Tuesday shame

It looked like an ordinary Tuesday but the signs were all there that something was not right, and it would be instead a truly madly ordinary Tuesday.
The sun was up and shining, the tide was in and the usual morning breeze was nowhere to be felt….and this was the first sign. None of this, in fact, belongs to a November Tuesday morning, but the excitement of the husband walking the dogs and me being able to swim early in the morning blinded me.
Still oblivious to the reality of the day still to come but refreshed and content I went home dreaming of a hot shower. One foot in and one foot out, the phone rings: Daughter number two’s school.
” Damn it…she is sick and I have to go get her…”I mumble under my teeth while answering the phone. Typical, just when you think you have all your morning ahead of you, one of the kids got sick and it is all over.
“Good morning Mrs V, still ok to talk to the class?” Daughter number two’s teacher asks.
“Of course, Thursday at 9.30” I say.
“Actually it’s today and we are all waiting for you to connect…”She replies.
“No, it’s Thursday….”I object.
“No, it’s today..”The teacher insists.
“No,” I’m firm this time, “I have your mail here in front of me ….”
Damn, it was Tuesday!!!!!!!!
I apologise and blush in shame but promptly connect while the teacher does her best to not show she thinks I’m a total moron or may be just a forgetful old woman. Forgetful indeed because only when the video call starts I remember I’m still in my robe and so before my audience has the time to realise that I squat down in my seat so that only my face is visible.

An hour later I can eventually take that shower. My butt has pins and needles because of the awkward position I sat but the chat was a success and they also invited me back.

The rest of the day went as normal and as the weather is still good by the time I had to drop daughter number 1 to tennis, I decide to go for an extra walk wit big ears German.
I clicked the newly bought lighting bone on his collar and off we go walking the seafront in the pitch dark and then back to the main street heading back towards the tennis court.
So far so good and then it all happened in a fraction of a second.
One minute I’m waiting for the green man to appear on the traffic light and the other I’m skiting on the tarmac face-down landing at the feet of a poor man who had just exited the supermarket.
What in the hell just happened? My hands hurt, my knees are on fire, big ears German is licking my face out of pity and my pride has been killed.
Embarrassment posses me but sure I can’t stay on the ground until the little crowd, that in the meantime gathered around me, disappears. Even because they are not going away until they see I’m fine.
Trying to recompose me I get up and reassure everybody that I am fine. but before I urgently check my tights -God please spare me at least the humiliation to walk back to my car with two big holes on the front of my legs. My knees sting and I can feel the blood dripping down my legs and the nylon getting stuck in it, but I can’t see any hole. Pew, the knees are battered but the tights are intact and I can happily limp away.

“Why are you driving so slowly?” daughter number 1, aka the mean teenager, asks.
“Because I fell and to bend my leg hurts like hell..” And wand while I explain what happened I explode in a big laugh because besides the pain I’m in and besides the fact that my already injured knees didn’t certainly need another accident, the scene was quite funny. Trulymadly ordinary and painfully funny, but still funny.

“Omg, that’s so embarrassing…..” The mean teenager interrupts me.
“It was but, hey, I did worst..” and I laugh again.
“No, I meant, it’s embarrassing for me! How could you have fallen and tripped in front of everybody!”
“Well, It’s not that you chose when and how you trip right?”Now I’m not laughing anymore but I’m kind of annoyed instead, “helloooo, a bit of sympathy here…”
“Whatever…..”The teenager crosses her arms in front of her trying to forget her curse of being the daughter of the woman who chose to fall in front of a crowded supermarket’s entrance.
The lesson of the day is:
Watch where you are going because the danger is everywhere amnd so it’s shame, but most importantly, never expect sympathy from your teenager daughter, turn to your dog instead!
Don’t have any expectation on your husband either: “….and why were you in front of the supermarket…..you always shop on line…” he said ………….

The Last Witch

And as promised here it is what kept me away for all these months:

“Back in 1974 the dormant Irish village of Seacross is shocked by the gruesome circumstances of young Margaret Morehouse’s death. Forty-five years later history seems to repeat itself and the quiet life of the coastal Irish village is suddenly shaken by a series of ritualistic murders.
Someone had broken the pact of secrecy to obtain justice, but if the truth comes out nobody will be spared, from the future Taoiseach to the local men of power. Inspector Billy McCabe is called to investigate but not only will he have to face his demons and test his beliefs but he will also have to watch over his shoulder because nobody can be trusted, not even the ones closest to him.”


The long way back

It was the 23rd of may and suddenly is the 16th of October.
I was supposed to take a few weeks breaks but obviously, things span out of control.
In my defence, Ortensia’s alter ego, the bully writer, took advantage of the lockdown and produced her third book,(shameful promotion soon to come).

