Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Trevi Fountain... and the Fountain of Life

Well, here was I all ready to pontificate about the wonders of the ancient world, and most of my commenters wanted to know about the food.

Ah. Umm. How embarrassing.

The trouble is that I’m vegetarian and we got the distinct impression that Italians don’t really do vegetarian. Which is why, in four days, I had three margherita pizzas. To be fair to myself, I ate only a total of one and a quarter of these (Mr Life helped out). What else? Panini (cheese and ham, with the ham given to Mr Life) and once – this was the very best bit – French fries and a nice mixed salad. Well, at least there were some vitamins there.

I do apologise to all you foodie people hoping for vicarious exotic gastronomic experiences. Mr Life had pasta of some sort at one time, and a tuna salad, and also a ham and veal thing. I wasn't really paying attention, though. Oh dear, I do feel a failure.

On another topic, the catlets, having just about worked out about rainy days (wet outside, dry inside) got a nasty shock yesterday. As did Mr Life and our son. The shower in the upstairs bathroom sprang a leak, which spouted back into the wall behind the shower, down the inside of the wall and extensively through the hall ceiling below; also to some extent down the walls.

“Fortunately” seems a slightly inappropriate word to use in the circumstances, but it was lucky(ish) that, just about the time of the flood, our son had decided to come home to have some lunch and write an essay and Mr Life was popping home to collect the car so that he could ferry some colleagues to a funeral. Normally, the water would have sprayed unchecked for some hours, but yesterday they managed in a reasonably short time to turn off the water in the street (we didn’t have the necessary turning-off device, but fortunately our neighbour did) do things with buckets and towels and phone an emergency plumber and the insurers. (Mr Life never got to the funeral; his colleagues got a taxi.)

Still, we have bulgy hall ceilings, slightly bulgy wallpaper on the walls, wet carpets and confused (though very interested) catlets.

Groan. Could we have some sympathy, please? – especially for Mr Life, who was a bit traumatised by the whole thing. Though it's nothing compared to the problems of those poor people in California.

I really want to write about the Pantheon – which has survived 2000 years without springing any leaks, dash it * - but tonight I need to read some of your blogs.

* Mind you, I don’t think the Pantheon is equipped with showers. Those Ancient Romans weren't daft.


  1. Doesn't the Pantheon have that big, intentional hole in the roof?

    It did when I was last in Rome. (I also ate quite a lot of pizza when I was there, but then I like it.)

    But yes, sympathy for Dad and catlets and you.

  2. Yes, the Pantheon still has the intentional hole. But that's not a leak, or at least not as I would define it. The Pantheon also has a convex floor, so that when it rains, the water runs off into purpose-built drains. Whoever designed our hall omitted these useful features.

  3. Oh, dear! All of the spectacular fountains were supposed to be in Rome, not in your upstairs bathroom! You do indeed have my sympathy.

  4. Big sympathy from me. Nothing worse that water cascading down the walls.

  5. I am so sorry for all of you (hard to say to people who just returned from a Rome vacation... just joking). Water leak damage is so hard to clean up. A friend just went through that.

    Sorry kitties but I'm NOT going to say, "I'm glad you were entertained".

    California could use a little of your water. Sooooo sad.

  6. Houses dont like the owners going away, & leaving them. They do things like that out of jealousy!

    You have my sympathies, having recently had our share of floods etc.

    Shame about the food- you would think in this day & age Vegetarian food would be everywhere. I dont eat any read meat & usually only choose vegetarian food myself.

  7. Bulging ceilings and walls and wet carpets are not ideal decor. And definitely not as the days get colder and wetter. Water should stay where it is meant to be. Though maybe drains in the hall way could be a new exciting design feature!
    Thank heavens the men managed to be there at the right time!

    And now I do want to hear all about Rome!

  8. What a lucky break that Mister Life came home! And lots of sympathy from me. For Mister Life and the confused kitties.

  9. Urgh, you have my sympathy. I am paranoid about water leaks and have a deep-seated and irrational hatred of tile grout (a.k.a. stuff which seems designed NOT to be waterproof for longer than a week)I've always wanted one of those bathrooms you find in american hotel chains where the whole bath/shower/wall unit is prefabricated out of one piece of moulded plastic. Mind you, doesn't stop shower valves springing leaks. Sigh.
    PS Didn't you find the Trevi fountain less impressive than you expected? Sort of "turn a corner and oh! it's there against a wall...."

  10. Poor little catlets. Can we have another snapo please?
    I was in Italy in May, between Florence and Rome.
    I ate a lot.
    In fact, A LOT.

