The senior blogger is taking the day off and I’m filling in with lots of delightful news to report. Old songs (that give our age away) to the contrary notwithstanding, Summer Solstice is a few weeks away. For us, though, the transition starts today with the end of the year for our Italian classes. Classes have been great and we’ll try hard to review our work during the summer. Naturally, Di is doing better than your’s truly, but we both continue to build our skills. Italian is more complicated than we anticipated!
I promised to write something about my experience with the local golf course. I’ll start with the disclaimer that I am not an avid golfer. I am a former, avid-golfer-wanna-be! Last year I think I played 4-5 times. I have a friend who plays that much in a week. I’m never going to get good, but enjoy it regardless and dragged my clubs over on the last flight from America.
Last week I returned to the golf course at Grand Hotel San Michele in Cetraro – 45 minutes south. Indeed a grand hotel – we stayed there in 2007 on our first trip to Calabria. I played the course once before with an American and a South African. This time I went alone.
I met the new pro, Marco, at the course and he confirmed that there are only two golf courses in all of Calabria. Marco comes from Torino up north where golf has been absorbed into the culture more than in Calabria. He is a kind fellow who gave me a free basket of range balls to practice with, then I took off with only two other players on the 9 hole course. Most people play weekends.
The property is an active farm where they grow vegetables, wine grapes and olives for the hotel. The golf course in jammed in-between various crops, so the fairways are narrow and it is a rather difficult little course. It’s pretty though with nice views of the sea.
My ball was close to the strawberries. Unfortunately, the next shot sliced into tall grass where I found the asparagus patch. Never thought I’d lose a ball in asparagus. I lost other balls that day!
Di went along thinking she could relax on the hotel’s private beach accessed by a 10-story elevator. They were doing maintenance on the lift and she figured it would not be a great place to get stranded. The beach was also not yet opened with lido, bar, etc.
We’ll return for meals sometime, and I will continue to relax by following the little white balls around – being careful to not trample strawberries or asparagus.
Yesterday, the contractor started work on the guest apartment. They accomplished much the first day and we learned a lot about what we face. Di will be renewing her restoration diary-type notes to you all. It does mean that hammering and pounding begins at 0700 each morning, so our lazy retirement mornings are hereby changed. Our neighbors are probably not too pleased either, but they won’t complain. Neighbors stick their heads in to check progress and it gives everyone a new conversation topic on the piazza. Guido.