Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Change is as good as a Rest

A Change of Scenery

Any reader of this blog will know that I am a committed Italophile and so for the next 10 days I shall be in Calabria and Sicily. My brother Pat and I are travelling from Dublin to Trapani via Ryanair tomorrow afternoon. We shall spend three days in Sicily, in Palermo and Cefalù mostly and then we will travel up to Lamezia Terme (Calabria) by train. This will me my fourth time in Sicily – you can read all about previous trips to this beautiful island, the size of Munster, over on my Italian blog Speranza. This journey to the mainland we are looking forward to as the train actually drives right onto the ferry. I’m told that if you don't want to, you don't even have to get out of your seat (but the views topside make it worth your while!).

In Lamezia Terme we intend hiring a car and doing a little touring, but we won’t forget to bring our swimwear as the Ionian Sea down around the East Coast of Italy’s toe only has to be seen to be believed. Pat and I were already there this Easter and an Irish man or woman would definitely brave the elements even then – that was April and the temperatures were around twenty Celsius. We will be staying in a beautiful little town called Soverato, not far from where we wish to buy a holiday home in a lovely secluded little spot, about 6 km from this latter town. Soverato reminds me of Malahide - absolutely buzzing with life in the summer months – Italians from the North of Italy mostly, so this area is largely unspoilt. There are no English or Irish lager louts down there. Also being able to speak a little Italian helps no end.

I tend only to take my laptop with me when I travel in Ireland as I find it a bit inconvenient these days negotiating my way through the various airports without being encumbered by a further piece of baggage. Hence, for foreign trips, it’s back to the notebook and pen for me. I always buy a notebook for each trip I make abroad. I’m reminded of a story a Christian Brother told me once, a brilliant teacher who taught me Honours Maths and Latin many years ago. In 1958, the year in which I was born, he was selected to go to Rome to do a special course in theology, only offered to the brightest of brothers from the various provinces worldwide. When he arrived in Rome he noted that all the American brothers arrived with their portable typewriters, the Australians with their SLR cameras while the poor Irish brothers arrived with their “big pencils.” This man is still alive, Bro Philip Russell, only 82 years young and still teaching in Lukulu, Zambia.

Anyway, I’ll bring my notebook and big pencil with me for the 10 days. Hence, there will be a much welcome lull in my scribblings here on the WWW. I look forward to the break, to the “beato ozio” or the “blessed laziness” or the “dolce far niente” (“the sweet doing nothing”) for some ten days. Until then, ciao amici!

Above I have uploaded a picture of my brother Patrick not too far from Soverato and Isca Marina where we may purchase a holiday home.