Payday!

Not that we were thinking too much about that. I got up and went to the local minimarket, to see that it had been bought out by Carrefour and renamed La Bottega. We needed to get something small for brekkie. I masked-up and wandered in, and the lady at the till recognised me immediately, and despite her also wearing a mask I knew she was grinning back at me. It had been 10 months since she saw me last.

“Bentornato!” she cried (“Welcome back!”), and it was another vindication of us having chosen the right town in which to buy a property.

We had breakfast and logged on to work. As we were parked all the way down in the free carpark, we wanted to ensure that we paid our stamps to be able to use the residents carparks. The estate agents also offer property upkeep facilities, and have always been very generous with their time in assisting some of our more tricky translation needs. They weren’t open ’til 10:00 (which is pretty much the opening time of many shops in Volterra), so when that time came, we had to break away from work for a short while to meet her. We went to the tabacchi (tabbaconists/newsagents), followed by the municipal police station on Piazza dei Priori, with Alice (the rep from the estate agents) in tow.

A couple of snaps on the way:

We spent about 20 minutes at the station, and then were walking out, when the nice policeman called out to us to pay the fee! All 3 of us, embarrassed, walked back in, and in fairness the dude behind the counter had a good laugh with us.

We walked back home, and sat at our respective laptops, and…. nothing. What had happened? There was no wireless signal. We tried our phones, and the TV – but nothing. I could feel my stress rise, as one of the chief things we set out to do was prove that we could work in Volterra (or anywhere with secure wifi, dammit!). But no – the internet was down. We rebooted the router, did a factory restore – no joy. We checked the bank to see if our bills had been paid – they were (they weren’t last year, until we set up a debit!).

The problem with stress for me is that it hugely exacerbates anxiety, and it was such a disappointment after a cracking start to the day. But there it was – our internet was down. We attempted to use our phones’ data, and had some success with that, so we did actually get some work done – but slowly.

We had lunch – I honestly can’t remember what – I was too stressed, anxious and tired. We continued on as best we could in the afternoon, but then we had to face facts and had to ring Alice again to see if she could arrange a repair for us. She wasn’t there. As it happens, she had gone to the agent’s office in Lajatico, as the internet was down. Not just in all Volterra, but even as far away as Pomerance (about 12km as the crow flies)… a disaster. There were no updates as to when it might be back up either.

We finished up work, and later went out to La Taverna della Terra di Mezzo for an evening meal. Due to both my mental state and my stomach acting up, I could only have 1 course – one of my favourite meals to have anywhere in Volterra: Zuppa Volterrana – it’s my favourite way to get my veggies! Terra di Mezzo do it best, and this season they were serving it freddo (cold) – well sort of at room temperature. It’s still the best there, but I found it hard to show my enthusiasm for poor Robbi (the owner), and I had to forgo my usual red wine – a recurring theme most of the time I was in Italy, sadly, thanks to gastritis.

We left, and to try to bolster my spirits, I took some snaps and grabbed a carton of gelato for L’Isola del Gusto.

The gelato, as always, was yummy, and to make matters slightly better, we found the internet had come back. It was a good 12 hours out – God knows how much business was lost as a result of a widespread outage of that length.

Anyway, I went to bed a little happier than I’d been an hour previously!

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