Today Andrea is in Urbino with his students, so I took Ray for a picnic in the hills with Philippa and her girls along with Agnes, Philippa's dear friend from London who is visiting this weekend. A real hoot - Agnes - who is an attorney and has lots of colorful stories to tell of men and single-hoodom. Three bottles of vino bianco between us kept the topic flowing.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
The days are getting short though the weather has been holding out with mild temps in the 70s and lots of sunshine (hence the haircut by good friend Ermanno). We have been looking at several houses for sale in the hills outside of Bologna. We are still hashing over the desire for more space vs. the commute into Bologna. Coming in by car is a nightmare as it takes as long to get through Bologna as it does arriving from 50 kilometers away, though the greenery of the hills has a LOT of appeal. The big question now is Ray's education as Bologna is one of the more diverse and sophisticated cities as far as education goes (after all, it does host the oldest university in the world), and to move him to a very small school in the provincia could be a dramatic step back in time. Part of me feels that as long as he gets to the US regularly and his mother takes him to cultural events and the theater (which would be more for me I suppose) in the city, and I keep a close friendship with my best friends (from Barcelona, London, DC and S. Africa) who all have kids, he won't grow blinders and will be just fine. Here are some photos of a recent lunch outing we all went on in the hills of Bologna, a trattoria that was once a monastary. Ray and his "cousins".
I rejoined the board of the International Women's Forum after a two year hiatus. We held our first welcome back aperitivo of the new year this week. The number of English speaking women in Bologna has increased tremendously - the group had 40 members when I joined back in 2004 - now it has 150 with a lot of lurkers who haven't joined yet. The italians make up perhaps 30% and there are members from about 15 different countries.
My job is going really well this year. This class of kids are really great and we have a lot of fun. We are studying celebrations and here, Miriam, the art teacher (originally from England), had Mendhi patterns painted on their hands for the Hindu holiday, Diwali - the festival of lights.