Saturday, January 13, 2018

I am greatly encouraged, Mary Lou, by your comment which suggests you know what it means to sit next to Tancred. But that’s for tomorrow. We’ll start at the beginning.

I am very grateful for all your comments. Tamar, you are never wrong – I will see a doctor if weakness and unsteadiness persist. I gather that the NHS is currently overwhelmed by flu. I’ll stay away if I can.

So: our outward journey was smooth. I was consumed by anxiety – could a taxi really thread its way through the post-Hogmanay detritus? Would a train really be running on 1/1/18? Yes, to both. Branson had us on starvation rations – a choice of Sandwich A or Sandwich B, and no alcohol, for 1st Class catering. But we got there, and took a taxi to Sydenham, where we fared a good deal better with Cathy and James.

Uber and EasyJet went smoothly on Tuesday. Archie persuaded me to take a taxi from the airport – the slippery slope. The Hotel del Centro, chosen because it offered single rooms, proved to be an excellent choice. Quiet, clean, comfortable, as conveniently located as its name suggests. I’ll write something for Trip Advisor soon.

Wednesday was our Gattopardo walking tour with a local expert. It was excellent, although it stretched me to the limit. The best part was when we went to the site of the Palazzo Lampedusa, where the author grew up, an only child who loved the house. It was destroyed by an American bomb in ’43 – Palermo had a hard time, that year. But for that bomb, however, we wouldn’t have had the book.

For many years, it lay in ruins, but has now been rebuilt as an apartment block. In the book, it is Prince Fabrizio’s town house. His principal residence is a couple of miles out of the city, just beyond Monte Pellegrino. We walked along the route the carriage took from that house to the ball at the Ponteleones’, -- it's not far -- past the church where they met a priest carrying the Sacrament to someone in extremis, and the Prince got out of the carriage and knelt on the paving stones.

I rested in the afternoon, but in the evening we set off – too far – to a restaurant Jamie Oliver mentions in “Jamie’s Italy”. We ate well, but it was on the return journey that I fell. I didn’t trip on anything, I just fell. At least I didn’t hit my head.

More tomorrow.


  1. Anonymous4:39 AM

    I'm very glad you're back, and so very sorry about the fall. I agree with Tamar, and you - see a doc sooner than than later to make sure you didn't injure yourself internally somehow, But definitely find a doc who DOESN'T treat flu patients - the fewer of them you are exposed to, the better.

    Beverly in NJ

  2. Yes, the fall does sound worrying, especially if you still feel unsteady. Is there any possibility that you have an ear infection? This can affect balance adversely. I wonder what your sister would suggest.