Wednesday 14 October 2020

Rain in Rome

It's raining. My newly discovered cafe Barnum--in which you can sit comfortably for a long time and the pastries are a revelation--was still closed when we went there at 8:15. (It opens at 8:30, it turns out). We went to another place nearby, and I am certain I was sold a day-old croissant.  My "s" key no longer works, so all these "s"es are cut-and-paste, and I don't know where I can get a repair. Rome is not an unsullied paradise. 

However, Benedict Ambrose and I have great fun when we can. For Thanksgiving we went to Cul-de-sac, which is near the Piazza Navona, and had a whole bottle of wine as well as hare pate, duck ravioli (B.A.) and spinach-ricotta ravioli (me). Normally I hate ordering a whole bottle of wine for two, but on this occasion I made the most of my tipsiness by conjugating "Essere" and "Avere" in pen upside down and backwards on the paper tablecloth for B.A. to read aloud.  

This morning we reviewed the mysteries of the definite article over our cappuccini and then, to be out of the rain before class, B.A. went to the Chiesa Nuova.

I am on Chapter 9 of Dieci Piccoli Indiani, but I have not progressed in by vocabulary workbook. Instead yesterday I finished reading John Le Carre's A Murder of Quality, which is so much better than Antonia Fraser's A splash of Red, I almost sat up straighter as I read it.  

Eventually I will write a list of oddities pertaining to living in Rome, but the only one that immediately comes to mind is the sudden "bzzt!" of the door buzzer. It happens several times a day, and I wonder if it I one buzzer for all the flats. Is it a resident who can't be bothered to dig out his or her keys, or is it a visitor trying his luck by pushing all the buttons? 

Update: It stopped raining, so I went for a walk in the morning sun. I didn't get as far as Testaccio, but at least it was a little exercise along the multicoloured streets. A nice thing: elderly men still read printed newspapers outside cafes. 

I review the headlines online during the day. First thing this morning I saw more stories about more coronavirus cases, more deaths, more lockdown measures, Cardinal Becciù's "lady" and the Duchess of Cambridge opening a new exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in London wearing a very chic black outfit from Alexander McQueen.  Of these things, I am most likely to write about la signora Marogna if no-one else at work has yet--cutting and pasting in the letter "s" as I go along.


  1. If your laptop has a number pad, you can press ALT+118 to get an 's' (ALT+83 for the capital), which may be less of a pain than copying and pasting.

  2. It doesn't xo tomorrow I will go to an Apple Store and either get the letter fixed or buy a magic keyboard.

  3. It is so entertaining to read your Rome posts, especially for one stuck in Melbourne and unable to go more than 5kms in any direction (except to work, if you have a work permit)! I sigh for the days of my last European trip to Krakow, and Verona, and wonder if or when we Australians will ever be allowed out of prison again...Winnifred

  4. D, instead of cut-and-pasting 's', substitute a character you won't use anywhere else, like ± or perhaps the British Pound. Once you've done your typing, use cmd-F to find-and-replace.