I know, I know it does not excuse to neglect the blog but unfortunately, days still have only 24 hours and women still have only two hands.
Yes because since we are all happily living together 24/7 the time lost a bit of its value and even more since the schools had reopened because even if I get rid of the offspring, the husband and the dogs stay and they sat to eat and be walked out and some days they even want clean and ironed laundry. Now, of course, I trust your judgement on guessing who demands what.
Since the last time I was with you, the travelling husband became officially a sedentary husband, at least until Christmas. Daughter number 1 hit the full of her teenager years ad there are days I wonder if she is seriously mine. Daughter number two is still human and smiling but developed an over-attachment to her mother. Let’s say, she’s a bit like a mussel with her rocks: glued to it and I am her rock!

”On My Own” “Alone” feelings and conditions that had completely lost their meaning with this pandemic and the worst is that if you can’t be alone at home you can’t even be alone outside because there is nowhere to go. The only alone space left is in the car. And so the once dreaded waiting in the car for the girls is now the most wanted time. My only chance to stay at least 1 hour in the only and absolute company of myself.

Of course, the last few months had not all been bad. We made it for a week to Italy to visit my parents after six months of skyping them, and we went on vacation. It was actually our Easter vacation that became our summer vacation. One full week in North Of Ireland, technically abroad so not qualifying as staycation, but still fun and we eventually git to have those so desired surfing lessons. Nice experience if only I had managed to stand up straight at least once on that bloody board.

Overall it was a nice summer, and we all proved to have a certain degree of psychological stability as we didnt try to murder each other.
Hopefully, the new season will see us as stable.
Who instead had his best spring /summer ever was for sure big ears german. He had his first vacation with the family, he started to come swimming with us regularly and he always some two legs at home to keep him company. Even cranky old Clara after a few rough months, she is doing great and the nappies are no longer needed. She is still as blind as a bat and greatly demented but thanks to the new medication she also has a newly regained energy.
She is good enough for us to start fostering again and so a little 10 months old German pointer, with a ridiculous name he didn’t even respond to, came into our care and we renamed him Hans. Little Hans (who is already tall enough to scavenge the kitchen countertop) had a very rough start in life and needs a lot of training. He is undoubtedly adorable and as disruptive as Kurt was at his age and the two of them together are cute and spend hours playing. As for Clara, we are not sure she had realised its tow of them now, but anyhow it seems to work and she growls indistinctively to one or the other.
So, even if I swore I didn’t want another big ear german full of beans in the house, here I am four weeks later signing his adoption papers.

Have a great weekend everybody, it feels good to be back.


Lola never met her father, and her mother took her own life when she was still a toddler. Raised by her aunt Mara, a callous woman who never showed any affection towards her niece. As soon she turns 18, Lola moves to Malta where she meets her future husband, Fergus. The two of them will ultimately build their dream life in Ireland. Lola’s past seems forever forgotten, until the day her aunt Mara dies under suspicious circumstances and her cousin Giulia vehemently discourages her from being involved. Uncertain about what to do, in the end, Lola flies over to Ponte Alto with her husband.The old town had not changed much, and neither had the twisted dynamics inside the Kopfler family. Lola is transported back twenty years, and the ancient feeling of being an outsider is back. But that is not all: her presence is a threat to someone; someone who doesn’t hesitate to leave a trail of blood behind to keep their secrets safe. The events unfold a spiderweb of evil acts, lies, and a truth that is far crueller than anyone can imagine, and soon Lola and Fergus find themselves at the centre of a killer hunt. What they cannot imagine is that the search for the truth will bring them back to Dublin. The vicious attack of their neighbour and friend, in fact, is some way connected to the savage murders in Ponte Alto, but how? Inspector Furio Zamparelli and Detective Enda McCarthey will have to join forces and start a race against the clock to stop the killings. The deception of the powerful Kopfler family had started. There is no coming back: Will Lola be spared?

