Saturday, August 11
Standing at the window we watched a huge thunderstorm roll over the hills, heading towards us with lightening forks and cracks of thunder. The wind blew cold through the open window and the hot beaches of Positano seemed a whole world away.
The evening before we had gone to a small party where various wine buffs and vineyard owners tasted and talked about different wines. As the sun set over the hills the air became chilly and I found myself standing by the barbeque to keep warm. An animated conversation started up about the pros and cons of living in Positano, whether the amazing views were worth hundreds of steps, no parking and throngs of tourists. When we left the party the countryside was silent and dark and the sky was lit up with stars, the Milky Way clearly visible. Skye stared in awe and asked if she could touch a star.
In Florence I found that I still could not quite escape Positano. In a clothes shop (Zara) I found the walls covered with photo shoots taken in my home town. As Mel took a photo a man dashed over angrily to stop her. "No foto, no foto!" I wanted to try and get one more photo but at that moment Skye escaped towards the tempting escalator. I turned to grab her but instead grabbed a handful of her hair. She screamed, I lunged to pick her up, swept her into my arms as everyone nearby turned to see who was screaming. I then found my legs entangled with an umbrella and three shopping bags and fell, extremely unelegantly to the floor trapping a wailing child underneath me.
(Melanie just read this and says that what I wrote did not quite catch the moment. She says it was an incredible scene and she will probably never see anything like it again in her life.)
Apart from being slightly squashed, Skye was fine. I suffered a grazed knee and a big bout of humiliation. We decided to leave the town centre and go to the park. A friend of Melanies, Silvia, had called, " Mel, I have to get out the house. I can't hold the kids there anymore, lets go to the park!"
Two days beforehand there had been a huge storm in Florence. Streets had been flooded and so had the park. Two huge trees had been struck by lightening and were lying in pools of thick mud. Skye, on seeing a so easily climbable tree started running and fell headlong into the leftover flood mud. Bursting into tears she declared, " I don't like mud anymore."
We piled back into the car and drove to Silvias house where whilst the kids washed mud off each other in the bathroom we drank beer and ate nachos and guacamole. As we drove back out towards Chianti the sun turned a brilliant pink, slashed with orange.
"So, what do you want to do tomorrow?"Mel asked me.
"Let's just stay in the countryside. It might be safer."
at 10:34 AM