  11. Tell Mr. Life we feel his pain[me and Casper]. Casper has never had to deal with your particular problem, but he does much prefer to sneak into the shower for a drink after one of us has just turned it off than to drink from his boring bowl.....Hope the wallpaper has dried out, the bumps flattened themselves and that everything in the garden is once again rosy.....

  12. Water disasters are so hard to clean up. It gets just everywhere doesn't it?

    Now water in an Italian fountain, that's another thing. Thanks for the photo.


  13. Wow -- you and Mr. Life will do most anything to entertain those catlets, will you not? Flooding the house goes beyond the call of duty! LOL. You and Mr. Life certainly have lots of sympathy from me. So lucky it was short-lived but I'm sure you have a mess enough.

  14. Nope. The ancient Romans had baths. :)

    A friend, after a series of calamities, once said that home ownership is all about water. Sometimes it's so true!

  15. I was traumatized by a piece of seafood pizza beside the Trevi fountain.

    Great sympathy for the flood, it seems my parents have one every 1-2 years, the leak in the roof keeps moving to a new location.

  16. Reminds me of when our (now defunct) water bed sprung a leak, the element burnt the through the bottom of the bladder - water everyehwere and no pump to empty the water bed. My man was away so the neighbours came to the resuce. I do feel sympathy towards you!

    Not long until we go to Nelson and I will try and remember some photos for my blog so you can see where your son is heading to!

  17. isabelle could you post me our email again?? I have just gotten back online, busy today but perhaps we could coffee somehow tomorrow???

  18. Here's some sympathy Isabelle. I'm sorry to hear about your water disaster.

    Envious of your trip to Rome of course.

  19. Total sympathy in your plumbing disaster from Down Under. We've had a few in our water service leaked thousands of litres of hot water into the back yard before we realised why we weren't getting enough hot water to shower or run the washing machine. Not long after that, ensuite shower developed a leak in the tiled floor, which meant bulging walls and black mould on same in bedroom. Luckily insurance covered that one. Fancy you being a vegetarian - would have been difficult for you over the years cooking for a family,wouldn't it? Unless they are also vegans...
    Looking forward to hearing about ancient ruins. Helen is too - she tells me to send her love and hopes to catch up on the hospital computer soon!

  20. Hi Isabelle,
    What a wonderfull adorable/pretty name do you have!:) ( my doll's name when I was a little girl)I saw your name on Kerri's (garden) blog and I wondered who you are...

    Lucky me , you showed photo's of ROME!!! No wonder that you don't knwo what to eat while there, and you are a vegetarian, however do you like pizza's and Pasta's ( you ate a lot of them I red that:) The cheeses are great, don't you think? I loved the hard cheeses, named Picorino. We could nowhere ind the real fresh "pannini's" , thats a shame...

    Wow I lived in Rome for 6 years (now 20 years ago) the fun thing is that I posted on my blog photo's of our recent trip to Italy/Sicily (the south of Italy), so if you are interested,

    *please visit my blog?*

    I am from Holland, but I love to travel to and Photography is m passion....

    greetings from joAnn:)

  21. The veggie thing is very anglo-saxon; when I worked in a lycee a feww years ago 'teaching'(word used advisedly) several hundred 15 to 24 year old only one boy was a vegetarian on principle, a few other girls said they didn't eat meat much because they didn't really like it. I regret to say I have largely forgotten about vegetarianism; during last month's celebrations one young English man and another young Dutch woman asked what didn't have meat in,and though I was able to come up with something, I had not thought to cater for veggies as I would have done routinely in the UK; apart from among Anglophones it really just doesn't happen here. There are probably some good meatless meals served in Italian homes, especially in the poorer, and/or more southern areas, but otherwise I suppose they assume you want meat when eating out.
    Anyway, may I add to the sympathy mountain about the leakages, I think out of everything plumbing problems are the worst; people worry about the hazards of electricity, but the worst that can do is electrocute you, plumbing causes really protracted misery and worry! Of course dodgy plumbing and electricity in combination isn't too clever...
    Hope you're getting sorted.

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Sorry about that, inadvertent duplication, long and boring enough you didn't want to read it twice.

  24. Offering a wee bit of sympathy here :) Oh you poor things!! That must've been a miserable experience (seriously). But great entertainment for the felines :)
    I'd really love to hear about the Pantheon and other wonders of the ancient world (and see your photos) :)
    Paninis are delicious..especially with cheese, spinach and garlic. Now I'm hungry!
    Please come and 'squat' in our yard any time you feel like it!
    Now I don't like the sound of the word 'squat'...better make that 'please feel free to become a squatter'...LOL
    You'd be most welcome :)

  25. I'm so jealous -- I long to visit Italy -- Rome, Pompeii, Tuscany, Venice -- sigh.

    They had pizza and french fries?!? I thought those were American inventions. Did you at least have any good desserts or bread?