A Truly Madly Ordinary Trip To The Italian Embassy

Thirteen months later my adoption is eventually finalized.Italian bureaucracy is sure not the fastest in the world and even less when the court clerk writes an incomplete address and keeps sending the papers over and over again to the same unknown address. Me, I am just glad is over but I am well aware it is still early to celebrate as now the calvary of changing all my documents with the amended name must start. How it works in Ireland I have no idea but I suppose it won’t be that complicated.Every woman who gets married add her husband surname and I’m confident there is some procedure in place to facilitate things. Before I start changing my name in the bank account, the driving licence, the social services cards etc., I have first to change my ID card and my passport. It will have to be done through the Italian embassy that is loyally in line with the timing of the Italian public offices. And there is where my worries commence.
The passport to be renewed, for example, must not be sent before three months from its expiring date but strictly not after those three months otherwise there will be no guarantee to have it back in time. According to this rule of three, I’m already late as I have to travel mid-July and I panic.

As soon my lawyer informs me that the adoption’s papers has been registered and sent over to the Italian consulate in Dublin I immediately ring the embassy. Now, that is not as easy as it sounds.The embassy is open to the public two hours in the morning Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and two hours in the afternoon on Thursday if you physically go there;if you have to contact them by phone they recommend instead to do it outside the opening hours, to be precise within an hour after they close the office.
Wednesday morning I work my math and time and at 12.50pm I ring the office of the consulate:”Good morning I am calling to ask some information about the change of surname or, to be precise the add of a surname. All the papers have been sent to the consulate from Italy……..bla bla bla.”.After spending 15 minutes on the phone explaining what I needed the voice at the other end of the line said,”Oh, but I am only the policeman. The officer who is in charge is not here today, why don’t you come in tomorrow?”.I can’t help but laugh and make him notice that he could have said it before so to save us both time. Actually, the guard is conquered by my laugh and assured me that if I go in on Thursday afternoon he will let me in without an appointment. Those 15 minutes on the phone might not have been wasted after all.!

Thursday I collect the girls from school earlier and we head straight to town.
At 1.40pm sharp we are at the Consulate ‘s gate, the guard comes toward us and asks what we were there for.” I am the lady who laughs. “, I say laughing, because, really, what else could I do?!
He escorts us to the waiting room and gives us a number. Only two people in front of us: happy days! Without an appointment, my experience at the embassy is that you know when you start queuing but never when you end. While we are waiting I can notice that since last time I was here the personnel changed. I won’t hide my relief because my last visit has not been pleasant at all. I have been shamed in front of everybody because I wanted to pay with copper coins. Before you ask, it was only one euro out 132 euros for two passports and I refused to be treated like that. I called for the team leader and I protested that copper coins are a currency in use, there is written nowhere that they don’t accept them and so I would have gone nowhere without my passport and some apologies. They had by law to accept my coppers and also apologise.

Back to today, the wait is longer than expected as the guy in front of us has some really big issue to be sorted. Something with the Irish police treating him unfairly, drugs and the custody of a minor. In one world a mess of a situation now known to everybody in the room. The office of the consulate is, in fact, an open space leaving absolutely zero privacy. When my turn comes I approach the front office and explain why I am there. The officer who deals with me is exceptionally nice and competent and I make sure to tell him because, not to sound mean, it is a rarity in that place and in 16 years I have seen many different faces but nearly all with the same unfortunate attitude. Mr Ruggero, checks my name and address,”Oh but we know each other”, he says.”Yes, I think we spoke on the phone some time ago”, I say.”No no no, you are the lady who walks the dogs at the castle, right?”,he replays. I am taken by surprise: “Yes, I am”, I confirm. He then explains to me that we have an acquaintance in common and that he leaves in the village just passed mine. How small is the world!

At 2.45pm,we are done. We have to be back by 4 for fiddle lesson but there is plenty of time to stop by at papa’s office for a brief hello and a coffee. I haven’t had lunch yet or anything else since 7.30 this morning, I can really do with some caffeine.

