written March 14th 2010


8:00am: Wake up call from the hospital, a cheerful female voice is asking me if the visit scheduled for today is urgent, or if it’s just a check up. As it is the latter, she suggests we reschedule, and offers new dates, with a choice of time.

This is all through our National Health Care System. Once again, I am immensely grateful for it.In times like these, knowing that whatever happens, my family will be treated for free is a colossal relief.

Marco and Giotto start with some gardening and end up collecting a wheelbarrow full of stinging nettle, with gloves! (

I have a feeling that will be part of our next few meals.

10AMish: I am having a glass of wine NOW, while working on emails.

(iif I were a REAL rule-breaker, I would have a cappuccino after noon. Not ready for that kind of rush, yet.)

2PMish: Postprandial nap.

The romans call it “pennica”. The only member of the family that gladly joins in: Emma, our wannabe Jack Russel.

5PMish: Marco makes homemade pizza from scratch.

That’s when I am reminded of the importance of the most expensive ingredient: TIME. When dough is allowed to leaven properly, pizza can actually be digested even when eaten for dinner.

8PMish: A few rounds of Kaboum, our family favorite card game.

Mom and Dad (that’s us) are initially humbled, then plain humiliated by the sharpness and speed of their children. So relieved the future is in their hands, and not in ours. (But I will suggest Taboo tomorrow, to increase my chances of an honorable outcome).

10PMish: We move on to watch “Ray”, (

Children are initially perplexed at the choice, then end up enthralled by the mixture of music, a glimpse of the all-too-recent segregation, and world- class acting.

Staying home safe and playing cards in a Tuscan villa is also called “segregation.” There should be a different name for it, like “appetite” is different from “hunger”.

Hitting the road will have to wait til “segregation” is over.

Meanwhile, when our stereo stops playing “hit the road Jack,” it’s already Day 2ish.


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