April 21st, 2015

pinch - Atri sculptures


Another sunny morning at my cousin's in a place near Roseto degli Abbruzzi. My sister isauramatani and I managed not to miss any of the connecting trains and made it here right on time. There was a big family reunion at a pizza place, there have also been some outings to the beach (just to walk along it, not to swim -too early in the year), to some caves near Gran Sasso and to a beautiful 120 inhabitant village that has survived perhaps nine centuries and many wars to end up, apparently, bought by an Englishman. There are worse fates, the place is beautiful and well kept if a little touristy. There will be pictures of some of these things.

Lots of blue sky and sunshine, beautiful views, family that look genuinely pleased to see us (and in some cases, to meet us for the first time). I should do something about my Italian -I understand everything (except when they speak in the impenetrable local dialect) and can make myself understood but still murder grammar and syntax every time I open my mouth, which is not so good for someone who is the holder of an Italian passport and has, by the looks of it, hundreds of relatives in this part of the world.

Only one thing. Maybe I should have brought a guitar, given that we came by train. A week without playing at all, more without practising and I feel my fingers slowly freezing...


Hadn't said anything about the journey here. My sister had suggested that we should come by train instead of by plane. I liked the idea a lot and set out to investigate about it. I ended up going to an agent mentioned in Seat 61 since organising travelling times, tickets, etc was looking like a logistic nightmare. Worried a lot about what seemed to be rather a short time to run across Paris from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon but it all came out ok. We'll see how it goes on the return trip. I didn't enjoy most of the overnight journey on the Paris-Milan sleeper train, in a six-cuchette cabin with four strangers. Again, we'll see how that turns out on the return.

The verdict, thus far, is a little bit like those three years of busking in London I did in the '80s: it is good to do that once in a lifetime (well, in this case twice, with the return journey) but I'm not sure I would want to do it again.