Alex’s guest post makes it sound as though I spent two weeks gallivanting through Rome with nary a care.
That’s not entirely true.
I spent two weeks gallivanting through Rome with precisely one care, namely, the dearth of tea in Italy. I was nearly forced to drink a cappuccino, the horror.
No, but really, it was a rollicking good time. And I suppose I should explain a bit more fully what I was up to.
You might recall my mentioning, earlier in the summer, that I was slated to appear in a fashion film for Richard’s line, Cavalier. Normally, we advertise by dressing as piratical gentleman and commandeering pleasure yachts in the Mediterranean. (No, I know.) But Richard decided he would like to try his hand at land-based conquests, and so this film was born.
The script was…well there wasn’t really a script. There was merely a scenario: two Lotharios, one gay, one straight, go to a party as each other’s wingmen where they end up meeting their objects of pursuit and proceed to chase them across the gorgeous Italian countryside until conquests are made and everyone falls in love.
The bloke playing the straight lead–this sort of vaguely rakish Ken-doll who insisted upon calling himself ‘Britain’–thought it was charming.
His counterpart–a spunky American model named Molly with hair straight from the 1930s and a queer girlfriend named Lamplight–thought it was horseshit.
And I, as well as my counterpart Fox, saw it for what it was–the absurdist theatre of Richard’s most tongue-in-cheek dreams. We were able to convince Molly of this, with Lam’s help, and so filming began.
The first day of filming was a bit stressful, I must say. I’m quite used to being dressed up and paraded about at this point, but moving cameras are quite different from stationary ones, and the pace was arduous. Then there was the lack of tea. And the fact that I can’t ride a damn bike let alone a Moped. And the sheer weight of performing ‘macho’ all day, as Fox played the more effeminate role on account of his delightfully elfin appearance.
But I hit my stride fairly quickly, and ended up rather enjoying myself. The countryside is truly magical, with all its rolling hills and climbing cypress.
Marc joined me on set at least once a day, as well, to giggle at my ‘sexy face’ and make eyes at me whilst I marched around in jodhpurs and jackets. And Fox was a delightful companion once he overcame his nerves about playing opposite ‘Mr. Brutus’, as I’m known throughout ghost Italy.
Meanwhile, the kiddos took to Rome with renewed fervor.
J went about everywhere in his little tunica and bulla, accepting parcels from townsfolk with the seriousness of mind that becomes the son of a Roman priest. He also quite bonded quite with Claudius this visit and spent a great deal of time in the barnyard, learning to corral animals and read weather.
Mira did a bit of solo wandering, getting to know the land and the landscapes. She also spent some time on horseback, introducing Nox around–Marc’s sneaky method of drawing her out into the town and forcing her to socialise.
And in all, we managed to use the time away to check in with a number of other friends.
Marie and Girafe came down from France for a ‘picnic’, which I should have known wouldn’t be a mere picnic. They arrived with a boatload of lavish pillows, which Marie flung about a clearing in the countryside while Girafe made mysterious calls on his feather-covered mobile. All of a sudden we had an oddly poofy, organic gazebo effect happening, and a vast array of food trucks from which to choose.
Delphi came out from the city no fewer than three times a week for afternoons that bled into suppers that bled into cocktails. He and Claudius are no longer hiding their item-hood. They were as cozy as could be, and utterly sweet besides. My favourite detail of their relationship: as Claudius is prone to forgetting to clean his spectacles, Delphi wears a soft cloth as a pocket square these days. My heart!
And at the end of the trip, yes, we did go laze about in New Zealand with Matiu and Teddy and their son Miri. I was quite ready for the time away from cameras and back in nail polish and loose tees. Marc was ready to shed the immediate responsibility of representing Rome back to itself. Mira and J were greedy for our time after all the excitement–quite gratifying, hehe–and I scarcely went ten minutes without a tiny hand in mine or a sleepy little face on my shoulder.
Now all that remains for the end of the summer is Marc’s participation in the war games. He didn’t ‘play’ last year on account of the WWII theme, and he’s actually not leading any troops this year, either, to give other generals a chance to enjoy their moment in the sun. But he will be providing live commentary from the stands this weekend, which is bound to be both enlightening and hilarious. It’s a sea-battle, and he’s hoping they provided for ghost sharks to eat the fallen, because of course he’s hoping for that.
Oh, and I suppose I also have a birthday coming up, but I’m not terribly anticipatory. It’s 199 this year, and I begged for a small gathering since I know for a fact I’m not escaping some monstrosity for my 200th.