This morning, as you might guess, was spent by the pool. The weather returned to clear blue skies and hot sunshine so sunbathing was the obvious choice.
I wasn’t really being moved by Rosie Swale Pope’s book about her run around the world, though I do think what she did is deeply inspiring and I will finish the book when we get home. Instead I ventured up into the second bedroom that is above ours through a trapdoor in the ceiling to browse the books left by the owners (or former guests?). I picked up three: Mysticism and Logic, a collection of essays by Bertrand Russell; How to Talk Dirty and Influence People, Lenny Bruce’s autobiography; and Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.
The easiest and shortest read was going to be JLS so I began with that. Also it seemed potentially the most appropriate given where my mind is at right now having just last week handed in my notice at work. Although I have no doubts that it is the right decision (perhaps no doubts is too strong), at times I am filled with anxious thoughts that perhaps I shouldn’t be leaving. I shouldn’t give up what is a perfectly good job. JLS is a spiritual parable (is parable the right word?) about a seagull who wants to learn how to fly. Not just fly in the way that every other seagull flies, in order to get food, but to really fly at amazing speeds. The other members of his flock tell him that he should forget thoughts of discovering the limits of his flying capabilities and do what everyone else is doing. This he tries for a short while but soon realizes that he has to go back to his flying practice. Without that his life has no purpose. He is soon labeled an outcast from his flock. The second and third parts of the story take things to a more spiritual realm but it all makes sense to me. The story is about learning to fly, and then flying. Living. In the front of the book is an inscription dated 6th May 1975: “To Johnnie, Fly high or fly low. Fly a long distance or fly a short one. But please fly. As I know you can. David”.
After lunch we sunbathe some more before heading out north east to Citta di Castello about 10 miles away. This town is supposed to be the local town that the owners of Scopeto like the best. And today is market day so it should be thriving. When we get there, there is no sign of the market. In fact it took us a good walk round the historic town before we even found a scattering of shops. Not sure why this is the owners’ favourite. Maybe it does come alive when the market is there or during other local festivals. We enjoy a coffee and a coke before driving back to have a lovely dinner at home involving pasta, local sausage, mushrooms, garlic and tomatoes. A bottle of wine and wide-reaching conversation about life and the point of it all takes us to bedtime.
[Er, I didn't take the photo of the seagull flying... like you needed telling.]