All posts tagged: italy

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


  The first summer I spent au pairing was, in many ways, torturous. For two months I was trapped behind a façade of my own design: I was in love with Italy, I was the perfect nanny, I was happy. Except I wasn’t. I don’t know whether my regret at the whole thing is visible through the irritatingly chipper blog posts from Summer 2010, but I like to think it is. Just take a look at gems such as this: “On seeing a photo of David Cameron I experienced a completely unjustifiable surge of emotion – the kind of teary eyed patriotism you feel when listening to Jerusalem at The Last Night of the Proms.” Right. Needless to say, I’m not encouraging anybody to delve into the backwaters of this blog (maybe like a revisionist historian of my own misinterpreted life I’ll one day pick through every falsehood I’ve written thus far, but until then, you’ve been warned). The point is that my first real encounter with Italy was tough and tedious and at times, Read More

Sometimes you have to look through the rain…

It’s been raining. A lot. Last week London was glossed with a grey tint. Its lungs gurgled with water running into drains and the trees’ green leaves remain unnoticed by the folks who trundled past, heads ducked, umbrellas up. When we got home we bypassed the salad and strawberries and whacked on the oven, although only after stripping off our coats and cursing the English Summer. It doesn’t bother me too much though, this weather. My mind and body aren’t allowed to wonder too far away from my computer and the rain suppresses any urge to runaway from revision. Well, it might not encourage me to step outside but it does pull my imagination a little further afield, across the ocean, to balmy Italian evenings eating nutella filled bombas. Or to Venice, in that moment when evening hangs lifeless in the summer air and you can breathe, and there’s silence, and then it falls, crashing down, turning the city into a completely different animal in the darkness. When such images twist their way around my soggy Read More