So it’s day 7 of the Covid-19 lockdown. Our medical community is braced for an influx of virus sufferers and I’m ensconced in the safety of my home. What could possibly go wrong?
Quite a bit it seems.
It only took 7 days but I’ve done it – produced a sequel to the “nail through the foot” incident of last year. All it took was a blown lightbulb and a step ladder – well a kitchen step ladder to be honest.
Yes, another foot injury. This time it’s torn ligaments along the side of my left foot, swelling, pain and embarrassment – in equal measures.
I fell from the bottom step of the ladder and managed to sprain my foot to such an extent the doctor was impressed. “The bottom step? Really? The bottom step, are you sure?”, were his words while examining my swollen and rapidly blackening foot.
One x-ray later and I’m in a moon-boot with enough pain killers and steroids to treat a horse. Easy.
I’ll be spending the next week with my foot elevated, garnering as much sympathy and as many cups of tea as I can.
Top Tip: If you do something silly like this, now is an oddly good time to do it. When Jean called my doctor as I lay groaning on the ground she advised me to visit the after hours clinic (in Newtown for me) as they are “very quiet”. Apparently all the usual maladies that fill the clinic’s waiting room have mysteriously been cured. At 1pm I was the only person in the waiting room and when I had my x-ray I was the radiographers second customer – that day.
We live in extraordinary times. In the next 24 hours we will give up our freedom willingly (for at least 4 weeks and possibly longer) and retreat to the relative safety of our homes, isolated, socially impotent and very likely bored out of our minds.
Today and tomorrow are the days to tidy things up – to sort all that life admin that needs to be done for a month in isolation. Not wanting to appear shallow, but top of my list was to purchase some of the delicious SmokeHouse Salmon Pate that New World stock. Ok, not earth shattering but just something that seemed important at the time.
Of course if I’d thought for another moment I’d have realised that it was possibly the least important thing I could have done in the day. But my brain ended up fixated on this damn pate.
So off I went to Chaffers New World to buy my limit of 2 pots. A llimit we can blame on all those who panic bought toilet paper, hand sanitiser, coffee, chocolate, baked beans and whatever else was panic buy of the day over the last few weeks.
I was expecting the supermarket to be chaos, queues out the door, police in attendance, possibly some tear gas being fired around but – no. It was quieter than any time I’ve been there recently – from a certain angle the store almost seemed empty.
Never one to miss an opportunity, I went in for some good old fashioned panic buying – well as much as you can do with a two item limit. When Jean saw my purchases she said I’d missed the point.
Poor women, she’s now stuck with me for 4 weeks – alone, together.
Our girls have been in a kennel for over two weeks. For both of them this is a whole new experience. We were a bit concerned how they would react and whether they would settle in.
We have been missing them so we asked the team at Waglands Dogs’ Holiday Retreat – seriously that is the name – to send us some photos of the girls. They arrived today and it seems we had nothing to worry about.
We suspect they’ve just had a bath as they look a bit too clean and fluffy for over two weeks on holiday in the country.
For the uninitiated, it’s Ellie on the left and Bella on the right.
Today we leave Camogli and head south to Positano. We have thoroughly enjoyed both our time here at Cenobio Dei Dogi and our time exploring the village.
Would we come back – like a shot.
As always it’s about the place but also the people you meet. After 6 days of turning up at the same places for meals and drinks, exploring the village on foot (it’s not a big village so there’s not much walking involved) and generally settling in we are starting to be recognised. The fact that we are from New Zealand is a surprise and the start of a conversation. And that’s what it’s all about.
We have been home for just over a week and things are returning to normal. No longer is 3am our preferred waking time and we can now stay up well past 8 at night.
Spring is definitely in the air – not the 30 degree temperatures we have become used to, but certainly temperatures warmer than those we left behind at the start of August.
The grape vine that runs the length of our boundary fence is showing signs of life with green shoots growing on a daily basis.
Poppie and Bella were pleased to see us although Vicki did a great job of pampering them in our absence. They are both asleep on the floor beside the desk as I write, recovering from a day barking at the front gate.
The holiday memories are still close and there are stories to tell.
Last Saturday morning life at the villa ground to a halt as we watched the All Blacks play Australia in the first Bledisloe Cup rugby match.
We found the broadcast on Sky Italia with the only downside being a choice of Italian or Australian commentary. Sadly no Justin Marshall for us, just Aussie commentators who became more depressed as the first half developed. Even they were struggling to find anything good to say about their local team until after the 50 minute mark. In the end of the game the best they could do was talk up the second half which, apparently, the Australian team won.
Tonight there was an earthquake centred on the island of Ischia. This is about 60 kms from Positano on the other side of the Bay of Naples. There has clearly been damage and tragically some loss of life.
In Positano we felt no shaking at all.
But as residents of our own “shaky isles”, our thoughts are with all those affected.
Last Saturday we travelled from Chianti to Positano. A journey that involved driving to Firenze and dropping off our rental car, cabbing to Santa Maria Novella train station, taking the high speed train to Napoli and then being driven over the hill to Positano.
A long day, but well rewarded when we arrived at Eden Roc Hotel’s reception and were greeted by Lorenzo, Pascale and the rest of the team.
For those who don’t know, we stay at a villa (Casetta Arienzo) owned by the hotel which is located about 800 metres down the road. It means we can use the hotel facilities – pool, restaurant, breakfast – but be self contained in a villa with a kitchen, laundry, etc. The best of both worlds really.
We also got the chance to catch up with kiwi friends who were visiting Positano. They had been staying in Casetta Arienzo but moved to the hotel for a short stay when we arrived.
Sunday was spent on the water with them – slowly working our way down the coast towards Amalfi – swimming in the ocean and lunching at a restaurant on the beach. A great day out – despite a choppy return to Positano in the evening as the wind and waves had got up a bit. Our Captain Enzo was an absolute master steering the boat using his left leg against the tiller as he stood proudly looking ahead – like Ahab searching for the white whale.
Speaking of seafood, we dined with our friends on Monday night at Ristorante Da Constantino high above Positano on the road to Nochelle – a view to die for.
Positano from the sea
Positano from the sea
Positano from the sea
Patriotic red, white and green pots
The high diving bridge at Furore
Swimming in the ocean
Swimming in the ocean
The lunchtime view
The lunchtime view
Passing merman sampling Limoncello provided by our skipper Enzo
Last Friday we visited our dear friends Dani and Olga at their home for dinner. We had not seen their new house before or the delightful hamlet it is part of. As the sun set, we took some photographs that go some way to capturing the beauty of the area.
The meal was absolutely superb and the company delightful. Grazie mille Dani and Olga.
While we are away in Italy our girls are being looked after by our dear friend Vicki who has moved in for 4 weeks. We receive regular updates and photos showing how much they are missing us. Or possibly not missing us …
Bella lining up for a tummy rub – friends know all about this look