Saturday, 31 March 2012

Fixed Abode

March 2012 will be an odd month to look back on for all sorts of reasons; not the least of which is that, for nearly four weeks, we really were of No Fixed Abode. And the Italians struggle with that concept. On numerous occasions we were asked to supply a permanent address and the typical response to being told that we didn't have one was a look of baffled incomprehension. In Italy, you just can't not have a permanent place to live. It isn't possible. So, if you're trying this yourself, make sure you've got an address in the UK you can use for this sort of thing.

Wednesday was the day of the Big Move. As the crow flies the distance between our holiday flat in Dorsoduro and our rental flat in San Marco is perhaps half a mile. But half a mile, as the crow flies, in Venetian terms can, depending on the route, easily turn into five miles. Ten, if I was navigating. Confusingly, it could also turn into less than half a mile – Venice is no respecter of the laws of Euclidean geometry..

The move, inevitably, involved transporting ten back-achingly heavy bags over a number of bridges. So any route chosen had to minimise these. It took patience, time, and planning of near-military precision to work this out. Needless to say, I had no part in it. So – transport the bags to the San Basilio stop, and take the vaporetto down to Zattere. Just one stop, but it cuts out a bridge. Then walk down to Accademia, and take the number one boat down to Sant Angelo. Then a short walk, a bridge of modest dimensions, and we're there. Straightforward enough, and it only took three journeys. I still managed to get lost, twice.

No cooking was ever likely to happen that night. We enjoyed a pizza of modest quality and immodest price (ah yes, we're in San Marco now) before moving on for coffee and grappa at what might turn out to be an excellent bar on the splendidly named Rio Tera dei Assassini.

So what started out as a 'blokes in pubs' conversation a few years back, became a pipe dream twelve months ago, then a fully-fledged Project and now - we've done it. We've bloody well done it. Yes, there's a huge amount of work still to do - health, improving our Italian, work - but right now, writing this on the altana of our flat, the only thing that comes to mind is : We live in Venice now!

 The view (well, one of them) : towards the church of the Salute, the wonky-looking Campanile is that of Santo Stefano


  1. I am so, so pleased for you both. At least you did not have to transport the BCC in the World by boat and bridge. It is sulking in the cupboard at present.

  2. Thank you, dear Uncle - without the help of you, Paul, Zoe, Justin and Sue, things would have been so much more difficult!

    Oh yes, we now have the smallest dishwasher in the world, so the BCC would have been of limited use!!


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