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Tuesday 8 November

Looks like I'm starting to wind down my stay in Todi. It's 3:20 P.M. and I haven't even got dressed; spent a good chunk of the day entering Southern Umbria in Atlas, against a background of washing clothes and starting to eat and drink up leftovers. The weather has been rain, heavy clouds, damp, almost cold. I finished the almond cake bought during James's stay: it was very good thru to the end, even if very literally by the grace of God I found a vicious sharp mediumsized staple in the next-to‑last bite. I weighed 75½ thruout the day = 166 lbs.

After, perversely, my hot bath, I did 23 pushups, a personal best — and 241 situps, which was very close to the most I could do: I might have had 3 in reserve. I'm as delighted as when I did 31 that day not so very long ago — The first 34 situps were good (i.e., elbows square to the chest). When I get back to Chicago I'm going to look into (a) dance lessons; (b) weight training. The latter comes second: (α) it's boring; (β) it's less necessary for my skating; (γ) [. . .] — A third useful thing, to complete the triad skill-strength-flexibility, would be some yoga lessons.

The "fix-it" type things to be done are: (1) my taxes; (2) the house structure, incl. my desk; (3) house setup, incl. such things as cataloguing my books, getting clothes; (4) my work situation — which is not clear —; (5) my music, painting and writing, deciding what I want to do [. . .]

This trip has been such a success that I need to see if I can do it once a year, despite the skating problem. Umbria again would be very nice; the Czech Republic, Ireland, Spain, some other part of Italy, even southern Germany surprisingly, are some possibilities too.

 . . . .

One A.M.: never did make it out the apartment — wasn't looking to; nap from 4:15 to 6:45, then dinner (salad: tuna, lettuce, fennel, tomato; strongozzi with the last truffle; Trebbiano, the end of it) then more Atlas: almost all the Blue Guide to Northern Italy referenced now.

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In the middle of this geographical effort, a man rang at the door — the hall door — so I opened: Mara's husband Alberto, Mara being Mrs. Galletti's daughter. He was checking that the air was purged properly out of the radiators, I let him in mostly because I wasn't sure what a termosifone was. He in turn terrifically taken by my rapid voluble Italian (particularly impressed by my coming up with "dugout" and "mouth" as of a river, also with my — success­ful — scramble to come out with the subjunctive of "to have" and the conditional of "togliere" in the same sentence — so was I) and the walking (maps covering a sixth of the floor of the main room, books and computer much in use, etc.) — told me that we Americans were all crazy, and that Italians just dreamt of doing things, Americans went off and did 'em — uncertain what to make of this.

Upshot of this is I also have hotter bathwater, a replacement gas bottle, the old one was pretty much gone and for a week left I wasn't going to make any fuss, just run on the one electric burner; still, better this way.

Also, dinner tomorrow — today, I guess — with Renata and Mara and Alberto at their house in Casemasce, one of the 12 places I haven't yet got to as it turns out —

Lord send me some good weather so I can get a couple more walks in — wouldn't do northern Italy any harm either​a — along with teeth, weather is the atheist's best argument — as St. Teresa said, no wonder people don't like you — anyhow, seriously, can we at least get moderate and nocturnal rain? [. . .]

Later Note:

a — where there were devastating floods at the time.

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Page updated: 7 Dec 20