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Archive for September 14th, 2009

…I don’t like Mondays… Actually, it’s looking all right this morning – even though it’s raining, cold, all the shops are shut…

We had a fantastic weekend. I used to find weekends in Acton really frustrating – I’d want to be outside but there was nowhere to go without getting in the car first or taking trains or buses or tubes which would turn everything into a ‘trip’, and getting the kids out of the house would be impossible.

Here there are so many trips we can do from our back door.

On Saturday we bought mountain bikes for the kids (we are spending money like water here – but they had grown out of their bikes and we left them in London) and on Sunday morning we set off through the gate, onto the path through the woods, onto the Carso. We can cycle for miles through the woods – no cars! Lots of gravel and rocks and sharp stones but the kids navigated those well enough. For Micky it was her first time using gears. A bit ambitious on the way out – nearly 5k and lots of uphill – and Micky at some point locked her bike up and took a ride on Stef’s, only to decide it was easier cycling, return to her bike, and make the final stretch to the trattoria in Grapado, just as the skies opened up…

We cycled past a couple of professional-looking cyclists, one of them said something like “You’ve got it on backwards” (in Italian). I thought there must be something on Stef’s bike ( a light fitting, perhaps? ) that was specific to left-hand driving or something – but no, his front wheel was on back to front!!! He’d been cycling it for miles like that without noticing. English bike shop had put new handlebars on for him – and fixed the wheel on back to front!!!  We joked a lot about that (English quality engineering etc.) – especially since they recommended buying bikes in Slovenia (because they brought in a lot of English bikes…). Anyway, they fixed Stef’s bike there and then. Funny, how so many people (even Triestines) comment on the bad humour of the Triestines – they never smile, they’re impolite, it’s hard to make friends… Very definitely not our experience so far. 

Coming home was miles quicker downhill and the kids were really enthusiastic about their bikes.

In the evening our neighbours (unfriendly Triestines??) took us out for trip on their motor boat. He is a speed fiend and has just bought this massive motor boat with loud American engine (“all the police in the bay are after me..”) – and we saw the Triestine coastline from the sea. Sabrina pointed out an oval shaped rock looming down into the water – ‘E la Madonna del Mare’ – and it’s true, she looks like a woman wearing a veil. They say she jumped into the water to kill herself, and her body remains there, in the rock on the cliffs..Davide reckons the sea between Duino castle and Miramare is the most beautiful- like Sardinia, you can see everything underwater.  Stef and the kids jumped off the boat for a swim – I was about to but saw a massive jelly fish and lost my nerve. Anyway, it was cold and late..

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