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August 8, 2009
Maybe we'll find our glasses, Q said hopefully as we sat in the kitchen making lists of things to do in getting ready to leave.

I doubt it. In the course of our time in Florence, I have lost first my own distance glasses and then his, which I had borrowed in order to drive the car. Can't imagine where they might be. I am a truly alarming loser of things; I learned long ago that I must never buy myself good gloves, earrings, pens or anything small. It's just not worth it.

Cinque Terre was beautiful -- we sneaked away from St. James for a quick visit there. The boat trip past the amazing cliffs, with terraced vineyards and little villages clinging to the steep sides, right down to the sea. Lovely.

Now, here's where a good pair of distance glasses would come in handy, I said. Q said that he imagined that it certainly would. We've taken to telling each other that every time we see something beautiful but a little far away, which in Italy is all the time. It has become a private joke. Q is a very good man.

Ben and Santana are getting ready, too. Yesterday they went to the vet to get microchips, which say they've had their rabies shots, implanted under their skin: I'm not sure, but I believe we'll now be able to download stuff into our cats. Both cats managed to get lost in the tiny office, forcing all of us -- doctors, assistant, a dog owner, Q and me -- to search and search, to quiz people in the waiting room, to go out into the street looking. Ben was finally found under a cabinet with no more than six inches clearance underneath, requiring Q to lie flat the floor and grope for one of his legs to pull him out by, and Santi had sneaked into a supply closet.

Cattivo! I told him when I had fished him out. Bad boy!

No, no, the vet said gaily. Santana! Raggazz'! Which sort of means that boys will be boys. She's certainly in the right business.

Books back to the library. Clothes to the thrift shop. Dishes back to the parish kitchen, from which they've wandered across the driveway to the one in our house. Suitcases out from under the bed. Drawers empty. Desk clean. We're getting there.

How can it have been a year already? It seems we just arrived.
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