Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Afternoon

I’m at home in Andora. This place was once a village of fishermen and olive growers, their stonewalled houses lying protectively around the old castle and abbey. Nowadays its one of the many places in which people from Turin and Milan buy two-room apartments as a weekend escape from the bone chilling, soul killing fogs and mists of the Po valley.

I’m fixing up the last things in the house and preparing for the voyage to Baghdad. I’m told I leave on November 2nd, which gives me an extra day. The weather is still warm here. On Saturday it was 25°C – enough for me to sunbathe on the top terrace. Today was a good day to prune my fruit trees - I have plum, nectarine, cherry, pomegranate, lemon and almond – and a vine of course.

What will the next months bring me? Such things shall I see! Over morning coffee I look out up the valley, past the old mansion and to the snow capped mountains. Will the next white-topped mountain I see be the Hindu Kush?

Into my library to pull out books on the Sumerians, Arabic and Persian. I knew I’d need them one day ! Everything else I’ll download from Wikipedia. Will I get to stand in Ur? On the ruined ziggurats of Babylon? Under the arch in Ctesiphon? In the House of Wisdom in Baghdad? I sure hope so!

Looking at my house and the work I have put into to it to make it more beautiful, wondering when – and if – I’ll ever see it again. This summer I totally rebuilt the top terrace, including designing and building a wooden pergola which essentially gives me another room 5 x 4 meters square. Spent all my evenings up there, and days too, when I worked from home. These past years all I’ve wanted to do is get out of Italy. Now I have to leave my home, I look at it with longing - and renewed plans to finish this and that when I get back again. If I could find such a place somewhere else ….

OK, I’ll pack everything into the large green Samsonite. Backpack for the cameras and computer. Tote bag for the cabin – they wont let me take the backpack on board, I’m sure. Last minute things bought. All back-ups done. Papers sorted out. And all that stuff can stay filed...

Last week of work in Italy coming up.

Ready to go!

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