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Sun. 2 October

. . . .

Now settling into a normal cold, apparently: slight headache and stuffed up, but sore throat gone, meaning that I'm basically well. Today is supposed to hover between overcast and big rain. Right now on waking up more or less, out the window it looks pretty much like any other day: overcast with occasional traces of blue; cool. A day to translate my death certificate and do laundry so that James at least gets a clean apartment and so I can pack a suitcase for a 4‑day stay in Rome. [. . .]

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Todi: rooftops — the view from my window.

The difficulties involved in faxes and modem communications, and the terrific expense involved, and the loss of business to not providing immediate response (a 60 pp. manual last week which I would have got had I answered the telephone rather than someone else return the call the next day — $1800) are demonstrating that the remote office is probably not possible: even under the close to ideal circumstances of the front office staffed by someone who knows my business almost as well as I do and whom I only pay $100/week.

I can't help also sensing a change in how I make my living — but what?

Drippy rain and totally overcast now. I'm preparing eliche with the salsa giovinezza, the harissalike stuff — made a pot of tea for the sniffles — preparing the apartment — lolling about reading my new 'giallo': an Agatha Christie that somehow I haven't read — in Italian, of course.

Drip, drip, drip. Il drip dans mon nose comme il drip sur la ville — e come il slosh nella lavatrice. . . . (Why am I so fascinated with the washing machine?)

. . . .

Drip drip has stopped. As it was tapering off, a chance look out my window showed fuming low clouds scurrying over the hills as if the hills were smoking — I dressed quickly and went to the nearest lookout, the Oberdan gardens, to see a fuller view — in the six maybe minutes that took, the view had become much less striking. Since I was there of course, I picked out Canónica, Cecanibbi, Monte­molino, Monte­castello di Vibio, and I think, Collazzone — which of course, for what it's worth, I couldn't do when I got here two weeks ago.

Then I went back to the apartment, continued drinking tea and set myself to that translation, which is 85% done; taking a breather — very, very dull; also the lack of a printer to print out the faxed death certificate means I have to work from the screen copy (it's all I have) — enlarged so I can read it — but this involves a lot, a lot of scrolling and alternating windows, further slowing down the mechanics of translation and increasing the likelihood of errors and omissions. The billing on this one item, finally, will not even pay for the communications involved.

Didn't mention that the road to Orvieto/Baschi, as the Anglo-Irish couple in the restaurant the other day had told me with astonishment, is the repair of hookers, mostly black women: I was thinking about that, then saw three — a pair in one place, one by herself later — and I saw the latter and one of the former get picked up by motorists right in front of me — also a pretty young man appearing to be hitchhiking but now I realize he was hustling the road too — bumped into him back in Todi, even talked to him there.

Weight: 79 even, when I got back from my little walk: 81½ after dinner — which my cold made somewhat of a waste — I think, however, that the wine, I minus a cold, would be good — Torgiano Lungarotti —

Cats yowling in the street below, as almost nightly: such a sad sound —

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Page updated: 7 Dec 20