I created a new blog as an author and under my real name, so for all of you who are interested here it is the links
And as I recently discovered apparently you can’t be a writer without a mailing list here is the link to subscribe to my brand new mailing list that I haven’t figure out exactly how it works yet but ill send a free ebook as a welcome gift because as they say sharing is caring.
Welcome to another one of Teresa’s Finish the Story prompts. The idea is that Teresa gets things started and then tags another blogger to write the next section. Dorinda at Night Owl Poetry, tagged me to run with part 10.
Part 1 by Teresa at The Haunted Wordsmith
Adam was like any other eighteen-year-old boy and soon found himself standing in the middle of the training bay being subjected to the drill instructor’s ridicule. It wasn’t his fault the quarter didn’t flip on the old mattress, but he accepted his punishment anyway. He didn’t have another choice.
Ever since the revolution began, more and more troops were needed. There were even whispered rumors of lowering the age to thirteen if you were from a poor family. The government paid dearly for your life. That money could help support the family.
After completing fifty push-ups and parading around the bay in his underwear, Adam and the other recruits headed outside for training. The morning was dedicated to basic weapons and enemy language skills. Many of the recruits were already fluent, but the training was the same. Adam excelled and only realized his mistake when he was called into the commander’s office that afternoon.
“Take a seat,” Commander Flint said, pointing toward a chair in the corner of the room.
Adam did as he was told and caught his breath as two governmental agents entered Flint’s office. One look from them and Adam knew he was in danger.
“That is Private Adam Ripple, yes.”
“Come with us,” an agent ordered, flashing his sidearm and a warning glance.
Adam stood. “What is this all about?”
The agents stared at him. The one nearest him replied, “…….
Part 2 by Kristian at Tales From the Mind of Kristian
“You’re a bit of an anomaly, you know?”
Adam couldn’t help feeling a bit cynical. He knew he wasn’t anything special. He was just a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, sent into the army to get him off the streets and to help fight this war that many now felt was unwinnable.
“Me? Apart from an ability to get myself into trouble, I can’t see what makes me any different from any other shmo around here. I’m pretty ordinary.” Adam laughed nervously.
One of the agents bent down and pushed the dark glasses down his nose, fixing Adam with an icy blue stare. “There’s many a true word spoken in jest, lad. Two things mark you out. Your ability with languages, which is by far the best we’ve seen in some time, and the fact that you could blend in anywhere. You’ve finished at this prestigious military academy.” He paused to glance out of the window at the makeshift camp, to emphasize the sarcasm in his words. “You graduate as of today. Tomorrow you’re going underground.”
The agents grabbed an arm each and practically dragged him out of the commander’s office and into the back of a black van.
Before he knew it he was……
Part 3 by Li at Tao-Talk
…hooded with a dark opaque fabric. Adam gasped for breath and had to gather his calm or he would suffocate in the hood. They drove for about a half hour and then he was led along by two to what sounded like a helicopter. The ‘copter lifted up and started forward. Just as he was about to relax for a minute, he smelled ether and lost consciousness.
Adam woke up with a splitting headache, lying on a cot in a small, spartan room. It had the feel of a hospital about it, and every so often he thought he could hear a voice over an intercom. The air seemed fresh. Filtered. When the government agent said he was going underground, did he mean it literally? There were no windows and no other sounds except the intermittent intercom echoes.
After what seemed like hours, but he wasn’t sure, the door opened and a woman who looked to be about forty came into his room. Her dark hair was in a granny bun, and she was wearing a white lab coat. She was startlingly ugly, with pasty white skin that looked like it hadn’t seen daylight in a long time. She smiled at Adam and he was surprised again to see that her teeth were pure white and even. Her smile brightened her face and was her best feature.
“Hello, Private Adam Ripple. I’m Dr. Bluebell. You’re probably wondering why you’ve been nabbed from basic training, thrown into a van, drugged, and are now being held against your wishes in a small spartan room. I’m going to be frank with you and tell you that the government needs your help. The fate of the planet is hanging in the balance.”
Adam rubbed his ears, then slapped his face over and over again. He did this in dreams when he wanted to wake up, and it worked every time. When nothing happened, Adam knew this was real.
His eyes met Dr. Bluebell’s, who had been watching him. “OK, Doc, I’m no hero, but I’m no coward either. If Earth needs me…”
Part 4 by Mel at Crushed Caramel
Dr. Bluebell flashed that same becoming smile that improved her face and passed Adam a large folder she had been clutching. “Here is your assignment, Private Ripple, please familiarize yourself with it.” With that, Dr. Bluebell spun around and departed the room leaving Adam alone.