Quarantine Birthday

The highlight of the last two weeks?Mmm🤔,my birthday, of course!!!!. And not because I ‘m a ruthless prima donna, but because I am genetically inclined to worship birthdays. Anyone birthday.
I grew up with a woman who is, in fact, a sort of birthdays freak. My mother,aka Nona, remembers anyone’s birthday and religiously calls the birthday boy or girl on the day. If then, they belong to the category of close relative or friend, she will gift them with a present. The present will be promptly delivered on the day of the birthday, and if that it is not possible, then it will be handed a few days in advance. Not too much in advance or else, they can think you want to get it out of your way and absolutely never after the birthday had passed or else they might think you had forgotten.
The same goes for the main festivity like Easter and Christmas.
When still a child, I clearly remember my mum, address book in hand, sitting on the chair beside the console where the telephone was, (in those days there was only the landline and even not cordless), and dialling numbers like there was no tomorrow.
When a bit older, and according to my mother in one of my most rebellious phases, I tried to suggest that maybe she could wait for them to call for once. Superfluous to say that it didn’t go down well!
Despite all her effort to train me, I have never felt l the pressure of the religious occurrences, maybe because I am not religious at all. A thing this one, that I am sure good old Freud could link to my upbringing, but I won’t go deep in this because I have learnt that Nona , (thanks to google translate), regularly reads the blog.
Where her imprinting didn’t fail to stick, instead, is on the Birthdays worship. As for family tradition, even in my house birthdays are sacred, and my clan never had a birthday without candles, balloons, cakes and presents.
Unfortunately, the travelling husband didn’t have the same family imprinting I had, but I trained him well. Still, genetic is unquestionable, and while daughter number two took after me, daughter number one took after the paternal side of the family.
Father and daughter are present last-minute buyers and normally going on a shopping trip the Saturday before my birthday. Something that this year they couldn’t do. I think they thought to be off the hook because of the quarantine but I’ ll be damned if I skip my birthday full pack of birthday celebration and even more damned if I get involved in it. Rule number one of a good birthday is that everything must be a surprise.
So, here I am, actively but discretely reminding them how long deliveries take in lockdown…Hoping that message is clear: I still want my present and my cake and on the day. When I noticed that the stock of wrapping paper I keep in the study has gone, I know the message has been received. Never mind the present is a tin of beans (better if it is something else of course) but it must be a surprise, and it must be nicely wrapped.
Now I only have to be sure that they remember the decorations, and so I leave the basket with the party stuff in the middle of the landing where they can all trip on it.
With a bit of anxiety about what is awaiting me, I got up on the 24Th to find balloons, handmade signs and lovely gifts, handmade and not.
Despite the odds, it was one of my best birthday ever and the first when even Nona had followed the suggestions she was given. Well, not that she could do otherwise considering that no shop is open in Italy and so she had to turn to Amazon. Something in a normal situation unthinkable as a birthday present must be bought only after careful research and some effort. Every gift is carefully planned and thought according to the person that goes to. There are no generic gifts to click on a screen in Nona’s world, or at least there weren’t … until this year when she had to capitulate and buy me a bath tray, with the promise that she will get me something else as soon life will go back to normal.
I, myself, would have thought to ask for a bath tray in a million years, but that was before the self-isolation when I barely had time for a bubbly bath once a year. Now, in this new life, I can bath weekly, switch on the bubble and now even bring with me a glass of wine and sky go.
Now I’m just waiting for the next trip to the supermarket to show off the lovely handbag the traveling husbnad got me. In the meantime I must decide if let the girls clean the windows or polish the silver first. Poor creatures, still so naive to gift me with a voucher booklet for domestic services.
So, yes, quarantine can have bright sides😉.


A truly madly interview

Ortensia will be back this sunday in the meantime let her alter ego brag about her interview with AllAuthor.


What do you miss the most about your childhood?

The total unawareness of other’s judgement.

When you were growing up what was your dream job? Is any part of that still true?

Writer since I read Little Women when I was around 7.

Do you think holding a degree in History and Philosophy has helped you shape into a writer?

Maybe not directly but for sure it shaped my mind and taught me to look at things in deep and with imagination, that sure it is a plus when you have to shape characters and scenes.

What encouraged you to quit your job and go back to writing?

To be honest, my job was quit before I went seriously back to writing and for practical reasons due to the family, but what brought me out of my shell and made me go back to writing nearly full time was rediscovering, thanks to a diary, how good it felt.

What inspired you to write “Fields Of Lies”? What’s going to surprise people about this book?

Anything around me is an inspiration. Everyday life offers plenty of ideas, you must just listen to them. Fields Of Lies was born after driving every day the same hills I started to wonder what were the stories behind those gated houses in the area and my imagination then took over. I suppose the most surprising thing about Fields Of lies is how close to home it is. It could easily be a real story just a bit fictionalised.

What sort of person is going to love the character of Bernadette in “Fields Of Lies”?

I suppose any average middle-aged woman. Bernadette is real in her feelings and behaviours and so are the rest of the characters. They could be you or your next-door neighbour.

What challenges did you face while writing your book, Black Souls?

The idea behind Black Souls was since the beginning very clear in my mind but when I sit down to plot it I realised it was not so straight forward, practically and so it was a bit of a challenge to structure it but then it wrote itself.

What made you decide to set “Black Souls” in Ireland and Italy?

