Thursday, 18 September 2008

La cage aux folles

As I mentioned in my last post I have just been spending a week in Italy, Umbria to be precise, or Casa De Diavalo to be even more alarmingly accurate. I have been staying with my very hospitable friend Juergen and his dog Effi and have been dividing my time equally between adventure and quietly knitting away in his olive grove - more of which later...

If I were left to my own devices I would probably spend all day every day sitting on the veranda knitting and spindling but having a host who is a retired head teacher means that this holiday needs to have just the tiniest element of the educational side of a school trip. Umbria is full of the most amazing hill top medieval towns and villages and, this being my third visit I am becoming quite familiar with them.

We discussed our itinerary on my first evening;
Me: So what shall we do tomorrow?

J: I thought we wold go to Gubbio.

Me: We've been there before haven't we?

J: Yes, but this time I thought we would visit the monastery up on the rocks behind the town.

Me:(gulp)Is it a long climb?

J: No - (airily) They have a sort of....cable car.

Me: (naively) Oh that's all right then....
Imagine my surprise and delight when we arrive in Gubbio next morning and park next to this!

When someone says 'cable car' to me I expect something nice and solid with windows and doors and even seats - not a string of flying birdcages. How I laughed when I was told to stand on a large red spot, wait for a man to grab one of these contraptions which is moving at quite a clip,I can tell you, prise open the door, shout at me to start running then bundle me in and slam the door behind me. It was only the fact that I was surrounded by a coach party of surprisingly nimble SAGA pensioners that stiffened my resolve.

I mean look at the things -and look how high we are...

I could barely look down.

Thank goodness I had my knitting.
but for views like this I would probably do it again.

After all this exercise and excitement I needed some quiet time with my stuff. I'd soon made myself at home on the veranda, surrounded by everything I needed. This, I might add is not all the knitting and spinning I brought with me. Packing at 3.00am meant that I may have been a bit dazed and confused and might have over packed just a little. When I finished the first two projects within 24 hours of arriving I did have a momentary vision of running out of knitting but I did the maths and realised that technically I probably had enough knitting for two weeks of knitting solidly for 24 hours a day.

And here is a close up of my latest spindling project.
Of course, sitting on a veranda knitting is a particularly fine thing to do if you have a view like this to enjoy as you click away gently.
It's even beautiful when the weather is like this:
And there really were olives on the tree.

I could have quite easily whiled away day after day knitting away and staring down the valley but someone else needed to indulge their favourite hobby too.

How could you resist a game of ball with a little face like this?
In my next installment I will discover that the Yarn Harlot was right. Knitters only seem patient until they are separated from their knitting...

8 comments:

Auntie Noo said...

You've just reminded me of my first ever skiing holiday in Italy - we had just those kind of lifts. I was about 10 so had to go on my own (my sister at 6 was allowed to share) I was petrified. Got the hang of them by the end of the week though. Looks like you had a great time. :)

Suse-the-slow-knitta said...

it looks like some kind of medieaval torture cage! well done for not fainting!

Woollywarbler said...

That's definitely Extreme Knitting!

LittleBerry said...

What a lovely sort of holiday.. the views are tsunning I'm quite envious.... what was the green sock yarn is was a lovely colour?

littlelixie said...

That 'cable car' looks quite astonishing! Very brave. Handspun looks lovely!

knit nurse said...

oh, that did make me laugh! Granted I've just had a couple of pints but still... cable car?!!!

Squiblet said...

Your green knitting matches the paint of the "cable cars" and the scenery and olives. I can't wait to see what your extreme knitting is. Glad you're having a nice time.

Anni said...

Not quite what I would call a cable car. But I bet it was worth the view. Wow, what a fab place for knitting.