July brings many days star-related: there is Independence Day on the Fourth, with its stars and stripes, and there are the Dog Days of Summer that begin in July and run through August––days ruled by Sirius, the Dog Star, days traditionally considered the hottest of the year––and then there is Tanabata, the Star Festival of Japan. For your Convivio Book of Days calendar for July, we thought we’d focus on stars, then. As luck would have it, as Seth and I wandered the steep narrow streets of Ascona today in Switzerland, we came across the perfect image for this month of stars.
And so yes, we are on a short tour of Europe, with stops in Northern Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. Seth has four days of training in Austria for his job back home, and so we figured why don’t I tag along, too. My Italian has so far proven rusty at best, and as for German, all I know is one statement that Seth taught me years ago: “Kann ich bitte du butter haben?” Which I gather means something like, “May I have the butter, please?” He only taught it to me because it’s so fun to say. I also know how to substitute the word “butter” for “bread,” which is brot. So at the very least I know I can survive on bread and butter while we’re in Austria and Eastern Switzerland. We return to Italy again after his training, and so we’ll end our European tour back in a land where the language is at least somewhat more familiar to me, although the past couple of days have taught me I have long ways to go to pass muster on conversational Italian, too. A big help so far has been the restricted 1943 Italian Phrase Book that was published by the US Military that I found on my bookshelf the night before we left home. It’s helped me so far ask the woman next to me on the plane where she lived, and it will also be useful if I find myself needing to ask someone their rank and whether this bridge is passable (È practicabile questo ponte?).
As for the Convivio Book of Days calendar for July, it is here and ready for you at our website, a printable PDF that you can print out on standard US Letter size paper, if you wish. The cover star of the calendar is that same sun image you see here on today’s blog post. We’ll be posting lots more pictures of Italy and Switzerland and Austria on Instagram, if you care to tag along with us: you’ll find Convivio Bookworks there (@conviviobookworks) and Seth, too: (@royal_river_pottery).
Have a good month. Buongiornio and guten tag!