Those little hiccups!!!

I’ve lived in Colledimezzo for ten months now…how time flies.
Although I miss my daughter and my friends, I have no regrets. Retirement was tough at first because I no longer had a routine, but I soon filled my days.
One of the biggest challenges was (and still is) learning the Italian language with all of its dialects. I’ve been doing quite well, although I do get a few words wrong, much to the amusement of the locals.
Today was one of those “getting things wrong” days.

On Tuesday I made a hair appointment for this afternoon. In Italy they use the 24 hour clock, which I’m quite familiar with because of my husband’s time in the Military, along with living in England. However, sometimes the calculations go awry, like today.

My hair appointment time was 4:30, which is normally sedici e trenta 16:30 pm. For today’s appointment she told me quattro e mezza (four thirty not using the 24 hour clock). I think she was trying to be nice to me but I’ve got so used to converting and translating, that I immediately over converted and went two hours early (at quattordici e trenta). The hairstylists wasn’t even open…it was siesta time.

It took a little while for my brain to realize what I’d done. I’m pretty sure you’re all scratching your head right now and wondering what on earth I’m babbling on about. You should try learning a new language, measuring distance in kilometers, weighing in Kilo’s, and measuring the temperature in centigrade. It’s not easy.

Oh well, almost time to go back to the hairstylists (parrucchiera).

Hope I made you laugh. Stay safe!

The Rhythm of Retirement

The rhythm of retirement, I like the sound of it.
It’s been a busy week, I always find plenty to do. Sitting around isn’t for me. This week I planned a remodel of a bathroom. Hate the mess, but always love the look of fresh new flooring and tiles. Vincenzo “The Engineer”, took me to Villa Santa Maria to pick out tiles and such, it was fun. I understand more Italian now…and certainly understood the end price. I repeated it as the sales guy added it up, and before he told me. Took him by surprise! We all laughed.
Walked a lot of course, and still enjoy the views of our fairytale village.
I even enjoy grocery shopping now because I can chat (a little bit) to the people who work in the store. I’m sure they see me coming and say:
“Watch out, its that crazy old Brit who tries to speak Italian”
Today I made a start on pots and planters on our terrace. I think we may be spending a lot of time at home this summer. Vaccines are coming slowly. The lovely young lady in the garden shop greeted me like an old friend and helped me pick the best plants for my display. Photo’s to come. It was almost dark by the time I finished planting.
I also ordered an electric bike from the Trek shop in Perano…aren’t I just the brave one! My husband’s bike arrived on Monday and he’s loving it so I thought “why not?”
I may not get it until December because everything is so backlogged at the moment, but I can wait. I ordered it in red of course!
Well that’s another week over. Lester retires next week. Friday is his last day. We’re both old timers now. It’s exciting. We have some great years ahead of us!!! Watch out Italy!

Sleepy Head – Get out of Bed

Since retiring my body clock wakes me up at 7:30 am. A civilized time, and much better than 5:15, which was my waking time when I worked.
Before I rise, I check my iPhone, mostly to see if there are any messages from my daughter back in the US! I do miss her.
This morning I had three messages, not from my daughter, but from Vincenzo “The Engineer” of Colledimezzo. Work to be done and what time could they start! I messaged back 8:30, so it was a quick scramble to shower and dress before they arrived. I opened the shutters to a winter wonderland. Yes Colledimezzo does get the occasional snowfall, and when it arrives it is beautiful.
It will be a day of staying home because of the workmen. With nothing else to do, I can practice my Italian. Learning a new language at my age is a challenge, but it’s also fun. I grasp the important words easily, but those itsy, bitsy words that join the sentences together are definitely a challenge. I stumble my way through and thankfully the people of Abruzzo are patient.
Every day is an adventure, make the most of it!

Happy New Year – Felice Anno Nuovo

Yesterday morning, in Colledimezzo, I enjoyed my final walk of 2020. As usual the views were spectacular.
One year ago on New Years Eve 2019 I walked the same path. We didn’t live here, but enjoyed a two week winter retreat in what was then our second home. We had plans to retire here, but weren’t sure when. On New Years Eve 2020, there was no pandemic. Life was normal, simple, wonderful.
I returned to Colorado on January 8th 2020, leaving my husband here to sort out Italian Medical Insurance, his Italian drivers license and experience working his US job remotely. He flew back to Colorado at the beginning of March, just before the pandemic exploded and Italy shut down. He made it home just in time, and quarantined accordingly. The following week, the whole world changed. We watched people in Rome/Naples and other Italian cities singing on their balconies, making the best of a horrible situation. My heart ached for them.
COVID/Trump/Brexit problems pushed us over the edge and we decided to move to Italy a couple of years earlier than we initially intended. Post Brexit it would have been more complicated because although the USA has been our home since 1995, we are British. Our house in Colorado sold very quickly and my husband headed to Italy on August 1st, it was easier for him because he could work remotely, but for me it meant retirement and I needed more time. Leaving my job with Western Union was difficult. I loved the folks I worked with and I can honestly say it was the best position in my whole working career, but at the end of August I boarded a plane and headed to Rome. What a huge step for and old girl. Retirement in a new country, a new life and a new language to learn.
Now I’m a permanent resident of the beautiful little town of Colledimezzo. The views never disappoint and help dispel the stress of a hellish year. Hopefully the worst is behind us now. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are already been distributed, soon an adult will be running the USA and maybe, just maybe, we can all start living again.
Those of us who survived last year relatively unscathed should count our blessings and concentrate on helping those less fortunate. Happy New Year, Felice Anno Nuovo. Stay Safe.

My Visitor

I always keep a section of my back door open. It is nice to see folks passing by. Yesterday, someone stopped outside, but all I could see was the top of their head. They lingered so I opened the door to find an elderly, very petite lady standing there. She had a lot to say.
I admired the gold locket around her neck and her eyes filled with tears as she told me (in Italian, but I think I understood most of it), that it was given to her by her husband who was no longer alive.
She admired my kitchen, and was fascinated with my large digital photo frame on the wall, which she thought was a television.
I think she invited me to go with her to her home, but wasn’t sure. We talked as best we could for ten minutes or so, and then she continued her journey down the steps. I watched her and wondered how old she was. I think the hills and steps and winding alleyways of Colledimezzo keep folks fit. I hope it works for me too.
Maybe next time she stops by my Italian will be better.
I’m working on it.