Since returning to Papiano we’ve had a pretty quiet time. We went on a bike ride a few days after getting here, but it’s the last one we’ll do together as Colin’s road bike – with the skinny tires – doesn’t do well at all on the terrible roads.
I’ve gone on several solo rides to some of my favourite places – Olmeto, Spina, Compignano, Mercatello, etc. The weather’s been generally nice and sunny, but at times the wind has been rather fierce.
I’ve also gone a little further up the road to the east and into the hills that way – as far as the small town of Castelleone that I haven’t been to before.
There was a festa at the bar a few days after we arrived and it was very well attended. We couldn’t believe how much food there was – 4 or 5 courses, including pasta al ragu, and more than one meat dish. It was so nice to see everyone again, and we had some good conversation with John and Janet, as well as Afka (the Dutch lady).
Last Friday we finally took a short drive to Spello where we had lunch.
It’s a lovely little town with very scenic lanes, lots of artisanal shops, and many restaurants to choose from.
It looks like it might be a bit touristy at another time of year but wasn’t too bad at the end of October.
There is still work being done on both the bell tower and the ‘apartment’ building below us. They’ve begun removing the scaffolding from the bell tower but it isn’t likely to be in use again until near Christmas. The apartment will take a lot longer – the government is spending almost 1 million euros to fix the damage from the 2016 earthquake, and they’ve completely gutted it.
I’ve been practising making pies – not dessert ones, but meat ones. Colin had seen a recipe in a magazine when we were still in France and the first one I tried was steak and mushroom. It turned out pretty well, so I moved on to chicken pie – I roasted a whole chicken first, then peeled the meat off and made the pie – another success. The last experiment was salmon and leek – I’m rather pleased with the results!
There was another festa at the bar this past Sunday – Monday was a holiday here so no problem to have a slightly late evening. This one was more low-key, with pork buns rather than a sit-down dinner, but again nice to mingle with the locals.
I’ve spent hours in the last few days trying to sort out paperwork, etc for my journey home. Air Canada sent some info on Friday and since then I’ve been very busy. First I had to schedule a ‘molecular covid test’, which I had this morning. It was the one involving a very long swab poked way up the nose, although I must say it wasn’t quite as bad as the one I had in France in the summer.
Then I had to fill out a very long thing online for entry to Canada and it failed time after time. I finally gave up today and downloaded an app that actually worked. Hopefully they’ll let me pass with no problem – I would hate to be stuck in Toronto for 14 days!
We had our neighbour Angelo over for lunch today – he’s a very nice person and we had a lovely visit. Chairman Meow is his cat…