The travelling husband recently changed office. His team grew considerably and so they have been moved to another side of the floor. A lot of new faces for us but we are indeed novelty for them too, as shown by their looks when we walk in.Those looks that make you check on your self just to be sure you have nothing strange in your hair, or some big disgusting stain on your top or, every women worst nightmare, the back of your skirt trapped inside your tights after your last visit at the ladies’.

In the canteen after a brief procession of characters coming in with some excuse to see the boss’ wife and daughters, I can eventually relax and chat with some familiar and friendly faces. A bit of awkwardness descends upon on us when I have been asked what brought me in town and when I vaguely replay a visit to embassy curiosity prevails and I am asked what was my business at the embassy. My first response would be:”You just said it. It is my business!!!!”.But that would be rude, wouldn’t it? So I instead answer I was there for a change of surname, hoping the guy understand it is a quite personal and delicate matter that I am not willing to disclose. He doesn’t and keeps going:”Good woman, you eventually get your husband surname then.”.Again, the first response it would be,”No, why would I want to do that 16 years later?”.What I say instead is,”I am adding a surname to mine but it is not his!”.Everybody at this point is slightly embarrassed and nobody speaks until, in all her innocence, daughter number two fills the silence:”She is getting my grandad surname because he adopted her as it is only fair that like he is our grandad he will be her dad too”.What was perfectly logic and natural in her head, in that canteen was like a bomb dropped with no warning.The travelling husband who has been on the phone all the time just hung up, and oblivious to whatever conversation might have happened in there simply asked me if I want sugar or milk with my coffee. The order is restored.

Nearly 3.30pm now we were risking to be late. We left the office and I decided to take the tunnel, That way I was sure to be back home in 20/25 minutes, except I take the wrong turn, again, and 20/25 minutes later we were instead still driving around Dublin looking for an alternative route to escape the traffic we were stuck in.I am well aware we will never make it to the start of fiddle lesson but I still hope we can get there by the end of the lesson so at least daughter number two will have all the info she needs for the concert. Ambulances and police patrol cars keep coming and going and I am trying to convince the girls it is all fault of some accidents that must have happened not of my total lack of sense of directions and total incapacity to simply follow google map.

4.30pm. We will never make it for the end of fiddle lesson either and my sense of guilt grows. At least we are eventually in the right direction and on our way out the city, bored and sweaty as it is obviously one of the hottest days in the last few weeks. We pass a pharmacy, one of those with outside the lightning green board with the time and date. A vicious reminder that it is nearly two hours we are in the car when, probably, that was the time we could have been home for if only I haven’t taken that bloody wrong turn, again! The board also reminds me that actually the fiddle concert is not this coming Sunday but the following,that explains why CG was so cool on losing fiddle lesson. She was not pretending to make me feel better. I suddenly feel no guilt anymore. Beside the pharmacy, there is a nice little cosy patisserie.I instinctively pull over:”Girls, get out! We are having a treat. We deserve it”.

Around 6 pm we get home, exhausted. We are welcomed by two drooling dogs whose eyes are nearly sticking out their head for hunger.
I send the girls up to have a shower and I ravage at the bottom of my cleaning tools box to see if I still have an emergency comforting cigarette. I do and tonight it is much needed. The phone rings, it is the travelling husband saying he is on his way and asking if I had difficult to get to the tunnel:”Nope, why should have I ? there was a bit of traffic and we didn’t make it to fiddle but once you know where to go is easy right? We were home ages ago.”.He listen,pause and then:”Did you get lost again?”.
How did he know? Does he have mind readers powers I’m not aware of? Does he have a super sight and he could see my little red car going around and around senseless? Maybe he had a track installed either on my phone or my car?
Most probably this is what you get when you marry someone who knows you since you were 15 and already crap at finding your way around places.

Manic Tuesday

This post was supposed to be about last weekend and the “darkness into light “walk me and the girls did on Saturday. It will be not!Today took such turn and twist that is all I am going to talk about.

