Life has been busy chez Pixie Towers so the blog has been neglected so a quick posting rather late as we went to a talk by Stephen Twining about Twinings and their link with Twickenham. I did say I'd continue writing about our Florentine holiday but that time has nearly passed but I will talk about knitting, especially whilst we were there.
My fears about taking my knitting through security checks at Gatwick were completely unfounded, maybe the wooden magic loop needles and the metal crochet hook secreted in a ball of wool didn't show on the x-ray but I was able to knit on the plane both ways. By the time we returned I had made nine hexipuffs, I knitted whilst queuing to go into the Cathedral, whilst having coffees and in other odd moments. One of these opportunities was when Ian climbed Brunelleschi's Dome, (I knew I would never manage over 400 steps, sometimes climbing one floor of a building is enough) so I sat in the courtyard of the ticket office courtyard and worked on a hexipuff. Inevitably I was joined on the bench, a lady spoke to me, she and her husband were from Philadelphia, but she was keen to stress her father was from Florence, they were driving north to visit family whilst in Italy.
Once rested they moved on, I knitted and people watched, a tall young guy came to sit down, then asked me if that wallet was mine. I hadn't noticed a wallet at the other end of the bench, so I told him it wasn't mine but I knew whose it was. I popped it into my linen knitting bag, went to the ticket desk and asked if they handled lost property, they didn't want to know, I went outside, checked the queues and crowds for the Cathedral and the Baptistry. No sign of the lady in the red top and her husband with the walking stick, also by this time I was concerned Ian would return and panic if I had gone missing from that bench.
He did return shortly, I told him what had happened, we opened the wallet using the bag as cover, there were credit cards, driver's licence giving a Philadelphia address, cash and best of all, a paper holder bearing the name of a hotel. Briefly, Ian and I had another look around for the couple before returning to our hotel so they could locate Hotel Ambassador. Fortunately it was near ours, but the couple, C and J were in a partner hotel also nearer so we walked there. As they hadn't returned the desk clerk gave us paper and an envelope so we could write a note, identifying myself as the knitting lady, we couched it in terms of I believed I had something they had lost, enclosed my card and the card for our hotel, a map showing its location and left the envelope with reception.
We returned to our hotel, Ian went off to buy ice creams, as he returned the room phone rang, it was C, she was so relieved her husband's wallet had been found. He'd missed it whilst in the Baptistry, they'd returned to their hotel rather slower than us, received my note before they had had a chance to cancel the credit cards. C came to collect the wallet, sat on our comfy sofa, explained J wouldn't carry a man bag as it wasn't done in America for a guy to have a bag, especially one across the body. We tried to explain that it was common practice in Europe. (Subsequently I have noticed the local teenage boys going to school near here seem to do just this) C declared she would be taking care of J's wallet in future!
What have we learnt from this? One, carry the card of the hotel in which you are staying; two, continue the practice I learnt as a commuter, namely look behind you when you leave a train, bus, seat anywhere to check nothing missed; thirdly, be friendly and a bit nosy for if I hadn't asked C and J from where they came I wouldn't have been so sure it was his wallet; fourthly if you are a knitter take it with you and count your stitches one by one (and your blessings). I suppose I should add that good has come from the fact I cannot climb stairs otherwise I wouldn't have been in the right place at the right time and I wouldn't have a new friend on Facebook.
As there are no photos recording this I shall add the first picture of the Rowan wrap I have started, 2 ply wool on 5mm needles so a steep learning curve. Progress will be slow, with a 16 row pattern to follow.
Thursday, 19 September 2013
Yes, it seems a long while already since we went to Florence, two weeks ago we arrived there, returned five days later. Whole trip was brilliant, everything was right.
Travel: we went from Gatwick South to Pisa, flying with Easyjet, from Pisa fast train to Florence about 50 miles, took about an hour through the countryside.
Some five minutes case pulling walk from station in Santa Maria Novella Piazza was our hotel, Rosso23 was amazing, we couldn't believe the size of our first floor room
The length of the room was 21 paces from window to the far wall; had air conditioning, clean towels and bedding every day, fresh soap daily even if not needed, excellent shower, easy to understand lever fittings and plenty of hot water.
and then the views from the balcony overlooking the square
The church occupied a much larger area than was apparent from the balcony, to the right there was an enclosed garden, well some grass with bushes around, and then cloisters went as far as the red tiled two storey building in the distance.
Rather than attempt to describe the hotel here's the link ....
Breakfasts offered a good choice, same menu each day, we'd been advised to have a good breakfast so found we needed little at lunchtime except say an Americano with a pastry or a small filled roll. Breakfast, for me, was fruit with plain yogurt, although there was yogurt flavoured with Nutella or coffee; then different hams, Brie and another continental cheese, rocket, cucumber and tomatoes. Then there were pastries, one called have cereals. To drink, fruit juices and coffee with great variety of tea bags on the table, hot water available but we never had any tea whilst in Italy at all, Americanos gave us our caffeine fix.
Will write more about our adventures later ...with a few more pictures as didn't take that many.
Posted by PixieMum at 22:02