Can We Get Back to Normal Now?

6th January 2009

I have several reasons to rejoice today. One very simple one is that I have just received a gas bill for ZERO euros. That is an absolute first, but I am suspicious!

Heart-lifting was the sight of the first Mimosa blossom this morning while I walked penitently around Montenero (trying, in my tatty tracksuit bottoms and trainers, to avoid the stares of the fur-coated church-going ladies). Spring in the air already? The mimosa is always the first to brighten up the early grey days of the year, but I have never seen one this soon before.

Best of all, we are finally coming to the end of the long holiday run, and can soon get back to normality. Nearly, because while the rest of the world (almost) is well back into the working routine today, here in Livorno, and all over Italy we are enjoying the last public (and religious) holiday in a long season of them. Epiphany, and the Befana.

At the risk of sounding scrooge-like, I have usually had enough of Christmas decorations by Boxing Day and, if I could, would strip the house of all its tinsel and tacky snowmen and FC ornaments as soon as we had downed the last piece of Panettone. But like the panettone, the decorations go on and on. Ours however, did come down early this year as we were leaving for the mountains and didn’t want to be faced with it all when we came home. So the tree was disrobed, thrown sadly into the garden, and even the presepe– all 5 square metres of it – dismantled ahead of time, the three kings not even getting a chance to deliver their gifts to the infant child this year.

Maybe I am strange, but I am looking forward to tomorrow, the kids back at school, ordinary food, work. Time to start fighting the frightening upward trend registered by the bathroom scales and to  give my body a rest from all the excess. Time to put my brain back into action and get on (and perhaps plan for the next holiday).