Thursday, December 04, 2014

Firewood guy came!

Huh. So that's what 6700 kilos of wood looks like. Good to know.

And another one for my "people aren't so bad" files. The guy came and drove his dumptruck up my drive and just dumped it in a humungous pile, took my money and drove off. It was about four feet high in the middle, and spread out to about 15 feet in diameter. I just sighed and picked up two bits and started stacking.

After only a few minutes of this, one of the young chaps who lives in the other flat in the house came down and just about wordlessly started stacking too. After about 1/2 and hour, we stopped for a breather and I introduced myself to Radek, who has come here with his family from Poland.

They've got at least two dogs and a baby as well as assorted relations. I've been calling them the Gashlycrumb Noisies. But they're not so bad, really.

Also, props to my Guardian Angel. Norcia is in the middle of the Sibelline Mountain National Park, one of the most popular outdoors places in Europe. One of my big goals in coming to live up here was to get in touch with the local trekking, rafting, hiking, climbing, camping and outdoorsy people and start doing outdoorsy stuff again.

I had a good tip and contacted Francesco the Expert Guide, who said things are slow in the off season so he'd be delighted to go for slow and easy walks for a while to get me started. But he cautioned that it rains nearly every day (well, actually every day, in fact) and is cold, so to get the right rain-proof sort of gear.

I found a good pair of new hiking boots for a pretty reasonable 110 E and figured I was off to the trekking races. But having been away from the country life for a really, really long time, I have no rain jacket. So, close on my victory over the boots, I started looking in all the local shops. When I saw what they were asking for Gore-Tex hiking jackets, my eyes sort of did that cartoon splodey thing: Four hundred Euros?!! There were a few I could afford but were so ugly I was worried they would scare off all the wildlife. I had gone all over and checked every shop, and the story was the same everywhere.

I've really been looking forward to it, but it was looking like I would have to either cancel this Saturday's first trip, or just get soaked. I thought, no harm in asking, so sent up a little prayer to Samuel about it. Trekking or no, this is the sort of climate where life without a raincoat is more or less just a misery.

I went out for a walk today before the afternoon rain stared, and was thinking about it, fearing I'd have to postpone until I could get to the shops in Spoleto. I missed the shop hours today, getting down to town about the time everyone was closing up, so I just kept going, through town and out the opposite gate in the city walls. Just on the other side of the wall, though, in the big parking lot, I saw that the Thursday morning outdoor market was just packing up. There was a nice older couple selling second-hand clothes and there it was, the nicest rain coat you ever saw. Lots of big pockets with velcro and really roomy for lots of sweaters and scarves to go underneath. Perfetto.

"How much?"

"Five Euros."

Thanks Samuel, you're a pal.



BillyHW said...

Are you going to go out looking for the Marsican Brown Bear?

HJW said...

Oh William, you know I'm going out looking for The Door.

You'll know I've found it when you don't ever see anything from me on the internet again.