Sunday 4 September 2011 - Today I get confirmation of the dates I need, to go back to the UK to finish a job I’m under contract to complete. I really don’t want to go back, even though a touch of rain and wind would be very welcome at the moment. I do very little today, of course I listen to music; as usual; as I type this Kate Nash is singing ‘Skeleton song’.
In the afternoon my friend Adam calls me on Skype and we have a chat, then David calls me with his news, and after a shower I head off the 5.5 miles to Casoli for beers with Christine.
The bar is full of young men; all dressed in shorts and t-shirts, they are sat at the tables playing cards. Behind us is a 20 something who is always here; he looks like he could be Freddie Mercury’s love-child, and he’s the widest mouth I’ve ever seen on another human being. The fact that it’s edged by immaculately trimmed facial hair just emphasis it’s size. (The trimmed beard makes him look like a singing minstrel in reverse). Some one cracks a joke, he laughs and I’m certain the waitress, Simona could set up another table and four chairs in there.
It’s almost 7.30pm, the young lads all leave en-masse, leaving me and Christine alone; we know we wont be alone for long, this is Italy and quite a lot of what happens follows a certain pattern. Simona walks over to our table, pops two bowls of nibbles before us and takes away the two empty Nastro bottles.
At 8.30 the lads come back, this time they’ve all changed their clothes, t-shirts are replaced by smart shirts and shorts by jeans: Freddie’s love-child has even changed his watch. What are they all dressed up for you ask – I’ll tell you – To play cards, yes play cards. Exactly as before but this time without a baseball cap in sight.
We see Maria, she joins us and before long we’re laughing and joking with her, albeit in pigeon Italian. The bar is lively, the boys playing cards are laughing too, as is the couple in the corner, how lovely it is to be a part of a small but happy community. Only one thing sullies our evening, for the very first time we’ve not seen the silver stalker; Christine is quite worried, I think he’s broken into her place and as we drink beer he’s rifling her knicker drawer for a trophy.