Saturday, November 20, 2010

In the past couple of months, I relied more on facebook to post accounts of what I have been up to, but miss posting here so I am giving up one for the other (it sounds like chosing one lover over another, which in a sense is accurate if you consider the time invested...).

Anyway, settling into the house has become much easier in spite of the much cooler weather. It helps to have two fireplaces going to keep the stone walls warm, though the real freeze has yet to come. In addition, our neighbors Rita and Filippo could not be nicer and Ray is getting very attached to them. He sometimes goes over to visit and draws at their kitchen table while chatting with them, and Rita carved a pumpkin for him for Halloween. We really lucked out there. Hosting a slew of friends has kept me busy and almost every weekend we have a number of them here. It has been great for Ray who now has space to play without me yelling at him to keep the noise down (here he is with his first candlelight dinner with friends, Anna and Ella, and with his best friends, Michael and Yeelan - always posing as superheroes).

Friend Tom came to visit from NJ for (only) 5 days at the end of October when I had a week off work. It was nice to have him embrace everything Italian and it was fun to have a shopping partner. We hit Venice, Florence and Bologna though the weather prevented us from taking advantage of more exotic locations such as the fall beach scene of the Adriatic. Next time....

I have been also getting quite good at hosting aperitivos at home though I would like to increase my experimental cooking. (Above is a photo of a pot of ragu, and a plate of tagliatelli with a shaved local truffle). Next weekend I am having Agnes visit from London and invited 20 for lunch on Saturday so I will take this opportunity to learn how to roast meat on the grill, though the fireplace in the kitchen works well for small pieces such as sausage and chicken.

So, for the moment, the hightlights of being here have been fireplace, views, dog-sitting Lucy, hosting and cooking. Most of all, getting a break out of the city and the fresh air. Well worth the commute. Visit.