So winter brought with it, a hole in the conservatory, a freezing cold house and a showering experience that made me feel like I was an extra in Doctor Zhivago, without the glamour and only a fraction of the fur. It did however confirm my suspicions that I might be a good Siberian wife, with the ability to move an outrageous amount of wooden logs and build excellent fires, as well as doing a nice sideline in baked potatoes. Work became a sword of Damocles and although I loved getting up at dawn and seeing flamingos fly over the natural park by my house, the ten O Clock finishes had nearly finished me off. Christmas came and went in a splutter of self pity and ever lasting flu and I prepared to leave the house for the first time on New Years Eve. A restaurant would be nice, I mused 4 hours before dinner, because between hot lemons, honey and an unhealthy relationship with my bathroom, I hadn’t really had much time to plan it. It seemed relatively cold outside, but having been holed up in what I now referred to as the ice temple, I didn’t really have a good comparison of indoor and outdoor temperatures- besides which I had a a temperature that had really become as well acquainted as a long lost friend, who should have remained polite enough to stay lost. Still in Cagliari, the bars were closed, but the street food stalls were open, there were stages anticipating music and revelry was in the air. At least until a wide eyed bedraggled gentleman, who found his own muttering Arabic conversation fascinating, decided to start letting fireworks off in the street.
Having lived a considerable amount of time in London and a Garrisson Town, uncontrolled explosions tend to have a slightly different reaction, than the local populous who put their fingers to the side of their heads indicating that they thought the man was borderline insane, as he roared with laughter. No snipers on the roof tops, no Kalashnikoved police man nodding politely and no health and safety Simons making a citizens arrest armed only with a clipboard and a sense of civic duty. No, the well heeled families of Cagliari were making their way into the restaurants, which they had had the foresight to pre book. * Mistake number one, assuming that family orientated Sardinians would all be staying in for a cosy family meal. The evening ploughed on but there was no room at the inn, try as I might there were no spaces in any restaurants. I spied a small table in a bar, it was crammed into the corner and almost impossible to get to, but I resolved to make it mine. Looking around the bar, I had a very strong feeling that I was in fact at a private party, everyone seemed to know each other and as a blue eyed, blonde wearing fur, people started to mutter something about me appearing to be Russian. I combatted this by nodding randomly at people as if I knew them. Soon the gawping stopped and the bar suddenly emptied out. All eyes were on the sky, for the first time in thirty years it was snowing. Not much but enough, that every restaurant disgorged jostling inhabitants into the square. People danced in the street and camera phones were held aloft
like butterfly nets, trying to catch the moment forever. People laughed, kissed and shouted as they stared up at the sky.
Shortly before midnight and as everyone was on the street, I tried to creep into a few more restaurants, hoping against hope that the snow watchers would have eaten, but sadly they hadn’t. A strange man brandishing a golf club approached me, he was holding it up in what seemed a very aggressive fashion, he was in fact trying to sell a cheap Chinese lamp that was attached to the putting end but it was concerning nevertheless. People were letting off their own fireworks in the street and the city let off ground shaking fireworks until 5 a.m Tired of the crowds and envious that most of them had eaten I stormed my way through the crowds and down the backstreets of Marina until I found my hotel.