Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot

Because we are having an extended period of high temps, high humidity-it is very uncomfortable if you are trying to breathe, and here's the kicker, have some lung issues. I qualify for both-yes I want to breathe, and drat, lungs not so cooperative right now.

This reminds me of the weather that we had when we visited Venice as part of our one and only ever trip abroad. Our being myself and SSister#1). It was OPPRESSIVE-as in weight on your chest that would not allow you to inflate those balloons called lungs.

The header page for this month is the view from our room in the hotel in Venice. It was a former convent and we were lucky enough to get a ground floor room. Lovely lush plantings outside our door as you can see. We had our breakfast outside, and it was unbelievably tranquil. Stone walls, etc.
This is the front door of the convent-can you remember in all the old movies that show someone "Entering" a convent-that there was heavy wooden door that they needed to knock on to gain entry? Well that door has been replaced by a glass entreway-but look, the beautiful carving above the door was kept. Can you see that there is a crown above the "M"? Isn't it awesome?

This is a Fig tree planted facing the entrance to the Hotel-it hung from the neighbors yard-a beautiful home. Can you see the purple fig at the top of the photo? I had never eaten a fresh fig before Italy, and I love them now. Have not found any that tasted as good as that first one I tried, but isn't that usually the case?

The funny part of our lodgings was, though, we could see the apartments that abutted the convent-and most homes in Italy had porches, balconies, patios or verandas. All that those residents were doing could be seen from the convent, and visa-versa. Much entertainment I would think was had by all. There would be no way to prevent the viewing-the apartments were very tall, and the walls were no match. In Italy, when the family comes home-usually late in the day, the neighborhood comes alive-music is played, loud conversations can be heard by all and the cooking begins-those smells are wonderful-unless of course you are trying to go to sleep because you are living the tourist life and need to be in the lobby, ready to roll at like 8am or earlier if you are leaving for another city.
One day, I noticed that laundry that was hung to dry on one balcony (and it took many days to dry due to the level of moisture in the air-not only because Venice is a waterworld, but because the weather at that time was more humid than usual as we were told, and most homes do not have clothes dryers) was slowly diminishing, which means that there was no need to take clothes down, fold, put away. One merely grabbed the driest thing on the clothesline. Ah, the simplicity of that method.
Can you seen the undikies in the lower left of this picture? They are visible above the roof of the stone wall in the courtyard. We have a silly family name for underpants-but I don't think I am spelling it correctly-mudonies (pronounced moo-don-eees)-it might be a cracked version of an Italian word.

So listen, I hope you are staying cool if you need to be, or enjoying the heat if you are able. Either way, we are lucky to be alive today.

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