A couple of months ago, Karl was doing some research on Italy; a concept that escaped me entirely. He raised the subject of bringing car seats for the kids, noting that the Italian standard was just a booster seat and that whilst that might be acceptable for Matisse, it was 300% illegal by Australian standards. At the time, I was feeling irresponsible and claimed if it was OK for the Italians, it was OK for me. I also commended Karl on trying to stitch me up when he absconded to Oktoberfest with his best mate half way through the trip, leaving me with two kids, all our baggage, and now the addition of two car seats to trek from Venice to Florence. Nice try.
The road through the Dolomites was at least double the distance that the crow would fly; the twists and turns so tight, winding back on each other with more indecision than something really indecisive, like me trying to think of a synonym for that. To put everyone out of their suspense; no one died, and there were no car crashes. But Karl was taking on the road like he was in Grand Theft Auto, the two dodgy booster seats sliding all over the backseat, with me in the middle to absorb all the pressure. The girls were having the time of their lives on this rollercoaster. To cut a 400 minute story short, Matisse did this really weird thing where she stopped talking for at least 40 seconds, went to sleep momentarily, woke up, and then vomited. It was raining so we couldn’t even wind down the window to aerate the smell, which wafted back and forth as we took each bend. However, the views compensated in spades. Behind every corner was another fairytale. We stopped in one village of old abandoned shacks to get some photos and give the girls a run.
The night was spent in Cortina, which is an indescribable heaven on earth and home of the best winter sports. I had the best pizza of my life. Some bresiano, parmesan and rocket concoction. I have eaten it every day since, sometimes twice, but nothing compares. I am going to think of that pizza every time I hear Sinead O’Connor from now on…..
We went to Lago Di Braies where I caught hypothermia. I could barely breathe; the view was so…. breathtaking.
I warmed up eating pizza overlooking yet another spectacular lake; the girls were tenderly wrestling in the way that only siblings can. Are they fighting, or hugging? No one knows. Not even them. Until that decisive moment when the person that gets injured protests. All the Italians around us found it quite endearing and kept throwing loving glances and cooing Italian phrases in their direction. Because, evidently, they couldn’t understand what they were saying. Karl, Imogen and I all tuned into their conversation at the same time, to hear...
Elspeth: I’m going to take off my nappy and throw it in the lake!
Note that she doesn’t wear nappies
Matisse: Then I’m going to make you shut your mouth and I’m going to padlock it closed.
Note that I have never used this threat on either child.
Matisse: And then I’m going to tie up your hands with rocks and throw you in gaol.
They continue to exchange psychopathic sentiments whilst half hugging and punching each other; the Italians looking on affectionately.
Then we drove to Venice.
Gear: Leica M10 - Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2, Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5