Single figures

This signora in Spello was so intent on her knitting I think it was there’s no way she would have known I was taking her photo. I’m a frustrated casalinga at heart and I got the feeling she must be immaculately tidy. She fitted so neatly into the shadow of her doorway for a start.

This week I even fancied a life swap when all I could feel was my road to Umbria getting longer and steeper while she was already there. Or maybe all I need is some of her wisdom of the elders. We could drag out two chairs and sit in the sun in that same quiet hour before lunch, when the table’s been set and all that’s left to do is buttare la pasta.


Comments 22

  1. orvietoorbust April 22, 2012

    Maybe like all human beings, she takes her life in Italy for granted and would be interested to know that you envy her and her little corner in the shade. I bet lunch together would be full of good advice. Hugs. toni

  2. jann April 23, 2012

    Janine, wouldn’t she be surprised to find that she is envied!!! I’m sorry to hear your road to Umbria feels “longer and steeper.” Just the inevitable ups and downs on the road to achieving the dream. Hold it tight and you’ll make it happen–I’m sure!!!!!

    • janinevasta April 23, 2012

      So surprised. But I’m the one who needs to be careful what she wishes for some days I think!!! 😉 Thank you for your sweet words Jann. You are right. Ups and downs. I won’t let it get me down. Not sure come si dice in Siciliano, but you’ve got me hooked on proverbs lately! This one, “Chi la dura la vince”, seems appropriate today 😉 Jxx

  3. marilovegr33n April 23, 2012

    My grandmother lives in a small town in the South of Italy where it is a common habit to spend all afternoon and evenings on the edge of the door. It is a way to be together, to talk with people, not to feel loneliness. In these places people are quite old. Per me che sono nata a Milano, nel nord, mi è sempre sembrata un’abitudine molto strana, ma sono contenta di sapere mia nonna lì. Sono contenta di leggere l’Italia dal tuo punto di vista. Baci

    • janinevasta April 23, 2012

      Grazie Marinella!! That’s so interesting. Le piccole differenze tra il nord e il sud non finiscono mai. Mi affascinano. I miei nonni erano siciliani e il papa’ di mia bimba pugliese quindi capisco un po’ le usanze delle nonne meridionali. Per me e’ una cosa bellissima e molto sana la voglia di stare in compagnia, anche in silenzio, che hanno. In Australia, come viviamo oggi, mancano quasi completamente queste abitudini purtroppo. A presto. Jxx

      • marilovegr33n April 23, 2012

        eh sì, esatto! non hanno bisogno di parlare, sanno di esserci! L’Australia, deve essere così diversa e grande :-). Buona giornata!!!

  4. umbriascribe April 23, 2012

    What a beautiful photo! You’ve captured the feelings so well. Spello is one of our favorite towns. We love to go see the Pinturicchio in the small church in the tiny piazza, then have lunch outside overlooking the Umbrian countryside. Come back to Italy!

    • janinevasta April 23, 2012

      Thank you so much Nina. Your invitation to come back to Italy makes my heart sing. I love Spello as you do. Lovely to think of you visiting Pinturicchio and off to lunch. He would approve I’m sure. Right now I’m aiming for the Italian autumn… I so love September in Umbria.

  5. lily2u1 April 23, 2012

    …and if perchance she did look up, she might say to herself, “Bella. Ah, to be that young woman with the luxurious silk scarf and dark glasses… how mysterious, how beautiful…”
    But I might sit on the bricks at the ledge with my legs dangling, sit in the sun of Italy and watch the world go by… only for a little while, and then I’d walk, breathing in doorways and windows and finding a cafe to dine al fresco…
    (IS your road rough these days, Janine? Oh dear, I do hope not tooo steep. Thinking of you…) ~ Lily

    • janinevasta April 23, 2012

      You would love Spello Lily. We could find a wonderful spot for lunch I’m sure and while away the afternoon with our sunglasses and scarves! Not too steep, no. Not when I know what’s on the other side. Not with friends like you!

  6. Shelagh April 23, 2012

    At the risk of sounding like a cynic, anytime you start pining to be a casalinga you could remind yourself of the Tim Parks quote ‘Italy is the land that feminism forgot’. I’m not sure life is so sweet in that role, myself! But sitting in the sun knitting, I agree, looks pretty fine. And living there – yes that too looks pretty fine.

    • janinevasta April 24, 2012

      I’d say you were a realist Shelagh. Not a cynic at all!! And you make an excellent point. My thoughts were of the rural idyll I have in my mind about a small town and caring for a lovely little house and aprons and house shoes and buying only that morning what I need that day to cook lunch… I really do like the sound of that I admit. Not everyone’s up of tea though I know! I suppose because I’ve had quite a different life to date. I think there’s my Italian peasant roots kicking in there too somewhere…

  7. stephenedwards425 April 24, 2012

    I have enjoyed immensely reading your blog. As a writer I know you will understand if I am absent from making comments for a couple of months. I have two books I’m writing and the push is on to get them finished…so with only 24 hours in the day, I am going to continue to read and like, but my comments will be limited to replies for those who comment on my blog…thanks for the grace.

    Be encouraged!

    • janinevasta April 24, 2012

      Stephen that’s very sweet of you. Thanks for letting me know. And of course I wish you all the luck (and good grace) you’ll need to complete the books!! I’m sure you’ll do it.

      Till next time,

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