Thursday 17 January 2013


17 January

I got lost but was redirected accurately by a most helpful woman at traffic lights. ‘Buona giornata’ she said in parting (Have a good day in US English). I had succeeded in finding a Spar supermarket, where I bought the following items for my midday snack:
1 lemon
Slices of Scottish smoked salmon (about half the price of Alaskan smoked salmon, which I was initially offered, no flies on me ho, ho!)
2 Ciabattine (small ciabattas)
A packet of rocket.
A packet of Edam slices.
At Villa Irlanda, I can make myself a cup of tea or coffee in the dining room and have my midday snack there. I need to be careful not to attract ants in my bedroom by leaving food around. Yesterday, I even found a bunch of ants gathered round a leaf that must have come off my shoe! These creatures (not quite sure if they’re ants but they look like ants) seem to be everywhere in Rome: I remember encountering them in a hotel bedroom back in 1993).
I also found an ATM machine that accepted my card this morning.
That’s two pluses and one minus so far today. When I got lost, I was going in a perpendicular direction to where I should have been going, thinking I saw the Colosseum in front of me, but it was a set of more modern buildings that looked vaguely Collosseum-like.
Old men and women of various nationalities were sitting on the pavement, backs against the walls of buildings, holding plastic or styrofoam cups up for alms. Could have been Limerick. 
The weather today is dull but dry. Correction: it was raining when I went out for a smoke to allow the cleaner do my room. Revise to showery. But the receptionist, Chiara, tells me there may be snow later; it’s already lying deep 60 km north. However, a resident of one of the cottages in the grounds here assures me that next week will be better.
This afternoon, I plan to take an exploratory trip on the Metro, maybe to Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps, and the little museum where Keats died.

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