I’ve got my blogging hunger back (this is where angelic choir ‘hallelujah’ sound bite would be inserted if this was in radio format). At last. It’s mid-way through December and almost time to go home for Christmas (I think that merits another hallelujah). I’m not sure why I haven’t written my anything for almost 3 months. It’s not for lack of material. But neither is it as if I’ve been too busy to detail everything either. My best guess would be that I don’t really want to list every little thing I’ve done. I have visions of me writing reams of ‘I went to Bologna and I got there on the 12.05 train and when we arrived I bought a piadina before walking around and then…’ and it doesn’t really scream ‘readable’, sorry ‘READABLE’. It seems more sensible to let my memories fester. Let all the boring bits get so bored with themselves that they wander out of my mind.
So, this is where my half moth-eaten memory begins. Someway back in a still-sunny October. In Bologna, as chance would have it.
Going to Bologna was my first trip out of the town, apart from when I arrived, via Bologna. Or that other time I went on a welcome tour during my first week here (need I say where that took place? Okay fine it was Bologna). Lucy, Katell and I had a lazy day of roaming around the beautiful city. For some reason the main streets were closed off to traffic so people milled about the streets which are normally too full of cars, mopeds and their fist-shaky drivers. The whole city had a happy atmosphere, helped no doubt by the presence of the sun. The weather in general while I’ve been here has been magnificent and no day trips ever got rain damaged. The first three weeks were pure blue skies and 30 degree highs. After that it remained warm, t-shirt/sundress weather right up until the first week of November. Then it was cardigan weather for another two weeks until coat weather arrived mid-November. Scarf weather didn’t kick in until the beginning of December. For anyone that doesn’t refer to the clothes scale of temperature – it has been damn mild. I’m really dubious about my chances of survival back in England.
While we were there we climbed the Asinelli Tower, of the Two Towers fame. These are a key Bolognese landmark. Story has it (or maybe history has it, I don’t know) that the most powerful Italian families used to build towers centuries ago to display their wealth. Things got serious when two rival families built their towers next to each other. Whoever was in charge of the Garisenda Tower did a bit of a botch job though, and built it wonkier than Pisa’s most famous attraction. Most of the Garisenda’s family tower fell down, hence the one open to the public being Asinelli’s. It’s very cheap to climb (though a serious workout and almost 500 rickety stairs/pushy tourists to navigate) compared to Florence and other tower housing cities and worth the energy spent when you see the views with your own eyes at the top.
After this we went on a fruitless search for Katell’s elusive ‘river through a window in an alley’ she had apparently seen on a trip year a few years back. If anyone knows what place she was talking about I’d be happy to hear from you. It turned out to be quite a short day for us, but it was nice to hang with other ladies, and it gave me the first thrill of travel. I certainly branched out a lot in the weeks after this.
I’m hoping writing this hasn’t sated my hunger completely; my intentions are to present you with another tale within a day or two. Until then, enjoy the festive season while it lasts! In a cheery, non-ominous way of course.
P.S. One thing I should say about the weather is that many citizens of Forli seemed to disagree with me. In October most already had their coats out in spite of the heat. And I got more than one look of downright disgust when I wore a dress on November 1st.