It wasn’t planned but then I looked at some old pictures from when I was a teen and we were holidaying over summer in this nice town in the Dolomites and I thought…. “that lake screams for murder” and voila’, Lola had to be Italian. I also liked the idea of an Italian detective, to be honest.

Who inspired the character of Shane Flynn in “Fields Of Lies”?

Shane is 100% fictional but there are some details I borrowed from a cousin of mine.

Can you provide an outline on the most effective way to develop a thriller story?

You need a dirty secret, someone who holds it and someone who threatens to expose it, sprinkle everything with some murders here and there and misleading hunts and you have your story.

What has been your greatest accomplishment as a writer so far?

Put my face out there, expose myself and feeling more proud than afraid of doing that.

If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Who would accept to play me I don’t know but who I would like to do it are Emily Watson, Helena Bohem Carter or Kristin Davis

What do you do when you’re not writing?

When not writing I am a full-time mum of two girls and three dogs so basically I spend my time driving and emptying the laundry basket. Yoga keeps me sane in all this.

When can we expect the next book in The Seacross Mysteries series?

“The Last Witch” is already a work in progress and hopefully by summer.

How has your time with AllAuthor impacted your life and your writing so far?

I will be forever grateful to that fellow author who introduced me to it. It is a great help and a way to connect to a fantastic community of writers and readers, I wish I had more time to spend online.


Be careful what you wish for

The last post ended with Ortensia ingenious wife planning g a week of painting for the traveling husband, while she would relax and enjoy the sun and some good book.

Well as they say, never wish to others what you don’t want to be wished to you, in this case, to paint a wall. Maybe it doesn’t say exactly like that but you get the concept. I am pretty sure it is one of the ten commandments too. And well, if it isn’t it should defo be…..you know just to avoid disappointments.

Anyway, back to the story, it turned out that Ireland is full of ingenious wives looking to make their husband helpful, or of ingenious husbands volunteering for outdoor odd jobs and take a break from their kids and brides. I am certain that by the end of this sanitary emergency Ireland will have the most groomed home gardens and the cleanest walls; finding external paint is, in fact, a mission impossible. Most of the hardware shops are closed and those that are still open only accept orders online or by phone, but they are so overwhelmed with demands that they won’t go back to you that easily and the variety of products available is poor. Or so the travelling husband said. He tried three hardware shops and could only reach one that only had black paint left.

“I know, but what can I do? If there is no paint there is no paint!”, he then would say from the couch, in response to my frown. And he really made it sound like it was not his fault. Except of course if he would have bought the paint last May when he first spoke about painting the wall, he would now have it safe and ready to use in the shed, but as every lousy DIY man, he only buys item by item and only when needed. And I won’t even highlight that if he had not only bought the paint last spring but also used it straight away as for initial plan we wouldn’t be here losing our dignity begging hardware shops nationwide for paint.

Unfortunately crying over spilt milk is pointless, but the ruined wall stays. matter of fact. And now that I spent the first week of the Easter break power washing the patio and gardening, drinking my morning coffee and see that awful wall upsets me more than ever.

Thankfully, any ingenious wife worth of that name is ingenious towards herself too.

The second week of the Easter break I promised the girls to make art and craft with them and so why not catch two birds with one stone and make art and craft on the wall?

We had acrylic paint of different colours, we had varnish to seal it, we had brushes and splendid weather, so let’s unleash our creativity.

While the three of us were happy out drawing and painting with great enthusiasm, the husband was looking at us with a grin expressing all his lack of confidence on the possible outcome of the project; and possibly regretting he didn’t try a bit harder on that hardware shop. If he tried at all, as suspiciously enough, that very same day both our neighbours had two big buckets of white paint delivered.  Too late anyway as we were unstoppable and once done highly pleased with the result.

The husband instead, was in shock for the surprise:  “I really thought it would be ugly you know! Instead, it is very nice. Great job girls.” he said and we decided to focus just on the second half of his sentence as we knew deep down in his heart he intended to make us a compliment.

The rest of the week went in between baking with the girls as promised on top of the art and craft and walking with the husband as he was getting beyond bored.

“Of course you are bored Darling, there is a limit amount of daily internet and tv a man can cope with!!!! Ever heard of cooking or spending some time with your daughters too?”

“Yes, you are right. I just didnt think about it. maybe I can help..or do something with the girls and the dogs” but once again, like with the wall, words and actions stayed unlinked until the divine providence intervened and blessed me with a massively painful ear infection on both my ears. I know its hardly a blessing and it wasn’t the first night that I couldn’t even sleep because of the pain but after I started the medication I was prescribed, the pain eased and I had the excuse to hide and rest in silence for an entire day withiout anybody following me around with any demands.