We have resisted buying a television since we moved into Casa Rosales but as the temperatures soar and the afternoons are best spent indoors, we felt it suddenly rather necessary to have something to look at on the days when a proper siesta isn't what we want. So that's what we did last weekend and as one of FR's many jobs this week, it is now installed on our wall in the lounge.
We haven't overdone the oggling this week - no, the children have watched a couple of recent DVDs and marvelled at the difference in clarity between our old machine and this 39" LED screen. And FR and Mateo watched a couple of strange films one evening whilst I went out.
However, today, after a morning sweating over some cherry jam (not literally, I hasten to add) and making fajitas for the kids, I knew exactly what I wanted to watch during the heat of the afternoon. Possibly my favourite film - 'A Room with a View' - and, thanks to YouTube, I was able to watch the whole thing in a high definition version.
Made in 1985 by Merchant-Ivory, it perfectly captures the subtleties of EM Forster's book; the acting is perfection and the scenery breathtaking. I love every second of it. There is so much to read in the body language, the unspoken words and the repressed feelings that are so reflective of the Edwardian period.
And that kiss, (with Kiri Te Kanawa hitting all the right notes alongside,) is just so innocent and beautiful - charmingly clumsy and unrehearsed. (Though had it been me, I think I might have stayed with the Italian coach driver who knowingly led Lucy to George, rather than to Mr Beebe, the vicar...He was definitely more my type.)
And probably one of the main reasons I love this film is because of the views of Florence you get in the first part. I went to Italy with my parents and my boyfriend in the late 1980s and fell in love with most of it but with Florence in particular. I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of the place that I wandered around with tears rolling down my cheeks - not cool, I admit, and possibly caused by the 48 mosquito bites on my ankles from the night before - and with my eyes so wide at the art and architecture on view all around that I must have resembled some strange alien. It is a view that has stayed with me and really stirs up some deep emotions.
The only other place that had this effect on my was a visit to Cambridge which I found equally moving and beautiful. I have never been back to either place but really must put them on my essential 'to do' list.
Where in the world moves you to depths of joy, peace, pleasure and awe?