Friday, 1 July 2011

Village life in Sardinia

Arriving in Sardinia is like coming home, so frequently have I been here over the last 35 years. Specifically, home is the little village of Vallermosa where Marilena comes from. Besides her parents, I am related through marriage to an awful lot of people here so it's rare to be able to drop into the shop or chemist without meeting at least one or two people (frequently more) who want to stop for a chat and get an update on how the family is getting on.

Our boys now come to Sardinia on their own or with friends (their grandmother, nonna, houses and cooks for all of them). When Marilena and I are on our own, we live simply as members of the family doing the things they do from day to day. This entails the usual visits to the supermarket, hospital check-ups, trips to the source to fill up with mineral water and - of course - helping out with the pasta making. I watched nonno make the lassagne with his new electric pasta machine and helped lay out the strips.

As usual, one of the cousins arranged a meal where several families got together where we were guests of honour. These are always lively events, full of fun and good humour. I have to say they do test my Italian well beyond its limits.

Unfortunately, the family car ran into a hidden hole in the road one day whilst we were fetching water and two wheels were ruined - so transport was limited for a while. However, I was determined to get in a swim before leaving, so I went off early one morning on the bike to a little beach some 30 minutes from the house. It's a place called Masua and the beach is called Pan di Zucchero (Sugar Loaf). To get there involves driving along a bendy road that hugs the cliff face for several miles and only locals use it. And yes, the water was great but rather cold.

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