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mail: Bill Thayer 
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Tue. 20 September

It seems to be 5:30, I woke myself up with my new alarm clock a few minutes ago; "seems" because that's the time on the computer — I couldn't figure out how to set the time on the clock so left it at what it was, it's ½ h fast on the computer — I weigh 80½ — preparing to go to Rome for notarizing those papers at the embassy then skating in Marino. Todi is quiet, except for me since I've put the TV on which with the news shows a little clock onscreen; perfectly round full moon in my bedroom window; 55° maybe.

I left the apartment at 6:50 this morning to walk down to P. Rio's 7:30 train (a bit tight, incl. buying tickets: should allow 50 minutes total). Todi just barely starting to wake up; mists or fogs, mostly of natural origin, white rather than blue, twining thru the valleys — glorious, glorious scenery . . . .

[image ALT: A wide vista of fog with a ridge of low mountains in the background; it is a view from the Porta Perugina at Todi, Umbria (central Italy).]
View NE from Todi's "back door", the Porta Perugina,
over the Northern part of the Colli Martani.

Guinea hens at one house scattering at my approach although 50 yards away, but clutch of a dozen pale yellow goslings huddled together, awake, didn't move.

Trains to/from Rome, got to count that the Terni-Rome portion requires a 5800₤ supplement each way (12000₤ if paid on the train), so RT fare is 2 × (13100 + 5800) = 37,800₤

[. . .] Seem to have lived at Termini train station today; to get my notarized stuff out by DHL, I only found their headquarters in Ciampino — so went there and back . . . .

Starting at the beginning, I walked to our embassy v. Vittorio Veneto 119A, mild security, mild bureaucracy, nice Italian staff woman who prepared my notarization, nice black woman vice-consul who did it, also making me raise my hand and swear I was signing to the truth — One item, however, required not a notary public but a witness: that, the embassy staff can't do, but Ms. Wilson advised me to solicit in the waiting room. A nervous young man accepted, I was grateful. Then I stopped at the Hotel Valle to extend my reservation a day earlier so I can meet James at Fiumicino at 0645 or whatever; then I trained it to Ciampino and walked about a mile or so down the v. Lucrezia Romana to N° 87, the DHL office — which kindly gave me the green number 167.829.069 to call day BEFORE to schedule pickups à domicile in Todi — same price — 56000₤, cheaper this direction for once — Walked back in perfect time for the train back to Rome.

Although I'd had an apple at a little market on the way in at Ciampino fearing zilch food before skating, I found myself in Rome with nearly 2 hours to kill before my 1610 departure for the rink: I ate at an osteria on the via Cavour, a decent meal: antipasto misto, saltimbocca alla romana but that's not my memory of it last time, this was a veal cordon bleu with a heavy but pleasant dose of thyme, fagiolini, good commercial bread sticks, containing only flour, yeast, water and salt; a "torta" I ordered 'cause I thought this would be a (fruit) pie — it was a chocolate cream pie, so be it that's what the Good Lord chose to send me, no complaints — coffee — grappa Venetia pretty good — ½ bottle of Corvo duca di Salaparuta red.

In the restaurant, a Tom Klemº type, very intense, very angular, long hair — turned out to be French; a couple from Osaka, Mr. Jingushi and Ms. Morimoto judging from an itinerary they were reading; a foursome of 16‑year-olds, all large and chunky, from the U.S.

Anyhow, got to the rink in good time for the 5 P.M. session. Way fewer people than last time, about 35 — was able to work on dogbones; some improvement: they're actually rather difficult, the least thing wrong and it'll show up in the pattern (I like that!!) — Back crossovers, some; but nervous about practicing them in a public session, so don't do as many as I should to improve them — T‑stops better — LBI spiral coming along, one of them nearly there — a few negligible edge rolls.


[image ALT: A young man in a bulky ski jacket.]
I quit about 10 minutes before the end of the session, to inquire about lessons. Well, wouldn't you know it, there's only one available male coach (in Italiano, yes, "maestro"!). Thursdays at 5 I'm now committed to one-hour lessons thru the end of my stay, at 15ML/20 minutes which works out to $30/hour.

After these palavers I still had time to kill before the 7:37 train back to Rome, I had a caffé latte and watched a high freestyle session: one young woman was doing death drops, also double axels in combinations — on the walk to the train hut, I picked up a very small kitten all of 7 weeks old, an orange tabby, wandering around on the road — put her fairly far off in the garden of a snack bar — do hope she'll be alright, but odds are not good — Full moon rose over the rather yukky horizon of Marino: almost blood red at first, quite dramatic — couldn't resist pointing it out to a young man also waiting who was busily reading a paper and picking his nose. . . At least 3 couples necking at the station, one of them pretty heavily —

Uneventful return in the dark to Todi, with a one-hour layover in Terni, where I went and ate a pizza at an eatery about 400 m from the station, called Old America . . . .

Return in fact not to P. Rio but to the Porta Romana — thoughtful of the bus line — usual walk up — starting to be less noticeable, I'm becoming a Tuderte!, called James on entering the apartment, hoping he won't call me this morning (it's now 1 A.M.!) — weighed in at 81½, then

[. . .]


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Page updated: 1 mar 07