Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

House arrest

January 17, 2013 Leave a comment
Galileo in a patch of sun

Galileo in a patch of sun

Galileo spent the last 9 years of his life under house arrest at the decree of the Inquisition.

All in all, I don’t think house arrest can have been that terrible, particularly if there were 360 degree views from the house and he was allowed to sit in the garden.

He would almost certainly have been excused from going shopping which, if he’d been anything like me, would have been a great boon.

Our little Galileo Galilei (to accord him the full name of the famous scientist) is finding the house gives him ample scope for exploring.

He has truffle-hunting in his ancestry, apparently, and often seems to be looking for truffles in the most unlikely places, working his way over the floor like Dougall from ‘The Magic Roundabout’.

In the photo, he’s found himself a nice little spot in the sun.

Going backwards

December 9, 2012 5 comments

Generally speaking, over the 9 years we’ve been in Italy, our telecommunications facilities have improved.

We started off with business landlines for which we paid astronomical monthly bills, then moved on to transponder ADSL, then dongle ADSl.

Ever since we renewed our dongles at the beginning of this month, talking on Skype – for which we have a subscription that allows us unlimited conversation with landlines practically everywhere in the world for no extra charge – has sounded like being slowly strangled underwater.

We tried at different times of day for days, then finally tracked down articles on the internet which confirmed that all the main Italian carriers, with one possible exception, are deliberately discriminating agains VOIP, of which Skype is an example.

We went yesterday morning to a shop which sells packages for that ‘exception’ which proved not to be, of course.

Clive had a radio interview coming up today so we had to move fast. We bought a new mobile phone and a pre-paid package which gives 4 hours of calls per month to all phones including those in a useful selection of foreign countries.

I took advantage of our parking space to do some shopping in a very expensive supermarket, came out, and the car wouldn’t start. This was lunchtime on a Saturday which also happened to be the Feast of the Immaculate Conception so getting hold of anyone in a garage was an impossibility. I had to bat my eyelashes in my best Damsel in Distress Act to entice a young man to emerge from the warmth of a Bar to give us a jump start.

In the afternoon, as snow was beginning to fall, we discovered we couldn’t get the back off the phone to insert the SIM card and the battery. Nothing on the internet helped (except to make us feel a bit less stupid because no-one else could manage it either) , the shop itself advised us to return, so return we did, even though it might mean we never got home again.

Then, as we sat in the carpark, we got all sorts of messages on the phone which suggested our credit was being gobbled up at a rate of about 3 Euros per non-call (by non-call I mean: phoning our other mobile just to see if it rang) and by the time we realised we probably needed more credit, the shop was shut!

We crept back up the snow-covered road with flakes hurling themselves at the windscreen.

Driving into snow

Driving into snow

We’re beginning to get to grips with our new telecommunications facility now, but it’s definitely going to make us feel more isolated.


June 4, 2012 3 comments

The ‘sauces’ cupboard, full of British brands

Every so often we buy food from Britain and get it sent to us. Today 4 boxes arrived and our cupboards went from fairly full to jam packed full.

Clive does the ordering over the internet and goes for special offers and bargains like Easter eggs and Easter cakes, or brandy butter, even though they’re entirely for me and he’ll never touch them.

He’s good that way.

I hate shopping and hate putting it away almost as much, but it’s well worth it when I can see row upon row of future treats lined up on the shelves.

And back.

May 16, 2012 2 comments

I thought we’d never manage to pack all the contents of Clive’s room in the Lymphedema Clinic but somehow we did, and we set off for Italy at about half past eight on the morning of Tuesday 15th.

It was a long and painful journey for Clive, but cheered, towards the end, by the beautiful landscape of Le Marche and then Umbria.

Beautiful landscape

Clive isn’t one to be effusive, but I found him leaning out of a window that opens onto rose and lavender bushes, breathing deeply, and I could tell how glad he was to be home.

We’d arrived at six-thirty in the evening: time to do a bit of shopping and pick up the dogs. Taylor and Kepler were both very happy, but Joules went wild with joy when he saw Clive, and couldn’t stop jumping at him and butting him.

Snowed in

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

The view from our 'island'

There wasn’t much snow when we woke this morning, but it’s been snowing steadily all day.

Given the steep curves of the road up to the house, and the precipitous drops either side, it doesn’t make sense to venture out.

I love it: the quiet, the feeling of being on an island cut off from the rest of the world, the creamy look of thick layers of snow, the squeak as you walk in it.

This time we haven’t managed things very well. We intended to go shopping tomorrow at the same time as seeing the doctor about Clive’s lump, but now that’s going to be impossible and we’re practically out of most essentials.

We’re going to have to be imaginative about a lot of things!