At half six this morning when I came down for my yoga the sun was already shining high. The temperature outside was summery, no better day for wearing shorts and this time it was true. On the beach it was a joy to see how the moods were ecstatic. Regulars and not regulars dog walkers were all waving one another with big smile pleased by the atmospheric conditions. Every greeting was accompanied by a sentence praising the weather or, to be correct, “the glorious” weather. Irish people love this expression to address days like this and after 16 years in the country I totally understand why.By afternoon the rain came but the warmth stayed,meaning that if you would cross the same pleased people from this morning they would be instead complaining about how heavy the weather is.

Home from school drops and my walk,while parking I noticed the postman coming up the road. My dogs don’t particularly like this postman. He is a semi-pro marathoner and uses his delivery shift to train: he delivers the post running and if he has to talk to you for some reason or make you sign something he keeps running on the spot. I think this is what upset the dogs the most, plus they smell his fear of them. Every time I open the door to him, there is a terrified expression in his eyes and the inevitable question:”they(the dogs) don’t come out right?”.I knew since day one he was not comfortable around dogs but what makes him so afraid of mine goes back to a “little insignificant” accident that happened soon after we moved. He had a parcel for me and I went to open the front door but forgot to close the hall’s door.The giant dog got out and jumped on the postman who dropped the parcel and run down the hill. Not a smart move as,unfortunately, Kurt interpreted it like an offer to play catch and run after the him.At the time Kurt was still young and not good on recall .That, plus the tasty appeal of the running postman to fetch had the best on his German sense of obedience and so he kept going ignoring me and my desperate calls.I had to run down the hill too .The scene the neighbors had in front of their amused eyes it was the postman running like flash chased by a giant dog with clapping big ears followed by a screaming woman laughing her head off because,in fairness,the situation was quite hilarious.Well,hilarious for everybody except the poor postman who now drop my post and sprint .

Back to this morning, I thought it was easier and safer for everybody if I waited in the car until the post was delivered. It is only four houses in the lane,ours included, and it wouldn’t have been a long wait. What I didn’t take in consideration was how long it would have felt because of all the barking echoing directly in my ears. Through the rear mirror I could see he was done and he was running back down the lane. He skipped our house but I didn’t worry,on the contrary, the last three days he only delivered bills!Actually,I soon realized to be wrong:he was not done and he was not leaving but he was coming closer and closer to my car. He finally reached my window and knocked. He had a registered letter I had to sign. I got out the car and while Kurt Clara abandoned herself to a mixture of barking and howling,Kurt stack his head out of the window and started to bark at the poor man whose mocking on the spot was getting more and more nervous. I signed as fast as I could and took everybody out of their misery.

An unexpected register post is never good news,at least not in this house where most of the time is a ticket for speeding or wild unauthorized parking. I checked the sender, it was not the ministry of transport, a good news in normal circumstances but the fact that it was coming from the “evil queen” (aka my late father’s wife)didn’t really make it necessarily good.Last time I received a registered post from her it costed me few grand and lots of stomach ache. Thankfully, sometimes, when a day starts glorious it continuos glorious and, sometimes, even the Italian revenues are glorious: It was the notification of a refund of taxes I am entitled as coheir.

The rest of the morning was uneventful a part from having the proof that we planted the strawberries on the right spot. Yes, Jessica Triepel,I planted strawberries, tomatoes,courgettes and cucunmber…something must end up on my table….sooner or later. (jessicatriepel.wordpress.com.Check her out,she is a fine writer not only a brilliant home grower). Last Sunday when we planted the strawberries it was late afternoon and I couldn’t remember if that spot of the garden was in full sun light or not. Yesterday the sun was nowhere to be seen but today, eventually, we had the proof that it is a sunny spot. Not that it would have been much difference if it was not: it is the only spot the dogs don’t go.

