Sorry, this is a rather long post. Console yourself with the thought that I may not post again for a few days.
Sunday. Tomorrow I’m due to have the overdue eye surgery. Usually I’m someone who hopes for the best and plans for the worst. Today I’m planning for the best and expecting the worst: given the inflamed state of the boil I very much doubt that the surgery will go ahead, though I will be delighted if it does. It’s a shame for all sorts of reasons, I feel very well otherwise, and it’s been clear to me for a while that the drooping eyelids are getting worse and reducing my eyesight, especially when I’m tired. I have parallel sets of plans for the week ahead: one for if I have surgery, the other for if I don’t.
Just in case I’m out of action for a few days, I had a long list of jobs to get through today. Mostly on the allotment – watering, crop picking, seed sowing, cleaning the hen house. I took cutting the grass off the list as it was too wet today but no matter as it’s been cut fairly recently.
As for the rest of the week, much will depend on how badly bruised my eyes are. I can’t honestly remember much about it last time other than being surprised at how quickly I recovered from it. Based on that, I’m hoping that the plan to visit youngest son and family for the day towards the end of the week will go ahead. I also expect to be able to meet a friend for coffee and help her finish off filling in an official form. There’s the ever-present knitting and reading, and more than enough interesting podcasts to catch up with if rest is needed.
Assuming the surgery is postponed for the foreseeable future, I’m looking forward to doing some of the things I’ve really missed over the past fortnight. Top of the list of course is visiting youngest son and family (oh that little girl).
Then there’s the occasional coffee out – one of our favourite stops now has tables again (outside only, distanced). And (to my surprise) shopping: a few small items of food; and some visits to charity shops. I’ve never seen myself as much of a shopper, but it seems I really miss aspects of it.
I also want to make some more face coverings, either to sell or else to give away. I’m in contact with our local food bank to see if they would welcome any donations for their users, many of whom I guess may struggle to be able to provide them for themselves.
Some years ago we spent a holiday in a town just north of Verona. Chatting to the owner of the house where we were staying, he mentioned that they often went to the Dolomites in the summer to escape the heat. One thing led to another, and we decided to stop off there for a couple of nights on our way home. We asked for a recommendation for where to go. The place he suggested had no vacancies, so we tried out luck in the nearby town of Ortisei (St Ulrich). We had two nights and one full day there, and fell in love with the place. Since then we’ve been back many times, and savoured favourite walks and favourite foods.
Last summer we were able to return with our children, their partners and granddaughter for a wonderful week together which was our long-planned but postponed family celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary.
Today we were delighted to return for morning coffee, though sadly without the accompanying treats (think strips of thick pancake served with seasonal fruit conserve (kaiserschmarm); variations of apple strudel, with or without vanilla sauce, homemade yoghurt, or fresh cream). No matter, the treats will follow later this week, and the coffee and photos were just wonderful. So evocative of a beautiful, very special, place.
A bit of background information. This part of Italy was Austrian until the settlement following WW1. It remains not just dual language, but actually trilingual: the local language Ladin is the first language of many; and most also speak both Italian and German fluently. The family we stayed with for many years were primarily German speaking. Many people have more than one job: agriculture here is a small-scale affair retaining many ancient traditions (small-scale dairy farming practicing transhumance; the importance of hay crops, often still cut and gathered by hand), and can only provide a living when supplemented by other occupations – tourism winter and summer large amongst them. The farm where we stayed last year provides both bed and breakfast, and self-catering. The farmer is also part of the local fire brigade, and while we were there he was part of the team that fought a massive barn fire just down the valley).
Another place we hope one day to be able to return.