Friday, October 19, 2007

A ROOM WITH A VIEW

Lady Mac has tagged me with the “What’s the view from your window?” meme. [Note: I will do memes only if they interest me and I think I can make a half-decent post from the idea; otherwise, I leave them and I don’t tag.]

The first question I ask myself is “Which window?” but I suppose it has to be the lounge one. From my study and kitchen windows [glass doors really] I can see only the long balcony of the house facing this block. The lady of the establishment is one of these energetic souls who always has her washing hanging from the balcony by 8am and between that hour and 10 am she can be seen dashing about, cleaning, sweeping and scrubbing the shutters, windows and the balcony itself. So I don’t look across there very often , lest I become infected with this “housewife” virus, though I think I am immune to it.

My lounge window, at the narrower end of the apartment, looks onto another neighbour’s house and, although I can see the balconies and windows, I cannot see inside, nor would I look if I could[unless Al Pacino or Tom Jones suddenly decided to use the space as a changing room]. My neighbours can probably observe my lounge activities, as their windows are higher, but they probably don’t bother and if they do I can only surmise that their lives are very unexciting! The garage of this dwelling has a flat roof and it is by looking down at that that I can tell if it is raining but sometimes in summer you think you can see raindrops on it then, like a desert mirage, they turn out to be only what a friend calls “gocce di caldo” – heat drops. I can also look down upon the top of my neighbour’s olive tree [which makes a nice swishing sound in the wind] and upon the run where he keeps his dogs [who have ruined my life. Yes, Simi still gets up at 5.30 am if she hears them. She has given up barking at them but does expect me to “rise and shine” with her!]

The left hand side of the street is obscured by the olive tree but to the right I can make out who is walking up and down and keep a look-out for my elderly “discerning shopper” neighbour: if he appears carrying a crate on his shoulder or grinning broadly I realise that he has found some beautiful, fresh, in-season produce and, as I know his route by now, I sometimes rush down to discover which roadside lorry he has been buying from. I can’t carry the crates, but if I decide it’s produce that will keep a while or that I can preserve in some way, the sellers will decant it into carrier bags, with which I can just about stagger back.

Sometimes I amuse myself watching all the motorists searching for parking spaces near the post office here. [In Britain no one would drive to a city centre post office.] Reader, if you saw them later, backing out of the street into lines of oncoming traffic, you would be anything but amused, I think!

At siesta time in summer, of course, the street resembles one from a ghost town: you see nothing and nobody during those hours. And when the shutters are open on summer nights, the moons I behold are glorious: that’s the time to put on some Bocelli and dream!

That is what I can [or can’t] see. What I can hear through my window is, I think, more interesting: at around 8 am the splashing of water as the women clean their halls and throw the contents of their buckets down the street; the man who comes around in a small fruit & veg truck announcing his wares on Wednesday and Friday mornings; the chorus of the cicadas on summer evenings and sometimes around midday if it is very hot; and when Simi and I hear “chug-chug-chug” we run out onto the balcony to see where the water lorry is headed. But my favourite sound has to be one I have mentioned many times on this blog: it is that of everyone opening up their shutters to let the cooler air in on summer evenings.

12 comments:

jmb said...

Welshcakes this is a wonderful post. What a slice of life in that very different place you have given us. Wonderful observation and telling.

mutleythedog said...

I can feel myself there Ms Limoncello. All I can see from my window is the sea... but thankfully that changes all the time.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Jmb, thank you. I needed that encouragement! Thank you, too, Mutley. I am not one for countryside scenes but would love to be able to look out upon the sea.

leslie said...

I haven't been over for a while, but just had to tell you how much I loved your descriptions. It was the 2nd week of November last week that I spent a week in Sicily and loved every moment. We stayed in Erice, Agrigento, Siracusa, and Taormina but saw so much every day as we drove from one place to another. I'd love to go back some day.

leslie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mountaingirl said...

Gale http://galeslifethoughts.blogspot.com/ has been raving about your blog all week. And now that I have visited, I can definitely see why!

Sally said...

Hi Welshcakes - I've been travelling and have just had a wonderful orgy of catching up with all your posts; I love hearing your views and finding out what you're up to. Your trip back to the UK sounded a succes fou but so sorry you came home with the dreaded flu; there's so much about and I have had cold after cold despite the glorious autumn weather. I am writing this in my study, which looks out over the village churchyard - I can see trees and old gravestones and the corner of our lovely 15th-century church. The yews are covered in those glowing soft red berries rapidly disappearing as the blackbirds and starlings gorge themselves. All the trees have turned now and leaves are starting to drift down - I love autumn.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Leslie. I deleted your second comment as it was a duplicate. Sorry you had difficulty posting a comment here. Anyway, glad you liked the description and that you had a good time in Sicily. I, too, hope you come back one day! Thank you, mountaingirl. That is very kind of both you and Gale. Hi, Sally. Gosh, you do travel a lot! Sorry you've got a cold too. Lovely description of what you can see there. I really miss autumn leaves.

Sen. Peter Higham Paul said...

What a pen portrait - I can see the wide scan as you look round through 120 degrees.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, James x

Gale said...

Oh I love the description, you wrote it so well..and such a different slice of life..I have trees for a view, beautiful but not as engaging as your view..thank you ...a beatiful post

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Gale.

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