Pumpkin Soup

a weblog with an allotment attached

16 April 2007

Back down to earth

It seems as though we’ve been away for ages, doesn’t it? Well, we have been away, but not all of that time has been spent enjoying the black stuff and the craic. We had a lovely, relaxing time in Ireland, walking (strolling) on beaches in warm sunshine and tiring ourselves out with all the fresh air and company.

When we got back (Easter Saturday) we had a day to spend with some good friends here before setting off again for our second spring trip. I’m not exactly a seasoned traveller, but I’ll tell you this much: never, ever, let yourself be tempted to go out with friends the day before you set off on a long journey unless you have already completed your packing. We had planned a couple of drinks over lunch before heading home to do the necessary sorting, folding and suitcase squashing. That was before our friends sprung the surprise news on us that they are getting married. I don’t know about you, but I can’t hear joyful news like that without celebrating and so we didn’t get home until around 11pm.

So it was with aching heads that we set off last Monday for Bergamo – yes, I’ve had another Italian jaunt planned all this time and not told you. Sorry.

Bergamo from the citta alta

Bergamo was relaxing. We did our usual trick of eating lots of great food, drinking wine and, of course, sampling as much ice cream as is feasible in a seven-day stay. Mostly we sat around reading in piazzas or parks or in the garden of the apartment we rented. We did visit Milan, travelling on TrenItalia’s nifty double-decker trains (cheap, regular and mostly reliable), and went to see the beautiful people. Quite a lot of them had absolutely dreadful taste in clothing, I can tell you.

Milan cathedral

While in Milan we found a great little curry house. I know, I know – we live only 20 minutes away from Birmingham’s Balti Triangle and all around us we can find great places to eat curry so why on earth would we have curry in Milan? Well, it was cheap (something of an achievement in the city where we were later charged €24 for 2 beers – almost as much as we paid for our entire curry lunch, also with beer!) and by that stage we needed a break from pizza and pasta.

We arrived home today a couple of hours ago to a crotchety cat (no, we hadn’t just abandoned her, our friends have been performing the feeding and stroking duties), a pile of post and the prospect of work starting in earnest again tomorrow morning.

Feels like we’ve never been away.

Filed under: Fallow,Holiday postcards — Clare @ 7:56 pm

11 responses

  1. Redwitch

    Oooh welcome back, went to Bergamo a couple of years ago, to see Radiohead (and eat gelato obviously)…sounds like you had fun :)

    Milan = expensive but not necessarily good taste.

    We’re off to Sorrento again in the summer, mainly as a base to see Pompei, Capri and Positano again – any good curry house tips for down that end?


    (16.04.07 @ 9:14 pm)

  2. Clare

    Hi Redwitch – Sounds like you’re a fellow Italophile. I can’t comment on places that far south – so far we’ve avoided venturing where the weather gets too hot for Owen (he flakes out when it gets warmer than about 25 degrees). I’m very envious, I really want to see Pompeii and all the places you mention, also Naples. We might have to go for Christmas one year.

    (16.04.07 @ 10:31 pm)

  3. Pasta McBurro

    I scrolled past the text to see the pictures and found myself thinking “Blimey! that’s a very beautiful part of rural Ireland!”


    Good to have you back my pumper in crime!

    (17.04.07 @ 9:37 am)

  4. Clare

    Well that’ll teach you to skim over my beautifully crafted words.

    And it’s good to be back. Just don’t call me pumper. I can’t tell you what images it brings to mind.

    (17.04.07 @ 10:18 am)

  5. Mot Asking McBurro

    I’d ask, but I’m being good here, remember.

    (17.04.07 @ 12:41 pm)

  6. And another thing McBurro

    I wasn’t skimming over them… I’m just a very visual person and always look at the pictures first. Having said that, it is worth pointing out I *can* read books without pictures as well as graphic novels – I’m versatile like that :)

    (17.04.07 @ 1:08 pm)

  7. Clare

    Well, let’s just say that someone had left a pulpy Mills and Boon (‘Purchased for Revenge’) in the apartment where we were staying, full of very choice vocabulary (‘engorgement’ is my particular favourite) and, well, ‘pumpy’ just returned me to its pages.

    Given you’re such a visual person, I dread to think what’s going on in your mind in response to ‘engorgement’.

    (17.04.07 @ 2:12 pm)

  8. Redwitch

    Ooooh you don’t want to go to Naples it’s v.scary (well I was scared but I am a big girls blouse) … we landed there at night in a thunderstorm, OHs luggage didn’t land with us and there were some v.scary people hanging round the train station (natch). We were only there for a day for a trip to the geological museum thank god. Your Owen must be a big girls blouse too, for I have red hair and fair skin and have survived Sicily…

    Pumpy? Engorgement? I’m a librarian, get me out of here…

    (17.04.07 @ 3:18 pm)

  9. Clare

    Yes, I’ve heard Naples is scary, not sure what to do about that… Owen is certainly a bit pathetic when it comes to heat, but given that he’s generally pretty fab in pretty much every other department, I have to let him off.

    And you can blame the dodgy comments on Burro – he started it!

    (17.04.07 @ 3:27 pm)

  10. Redwitch

    Perhaps Naples is less scary at Chrismas? Peace and goodwill to all men and all that? Apart from when people are behind the wheel of a car obviously…

    Ok then, he is let off, just remember you said that in the middle of the night when he’s snoring 😉

    Say no more…

    (17.04.07 @ 3:57 pm)

  11. Engorged McBurro

    I’m not saying – you just want me and Owen to recreate that scene from the film of Women in Love, you rascal!

    (18.04.07 @ 9:37 am)

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