Friday, August 11, 2006


Just so that you all know it's not all joy and gelati here in Sicily, I have had, and am still having, the bummer of a week: first there was the getting cold at the concert; then the post office fiasco which always puts me in a bad mood; and to cap it all the water going off on Wednesday .

I spoke too soon when I said the water was back on yesterday, for, although the lorry came at around 3 pm, the supply went off again after about 2 hours. Now how can 3 tenants, only one of whom has a family [the others being on holiday] have used the entire cisternful in a couple of hours, even allowing for the fact that as soon as the supply is functioning everyone refills their bidoni [large containers] against the next time? The answer is, of course, that we can't have, so the cistern wasn't properly filled. This situation panics me totally as I have never, before coming here, been without running water and last night I was ready to leave everything, just take Simone and get back to a country where you turn the tap on and know that water will come out. [A great time to fly I'd have picked; and I have nothing to go back to anyway.] I still find it incredible that there is no piped water in this area, for although Sicily is regarded as "Africa" by many mainland Italians, it is not!

I spoke to Irma who persuaded me to go and see the nice man downstairs - I have a British sense of privacy and hate disturbing people - and he said he didn't think enough water had been put in because there was no pressure. He then went off to talk to the other tenant about ordering water from a private company. I haven't heard anything since then and am reluctant to knock on the door again. So this morning I thought, "Coraggio" and went over to the Water Office. It was 15 minutes before anybody answered the bell but I wasn't in the mood to be put off. They didn't seem surprised at what had happened and promised to send another lorryload. We wait and I haven't got the pazienza at all!

Later I was in the Sacro Cuore supermarket and they have a notice up saying that they are closing from 21st August. There is no more information other than that they will open again soon, which can mean years in Sicily. However much I've grumbled about the place, it is , at least, conveniently located and its closure will make shopping more difficult for me. [I do hope that the reason for their closing is a badly needed refurbishment.] Then there is the general closure of nearly everything for these 2 silly weeks to contend with.

In addition, this has been a week in which knobs have fallen off cupboard doors, a light switch broke and the iron [yes, I do use it occasionally!] has been playing up - none of which amounts to much if you are the least bit practical but it all spells disaster to me! The computer is having its awkward moments, too; it would do, when the shop where you can get help is closed, wouldn't it?!

And, of course, the news from the UK is enough to make anyone gloomy. If the current restrictions remain in place - and I'm willing to bet that these events have changed the way we fly forever - the economic implications are mind-boggling. Firstly, who is going to fly unnecessarily? It goes without saying that airlines and travel operators will be badly hit. Secondly, I've been thinking about how many things which people like to take back from here come in bottles: wines; Limoncello, Mandarinetto and other local liqueurs; various sauces and preserves; the colognes and perfumes. You can bubble-wrap at least some of them and put them in the hold but it's a risk and there are other souvenirs that it is impractical to carry in a suitcase. So what are the consequences for the companies who produce these items? [Sicily has only recently cottoned on to the fact that it has a potential goldmine if it presents these products well and, to be fair, it is trying.] And are the airlines going to increase the weight allowance for hold luggage? "What can I take back?" is a paltry concern as compared to your safety, of course, but it's all going to have a knock-on effect.

UPDATE: A private water carrier half-filled the cistern while I was writing this post. I broke off to have a quick shower and put some things in the washing machine. And now guess what? The water supply is completely kaput again!! SCREAM!!


beethoven writes said...

You know what I'm going to say, don't you?!

As long as you have your health, nothing else matters really...

Ballpoint Wren said...

That would be too much, going without running water!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

You are right, injured cyclist. As long as I have my health and Simone the dog.. But it's hard to be philosophical when it's hot and you don't have running water! Hi, Bonnie. Glad you empathise.


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