February 6, 2006 – March 30,2006
January got the best of our budget
and waistlines so this month we’ve chosen to stay at
home in Sabaudia. But not without adventure.
Our yachtie friends,Imke and Uli,
arrived in early February. They didn’t arrive via sea
but by their winter form of transportation, a 1982
transformed home-made camper van. They were accompanied
by fellow sailors Mary and Phil. We arranged a pizza
party at our regular Monday night Ristorante and we have
since labeled it our First Annual International Reunion.
Because of the enormity of our party (9) and the size of
the restaurant (7 tables) we were unexpectedly seated at
the “regulars” table. The “regulars” are a group of
10-15 men who have been eating at this particular
restaurant every Monday evening for forty years. They
arrive with homemade wine in hand along with anything
else they’ve caught or killed in the last week or so for
the restaurant to prepare for them. They’re a rowdy sort
of folk but we’ve learned to love the noise and a
sampling of their potent concoctions. There’s a lot of
bantering back and forth and fun was had by all. Our
friends were expected to come for dinner but with a
little encouragement, stayed for three days parked
outside our place.
Fortunately, February brought live
coverage of the 2006 World Olympics in Torino and we
indulged in the extensive coverage. The enthusiasm and
national spirit here was a delight to watch. Some of the
replays on Italian medal wins were a little over the top
but we can now sing the National Anthem!
The Henshaws, our friends from
Maine, also visited in February. Nick is hoping to
travel in his father’s footsteps by enrolling at St.
Stephen’s Priory in Rome for a year or two of high
school. We met them at the school and were invited in to
Aunt Pam’s Art History class. Oh, to be 15 again. She
conducted a thoroughly fascinating slide show of several
Renaissance and Baroque painters. The slides were
cleverly orchestrated to keep the kid’s attention. This
meant the use of close-ups which referred to the sexual
inuendos during the time period. It worked.
The Olympics ended and the 56th
San Remo Festival of Music began. It is a highly
competitive staging for the discovery of new music and
song. Andrea Bocelli and “Volere” were both previously
discovered at this festival. The competition is
televised nightly for a week and each year’s
competition also features one of Milan’s “hot” fashion
designers. This year it was Dolce and Gabanna At
frequent intervals throughout the evening, one of four
“super models” was introduced to announce something or
other, and each was draped in a D&G gown. Not jeans,
but GOWNS. And, of course, no Italian model worth her
makeup is without a significant bosom. And no Italian
gown worth its sequins would be caught dead covering any
expanse said bosom worth revealing.
The combination music festival,
fashion show and stand-up comedy act is typical Italian
but we were soon disenchanted. However, it did help us
with Olympic withdrawal and nursed us through February
Sharon’s cold lingered and
developed into something far worse. This was difficult
but the experience of illness in a foreign country was
far more challenging. We finally got her to the doctor
later than we should have under ordinary circumstances.
The doctor prescribed liquid drops for pain.
Fortunately, our friend Katrin (who transported her to
the doctor and the pharmacy) phoned moments after I
administered the first dosage but she was shocked to
learn what he'd done. “You don’t put it in the ear, you
drink it!” she cried. Ahhhh, the things we learn! What
we have learned is....our Italian NEEDS work!!!! We're
still laughing about it.
Now here’s the better part of that
story. Sharon was also prescribed antibiotic injections
for a week. The doctor was confused when she insisted
her husband could not administer the injections. Upon
further insistence, he realized he must refer a nurse,
which he did. Stefano happens to be a 23 year old nurse
who Sharon thinks is adorable. He came regularly and we
made a friend. He is also a member of Team Italia in
Dragon Boats and has a great passion for the sport. His
10 minute visit almost always extended well beyond that
for photo sharing, English lessons and a lot of
We’ve since made a few interesting
jaunts into Rome which will be the focus of our
attention for the month of March. Along with spring
planning. We return to Sardinia on April 4th
and the seasonal work begins. All the usual stuff.
Bottom painting, teak varnishing, hull polishing, water
heater replacement and a few other odds and ends. Maybe
a little touring of Sardinia if we get the chance. We’re
Now for the Spring launch and sail.
We will return to the States for a few short weeks to
attend the Martin Family Reunion to be held in St.
Augustine , Florida during the first week of June.
Unfortunately, this leaves us with setting sail mid July
but we wouldn’t miss this event for anything.