All posts filed under: Life

Saying goodbye

On our final night in Venice, we paid one last visit to Osteria Ruga di Jaffa. The owner, Alvise, gave us a bottle of sumptuous olive oil as a goodbye gift, sparking a discussion from the men at the bar about the best way to use such a treasure. Their parting words: “just please, please don’t cook with it”. We then took a walk along Riva degli Schiavoni towards the Giardini, stopping along the way to talk about how it feels to be leaving; both of us staring blindly at the iridescent sheen of Saint Mark’s, having seen its domes from this vantage point so many times before. From Via Garibaldi, we burrowed into Venice, following a half-remembered route home. The bells tolled midnight. Dom said that perhaps he could live here forever – I replied that I need to leave and then come back to know that for sure. I thought about that again the other day, while eating my lunch on a bench in Bungay and looking out over the flooded marshes: The best thing about leaving, Read More

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