|Picture from www.sicilytourguides.net|
|Picture from discoveringscicily.com|
We watch it for the stories, the characters, and above all, the scenery. The dialogue is all in Italian, with English subtitles, and the sound of the language, especially when Commissar Salvo Montalbano gets worked up about something is wonderful to hear.
After watching an episode I have to resist the urge to reply 'Certo' in the same tone of voice, instead of 'sure' or 'okay' or 'fine'.
This past week I have been reining myself in from giving way to full-throttled frustrazione e furia as I battled my way through labyrinthine switchboards and websites to deal with problems with the supply of an essential medication (sorted - a prescription had got 'lost' somehow, and stayed 'lost' in spite of arranging for it to be redelivered). Also a complete farce with appointments at one of the London hospitals which decided I MUST come in for routine face-2-face tests and appointments, no, I didn't need to, yes I did after all, and could I come up three days in advance for a PCR test... Oh my word. I think this is sorted, forse; one more phone call to check whether the letter cancelling a 12 o'clock appointment or the one booking me in for a 12 o'clock appointment (what happened to the 11.10 appointment then?) is the real one. And I am now the local expert on where and how and when you can get PCR test appointments locally, rather than visiting the hospital three days in advance.
Going up to London seems such a big thing - I have been quite distracted by the idea - not in the least because I had a blood test recently so check on my Covid antibodies level. Result; 'non detected'.
A friend has offered to drive us in her camper van! Providing us with somewhere to eat, a personal loo, and a rescue from travelling up by train and bus/two tubes or taxi. A friend indeed - it's at least a two-hour journey by car, with no certainty of where to park when you get there. Driving back after Lung Function tests, a Rheumatology consultation and a Cardiology consultation - all tiring in their own way - would have been really exhausting. Che grande amica!
Has this been all my life since last Friday? Well, pretty much so. I have come completely unravelled a couple of times (there was also an appointment on Friday 20th at a local hospital to investigate what, if any, portable oxygen supply I need for walking around, but more on that another time). Somehow, at each crucial moment, something has happened to stave off total collapse - a friend and colleague turning up with a pot of flowers;
and these utterly charming metal birds appearing on the top of the fence between us and our neighbours
The sight of any one of these, and many other things that have come my way over; a chunk of a Psalm, verse of a hymn, and even this whacky chorus from a children's song about praying to God when things are getting heavy.
This prayer thing. Seems to work pretty well, I've found. Even when my prayer seems to come out all 'AAAAAARRRGGGHHHH' skipping out all the Thee, Thine, Thy and Thou bits and getting straight to the point.