Sunday, September 25, 2005


Looks like that new car will have to wait for awhile. The car we want would have to be ordered and because it’s so late in the year, 2005’s are no longer being produced. Now we’ll have to wait until the new 2006’s come in AND see what the new prices are. Yesterday no one seemed to know what the new prices will be.

Dino stopped by the other day to ask if we still wanted the new window for the kitchen and the little bathroom upstairs. We said yes, and can’t wait for him to finish. The new window(s) for the kitchen will not only be warmer due to double panes of glass and a tighter fit, but also easier to use.

This window consists of three separate windows, and each one is hinged on the side. The window on the right and the window in the middle fit together when they close, and usually when we open the window on the right the one on the left will swing open because there’s no catch to hold it closed.

The new window on the right will now operate independently, and will also be hinged to allow it to open from the side AND from the top. We first saw this type of window in Germany and the design is great, especially if you just want to vent a room without having the window standing open.

Yesterday morning we drove over to Rotecastello to make sure that our new Norwegian friends were managing okay. They’re here to take a second look at the palazzo….we thought the deal was done, and that they were just here to sign the papers, but I guess not. 

Lucia, Silvano and Josepina’s daughter, was supposed to have been there to translate, but she had taken the baby to the doctor for a check-up. Luckily one of the owners spoke a little English, so everyone was able to communicate the basics. Unfortunately the geometra never showed up, or at least hadn’t shown up before we left. Having a good translator for his ideas and for the questions of the prospective buyers would have been essential. I hope it all worked out.

As we were driving through Moiano yesterday it suddenly occurred to me that we could call our new friends Jack and Suzy. They’ve bought a house in Moiano and just arrived last Thursday. Although I knew they’d still be a bit jet-lagged and overwhelmed, I was hoping that we’d finally be able to meet in person after more than a year of emails and phone calls.

Their phone was set to the answering machine and I left a message, but never did get in touch with them. Later that night Suzy called to say that they just didn’t hear the phone, which had been inside her purse. I finally understand why people have those small clip-on holders for their phones….by attaching them to the outside of your purse the phone is not only easier to access, but also much easier to hear.

While we were driving home the phone rang. I thought it would be Jack and Suzy, but it was Signore Cola, the builder we’ve been trying to contact since we saw one of his houses last April! We’ve been playing phone tag for months, not just because we wanted to see more of his houses, but also because he told us he was part English, lived in London, and would enjoy speaking English with someone in Italy!

He told us that his current project was restoring a castle near Assisi. He asked us if we could meet him at Santa Maria degli Angeli, just below Assisi. We agreed to meet him and his cousin Martin at 5 o'clock the next afternnon.  Although we left in plenty of time, and although we should have been able to get there without a problem, we decided to take a different route. What a mistake THAT turned out to be!

We were fine until we made the left turn at Bevagna, heading towards Cannara. The signs stopped or led us down one lane roads that we were convinced were NOT the way to Assisi. And I think we made a mistake when we asked for directions to ASSISI rather than S.M. Degli Angeli.

We ended up going UP, almost into Assisi, before driving back DOWN to SMdA. And THEN Art decided to take a side road instead of following the main road. This is when I almost lost it….where IN THE WORLD was he going, and why was he going this way? He gave me some lame excuse about “just following the sign for ‘all directions’”. What?! That sign is for getting to the expressway or main highway. We SHOULD have stayed on the main road down the hill which would have taken us right past the church.

So eventually we come out right by a church, but of course it’s the wrong church. We’ve come out too far down, now we have to go back towards Assisi, trying to find not only SMdA but also the church. Luckily this church is HUGE so the chances of missing it are small….if only we could get close.

We eventually made it, only about 15 minutes late, but the frustration level was high. I don’t mind getting lost when we’re just out for a drive, but when we have a specific place to be at a specific time, getting lost and being late just drive me crazy.

So now the weird stuff starts. When I spoke with the man yesterday, I never did understand what he said his first name was, but he did tell me that his cousin Martin would come with him to the meeting. But now we see only one man, and this man turns out to be Martin….who speaks no English. So where’s the man I spoke to, the one who speaks English? Oh, Martin tells us that he had to go back to London, and apparently when he called yesterday he was calling from London. Now I’m really confused….had we been speaking Italian I would understand if I got the details wrong, but in English????

Well, okay, let’s move on. Martin asks if we’d like to see the house they’re building in Piedicolle. He knows that we live in San Venanzo and that it will be closer to home for us, but why didn’t we just meet there in the first place? More confusion.

We follow him back to the house, which we’ve already seen, although the interior is more finished than it was the last time. It’s a two story house and the upstairs is only accessed from an external staircase. Great for a small apartment for your mother-in-law, but not really practical for what Marguerite’s looking for….and also way more expensive. 

Martin tells us that two other houses will be built in the area….one has already been designed, but the third is open for discussion. The property costs €7000 and Martin assures us that he could build a house for the budget Marguerite had set. I guess I’ll have to email Marguerite and let her know the latest news.

We stopped at Ternana’s for a quick pizza….no matter when we schedule these appointments we seem to be out at mealtime and end up buying lunch or dinner….which is a lot of fun, but it adds up. Last night’s dinner was pizza for both of us, a salad for me, a bottle of water, a half liter of red wine, and an after dinner coffee for Art….all for €12! What a bargain!

Art ran into Mauro yesterday and Mauro told him that the roof cleaning would begin this morning. So far nothing. The big concern for me was the fact that Mauro had previously told us that the roof wouldn’t be cleaned until AFTER the park was finished….and so far there’s been nothing done in the park. I sent an email to our neighbors the Farnesi’s to tell them the latest news. Maybe Sandro can find out about the park from his nephew the vice-mayor.


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