Museo……. A religious museum, where models of the Christmas story and the life of Jesus have been made. I’m not particularly religious, but the work that has gone into these huge models has to be appreciated. My favourite is a model called Christmas in Italy, Cobbled streets and tiled roofs have snow upon them and in the backyard of one house a little fat chef is putting a paddle of pizza into the miniature oven.
We are on the road to Piano d’Archi, when I spot her, she’s slightly older than I am and her body has a few of the imperfections that come with age, yet still she makes my heart lurch in my chest. The sign she holds causes me to brake sharper than I should have, the tyres screeching on this quiet Sunday afternoon. VENDESI. For sale, and underneath is her telephone number. Selling herself in this way may be a tad forward for a lady of her years, but in this situation who cares for propriety?
On the way home we stop off for a wander around the local cemetery, something I always like to do. We find a section of the grounds is given over to children's tombs, I saunter through reading the headstones. Photographs of children smile out from the gravestones, that is the one’s taken after cameras became readily available. Back when photography was the domain of the professional only, the photographs are much more chilling. No smiling children gaze out, but a faded black and white image of the child in its’ coffin.
I click on the hazards and jump from my seat and walk back along the road towards her. Cars skirt around the now stationery Berlingo, and i wait for three travelling in the opposite direction, before I can cross the road to stand beside her. At her side I smile down at her admiring her fine curves. The height difference between the two of would be apparent to anyone passing by, should there have been any transient footfalls.
Before spotting her we had stopped off at a new supermarket that has opened to check it out. Prices here are outrageous, many times higher than near where we live, it’s obviously because the shop is quite isolated, and will attract mainly passing trade, or those who have forgotten something and know it’s the only store open on a Sunday for miles around. I am blasé in my admiration of her curves, and she remains motionless as I saunter around her, savouring her from every angle. I take out my camera and capture her beauty, before walking away, climbing back into my car and leaving her alone standing beside the road, waiting for others to stop and allow their eyes to roam over her form. If you’ve not worked out yet what the object of my desire is, it’s a powder blue classic Fiat 500.