It has been a relaxing, sunny summer and I spent it entirely at home, in Surrey. I must say I enjoyed it, my mum was with us as well. She moved to England after my father’s death at the end of May and she’s still with us. At first she missed Rome and her home very much, but then she got used to the English summer (which was pretty good this year) and our routines. She’s still grumpy from time to time but much happier and relaxed that when she was in Italy. Sometimes she grumbles that the fruit and veg is not as tasty as the Italian ones, my way of making tomato sauce is weird and there is always something too hard for her false teeth. But on the whole we got on well.
We couldn’t visit all the places we would have liked to as my mum got tired easily, so we stayed at home most of the time, except for a few visits to London and to the north to see my autistic daughter Valentina, who lives in a residential school near Doncaster. She is doing very well, enjoys the new school, the staff and friends around her. We went to see her every fortnight taking turns not to leave my mum alone at home. Valentina was happy to see us each time we went; once she took us to see her friends’ houses and she always wore all the new clothes we brought her, one on top of the other. She also chose some more clothes from fashion magazines we brought, pointing at her favourite colours, one day all blue and green, another time orange and black, or only purple. If we dared to give her the wrong colours she chucked the clothes. We found her lively as usual and determined to get what she wanted. The residential school where she lives now is very well organized and the members of the staff know how to cope with her complex needs. We spent a few weekends there as well in the comfortable accommodation they provide for family and enjoyed a delicious full-English breakfast in the morning.
My other daughter was in Japan (she attends evening Japanese classes and is fond of Japanese culture, art and fashion). In spite of my typical-Italian-mum behaviour, worrying about food, bad encounters and unpredictable dangers, she had a wonderful time. Everything went well and she brought back gorgeous clothes, postcards, photos and presents for everybody. We Skyped every few days, which was a great relief.
My husband had a very busy, sporty summer. He watched all EURO 2016 and most of Rio Olympic Games switching from the BBC to Italian radio programs and the Swiss Italian channel, sometimes watching and listening to all of them at the same time. But his greatest achievement was definitely the new lawn. He dug and removed all the mossy stuff that covered the front garden and laid proper turf on its place. For a few weeks we were busy watering our precious new green lawn, which cost us so much sweat and toil, as the weather was gorgeously sunny and dry. It settled, and we happily declared our task accomplished. We also added pink and blue hydrangea bushes to complete the idyllic picture.
What more can I say about the weather? Well, I didn’t miss Italy this summer, and neither did my mum. It was warm, sunny and dry, with a reasonable amount of blue sky and rarely too hot or too humid. It was just right.