Monday, 26 February 2018

Forte Dei Marmi

It is mid-afternoon here now and the outside temperature is -2 degrees. I know there are far colder places in Europe right now but for here this is considerably brisk. I have the heating on ( extravagant, I know) but it never really does a great job of warming the place up. I have worked out why only recently. It is because on one side I have a garage and the other a stairwell so there is no communal heat for me to take advantage of. I am my own little icicle, shivering on my own.

Days like today make me grateful that Three Paw has gone to the artichokes. She would never be able to get warm enough I think. Better to be lounging amongst greeny foliage, basking in the warmth of the eternal Tuscan sun.

I know I am going to sound a little mad but on Saturday I took her to the beach for the day. She always loved the smell of the sea and I wanted to mark the year anniversary since I found that awful tumor on her leg in some way. For me, that day is as painful as the day she died. I remember it so vividly. Finding the swelling and knowing deep within my own bones, even before the vets confirmed, that we were on notice, our journey's end.
Now don't worry. I didn't make a procession out of the day. No tiny hearse and marching band, flowery sprigs or wordy speeches. I simply popped her in my Highland Cow backpack, along with a book and a packet of biscuits.
We went to Forte dei Marmi which neither of us had ever been to before. Students often talk about it as being a playground for the rich so it was an obvious choice for us. I have to say though that the train station gave no impression of gold-paved streets: tumbleweed, graffiti, the smell of damp toilets. When I stepped out of the station we were even more disappointed as were not even able to glimpse the sea. 'Nevermind,' said Three Paw's bones - optimistic as always. 'Let's go see it anyway.'

One hour later, after walking along a pretty miserable stretch of industrialized road, we finally reached the shore. I felt a little frustrated because by the time we sat down and took a few sniffs of the air we had to start heading back for our train.

I have to say that the town was very nice. In the end. Pretty, paved, boulevards flanked with Gucci and Prada. - all my usual shopping haunts. Behind it was a backdrop of snow-ladened mountains so it really was a far more idyllic place than the trains station had led on. Perhaps this was part of its plan all along -  deter all the plebs except for those with determined sneakers and bones in their bags.

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