The Afternoon You Always Wanted

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Yesterday, I met the girls for lunch. It was a magical, crisp day and I was in a cashmere jumper dress, hat and leggings and white flat shoes. I wondered along the Ponte Mazzini to Trastevere to meet my friends. I think the family I live with are relieved I have friends!

“The family are relieved I have friends!”

We went to a snazzy, American place where there is a yoga-fied hostess from California who set up the joint two years ago and apparently lives the ‘American-Roman dream’. She was very smiley with very white teeth and the place had a homely vibe. There were bookshelves, benches, tables, it was a dining room/sitting room love-child, and Raashmi, Sara and I had four courses for twelve euros. Fresh vegetables, couscous, grains and beans, more steamed vegetables. It was basicly the type of meal in the Vogue recipe section that you have once and love the idea but never make it ever again.

“The type of meal in the Vogue recipe section that you have once…love the idea but never make it ever again”

Afterwards, the three of us walked through Trastevere which lounges directly across the Rivere Tevere from where I live. The streets are narrow, cobbled and built in such a way that the apartments lift up into the sky and guide you through intertwining greenery, peek-a-boo cafés and boutique shops. It was a chilly day; the piercing blue sky made the shadows appear very clear-cut, the light sharp and delicate. It is funny things you notice when you go abroad, odd smells, shapes and sounds.

“The streets are narrow, cobbled…built in such a way that the apartments lift up into the sky and guide you through intertwining greenery, peek-a-boo cafés and boutique shops”

After a while, as you can imagine, we ended up in another corner café. It was a place Sara knew, a cosy cuddle from the brisk cold. We ordered cappuccino and freshly baked fruit cake which was Adonis in cake form, (see photo).

What?! Cappuccino after eleven in the morning? – Yes? We must not speak of it again! Says the hooded italian in the corner watching us – it is far too late in the day to even think of ordering such a thing and you will get amused maybe even exasperated looks.

“Cappuccino after eleven in the morning?…You will get amused maybe even exasperated looks”

The place is a mixture of a pub/café with stools reaching up to small round tables. There is also a collection of tables outside where students were studying, books splayed open on tables with empty cups moonlighting as paperweights.

About five thirty, on the way home to meet the children, I had a chilling thought: What if I’d never met these girls? I saw a vision of me: a hermit walking home, lonely and quiet and fat from eating myself busy. Our mind is our own worst enemy I have come to believe. I then made spremuta (freshly squeezed orange juice) and helped Teresa create a map of the world as part of her homework: coloured in of course with special shading that made Teresa squeal with delight. (Map zero, Signorina one.)

“A chilling thought: what if I’d never met these girls? I saw a vision of me: a hermit…lonely and quiet and fat from eating myself busy”

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