Day 63 - Farm life

13 February 2022

The TV was loud because the man was deaf. He turned it off.

Wake up with a headache. I know this headache. An old friend. It is the "you didn’t have any caffeine yesterday" pain. I am sensitive to caffeine. I limit myself to three a day. None after 12.00 pm. Miss a day and my mesolimbic dopamine pathway kicks my skull in.

“…he quit drinking coffee, and naturally, his brain stopped working.” ― Orhan Pamuk

The lady who owns the accommodation also owns a taverna. Breakfast there. After the first coffee, my headache goes. Two more for security. You can’t be too careful. Interesting note, biscotti is cut thin. Not here. My life through TV chefs is a lie.

A short ride today. No rush. We are hoping to catch the train to Rome tomorrow. I need some country air. Tourist towns are not my scene. I love cities. I love the country even more. Tourist towns, no thanks. We find a farm stay about 25 km away. 10 km to our train station tomorrow. Perfect.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country” - Henry David Thoreau

Load up. Hit the road. Cycleway most of the way. We cruise along the peninsula. Holiday homes on the water. I can’t imagine this place in summer. 

We hit a grocery store as we are leaving Albinia. Dinner at the farm stay is 8.00 pm. Breakfast was at 9.00 am, I can’t last. Bread, tomatoes, cheese for lunch later. A bottle of wine for tonight, and a bottle for lunch. Spain taught us the value of day drinking.

The supermarket has a reasonable range. This is the first time I have been in a grocer here. Australia, you need to have a look at your wine pricing. A bottle of Chianti Classico, DOCG, not garbage, Lamole di Lamole on sale for 4.50 euros. That is less than $8.00AUS. The white I grabbed was 1.50 euros. The wine in Spain and Portugal was the same. Inexpensive. Australia whinges about everything these days, if they knew the cost of alcohol in other countries they would riot.

“Give us what belongs to us in peace, and if you don't give it to us in peace, we will take it by force.” ― Emma Goldman

We knock out the last 10 km in the countryside. Easy riding. Arrive at our farm stay. It is beautiful. Peaches, cherries, olives, and vegetables. Artichokes. I love artichokes. They make me think of Shell. Three artichokes she grew in her garden were the first gift she ever gave me. 

I am thinking about dinner already.

Rachelle - “This should be a comma, not a full stop. So should this, and this… and this. This is not a complete sentence”

Grant - “That is four commas in one sentence”

Rachelle - “Just call me Virginia Wolfe”

Check-in and it begins to rain. Perfect timing. We have been very lucky with the weather. Settle in, make some lunch and listen to the rain. You whisper here. There is no noise other than rain and birds. Cities hum with noise. Traffic, people, buildings, people, everything makes a noise. To hear what you want to hear you need to raise the volume. So everyone raises the volume. Noise on noise on noise on noise. Subterfuge stress.

“Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.” ― William S. Burroughs

Lunch and the white and then we just relax.

The rain clears and we head out to explore the farm. I don’t like emus. I like the ostrich. The chickens are penned into breeds. Mixed for egg-laying and eating. Indian game hens and an impressive rooster for eating. A Nero hen and rooster that are stunning. The ducks are the same. Indian runners, Abacots, and Orpingtons. All for eating and eggs. Pheasants, a very pretty breeding pair. Finally the geese. Roman geese, typically angry, and some Chinese geese. All for pate.

A pair of friendly cats, a mule, and some very little goats.

Can you have everything? I love traveling and living overseas. When I see places like this all I want to do is have a small acreage, plant an orchard, grow vegetables and raise my own stock. Live in the country and teach at a local school a few days a week. I am almost certain after a year or two I would long for travel. Before we started wandering, we both wanted country life.

‘You really don’t understand, do you?’ she said. ‘I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted? Just like that, and it didn’t mean anything. What then?” ― Neil Gaiman

Dinner is only an hour or so away. Read. Relax. Not quite. Shell wants a hot chocolate.

And then we went to dinner. And it was so good it needs its own post...


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