Diaries Magazine

Faaaacking Birds!

Posted on the 20 November 2011 by Lucymiller321 @lucymiller321
On Sunday I meet Laura and we go to the market in Porta Portese. The market itself isn’t overly impressive – it’s the kind where you really have to hunt of you want to dig out the bargains amongst the crap, a lot like a British car boot sale. But Lidia has already told me that she hasn’t visited the market for ten years because it is now ‘dirty’, so I am prepared , and I do manage to track down a few things – a couple of bracelets, a red dress printed with elephants, and a used leather satchel bag that I barter down from twenty euros (a good price in the first place –leather!) to just eleven. It is my favorite purchase so far in Rome, and in the week that I’ve owned it it has hardly left my arm. It is beaut. I never thought I could develop such a strong attachment to a handbag so quickly, but there you are.
We find a cute arty cafe afterwards (love, love, love Transtevere) and have an espresso, before heading back over the river. Laura has been perfecting her British accent and she tests it out on me now – unfortunately it still sounds very much like an American being ‘British’. Sorry mate!
After she leaves I go into Feltrinelli and leave with a book called Rome Tales, which includes stories from the days of the Roman Empire and leads right up to the present day. The amount of reading I’m doing here is ridiculous. When Diane leaves after her visit next week she’s going to be laden down with books to take home. I’m currently on Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves, a study of the lives of women in classical antiquity. I picked it up last year at the Roman Baths (in Bath) when I was on the BBC placement, and I’m actually glad it has taken me a year to get round to reading it. If I read it before last year’s women’s writing module or even before I was in Rome I don’t think I would have appreciated it half as much.
Afterwards I sit in a cafe near Piazza Venezia and read the GWWS book over a Panini – and then my card gets rejected by the chip and pin machine. Aargh! I swear that was a substantial amount of money in it when I left England, and I’ve only used it in Hollister and for the Rome Tales book – so I’m fairly confused about what is going on. A slight dilemma presents itself in that I now have three euros in my purse and two weeks until payday. Eeek.
I walk home via the Colloseum and stop to read again in the park by the Domus Aurea. I feel that a lot of walking/ reading in parks will be done over the next few days.
I realize on Monday that I am rediscovering the glorious joy of wasting time whilst I’m in Rome. After three years of deadline/ exams/ lectures, by the end of my time at Lancaster I was finding it difficult, unless I was actually out and socialising, to actually relax. I was starting to think that I had forgotten how. This week, though, I am recapturing the art of the long, lazy lie-in. It is beautiful, and it means I have more energy for the twins when my working day starts at 4pm. Weirdly, my eyes look healthier.
On Monday after school we make rice crispy cakes. B&B are very excited about this, and despite half the chocolate getting consumed before it even reaches the pan the cakes come out fairly successfully. They are extremely gooey. ‘Three kilos of fat,’ Lidia says as we eat them later. I think this is a fairly accurate assessment.
I am performing the nightly battle to get B&B to brush their teeth when Alberto comes into the bathroom. ‘A fucking bird has shit on my head and on my coat,’ he says. ‘Fucking bird!’
And this is Monday.
Tuesday doesn’t start well for the Bellomos (as if being shat on by a bird wasn’t bad luck enough). At lunch I find out that Bea accidentally slammed the car door on Bene’s head as they were getting out for school. When we pick them up the lump is obvious and Bene is in a subdued mood. I don’t know what to do – I hate seeing them sad.
Since yesterday’s baking was a success, over dinner I ask whether they would like to do it again next week, and if so what different things they’d like to put in the cakes. Bene would like fragole– strawberries. Yes, excellent, strawberries we can do. White chocolate and fragola rice crispy cakes, perhaps?
And what would Bea like to put in?
She thinks for a few seconds: ‘Carrot.’
Carrot. CARROT. Whilst I applaud her healthy outlook, I don’t exactly feel that carrot goes with strawberries and chocolate, or with rice crispies.
‘A carrot cake?’ I ask, against my better judgement, because, and it may come as a shock since I am quite clearly such a domestic goddess when it comes to rice crispy cakes, I have never made a cake of the traditional variety –with butter, flour, eggs, etc.
Disgusting, I know. But I’ve never felt the overwhelming urge to domesticate myself, and if I want a cake I’ll buy one, thanks. Most of the time, this is sufficient.
Not in this case, however.
‘Yes,’ Bea says. ‘Carrot cake.’

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