Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Words right out of their mouths.

Three conversations with my boys on holiday.


“I’ve got a Canadian friend,” I say, as we're tucking into supper, “she goes back to Canada every year with her partner and they do this wild camping thing. They kayak across the lakes, lifting the kayak between them, lifting all the gear between them, skinny dipping in the crystal clear water together, and the entire time they never see another soul. No one else. At all. Isn’t that amazing? I think that's the best thing. I would love to do that.”

“I have two words to say to that, Mummy,” says Youngest.

“Oh yeah,” I say, “which two?”

“No,” he says, “and WiFi.”


“I can’t believe you said that,” whispers Middle One, as we say goodbye to the lovely Italian biology student, who just gave us a private tour of the tiny village we were staying in, in Le Marche.

“Said what?” I say.

“About those bones,” he says.

In the quiet crypt of a church we were shown a saint’s bones, in a series of jars. Santa Vittoria, she was called, a Roman martyr, devoted to God. She wouldn’t marry her boyfriend so he had her stabbed through the heart, in 250 AD, which is not alright. As a matter of fact it's a bit rough.

“Remind me,” I say. “What did I say about the bones?”

“You said, ‘are you really sure there are bones in the jars?'” he says.

“Yes, well,” I say. “I think it’s a valid question. I was born sceptical. I want to know. They might be pickled gherkins in there.”

"It was disrespectful," says Middle One.

"Okay" I say. "Well, I also don't believe that drinking from a blessed fountain can make an old lady lactate, and I never said a word about it."

Looking through glass darkly, at those jars in the tomb (really, they are in there, apparently).


“This place is full of posh people with villas in Tuscany and an air of entitlement,” I say, plonking a plate of croissants and three cappuccinos down on the table, in Perugia airport restaurant. “They don’t look you in the eye, they talk incredibly loudly, and they push to the front in lines.”

“Wait,” says Youngest, “you do realise you just described yourself?”

"How?" I say, because that one really is unfair.

“Come on, I wouldn’t queue jump on purpose. I will look people in the eye, if they have good eyes, and I particularly don’t have a villa in Tuscany,” I say, loudly.

Love E x


P.S. But I’d really love one.

1 comment:

  1. There is a book in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge that was brought to England from Italy c. 597 or 601 AD by St. Augustine, the oldest book in England. I saw it today, so there certainly are some relics that are the genuine article from that long ago.