In the afternoon I am finally ready to sit down and write a little except,this is when my day really turned weird.
The dogs started to bark and I saw a huge fancy car coming up the road, it popped on my front path and parked pretty much in front of my living room window. The travelling husband car is on the driveway in front of the double gate, my car is parked on the road in front of the house and the big path leading to the main entrance is tidy and decorated with flowers pots and a cherry blossom tree,no cars.To me, everything says “private property” and ,most of all,”no parking”.Still incredulous I opened the window and I started to gesticulate at the occupants of the car. Them,2 mid-thirties fellas waved at me with a big greeting smile. They drove a bit further and stopped the engine.A bit less incredulous and a bit more upset I went out.They were still inside the car gathering together their phones and wallet. Eventually, they opened the car and made a move to get out: “Excuse me, this is private property”, I say. The driver looked at me top to toes and smiled from one ear to the other before going:”That is ok hon, we booked the 3 o cock slot.We have to meet a girl called Aine.”.Thousands of malicious thoughts and explanations crossed my little twisted mind until I finally replayed:”She is not here,it is the wrong address”.They both blushed :”Oh,it is not you? We thought you ….well you were waving at the window….”. Seriously?,”I was not waving at the window ,I was trying to ask you what the feck were you doing on my path?”,I barked.They had no clue of what was going on .I asked them the address they were meant to go,hoping by now they understood it was not mine and they were indeed at the wrong place.They checked a piece of paper and started,not very successfully,to whisper to each other.I could clearly hear what they were saying: “I told you it was a scam”,said the driver to the passenger.
Few minutes later my patience was pushed to the limit:”I’m still here and I can hear you so would you please tell me the address you have to go?May be I can help and you can move away from my property?”.

They gave me the address :once again there have been a mixed up between our estate and the house down the hill that share the same name……….,and all my old and regulars readers know what this means!

An only girls city break

As predicted by the forecast,on Tuesday morning the heat wave was gone.We were back to the traditional Irish weather :scattering showers and dry sunny spells.More or less all year around this is what characterize the atmosphere on this side of the world.
Looking at the sky, this Tuesday the scattering showers seemed to be persistent and permanent while the chance of some sunny spell appeared very shy.In the mist and the drizzle the travelling husband dropped us at the train station.My friend and her daughters were already there ready for our little mid term break away in Belfast.

My last visit to Belfast goes back when I was still pregnant with daughter number two.At the time Ikea was not open in Dublin yet and we had to drive up north.Actually that was not an happy memory at all as early contractions arrived while in there. Fortunately, we were around the furniture section and it was not that difficult to find a comfortable couch to sit(standing was not really an option). After debating if keep shopping or going to the hospital ,we kept shopping.It was the right decision!The little creature resisted in fact an other three weeks before making her entrance in this world and I,not only would have missed all my much needed shopping but,I would have waste precious time in an unknown hospital for nothing. Sometimes I can’t help but wondering if this is why she loves so much going to Ikea.

The girls excitement for this two days little adventure was palpable. In less then two hours we were there.Our itinerary was simple and strict: On the day of the arrival str check in at the hotel and then shopping and browsing around the city;On the day of the departure, interactive science museum.

Despite the fact we were further up north,as the hotel’s receptionist remarked when we said we were coming from Dublin,the weather was much better then the one we left behind.It looks like that in Belfast those sunny spells had found their way to shine.Shattered and hungry we start looking for a nice place to have dinner. A task requiring research and patience because it is not as simple as it looks to find an agreement between four little big mouths of whom one is vegetarian but don’t usually like the restaurant’s vegetarian options.I honestly didn’t find her that difficult (and this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact she always approves my fashion choices and said I look younger then I am)but,if her mother says so ,she sure knows what she is talking about.Unless hunger was talking for her,or was it anger? It doesn’t really matter because, at the end, we had to thank our little vegetarian soul to make us end up in a very nice place that made everybody taste buds happy.

Back to the hotel the interconnecting rooms created high excitement.Not having much time to enjoy a such amenity when we arrived in the afternoon they made it up in the evening,helped by a sugar rush consequence of a stop to an american candies store.A good old fashion scolding soon descended up on them and, eventually,they all chilled down.Whoever at the time was passing in the corridor,must have been experienced some confusion overhearing the mix of Italian ,Swedish and English coming from room 427 and 429. Hard to believe that there are still bilingual kids who pretend to not understand properly their mothers native language.They were now so quiet and angelic,(and I stated without the help of any drugs),that we could enjoy a drink and a chat in total relax.

