Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stuff I bought in Italy, while of unsound mind

I can't stand it any more: I have to tell you my tales of self-indulgence in Italy.  Ready?

When the plane I was on landed in Rome, we had to walk a very long way through a maze of shop-lined corridors to the terminal designated for our connecting flight to Florence.  Upon arrival at the correct gate (there was a last-minute change after we had cooled our heels for a while at what proved to be the incorrect one) I saw the most incredible bag in the boutique on one side of it and fell in love.

I'm not kidding: I actually sat down in the waiting area and wrote in my journal that I was in love with the orange rubber purse in the window of the Furla store.

Of course I did nothing about it because I am ever so practical and there is absolutely nothing logical about a see-through rubber handbag with a too-small zip opening that prevents you from putting much in it (never mind getting much out.)  After a few days in Florence though, I spotted another Furla store about a block from the place where we were about to end a tour and start an unheard-of four-hour block of free time, so I left a mental trail of breadcrumbs and raced back when we were done.

When I asked about the orange bag, I noticed it came in rather a lot of other colours.  This is where you have to start telling yourself it's always best to go with the thing that caught your eye first, but it's hard to believe that when the other colours never had a chance to do that (limited stock in the airport boutique, dontcha know.)  To make matters worse, I got distracted by the sight of a slightly different, way more flashy bag with a fabric bottom and handles in a contrasting shade of rubber.

Exhibit A: it was a special edition version of the bag I loved.

Exhibit B: it cost even more than Mr. Orange.

Exhibit C: Pete liked it better (and he was buying, so I didn't have to worry about Exhibit B.)

Hello, retro turquoise Candy bag (click here for fun Candy video) that matches nothing I own but is adorable anyway.  I expect I will store knitting in you, when you finish off-gassing.

(actually, looking at these pictures here, it is hands down the turquoise bag for me, but the love for the orange is still imprinted in my brain. gah.)

I swear this didn't happen on purpose

Because it was raining heavily on the Furla bag's bag and also on the bag of silk gift scarves we picked up next, we decided to limp back to the hotel and have lunch there, then crash before the tour resumed with a bus ride to a distant winery for supper.  And then: disaster.  About 20 minutes before the bus was to depart, I discovered there had been something terribly wrong with the tomato-sauce pasta I had ordered earlier.  (I know that sounds implausible but really it is true.)

So Pete went on his own, and I waited it out until, as is the way with such incidents, an hour or two had passed and I felt perfectly well again.

With a totally free evening that was no longer filled with rain.

And a shopping guide to Florence in my Kindle.

And a really good map.

Let's give the girl a hand

With a short stop at a church along the way to pray for safe, incident-free passage - after which I must say the last queasiness and leg-wobbles passed away entirely - I made my way out for a walk.  My destination: the Madova glove store.

This was one of my favourite experiences in Italy - the shop was like a miniature version of the wand shop in the Harry Potter movies, with lots of cubbies on the walls each filled with 16 or so colours of a given size of a particular style of glove.  Having established accurately at a glance what size hands I have, the lady who helped me had me set my elbow on a pillow, then neatly tucked an unlined plain leather glove over my fingers and palm. 

It was perfect.

But so was the suede, silk-lined glove I asked to try next, and the black, cashmere-lined one with the rainbow of colours up the sides of each finger... and then somebody came in with a few more gloves to be put into stock and dropped them on the counter.  The gentlemen next to me gasped along with me at the sight of the ones on top - they were my size, even - and told me I had to try them on if only so they could see how they looked.  I did and we all decided I had to buy them...

... and then they left, and I didn't have anybody to talk me out of the suede ones or help me decide which colour I should get, so I got two.

And yes, I do think it was being thwarted from the orange bag that made me buy the second gloves, but on the upside, how cute are they?

In all the excitement I forgot to buy a pair of the original unlined gloves.  Luckily they're in the online shop, and I know my size, heh.

(oh, come on: knitters totally have to pamper their hands, don't you think?)

In my defence

I priced both the bags on Furla's US site and you know what?  They're cheaper in Italy.  And the gloves are totally practical - I've been wearing the green ones a ton since I got back, it's still so chilly here at home in the mornings.  The only other things I bought myself were a coin purse (so cute) and some candy (delicious) and a lightweight fun scarf (necessary), so I don't feel too too guilty about shopping without brain.

Still: wouldn't it be nice if you could put a frivolous bag like that with a pair of New Balance walking shoes or rugged velco sandals and have it look stylish?

le sigh.  Okay, enough about shopping: tomorrow, it'll be knitting again.  Or maybe some pretty fountains which I think I meant to post about last week, or maybe the morning I spent with the Pope and what felt like several thousand other people?

Today is a list day for me, as in, I must catch up on a zillion little things that have been piling up, in some cases quite literally, as on my desk, which is getting quite scary-looking.  But all I want to do is have some naps and some knitting.  Let's hope common sense prevails, and for you too!

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