Part 14 … and final chapter … of

THE YEAR OF LIVING COVID-ANGEROUSLY

Pilates, then zumba, had re-started … outside. It was GREAT, physically and psychologically. It took a couple of pilates lessons to get my balance back … important for someone who pretends to be a retired ballerina. My upper body strength was non-existent, even before the lockdown. Ha! For zumba … I didn’t miss a step. Pun intended, by that “retired ballerina.”

But as cases fell and restrictions eased, classes could be indoors. As I’ve lamented before, the dance room has 1 door from the hallway and 2…


Part 13 … the penultimate … of
THE YEAR OF LIVING COVID-ANGEROUSLY

It’s rainy and damp. The garden is getting a slow start … and we wonder what kind of growing season it will be. In France, grape vines have been hurt by recent below freezing temperatures … and we had one or two below 0° F nights, too. The flowers on our apple and plum and apricot trees are still there, still white or pale pink … only time will tell. Last year, those beautiful blossoms were destroyed by some late snow. …


Part 12 of
THE YEAR OF LIVING COVID-ANGEROUSLY

March marches forward. I had vaccine envy as more and more of my American friends were announcing first shot, second shot … plans to travel in the summer.

I checked the Lufthansa app, then United … and Delta, which flies from Pisa without a stop in Europe. The flights were limited, but not outrageously expensive. Los Angeles would be the best place, staying again at Barbara’s executive apartment during the CDC-required quarantine … waiting 21 or 28 days between doses … a couple more days for possible side effects. Pre-flight swab tests…


Part 11 of
THE YEAR OF LIVING COVID-ANGEROUSLY

And just like that, it’s 2021.


Part 10 of
THE YEAR OF LIVING COVID-ANGEROUSLY

I meant this sarcastically, of course. Because, well, nobody.

Tuscany was now an orange zone. Semantics. For us. Orange and red are almost the same, having to do with who can and cannot work … we still needed at least one good reason to leave our town to go grocery shopping. A doctor appointment gave us an all access pass. And everyone always needs the official form.

We celebrated our 26th anniversary. There is only 1 package of sushi at the market … we bought it, plus Norwegian salmon filets. Salmon eating…


Part 9 of
THE YEAR OF LIVING COVID-ANGEROUSLY

It was time to pick up our new car, our new electric car … the Volkswagen ID.3. It was announced for delivery in the spring, then the pandemic struck and production stopped. My friend Mark loves his EV. That’s how people with electric vehicles talk about EVs. The car of the future, he added. And in answer to my question, he said it drives like Autopia at Disneyland. Glad I’m tall enough [wink].

We had an appointment at the dealership for 11.00 on Monday. Matteo was the stand-in salesman … since our…


Part 8 of
THE YEAR OF LIVING COVID-ANGEROUSLY

September started with much cooler temperatures … including the words “I’m cold.” The change in temperature, like clockwork as the month starts, is still a surprise to this Los Angeles girl who grew up with the hot weather continuing late in the month.

A few days later, the weather improved … warm, sunny days and cool, easy-to-sleep nights. But the skies seemed hazier than usual. The ophthalmologist says my eyes are irritated because the flowers are still blooming in the too warm weather. A weather map shows it could be smoke from…


Part 7 of
THE YEAR OF LIVING COVID-ANGEROUSLY

It’s July 1, and David’s quarantine is in its final days. The EU opened its borders to 14 non-EU countries … but not the USA. David had threaded the needle, just like I had, to make it home.

To celebrate his liberation, we went to OSTERIA PER BACCO. We shared a tartine of bietola and alici cantabrico … a tender blend of chopped chard and bread crumbs wrapped in chard leaves to form sort of a giant gnoccho, then topped with those delicious Spanish, oil-cured anchovies. And of course we both enjoyed…


Part 6 of
THE YEAR OF LIVING COVID-ANGEROUSLY

Petra and I get together for lunch at my house every so often, sitting under the big gelso tree on sunny summery days. And the night it re-opened, we went to OSTERIA PER BACCO, a local trattoria where the owners … the husband-maître d’ and wife-chef … have become friends. Tables are set apart, the staff wears masks and gloves. Diners are happy, smiling, nodding at one another … everyone’s mask sits, like part of the place setting, nearby. …


Part 5 of
THE YEAR OF LIVING COVID-ANGEROUSLY

Some medical stories talked about proning patients as a way to delay use of ventilators. It reminds me of an article I read a few weeks ago about Germany having good outcomes using supplemental oxygen, rather than ventilators, and of the photos of Italian patients lying on their bellies.

Italy mourns entire families. People who are slightly sick are sent home to recuperate … in a multi-generation household, it puts too many at risk. I think Italy should take a page from Spain’s playbook … and have mildly ill people stay in…

Linda Mancini … A Forkful of Italy

Life … and cooking … in the Tuscan countryside.

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