All posts filed under: Life

venice lagoon

14 March

I should really be writing about natural health supplements, but I’m sitting outside a cafe with a coffee and a soft breeze in my hair, and spring is here (!) so the Ashwagandha can wait. Let me just set the scene, for future senile Alice if nobody else. A few floors up a caged song bird sings. It chirps all day, every day (even in the depths of winter the cheering song could be heard whistling through Salizada S.Antonin), but today it does so with gusto. Then there’s gush and whirl of the milk frother, the clatter of teaspoons on cutlery and saucers placed down on marble counter tops. And in the street, the manager Anna laughs with a group of women. Every sentence bulleted with ‘amore’ and ‘tesoro’ and probably even more Venetian terms of endearment that I’m deaf to. Now there’s the clatter of the bin men, trundling past with their heavy carts. It’s recycling day today, and they pack away flattened pizza boxes with such good humour that you’d never have guessed Read More

cicchetti at timon

The things I haven’t done

There are many things I haven’t done in Venice. Here are just a few: I haven’t written a novel My Italian is horrible My Venetian friends are nonexistent I haven’t ever managed to wake up early enough to go for a run at dawn These were all on my to-do list, but luckily I don’t really mind the fact that they remain unticked. Partly because a lot of these things don’t actually matter, but mostly because I’ve decided to give myself a break. No, I haven’t finished a novel, but I’m writing more than I ever used to. Everyday in fact – things that will never be published but that fulfil this hunger to record and to read back. My Italian might still be terrible but I’m having lessons and getting a little better everyday – no mean feat in a city that has no time for stumbling learners. As an unexpected bonus we’ve also come to appreciate the less-than dulcet tones of Venetian, and that’s something in itself. And while most of Venice treats Read More

view from arsenale

There’s something in the air

If you put your head out the window of a Venetian apartment today, and inhale deeply enough – holding the breath in your throat and your eyes firmly shut – it feels like early morning in summer. There’s something in the air. I can’t put my finger on it. Something like salt and grass, and the faint hum of a day coming to a simmer – one that promises heat. Except it’s February at midday, and the sunshine that bathes my face as I lean on the windowsill is as bright and warm and whole as it’ll ever be. And that still means wrapping up in my scarf, hat and gloves. Yet somewhere in the sinews of the air, somewhere there’s still that promise of spring. Dom’s got in the habit of chuckling at me when we go out on days like this. He says that if someone created a word cloud of the things I say most often, “fresh” and “hungry” would be at the top. And he’s right, at least in these late Read More