Wednesday, February 14

valentine


Depositing Skye at school I realise that I have nothing to do until I pick her up at lunchtime. No meetings, no shopping and the housework can wait.

The sky is clear and the sea sparkles behind the church but I won’t be going to the beach today. It is Valentines Day and the last time I took a stroll on the beach on Valentines Day I found myself surrounded by couples, dressed up for a romantic day out. Arm in arm, kissing, smooching and rolling in the sand together. I felt out of place.

I check the post box, 3 envelopes! But no, they are not cards from lovers or secret admirers, they are not to be opened for a few more days. I stuff them in my bag and walk down to the piazza in the hope of getting a lift up to the bar at the top of the village.

Hitching a lift in Positano is a completely acceptable way of getting around town, everyone from school kids to headscarfed grannies do it. I only flag down people I know but I am not very good at it. The trouble is the reflections on the car windscreens as the car drives towards me. By the time I have figured out who is driving and raised my hand, they’ve driven past already.

But today there is a man I know, standing nearby and he’s waiting for a lift too. There’s not much traffic on the road but eventually a car comes along. I wait as the man raises his hand and makes the ‘going up?’ gesture, the driver nods and pulls over. Now is my chance, if I don’t butt in I could be standing there for ages. I run over, ask if I can come too and climb in the car.

I sit quietly, letting the men exchange pleasantries, and wonder if the driver thinks I am a tourist. But as we go past the road leading to the cemetery I see Carlo's parents walking down, the driver turns to me and asks if I wanted to get out here. Maybe he does know who I am. This is confirmed a moment later when he asks me if I ‘have nostalgia for England’. I have no idea who this man is, but he, like many here seems to know me.

In the bar I order a pot of tea and an apple Danish. I sit and watch as people drift in and out. A man I know shares the table with me and when I get up to pay for my breakfast I find it has already been paid for. I walk down the road, through the town wondering what to do next and my phone rings. Carlo is working in the small cemetery in the hamlet of Nocelle, high above town, which has recently become full and needs to be…reorganised. The owner of the only restaurant in the village also doubles as the graveyard caretaker, and has invited us to lunch.

So I fetch Skye from school and we catch the bus that winds up the mountainside to where the road ends and the small village sits serenely with its incredible views. We find my MIL on the bus and she decides to come too. Arriving at the restaurant we find it is closed for refurbishment. I step inside anyway and find Carlo talking to the workmen. A woman steps out of the kitchen and announces that lunch is ready. We are led into the house of the restaurant owner and sit down to eat with the family.

Later, we all take a ‘digestive’ walk, up to the highest part of the village where silence reigns. An occasional rooster crows, a dog barks far down below and the wind whispers through the olive trees. It is a completely different world from the town that lays beneath us. There are no cars, no roads, no shops. There are however views, all the way to Capri, peace and quiet, and as always, steps, lots of steps. This is possibly the best Valentines day I have had so far.

10 comments:

  1. Sounds like the best place in the world to me! And the pics are awesome as well :-) Glad you had a great valentines day!

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  2. What a lovely day! I've had that hitching a ride experience quite a few times (including the sun glare and the "up" motion), and it never ceases to feel weird when someone I don't know knows me. Can you even imagine what celebrities feel like when they meet someone new? Blech. Happy belated Valentine's Day!

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  3. Beautiful pictures! Especially the first. Glad you had a happy Valentines day.

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  4. Once again there is a pic of our house on the first photo. I don't know who you are but my husband does. I asked him if he knew Carlo and he said that they're almost related (they share the same Aunt).
    People at small villages seem to know all about you before you even meet them!
    Noccelle is so peaceful even at the height of summer. Glad that you enjoyed your day!

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  5. unbelievably gorgeous! and niki - you are deffinitely a local there! if this isnt proof to you I dont know what is :)

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  6. These stunning photos bring back memories. I got lost and ended up in Nocelle the day I was supposed to go to Montepertuso (sp). sigh. I can't wait to go back.

    Glad you had a nice Valentine's Day.

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  7. something.. Carlo is now perplexed! He's racking his brains, maybe something...Bella?
    Nicki

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  8. Nocelle is soothing every now and then.
    Lovely shots.
    Newfound family members there?
    And nicki...how can you be so naive and think people here don't know EVERYTHING about you by now...but they do not know what I discovered on this great blog though.

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  9. Sounds wonderful. Glad you enjoyed the day.

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