Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tea at the beach this morning

The Tyrrhenian today is the colour I have always mentally associated with the Med: blue-y-green-ey. And warm. Time to swim this weekend.

I'm looking for a new flat in Santa Mar for me and Winnie, but can't get on in estate agents' offices without a translator. So some kind friends came out to help. We saw three places, all quite nice and reasonable.

Then we went to the beach and wandered about and took tea at the beach cafe after.

Christopher and Fr. Brendan
deep in conversation about...something related to the bible, or something.
I don't know, really.

Wasn't paying much attention for some reason.

I think it is a pelican. It was quite far off and even the very good digital zoom on my camera wasn't quite able to make it out. But it looks pretty pellicanish to me.

Found one place that I really hope I can get. It's a little more expensive than the one I'm in, and quite a bit smaller, but the real draw is the garden. Kicking myself for not having taken some pics, (sorry) but it is lovely. A garden enclosed. With one of those brick and adobe barbeques.

The thing with rentals in Santa Mar. is that it is a resort town. In the summer, since time immemorial, Romans have got out of Dodge for the months of July and August, (and probably most of June) to take literally to the hills. So, the flats, of which there is an increasing number every year, are rented out cheap to students, giornalistas and other lowlifes during the "winter". At the end of May, all the students get kicked out and the flats, which are all minimally furnished, are re-rented for the summer to rich Romans who want to get away from the traffic, the noise, the heat and the tourists. They flock here and pay through the nose. The flat I'm in now will probably be rented for €2000 or €2400.

The trouble is, this pattern is so lucrative that there are very few tutto l'anno appartamenti for rent in town. And even fewer starting from June.

But I got lucky today...I hope. It's a little out of the way, and that means rather far from the beach and the train station, but that's in European terms. It means there will be a 20 minute walk to the trains instead of a three minute walk. Small price to pay for ground to dig in, a terrace and a potting shed.

I've asked St. Philip for his help and he has never let me down. (Although it is to be admitted that with Philip, it is a dangerous thing to ask him for things. You always get something good, usually much better than you expected, but with the joker saint, you know it's going to be something very very odd.)

* ~ * ~ *

One more flower pic:

What is this

very lowly, humble little way-side flower called?

Want a hint?

We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?—Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive...

Scarlet Pimpernel.

So, now you know.


Anonymous said...

Hortus conclusus, eh?

Jennifer Smith said...

Oh, wow! All these Italy pics you post (and PLEASE keep posting them!) are making me want to visit Italy! See if you can't get a side job with the Italian Tourist Bureau ---you're doing such a good job already!

Anonymous said...

That is not a pelican.

Anonymous said...

€2000 or €2400 for a flat? How many rooms?? How much does the average 1 Bedroom or Studio flat go for in Santa Marinella??

HJW said...

Anon (s),

An ancient rule of this blog is that one has to leave a name. Moreover, the name must not be obviously false. If you don't want to announce your identity, it is sufficient to choose a plausible pseudonym, such as 'George' or "Mary".

Anon 2:59, is it not? Any idea what it might be? It was a great deal too big to be a cormorant.

bernadette said...

Swimming ? er... Hilary have you not heard of the important Irish saying: "He who swims in May will be feeding the clay" ?

No, clearly not.

Go ahead. Leave me the funeral plans. I'll make sure there are no guitars.

Banshee said...


That orange plant that grows all over the place -- is a scarlet pimpernel? We've always had them around, and _they_ are scarlet pimpernels?

(Insert Regency swearwords here.)

Jeff said...

It DOES look like a cormorant...

But it's too big?

My general rule when faced with a size problem like that is just to insert the word "giant" or "great" in front of the species name. If you pull a serious face, it sometimes comes off:

"Ah, it's a sparrow..."
"Oh, no, that's the size of a robin...can't be a sparrow..."
"Ahhhh, but it's an Eastern GREAT Sparrow..."

[Interlocutor stares at the bird like stout Cortez with a wild surmise... 'Huh!']

I think we can all settle on "Giant Adriatic Cormorant".