bloody talented b'stards mutter mutter.
Nancy and I have been to see the Family in Aus for a couple of weeks, and then had a week in Italy ! So I've spent about 3 out the last 4 weeks away from the office. Damn hard to be back here now.
I had never been to Europe before, and was quite daunted by the language issues that I would have to get over. But we had been offered free accomodation in a farmhouse in a village called Ornario about an hour north of Rome, just off the Via Salaria, and the Ryanair flights were about £30. So...we went.
Absolutely briiliant. The weather was Mediterranean Autumn, so about 22C during the day and 10C at night. We ate far too much pasta and gelati, drank far too much il plonko (the good stuff was 1.50 Euro per litre) and I love the Italian driving. Sod the rules...go for the gap !
I rented a Fiat MPV. 2.2JTD with a 6 speed box. If you banged it down a gear and planted your foot...it went. So I drove all around the hills near Rieti and down to Rome for day. Found a great car park at the Villa Borghese near the Spanish Steps and it was much easier than I'd imagined.
Rome was exceptionally busy, and tourist orientated. Around the major sights there was the most incredible melange of just about every Europaen language. We didn't stop much due to the tourist-inspired pricing but did the sandwich and hiking thing. Overall, though, taly was full of friendly people who thought my Italian was hilarious, but helped me out anyway.
Australia I've covered in previous diaries. It usually quite stressful for us, although wonderful to see the kids again. We didn't do much really, just the stuff that I miss, like taking D1 to work, playing Scrabble, S1's 13th birthday etc.
Which reminds me, S1 had his 13th birthday whilst we were there. He's also 6' tall, and I had to teach him how to shave for the first time. He's playing for the local basketball team in the U-16's and they are considering him for a promotion to A Grade. At 13 !
Aaaaanywaay...I have a ton of pix of Rome and the villages around Rieti that I can share if anyone's interested. But right now, it's time for lunch.
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