Monday Morning

view from terrace

abandoned church over looking courtyard

steps up to the piazza

Good morning all.  Well here I am back in the UK having slept like the dead last night and this morning I feel as if I have been run over by a steam roller.  I feel like the advert for the old farts who have had a family holiday so now they need a holiday.  

Let's start at the beginning I left via stansted airport, which if you have ever used it you will know that there are miles to walk to get from A to B.  I got to the first escalator and the wheel of my bag jammed in the side track and threw me down backwards breaking off the carrying handle. Fortunately I landed on a well padded Italian lady who I then had to sit next to on the plane for two hours.  I was shaken but not stirred and people retrieved my possessions which had gone far and wide.  This struck me as a pretty poor omen however it was the only hiccup.  I had hired a fiat 500 automatic and had a friend of Carol, my sister, to follow back to her establishment.  It was pitch dark so I really had to concentrate on following her which was just as well as I couldn't see the condition of the roads. When I saw them in the light I then understood why they drive in the centre of the road as the edges are crumbling and there are overhanging bushes and trees.  Interestingly the car worked as an automatic on the way out but decided to be a manual on the way back.  It had a mind of its own but served its purpose.  As you can see from the photos Montefino is a tiny hill top village much of which is now deserted.  However, they have all that is necessary for life by way of shops and bars.  We had a trip out to look at Carol's house which sadly will only be fixed by a bulldozer.  Given that it has already been underpinned the earthquake has done so much damaged it is irreparable.  The apartment she is now renting is perfect in all but one respect the terraces are tiled as is the interior of the house so the dogs don't understand that they are allow to have a wee on the terrace to them it is just part of the house without a roof. Which means Carol has to put them on leads and clamber up and down flights of stone steps to get them to a bathroom place.  The area is extremely rural which means that they are all reliant on one another when things go wrong which makes for a nice cosy social group and everyone seems to be multi skilled.  We had one power cut while I was there when the electricity died at 10am  and returned at 4pm.  So why am I so tired? well when you have been incommunicado for so many years there is lots to catch up on so two nights we chatted until 3am and the next night we didn't get to bed at all consequently I am sleep deprived.  The flight back was uneventful but as ever boring in the extreme.  I have have no fear of flying as I have been doing it since the age of 6 weeks and I love take off and landing but the rest is just dull dull dull.  The guy sitting next to me slept and snored for the 2 hour flight if only I could have done the same.  We landed on time at Stansted but of course I had to carry my bag which was not heavy just cumbersome and there is a lot of walking to do.  It felt as if we had landed in Gatwick and walked to Stansted, however, a very nice young man saw I was struggling and carried my case for the lions share of the walk.  James was at the gate to meet me and Denzil brought the car up as soon as he saw us - the sense of relief as I fell into the car was enormous.  We arrived home and Dan and Tubby went insane as this had been a long shopping trip I had been on!!!!  the boys took over and I was sent to bed immediately with a drink and something to eat. No unpacking nothing just sleep!!!!!  Today I will tackle the case and actually unpack.
It has served to make me think I might need to rearrange some of the plans I have for the trip with Sandy as we will also be flying from Stansted.  A cabin bag may make for a quick exit but is a dammed nuisance the rest of the time. 

Well that's about it for this morning the sun is shining and the sky is clear and next door are hammering and banging so it must be time to start work!!!!
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