Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Still not the Pantheon

Oh dear, why do work and other such time-consuming activities take up so much of my valuable blogging time? I am SO tired.

But I’ll just snatch a few minutes from the fast-flowing stream of life to record the odd thought.

1) Thank you for all your sympathy! Much appreciated. The insurance man came, tore large bits of the wallpaper off to see how damp the walls and ceiling were (fairly) and installed three large and noisy fans to dry them out. It all looks horrid. But at least we no longer have to worry about the catlets damaging the wallpaper…

2) Loth asked about the Trevi Fountain – no, we didn’t find it disappointing, exactly: we found it red. Someone had thrown red dye into it shortly before we arrived. It looked horribly sanguinary. Lots of police were standing around gazing at it and not letting anyone very near it, though it did seem a bit late for that. We think it was a political protest; the following day there was a Communist rally nearby.

We saw it again a few days later and it was normal.

3) When replying, embarrassed, to your kind enquiries about our gastronomic adventures, I concealed our finest hour from you. We spent most of the time walking around Rome, which is conveniently organised so that most of the stuff you want to visit is within a few miles of the other stuff. One evening we arrived back at the hotel and collapsed on the bed, exhausted. After a while, I said to Mr Life, “Well, how about dinner?”

Very unusually for him, he didn’t immediately leap to his feet at the prospect of nourishment.

“Or,” I suggested, “we have a packet of fig rolls and a bottle of water.”

“That sounds fine,” he said from his supine position.

So that was our gourmet Italian meal: two fig rolls each and half a bottle of water.

4) – And most exciting of all – we got visited yesterday by an Australian blog friend – Fifi of “Strange Fruit”! She was in Glasgow giving a lecture at a conference, and came across to Edinburgh. It was very weird but very nice indeed, to meet her. The weirdness was because we knew quite a lot about each other and yet there were huge gaps in our knowledge. She had a terrible journey, since Scotrail had decided to dig the line up or something, so she was transferred to a bus and then she was going to have to go back again by some circuitous route. It was so kind of her to bother and I was a bit anxious that she was going to find us very boring and not worth the tedious journey; however, she concealed this very well. She met the catlets (and they met her), the husband and Daughter 2 – Daughter 1 had gone home by the time Fifi arrived, and Son was visiting his girlfriend up north. Fifi is lovely!

5) Finally - these are knitted ghosts. Or at least, that’s what we consider them to be. I’d love to claim that I made them but cannot tell a lie: I bought them some years ago at a sale of work at the church. You know the situation – I felt obliged to buy something but there was nothing I wanted. Then I spied these. “What are they?” I asked. The lady behind the counter didn’t really know but suggested that they might be ghosts. Well, of course that did it. What would any household be without a few knitted ghosts?

Happy Hallowe’en!


  1. At least your ghosts have clothes! Great you met Fifi! So where are the photos?? I had such fun meeting Barbara last week.
    Rome sounds exhaustign but fun, and I am glad your walls are being dried out!

  2. That Trevi Fountain photo looks very strange...its the sort of thing that happens here when the kids have their last day of school (that's when our public fountains used to be allowed to be used, pre-water restrictions).

  3. Those ghosts are adorable. I'll bet you recall the day you bought them every time you get them out.


  4. Sweet ghosts! Every home should have some!!

  5. Yeah the Trevi fountain looks ....disturbing indeed. The fountain as it might have looked in Caligula's day, perhaps! Two fig rolls for dinner is very frugal, by the way!

  6. That fountain does look disturbing -- were the police looking for a body? That's actually a good picture to post for Halloween LOL. I can't possibly believe you would think Fifi would think you boring -- you just have no idea how fun and entertaining you are to all of us!

  7. Six crisps and a cough pastille...

  8. That last mysterious comment from Daughter 1 refers, by the way, to the occasion, fifteen years ago, when we had been walking round Eurodisney in extreme temperatures and were in a similarly exhausted state. Somehow we delayed eating (because we couldn't find anywhere suitable for fussy children and impecunious parents) till Disney was closing down - all the food places, anyway. So we got the train back to Paris and on the train, divided what we had (see previous comment). Then when we got back to the hotel, we couldn't be bothered going and finding food, so...

    Isn't it the way? All your best culinary efforts get forgotten, and your kids remind you of your failures...

  9. I quess they could be ghosts... or bleached penguins. That's just so cute that Isabelle has Halloween ghosts. If I was going to meet you, I would expect to meet a very prim Scottish teacher... but witty! You've shared pictures of everyone in your family except yourself. It would be nice to have an image of you in my head as I read your wonderfully written blogs.

    Whoops... little voices just yelled "Trick or treat". A sugar nightmare is about to commence.

  10. All your best culinary efforts do NOT get forgotten, Mum. I still remember the fairy castle birthday cake, and that was in 1984, I think.

    (Sorry to be enigmatic in the previous comment!)

  11. What is it with vandals? I have never understood why people feel a need to destroy or despoil public property (or private property for that matter). I live in fear that some moronic kid is going to come by our place early one morning in an intoxicated state, and decide to put his mark on our timber retaining wall....

  12. Lucky you, lucky Fifi, with the mutual meeting!
    Your trip to Rome sounds very much as if it is not for the faint hearted or faint of fit!

    Those ghosts are very unique!

  13. I'm surprised the catlets haven't torn those ghosts apart!

  14. Looks like the fountain should have been transported back to the Gladiator days. Surreal.

    I am very glad that you didn't post any photos of naked ghosts.

    I bet the catlets like them.

  15. I did NOT find you tedious in the least! You are more than worth enduring the challenges of Scotrail for, very worthy indeed! I loved it. Especially when your little car scooted up to collect me.

    I have posted the Royal Scottish cats for the world to admire.

    I am almost recovered: the lecture epic yesterday was SURREAL. the floor was moving! It was a long journey.

    Stay well, take care and thanks again for having me in your home with the interestingly decorated

  16. I am very impressed that you and Fifi met each other. Not to mention envious.

    (Still pondering the knitted ghosts).

  17. It is wonderful that Fifi made the effort, Scotrail problems notwithstanding. Sounds like everyone was glad she did! It would have been a shame to be so close and never get together. Glad you did!

  18. Hello! The Trevi Fountain looks very scary like that. I've been catching up on all your Roman Holiday news, pizza 3 days in a row - as a fellow vegetarian I know just how hard it can be, It's easier in the south of Italy isn't it? Love the ghosts
    Kim x

  19. More sympathy for the wet walls and torn wallpaper. I can imagine that cleaning up will be a pretty awful experience.
    A red Trevi Fountain is interesting blog fodder :)
    Seeing the sights of Rome would be much more interesting than eating I think!
    What fun to meet a fellow blogger from across the ocean!
    Your little ghosts are very cute. Did they survive the catlets? :)

  20. My husband would like me to say that he is suffering from a dearth of new kitten pictures...

  21. Wow, Isabelle -- what a great trip. It looks as though, in spite of culinary transgressions, you had a wonderful time. I've been to read Fifi's account of your visit -- I'm so envious! She's a lucky girl to have looked upon and touched the famous Life's. ;-) And she completely cracked me up when she said the catlets are the most loved in Scotland -- dare I add in all of Blogland??? ;-)

  22. Oops, that message ended up on the wrong post as I came back here to get a link to Fifi's -- at least you know the thought was there!