Thursday, 30 September 2010

Dahlias and Daddy Long Legs

Somewhere between those last wet but muggy weeks of August and this bright, crisp day, the last of September, we have tumbled into Autumn. The duvet is back on my bed, the first leaves are beginning to fall, and this morning on the walk to the tube station I could see my breath. Whilst I have been slowly, slowly sorting through my Italy photos and getting them up here, I have also been embracing the start of my favourite season fully. A glass of home-made, home-grown apple juice to start the day or an apple grated into muesli. Sunlight on wood, a recent charity shop purchase of an old cocktail cabinet, my latest pride and joy. A weekend in Norfolk, two batches of chutney made, and two types of jam. Swamped by cooking apples, and blink-and-they're-marrows courgettes. Dahlias from Mum's garden, gladioli too, blazing, beautiful. Daddy Long Legs everywhere, rising from un-mown grass disturbed by our footfall, or sheltering on windowpanes from the rain. Cooking with oats and cinnamon, so perfect for this season, crunchy granola, porridge with pears, raspberry dotted flapjacks.


Killing time in Pisa before our late night flight. The unreality of seeing the famous tower in all its leaning glory after years of only having seen pictures. A couple of pleasant, lazy hours spent strolling round the beautiful botanic gardens, rare trees, basking lizards, glasshouses and terracotta pots, rainbows in fountains. Our last ice-creams, our last pizzas too. Heading slowly to the train station as the sun set over the river, heavy-hearted with the thought of leaving Italy.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


A day spent wandering round this small hill town was perhaps a little too long, bus timetables dictated however. We amused ourself taking photos and stopping for multiple drinks in tiny cafes, espressos for M, peach juice for me. Not a vampire in sight*, plenty of teenage fans though.

* New Moon was filmed here

Tuesday, 28 September 2010


An early start, a day in Florence. The covered food market, meats, fresh pasta, cheeses, fruit, vegetables. Abstract patterns from salami. The cathedral square, queues of tourists, the awe-inspiring building itself towering above us, pink and white stones masking the sun. Not braving the queues for the galleries, preferring to walk around instead, visit a replica of David's magnificent physique. Blackberry sorbet, and fruits of the forest. Crossing the green river, climbing countless steps once at the other side, not looking round. Breathless with exertion in the heat at the top, breathless too with wonder as we looked down at the city, the cathedral rising majestically above the red roofs. Happier to be away from the jostling crowds. Light and shade in the Boboloi gardens, stray cats sunning themselves on gravel, winged horses rising into the blue sky. Still, green pools, long walks of cedar. Retreating from the late afternoon heat for a glass of chilled wine and a plate of regional cheeses, utterly content.