Wednesday we experienced the longitude gap.We realized we were really “up the north”.The weather was atrocious ,windy rainy and cold.To be total honest we were not that much bothered as we planned to spend the day inside the museum. Unfortunately,things didn’t exactly go according to the plan and,because it was slashing and we went to the museum by taxi and not walking we were there very early and,consequently,we were done much earlier then planned.We had lunch trying to loose as much time as we could:we purposely took ages to decide and order;we ate as slowly as we could and we also went to the bathroom rigorously one at the time.Still, we had three hours to kill.We had no options but taking our chance in the rain.We gather together our two pre teens, our official teen ager and the one who is still no fish no meat but that,has also proved to be the easiest one of the whole bunch, and walked back to the city center. A wet stroll around accompanied by some more wet shopping before heading to retrieve our bags and fetch a taxi for the train station.

During the day it rained so much that I m quite certain it stopped only becase there was no more water to be squeezed out of the clouds.On our way back to the hotel a pale sun was even starting to come out.Delighted with the change in the weather we didn’t think much of the heavy traffic on the streets of Belfast.We blamed it on the rain and the rush hour,it was five o’ clock of a working day after all.Once at the hotel,we collected our luggage and asked to call a taxi.Then,it was when we discovered that the traffic was not a normal Belfast mid week rush hour traffic. Ed Sheeran was playing in Belfast that very same evening. When we said we had to be at the station by six,the receptionist discretely laugh at us and,with a discreet patronizing tone,she suggested to forget to have a taxi in less then an hour.No panic:We had a flexible ticket and allegedly we could get the train after but that was meaning to have an other three hours to spend in Belfast.Doing what?That was not an option:in a way or in an other we had to make it for the six o’clock train.

It was not mission impossible:opposite the hotel, there was a secondary train station and all we had to do was basically cross the road and get the first train to Belfast central. Alternatively we could have also walked,fast but it was doable.In the end we went from being early to be tight with time.In a hurry and blaming it all on Ed Sheeran who ,of all the dates available, picked just that very same day to play in Belfast.We approached the station ticket man evidently stressed out and terrified to loose our connecting train. He took pity on us and let us go without paying for the extra fare. Once on the train busy chatting we didn’t pay attention at the stops.We actually didn’t even check if we were on the right train or ,if accidentally we already past our stop.Luck wanted us to be on then right train and haven’t passed Belfast central already.

The rest of journey was peaceful and relaxing.At around eight we approached the local station.We were back in ROI ,all still friends and all very satisfied for our little only girls break away but,next time, it will be only adults….just for a change and a chance of a real treat.

A Truly Madly Ordinary Hot Weekend

Since Thursday evening the weather started gradually to pick up until, on Saturday,it eventually exploded in a spell of summer.Nothing more perfect for the dinner party we were hosting.A shining clear sun up till late,nice wine,nice food,good company, plenty of cracking laughs and,all this, to be enjoyed outside in the garden on an evening of early May.Absolutely incredible,to a point that every once in a while I had to go inside to pinch myself and be sure it was real.To be sure it was not just me imagining the whole thing after being brainwashed by the medias that,for the entire past week, have been tauntingly warning the country about the heatwave that was going to hit us for the BH weekend.
Sunday morning when I opened the blinds I knew already it was not raining because the gutters were not making the usual “tic tic” noise that drives me insane but,what I didn’t know and didn’t expect,it was that an other weather wise glorious day was all in front of me.I usually don’t trust forecast to the core.

