One of the best bits of being over here, and which would be most missed if/when I have to go back to the UK, is the way people invite you to visit them in their country/ hilltop/ lakeside/ seaside homes for a party or for a few days, at the drop of a hat. The number of great parties I've been to as a friend of a friend, tagging vaguely along, is considerable. And having just spent 4 days in Sardinia at my flat-mate's place, and 3 days at my former landlady's place so admired here I now have been invited to go down to visit another friend of a friend in a tiny place called Palinuro, south of Salerno. Map here. A quick google image search makes it look.... worth a visit.
what this all actually entails, of course, is a trip to the South. Unknown land, much feared and derided by my paternal grandmother, for who "Africa starts south of Florence." For her, even here in Rome I am living amid terroni (a highly pejorative term for southerners, implying that they are peasants and by further implication ignorant and uncouth... where northern peasants fit into this scheme I'm not sure.) In fact for my nonna they're probably terùn, just to make it more Milanese. Though of course Cagliari is further south than this, being as it is on an island makes it psychologically different; this will feel like the first time I've been down south. I've been further south - Palinuro is not far off the latitude of Valencia, after all - but the south of Italy is still unknown territory. So, an adventure.
An adventure on which I'll be taking my laptop, and doing as much work as I can, however. Not only do I have a conference paper to write (eek) but I have been asked if I'd like to get involved in setting up a radio show, about football, to be broadcast across the region, and to be a presenter on it. (supereek). Dunno yet whether I'm even up for this but I have agreed to at least help work out the format and record a demo tape. It's all up in the air right now anyway, but my mate is in negotiations with a radio station over several different types of show, so we shall see. I think he sees this as the first step on the way to a multimedia empire. We shall see.