I’ve always said that the marque of a good holiday is when, halfway through, you realise that you have no idea what day it is. What the date is, what day of the week it is, how far into your holiday you are. When you’ve reached that point you’ve relaxed completely – you’re no longer tied into the weekly grind.

It’s actually day 12 today – I had to count that on the calendar! Staying in Todi has been fantastic for the both of us. The house we’re staying in is incredibly relaxing with fabulous views and peace and quiet abound. We’ve mostly read books, hung around the house and the swimming pool, had a bit of a walk and driven to town for dinner or grocery shopping once or twice. We’ve slept without alarm clocks waking us up. I feel more alive and refreshed than I have done for a long time. I do feel a little regret for not spending more time exploring the surrounds, but we needed the break to be honest. Besides, we’ve been invited back again next year – I don’t think we’ll drive next time.

We’re staying here with John (Sean’s Dad) and Sophie (his wife). They happened to have two friends staying at the same time (Bill and Sue) which wasn’t a problem – the house is a 3-bed Tuscan villa with a large living and dining room. So evening meals have been a mix – John cooked spaghetti bolognese one night and Bill and Sue cooked another night. So a few days ago, Sean and I announced that we’d cook – spaghetti carbonara. So we prepared, we got a recipe – it didn’t seem too difficult. We then had a bit of a spanner in the works with concerns over the eggs – you mix the spaghetti into the raw eggs and they kinda cook from the heat. So we moved on from carbonara and Sean and I scoured the internet and decided to stick with an Italian staple – Lasagne.

To be fair, I’ve made lasagne before, but only with the help of Mr. Ragu and Mr. Dolmio. This recipe called for making the ragu (the meat/tomato sauce) from fresh as well as the white sauce (actually a bechamel sauce). So, when we got the ingredients, we never realised how much of an epic it would be. We started cooking at just before 7pm and finally served a huge lasagne to serve 6-8 at 9pm – and we cut out quite a lot of the time the ragu is supposed to cook for! It was, however, an absolute resounding success. I served full plates for everyone and had plenty left over…until everyone asked for seconds. I don’t think I’ve ever had a meal go down quite so well. I also learned how to make a bechamel sauce – here’s a hint folks: make sure you have a whisk before you start. Doing it with a fork is bloody hard work.

So today is our last full day in Todi. We’re packing the car tonight for an 8am departure tomorrow. We’ve found a little hotel just south of Strasbourg which means we have some 8 hours of driving to do tomorrow (not including rest stops). Thursday night we have a ferry crossing to Dover and we’ll be in London for Friday where I have a work event. We had plans for the weekend but having experienced a long day’s driving on the way here, we decided to try and leave the weekend to recover and catch up on household chores – we’ve got almost a full suitcase of laundry! I think we’re both actually looking forward to going home now – to more familiar surroundings where shopping isn’t quite so much of an adventure and you can recognise “beef stock” (and not “beef soup”)!

One Response to “Europe trip – day…er…what day is it?”

  1. Flash Bristow says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a holiday more than a week long (or 8 days, perhaps). As long as I can manage to forget about how the dog is doing (in kennels) I am happy!