Farewell To Alpago

Day 15. 5 July 2006

Wednesday. Two and a half hours after I go to bed, and with dawn already broken Emi returns to the nursery school and goes to bed. Just one and a half hours later, to a chorus of seven o’clock bells he is getting up again to shower and be ready to leave for work, taking three our number to the airport as he goes.

I get up too to see Jenny, Sarah-Jane and Sarah off. Carol has left a note for them to wake her before they go, although there is a certain amount of uncertainty as to who is going in the first trip. Sarah-Jane has, having opted stay out all night, only just got in. She throws the rest of her belongings into her bags and goodbyes are said.

Following the departure of three of our number I return to my room, considering a return to sleep. But I am wide awake now, and it is a beautiful day. I shower, and finish my bags, and stripping my bed.

Whilst heating up coffee, I graze over breakfast, picking from last night’s party food. I make use of Sarah-Jane’s lunchbox, left behind, to put together a packed lunch.

It’s weird, sitting around on armchairs eating breakfast and drinking coffee with three of our number gone. Gone they are though; Janny, Sarah-Jane and Sarah; and to tidying and cleaning the nursery school we turn our attention; before all too soon Janet arrives and it is time for three more to depart.

At about ten-thirty, Carol, John, and myself leave in Janet’s Renault Scenic, leaving Kate and Andy to pack their own Britsh-Army-Kaki-coloured van with the distinctive red stripe, and meet Loris in the bar at Chies for a final drink at noon.

Our journey down out of the mountains and across the Venetsia plain is smooth and uneventful. All too soon, Carol, John and myself are eating our last pizza and drinking our last café latte in the airport. John leaves us to check-in and pass through into the depths of the airport.

Carol has an opportunity to review the 857 photographs that I have collected, and contribute her memories of last night’s party to my journal before it is time too for me to check-in and head off beyond passport control.

Boarding the plane on time, my pilot is in jovial mood, commenting on the fine, sunny weather here in Venice, and the dramatic thunderstorms to be raging currently back in England. Commenting on, and giving congratulations to Italy on last night’s football victory, a cheer goes up around the cabin from the Italian passengers.

Taxying across Vencice airport with a view across the lagoon to the city, we take to the sky on schedule, and I put back my head to sleep, and to dream; where to next year…

Next Year: The adventures continue…