So last week we were in London. This trip had been planned a long time in advance. We obviously wouldn’t dream of missing my sister’s wedding! This was also supposed to be the trip that deposited us permanently back in England as my sabbatical was due to end…more about that in a little while!
Aah! It’s London – there had to be some rain! After the very high temperatures we’ve had in Northern Italy, I can’t lie, we really enjoyed it! We spent much of the time in a whirl of shopping. Last minute things for the wedding, gifts, stuff we cannot buy in Italy – trips back to London are always horribly expensive.
We popped into the beautiful Liberty of London and admired this rather amazing display of fabric. We had actually come in to buy some greetings cards. It is near impossible to find cards here in Udine. Giving a card doesn’t appear to be a very Italian thing. I spoke to a friend about this and she just looked amused and said “Maybe it is because we Italians just have a bit more imagination than you do!” Harsh, but when I thought about it for a while, I suppose buying a card doesn’t require a huge amount from the giver. If you can’t buy cards you do have think of more inventive ways to say thank you, I’m sorry, congratulations, etc. Despite this, I am sticking with the greeting card tradition!
I hijacked my mum’s kitchen to do a little baking. I haven’t been able to bake a sponge cake in a whole year! This is because I cannot get caster sugar in Italy. Being able to bake my favourite recipes has been one of the things I have really missed. I loved getting a bit carried away with the decorations too.
My friend was clearing out her parents’ house gave me some of her mum’s beautiful old embroideries. The stitches are so incredibly neat and are worked on really good quality linen. I am going to think of something to do with these pieces but, until then, I will just enjoy looking at them. I am considering starting a movement to bring back embroidered tray cloths. Who is with me?!
So, as you have probably gathered, I am writing this post from our apartment in Udine and not from somewhere in England! The truth is, we have loved our year in Italy and we are simply not ready to come home. It wasn’t an easy decision to make – there is much we love and miss in England and staying longer means that I have resigned from a very good job. Essentially, we didn’t just want to just go back to the life we previously had. This has all happened quietly and with very little ceremony but actually this is a much bigger and scarier decision than the one we made last year to spend our sabbatical here.
Practically, we have now put a lot of things in place to allow us to stay in Italy for at least another year and a half. We think we will move further south later on this year to try something completely different.
I am now starting to think of ways in which we can put down a few more roots in our adopted Italian soil. Stitching has been my creative outlet for this past year and it will continue to be so. I have a lot of ideas for embroideries and this blog that I need to get on and do now we are staying here longer. I am also going to buy some baking equipment – a year without baking is quite long enough! I have just discovered that you can grind ordinary sugar so that is has a similar consistency to caster sugar. Maybe I will be able to make cupcakes and chocolate sponge when I am pining for England!
I am happy to say that I will continue my stitchy, Italian adventure for little longer….so don’t expect a greetings card from me any time soon!