Sunday 12 June 2011 – I wake early and decide to take advantage of the coolness of the morning. I decide to do some work on the house before the day warms up. I plug in the iPod and music fills the little kitchen, My Chemical Romance sing Blood. I remove the rubble from the weeks earlier demolition of the fireplace, and turn my attention to the hearth. It’s concrete and takes many whacks of the hammer to break it up. I’m finished both in energy and in purpose, as Terry arrives to tell me he’s ready to leave.
I help Terry load up the car and it’s with a heavy heart I watch him and Brenda drive away. They’ve lived in their house for seven years and today they leave it, destined for a new life in the USA. Buon viaggio amici.
I go downstairs to the apartment and begin to fetch my belongings upstairs. Brenda calls me to say they’ve left their laptop. We arrange to meet at the toll at Val di Sangro. I drive along the lanes, the Berlingo bouncing on the uneven roads. We meet and the exchange is done, and with Hersham Boys by Sham 69 playing I pootle along: There’s no need to drive fast, speed defeats the pace of life here in Abruzzo.
After dinner I have another slice of my special cake, and a glass of wine, and as the evening draws in I sit and look out over the valley.