In the afternoon I have just changed in my swimming suit and I was ready to relax and enjoy my book in the garden when I saw daughter number one wondering around,going in a circle like the dogs do when they want their dinner.She started to come closer and closer to me.I knew that it could not be anything good but I tough I would have received a request of playing cards or some other board games not to go playing tennis.I started to sweat only at the idea!This is insane.Hot days like these are lazy days not sports days!Searching for a way to escape in my own personal”being a mother essential survival guide”,I lied and pretended to still be sore from all the painting I did during the week.Unfortunately,I am a softy and I felt a bit bad about it so, considering that school is off for the whole next week and the traveling husband will be gone Thursday to Sunday, I suggested her to ask him to go.In fairness,he will have all next week end to rest his ears and limbs in a five stars hotel.

Because father and daughter share the same mozzarella color skin that can go from milk white to poppy red and back to white, I diligently made sure they were well spread in sun cream.In the meanwhile,daughter number two that has just resurrected from her bedroom,decided to go play tennis as well.I gave her some sun cream too, more because my hands were still greasy then because she really needs it.She,in fact, has been blessed with a quite exotic sallow skin whose origins are still unknown.They are all ready to go:They have sun cream ,they have water and they are going to have great father daughters time.A mantra I tell myself to ease my conscience for not wanting to spend precious time with my family.A good mantra that actually works and it works so well that I relax so much that I fell asleep while reading.

I am not sure for how long I slept before a sudden feeling of something frying wakes me up:It was me frying!Carried away by the excitement for the weather and being able to stay on my own I totally forgot to use some sun cream on myself. May be it is my punishment for being a greedy woman ,a selfish mother and a lousy wife but, I am now a walking sample of body art with strawberry color patches and stripes randomly scattered on my arms and legs.

Today is the last day of this long BH weekend and,according with the forecast,also the last day of this abnormal early May heatwave. Fair enough I would say,three full days of roasting weather in a row is already too much.We are in Ireland :lets not be greedy because,now,we all know what can happen when we are.

A Truly Madly Ordinary Beginning Of May

Monday the weather was absolutely glorious and I started to work on the new shed.On Sunday myself and the girls spent around two hours to decide the colors and then an other hour to find matching pots and flowers. It has not been easy but we made it and happily came home with everything we needed to start “the shed operation transformation”.After taking few breaks for school runs and to drive first daughter number two and then daughter number one to tennis lessons,I manage to get half way through the job.It is getting late and I can see 4 hungry mouths looking at me from inside the house.It is well passed dinner time and I better go to sort something out.If only I could give chicken and rice crockets in a bowl to all of them my life would be much easier!I leave all my equipment well sheltered under the porch ready for tomorrow but I can’t resist to send a proud picture of the work in progress to the traveling husband.Next time I better resist:A lesson to improve my will power.”Oh,you went marine style.It reminds me of a beach cabin”,he texts back. It does actually, a little,but God forbids me from admitting it.With the most uptight tone I can let transpire in a text I replay that it is only because is not finished and when the flowers and decorations will be up it will be more flowery then”beachy”.I,instead, will be very “bitchy” if the next text is not a compliment on my diy work.

Considering the weather we had over the week end and on Monday , I genuinely expected Tuesday to be the same and I didn’t even think twice before slipping into my shorts. Tuesday was also the first of May and from first of May to first of October is shorts season. This is my rule or,at least,it was until this year.
Anyway, on Tuesday morning first of May as tradition wants all three of us happily jump in the car in our summer outfits and rain jackets,we live in Ireland after all.I drop the girls to school and head toward the beach.Black threatening clouds take over and a cold wind starts to bark in my years and slapping my face and legs :in one word I was cold.May be,the fact that at times we still need the heating on,should have made me think to postpone the exit of the summer gears .I feel guilty for the girls that are probably freezing too and just hope the school won’t call social services. No,I am not paranoid: it happened before that a mom has been called in because her daughters were too lightly dressed and cold all the time.Thankfully nothing happened….so far!
The rain didn’t delay to come but I am determined to finish my painting and gardening.I shortened the walk and I am driving home with one more reason to regret wearing shorts:the dogs’ poo bag ripped and it’s content dripped on my bare legs.

