Italy! Oh my goodness, Italy!!! I have had a small taste, and now just want more. The food, the wine, the people, the scenery, – the FOOD!!! The sense of taste to someone having spent the last 12 months in the BVI, is like that of a person who recently quite smoking and their tongue has awoken again! And eat we did, my first saccotino (pain au chocolate, but even better!), my first zucchini fritter (lightly battered zucchini blossoms), prosciutto, caprice salad, parmesan, anchovies, veal, wild boar salami, and liters of olive oil consumed, harvested and produced from the surrounding trees. I know, I know, I sound as cheesy as a chapter from ‘Eat Pray Love’, but I just can’t help myself. It had been a pretty hectic last few weeks, finishing up school, two weeks of camp, birthday party planning, Italy was like a dream! Relaxing into the rejuvenating rhythm of our hosts daily routine was blissful.
Alida has been spending summers in Castagneto Carducci, Livorno her whole life, and now shares this magical place with her remarkable three children (the youngest hopefully a son in law some day). The schedule was simple – café and beach time in the morning, then market, lunch, and relaxing around the idyllic property in the afternoon. Some days we were ambitious, and headed out for gelato or sightseeing. But I was just as happy puttering around – reading, going for relaxing walks, maybe a game or two of Bird Bingo, eventually putting the children to bed (only, of course after they had gone to collect the daily allotment of chicken eggs) and enjoying our own lovely meal. Clearly, it was a tough life.
The incredible friendships that Tortola has brought me, is by far the most appreciated aspect of our expat lifestyle. And of course when those friends move on, the negative consequences of residing on a transient island is heartbreaking. However, we now have beautiful mates peppered throughout the globe. I can vividly recall planning this trip with Alida at the Moorings café in the spring of 2013, being told the exact route to their tiny little village near the Tuscan coast, just putting it out into the universe. It was such a loss when she and her beautiful three children moved on from the island. But that day does eventually come for most of us. Although Yann and I frequently joke about Coralie and the grandkids visiting us old and grey, still residing on Tortola, god help me!