Like Violetta in the last act of La Traviata I've been wandering around the cold empty apartment - okay it's not really empty but it's cold - hacking delicately into a lace handkerchief. Alright, another half truth - I've been coughing up my lungs into anything I can find.
As my friend Subtle Knife mentioned earlier this week the coughing season is upon us in full force. The sudden change of weather from 31o to 12o overnight, concrete apartments with marble floors and no central heating until late October makes for a very unhealthy climate.
Fortunately I work with a group of woman who are mothers - in the good sense of the word; and even better yet they are Italian mothers - if only by adoption. Christine ran out and bought me a box of those honey-citrony sachets and eucalyptus lozenges which got me through the Cecilia Bartolli concert on Thursday.
But yesterday I was still sounding like the poor-man's Lady of the Camillas. Gail recommended a cough syrup that she swore worked every time with her two girls. Now we all know about cough syrup don't we - that icky horrid stuff: over sweet, chemical tasting, vile aftertaste. As I prepared to take the first 15ml (in a little measuring cup thoughtfully provided by the maker) my taste buds were already shriveling at the memory.
But wonder of wonders this was like a slightly sweeten apple juice and with no aftertaste. And miracle of miracles its works. Last night I slept, this morning I am doing delicate coughs if still into anything I can find. So unlike Violetta there is a good chance I will live to see another day.
Grazie tanti ladies!
And that would be one of my opera goddesses, the incredible Mariella Devia singing Violetta earlier this year in Ancona. I will see her in this before I leave Italy!
27 settmbre - San Vincenzo de' Paoli