Cleaned up and changed in warmer and water prof clothes I ,fearless and careless,paint all morning under the pouring rain. Weather wise the afternoon is not better but I keep going. It is past 7 o’clock in the evening that with great satisfaction I can say I have finished : Soaked and freezing I am done.
The new shed is painted,the porch has been decorated, the flowers have been potted and,what is best, after a year of attempts I eventually have blue highlights on my hair.If only I knew that what I needed was Johnston “forget me not” instead of L’Oreal “starry blue”!

On Wednesday the traveling husband came back home and brought some sun with him.It is a lovely evening and despite the difficulties that I have to lift my arms,bend my back and sit without screaming because my thighs’ front muscles are as stiff as steel,we can enjoy some wine outside.
No pain no gain they say:true indeed but my little happy porch definetely worth it.

The porch of my dreams.

My dream house is a house with a front porch,american style.When I went to visit my friend Abigail in Georgia, I fell in love with her porch.I could have lived in that porch. Soon curiosity started to raise in the neighborhood around the peculiar guest who spent most of her time on the porch.The rumors quickly stopped when explained that the “porchfobiac” was an Italian living in Ireland and loving Irish summer.

Unfortunately,Ireland is no country for old porches. Frankly I am still wondering why as,lets face it,no other country could make better use of some shelter.
Anyway,this is the reality of the things but, because mother nature blessed me with a abundant dose of stubbornness, I have found the way to get my porch.

When we moved in the new house,the garden shed was already there and now it is really showing its age.We painted it twice,(and I am saying “we” only as form of pluralis majestatis), but now it is really on his last leg.The base is rotten and the roof could potentially collapse any time soon. When the time came to order the new one I put my feet down:it had to be a shed with a veranda,aka a porch.
Due to arrive last Monday,by coincidence just a day before my birthday,I had the entire week end to get prepared.

Saturday I started to power-wash the back patio area.The weather was glorious and I am pretty sure I didn’t fail to attract the hate of my neighbors that,had to enjoy the first week end of really nice spring weather at the sound of my pressure washer. I started at around 1.pm and finished at around 6.pm when I started to smell bbq.Once I turned off my machine,I also heard bottles been opened in the surrounding gardens,to celebrate the end of the evil noise.
The thing is,I didn’t actually finished my cleaning ,there was some job still to be done but I had to stop.Not only my back was crying to be relieved by the fatigue but also the pressure washer hose had enough and broke.Water was squirting everywhere.I sellotaped it at my best but still it was dripping and there was not enough pressure to keep going.
The traveling husband who had been instead very sedentary for the whole day, exception made for the movements of his head to follow the players of the Davis cup on tv, rushed to the diy shop to buy a new hose.It is still unclear if he did it more moved by the fear of coping with the noise for an other day or the idea of been on his own with his offspring for an other afternoon.Out of luck,when he got there ,they had just closed:the job had to be finished on Sunday.

Thankfully,there was very little left and it was quickly done.The weather was everything but glorious :The all four seasons passed over my head while cleaning but it definitely worth it.Wow, you need sunglasses now to look at those tails!I know, I am sometimes in shock myself at the thought of the things I can get excited about!

I am sitting in the drizzle in contemplating pleasure of the refine work I have just accomplished when I remember I need to empty the shed. Before install the new one,in fact, they have to dismantle and bring away the old one.
I am not concerned by this task as I did a pre-clearance and it shouldn’t be much left in there.It “shouldn’t”:exactly the correct verbal form as ,someone else, didn’t do his pre-clearance. I now firmly believe that there should be a law imposing men a limit to the amount of hunting paraphernalia they can own.I mean,how many hunting huts someone needs? I counted 5 and 7 folding chairs for pigeon stations along with a ridiculous quantity of decoys and at least 4 pairs of boots.
Making as much noise as I can, while moving the hunting equipment around, I am eventually successful on attracting the husband’s attention.He come at the window and looking at the empty shed he lifts his thumb up.I don’t replay with any gesture because instinctively the finger I would lift up it wouldn’t be my thumb.

