England through Italian Eyes

It’s always interesting to see the place you live through the eyes of someone else. My friend Paola from my English conversation group has been staying with me and each day we’ve set off in a different direction to explore the North East.

As I know all too well, Italy at the moment is parched, and so my friend took great delight in the greenness of everything, and loved the gentle hills criss-crossed with dry stone walls and hedges, dotted with sheep, especially enjoying the “dips” when cars disappeared from view only to reappear a little way beyond. Paola must have taken about a thousand photos, from odd corners of my house ┬áto sweeping landscapes near Hadrian’s Wall.

As for the shopping…flea markets provided her with a silver plated tea pot, jug and sugar bowl, several plates, salad servers and a peg box. (The word ‘peg’ is a new bit of vocabulary) She was intrigued by greetings cards with amusing captions, and is now supplied with enough for all her family for several years.

A week’s membership of the National Trust for foreign visitors meant we got our money’s worth. Five venues in all, some in the rain, others in warm sunshine, but all including displays of lovely flowers which astonished her. She claims that even if the English only have a couple of inches of soil next to their houses, they will fill it with flowering plants.

As I write, she’ll be somewhere over the Alps, flying home.


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