Bits of ceiling are plopping gently onto my head as I shave. I look up and notice that another bit has crumbled away, and shake some paint and plaster fragments from my shaving brush. The flat all looks rather nice, but, if you raise your eyes from the horizontal, it becomes obvious that Annamaria and Giuseppe are going to have a bit of redecoration to do.
There's work to be done, lots of it, but we feel we've earned a day or two off. It's a cold, blustery day, but the winter sun is breaking through. Venice is quiet, a genuine pleasure to walk around. We buy some fish from a stall in Campo Margherita, merluzzi. I have no idea what they are but they sound terribly exotic. Fish on a Tuesday is something of a luxury for us, the fishmongers of Sighthill being notable by their absence. We pick up some vino sfuso, the basic white wine coming in at just under two euros a litre.
Home for lunch, and Caroline does some work on putting together a list of flats that might repay investigation in the next few days. Then we stroll from Dorsoduro down to Piazza San Marco. There's a few lines of tourists around, but, even so, it's probably as quiet as it ever gets. Actual tourists are probably outnumbered by the extracommunitari selling imitation Louis Vuitton bags, a few of whom are hurriedly packing their wares away and scurrying off, presumably at the approach of the police. Ten minutes later we indeed see the poignant sight of two policemen walking across the piazza, bearing a big pile of Mr Vuitton's not-quite-finest.
Then it's home for dinner. I bake the merluzzi (which turn out to be, erm, cod) in the oven along with some cima di rapa. Washed down with some budget prosecco, and some even-more-budget white wine, it all feels like a bit of a treat.