He is now out ,I can hear him breathing behind me:”It looks good!So now I can remove the shelves ad disconnect the electricity?because is getting late,you know?”. Turning my head around Linda Blair style,I don’t speak so the green foam is forming inside my mouth won’t spill out.
I straightened my back at the sound of cracking bones and joints ,I give him an ok signal and I go inside.
I run a bath and dip myself in :I don’t want to be anywhere close in case the job with the electricity goes wrong.

Bye Bye Pippa

Oh,eventually,here they are.I better prepare myself in the hall:
“Hey,are you not forgetting anything in the car?What are you doing?You lock the door?But you have to go back out there and get Pippa out of the car”.                                          “No I don’t want a pat on the head ,I want my foster sister back”,”You too now?why are you looking at me like that?What?Everybody knew but me?”.

“Why did you think they left with the travel bag this morning,big ears genius?You better get down that window.She is gone.Staring at the road will not bringing her back.Get over it.”. “Oh boy,what are you doing now, are you trying to sniff her scent out of the rugs?That is disgusting and devious.”

“Clara,why do you always have to be so bitter!I just like to bask in her smell….It reminds me of the enjoyable hours of play we had together,that is all.”

So,now you now:the foster dog is gone.The kitchen couch is so big and solitary now.
By the way,I am Kurt.My two legged sisters call me “Kurty boy” and most of my mom’s friends call me “handsome”. My four legged sister just calls me names, but I know she loves me…..deep down.Sometimes she also allow me to sleep close to her,only when she is very much sound asleep and doesn’t realize I am there. Normally if she is awake and I go too close she makes a funny noise clinging and showing her teeth and then she goes away.It is her way to invite me to play fetch with her,I think.Women,they are never straight on telling what they want.It is like with my mama,she is all hugs and kisses and then when I jump on her to reciprocate she gets mad becase I scratch her or push her down to the ground.
With my papa is different,I have a lot of fun when we go hunting but, he can be very strict.In the house mama is the softy one.Except when I roll on her bed or on the couch before she lays my blanket on and I spread hairs all over.She always says I shed twice a month instead of twice a year and keep going after me around the house with a noisy purple tube attached to a rotating  scary brush.A part from that, I know she has a thing for me and I know I am my mammy’ s boy.Well she always says that too. I am also the only man in  the house when papa is traveling.I have responsibilities and duties:I need to watch the house and protect my girls.
Pippa was already one of my girls and a such fun one.Clara never played with me really,not even when she was younger.I knew she was not going to stay but I haven’t realized she would have gone so quickly. Apparently she went to Sweden,a very far away country. My friend Millie’s mom comes from there.I might be wrong but I think Millies’s foster sister Tallia went there too.She was here this morning and they all left together.
Mama is as sad as me,you can tell miles away and the girls miss her as much.If you are wondering about Clara,I can genuinely say I don’t think she misses her.They had a big fight the other day and,oh boy, now I know why female dogs are called bitches!
In fairness she could be a bit annoying at times and drooled a lot but now the house is sooooo quite.Beside the play,the best thing about Pippa was that she knew how to open doors.We were indeed an amazing team :she opened the doors and I reached up the higher shelves.If only I asked her to show me how to do it.That,would be handy and I could show off with the next foster dog.I heard mama making arrangement over the phone,that is why I am so sure we will have plenty more.I wonder what kind of dog is coming next,hopefully not a puppy who pees everywhere but,if it will play with me,who cares really.
Speaking of playing,I might make an attempt to the old spaniel here:”Clara,Clara,wake up.Why don’t we go in the garden and play fetch or something?Come on.Just once.Just this one time..Please Please Please”.
“Jeez ok, just stop the begging,will you. Dont you have some dignity?”.
“Mama is coming to open the garden door,come on Clara,..come over here”.
” I am coming , you go I follow.”
“No No No,mama you can’t close the door.Clara is not out yet.Clara,tell her you are coming out too.Why are you staring there?What?I can’t hear you through the glass”.
“You heard me big ears German:you always fall for the same trick ,you idiot!…When are you going to learn not to be fooled so easily”.