Estate of Petroio
July 5, 2015

Today was a leisurely day around the estate. Helen was up way too early and decided to go for a morning swim as her daily bit of exercise. The estate consists of four separate buildings and we have them all. There is the main building (where Helen and I have our bedroom) and then there is a smaller main building and two other smaller units. Breakfast is self-service and happens in one of the two main buildings. Our kitchen is right next to our bedroom so we really have everything close by. The only drawback is that each kitchen really only has plates & cutlery for about 6 people so breakfast has to be in shifts and fortunately that works well because everyone woke up at different times anyway.

After breakfast most people headed to the pool for the balance of the morning. It must have been up at 30 degrees already at that point and the shade and the pool seems to be the best place. After a morning of a little bit of cricket and then swimming and trying to cool off, it was time for lunch. Not sure where the morning went but it simply slipped by. After lunch I did what I usually do on a Sunday afternoon and that was to take a nap. Given the heat (which must have been around 35 degrees), you can see why in places like Italy and Spain an afternoon siesta is a good idea.

At 6pm we had a church service. We make up our own congregation with 33 people. Oli had brought her flute along (she is a very accomplished flautist) and we sung with that as an accompaniment. The singing was pretty good (I thought at least). My Dad preached as my sister had ‘kindly’ said to him it may be the last time he gets to address the whole family together. To show I was paying attention, he spoke from Ephesians 6.

Dinner followed which tonight was starters of smoked salmon & watercress and melon & prosciutto. This was followed by pork with apple sauce and chicken breast with a sage sauce accompanied with beans & potatoes. Finally there was a desert of what they called cream tart with fruit. I didn’t see much cream – it was more like a tart with fruit. No idea what the desert was like because I very seldom eat desert but the rest of the food was excellent. The table seating was changed so that we got to sit with different people again tonight. Helen and I sat with my brother-in-law and my two younger nephews (Collin and Jack) and it was a good evening just chatting to them.

Over dinner we also had a little fun in that we were given 24 little known facts of the people present. Now as you can imagine, in a family context that is pretty difficult to find things that most other people don’t know about you. I couldn’t think of anything to submit actually but some of the things were outrageous. For instance one person wrote “I was asked if I was a drug dealer”. That turned out to be my oldest sister. I still haven’t gotten the low down on that incident and even her husband looked amazed. We also had ‘I have mild Thalassophobia’ which you will now no doubt have to Google to find out what it is.  Some other interesting ones (that I can remember) were ‘My grandfather made shoes for the Queen’, ‘I had a state trooper stop five lanes of traffic on the motorway for me’, ‘I was engaged twice, married twice but never divorced’ (and no we don’t have bigamists in our family) and ‘I was a divisional wrestling champion’. It is amazing how you sometimes don’t even know things about your own family.

After dinner we went for a walk up the road from the estate. And it really was up. After about a kilometer some of us turned back and immediately on getting back we headed for the pool to cool off while the light finally faded. The evening is the best part of the day as it is marginally cooler at least.

Until tomorrow …

P, H, S, L, M, O, C

(PS: Sorry about the lack of photos. The wi-fi has stopped working in the main villa it seems (no idea why) and I tried to upload some photos using both my phone and Helen’s phone and neither worked either. I am hoping I can at least send this out without the photos.

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