I got up far later than is sensible on a Saturday, when the entire brigade of Pisani housewives is out in force, faced with the prospect of having to provision for the entire weekend! As it was, it was already 9.45 by the time I got to the fishmongers, and the remaining stock on display was a fairly sorry site. I was in luck, though - there was one remaining Branzino - which allowed me the leisure, while it was being cleaned and scaled, to listen to the row brewing between Signora Falciani (who reigns supreme behind the counter, and is larger than life and twice as forceful) and a signora who was getting rather tetchy about the time it was taking for her order to be filled. Clearly, I'm not the only one who watches the clock closely on a Saturday morning, and is keen not to get caught up in the mid-morning queues! Diplomacy suggested that I didn't wait to hear the outcome.....
Two reasons for the late start, I think. Firstly, Dario passed-by yesterday evening to announce that he'd got his Phd the day before, and although he didn't stay long (needing to get home and recover from earlier celebrations) it still necessitated broaching a bottle of Prosecco rather earlier than normal.....and from that...one thing led to another. He cheerfully announced on leaving that since his area of study is Paleopathology, then he has the dubious distinction of being a doctor for whom all of his 'cases' are long-dead even before he even has anything to do with them!
And the other reason for such a good night's sleep is the fact that the end of term is upon us, and Friday night will now be free of student carousing, right through until the middle of September. Town itself is already entering its drowsy summer phase, with the festa period of June now well behind us, and people's minds increasingly turning to the beach. On a day like today, those who can will mostly have headed out to Marina di Pisa, and the beaches between there and Livorno........and the holiday period is imminent, when - almost without warning - almost every business in turn will put up their shutters for a week or so, while their owners head off in search of the breezes of the mountains or the sea. The time of year when it's preferable to be up at six, when the morning air is still fresh, and to doze through the afternoon heat in a post-prandial stupor. We aren't there yet, but it's on it's way!
And my lazy day? I spent far too long sitting in the sun, before lunch, working my way through a large Kir and the final pages of 'The Testament of Gideon Mack'. With luck, by the time the shops re-open on Monday, my lobster-red hue will have faded.......
Tagliatelle with Crema di Noci
Baked Sea Bass, on a bed of sauteed Leek and Fennel
Apple Timbale in Caramel