Part 5 by Cheryl at The Bag Lady
As she left the room, Adam opened the folder to see what he hoped would be there, an overseas assignment. He hadn’t traveled the earth much and if it was all going to hell, he wanted to see as much of it as he could. Adam thought he would make a good spy if that’s what it took, after all, he had seen all the James Bond movies, all the others he could find, but kept the fantasies to himself. Basic training was hardly a picnic, but if he could endure that and still be chosen for a special assignment, he was excited.
There were forms to fill out, many contract clauses calling for complete secrecy for any mission he completed. Adam signed quickly, felt no need to view “the fine print.” It was his naïveté and abilities that made him the perfect candidate. After filling out every paper, Adam returned to Dr. Bluebell’s office. “Right, then” as she took the folder, “now it’s time to meet the big guy.” Adam was wondering who the “big guy” was, thinking it was a Major or Colonel, and then laughed to himself as “M” came to mind. A huge door slowly cranked open and there he was…
Part 6 by Sadje at Keep It Alive
Staring at an unbelievably handsome, and young man. He felt his jaw dropped to the floor. He felt that something was not right here. It seemed that young man was too perfect. He started to observe him more closely. The “big guy,” as he was referred to, was definitely not a human. His movements were jerky and mechanical. His voice was clipped and sounded a bit like recording.
“Private Adam, I am talking to you.”
Adam focused his attention to what was being said to him.
“This is a very dangerous assignment. Your skill at languages is going to be very useful for us. We will be sending you to the enemy territory as a undercover spy. Your job is to glean as much information as you can about their attack plans. At no time should you try to get in touch with us. We will contact you ourselves.
Adam took all this in with mixed amount of excitement and apprehension.
He was really going to be a spy!
He was told to go to the barracks. On the way back, Adam addressed Dr. Bluebell. “Excuse me ma’am, I couldn’t help notice something different about our commander.” He couldn’t help but say ……..
Part 7 by Di at Pensitivity101
“Do we know where he’s from?”
“It’s not your place to ask, Private. You will be briefed in due course as to your schedule and where you will be sent. I suggest you get some rest. You’re going to need it.”
Adam was somewhat disappointed but curious to know more details of his mission. He wondered if he would be SWAT trained, or even better, have some fancy gizmos and gadgets like Bond.
The barracks were nothing out of the ordinary, just odd not having any windows and the constant thrum of machinery keeping the air circulated. He settled down on his cot and was soon asleep dreaming of fast cars, explosives, and the occasional dalliance over a drink or two.
“WAKE UP PRIVATE!!” abruptly roused him from his dreams and as he shook his head to clear it, a portfolio was thrown at him hitting him full in the face. “READ THAT AND REPORT TO BLUEBELL’S OFFICE IN TWENTY!”
Adam opened the file and nearly choked when he saw where he was going on assignment…
Part 8 by Fandango
Adam didn’t understand. There was all that talk about an enemy and about his language skills. Then there was the “Big Guy,” who was either an alien from another planet or a very human-like robot. And what did the secretive and mysterious Dr. Bluebell have to do with his being here and his assignment?
But there it was in black and white on the first page of the report in the folder. His assignment was in Montana. He continued reading the report about an insurgency led by a heavily armed and fast-growing militia just outside of Whitefish, Montana. He was thinking about all of the questions he had for Dr. Bluebell when he would be meeting with her again shortly. So engrossed was Adam in the report he was reading that he almost didn’t notice the two uniformed men who stepped up in front of his cot. “Let’s go, private,” one of them said.
“Where are you taking me?” Adam asked the man who had spoken to him. “I’m supposed to meet with Dr. Bluebell now.”
“Change of plans, private,” the second man said. “Let’s go. Now!”
Part 9 by John Freda – The Magic Shop
“NO! I’ve had ENOUGH.” Adam snapped at the two uniformed soldiers.
“I want answers and I want them NOW. You have been giving me the run-arou…
Adam felt something sharp pierce the back of his neck. He felt his world being turned upside down, before hitting the linoleum floor and blacking out.
A large metal fan was spinning directly above Adam’s head as he slowly opened his eyes. He woke up on top of a king-sized bed, soaked in a pool of sweat. His head was still groggy as he pushed himself up on his arms and looked around wherever his new surroundings were. He was now in a dimly-lit hotel room decorated in earth-tones and tree decor. A slim beam of sunlight shot out from behind the mauve curtains. Wherever he was, it was daytime. He staggered off the bed and spotted something laying on the dresser next to an ashtray.
“Thank you for staying at THE MONTANA LODGE. We hope you generously appreciate the services of our staff”.
It was a gratuity envelope. Adam had seen them before, growing up with his Dad. When they were on the run.
“Yeah, here’s my tip..Tell me where the Hell I am”. Adam thought, still trying to clear the fog out of his head. He knew he had to pull himself together, figure this out. A plan, he needed a plan. Before he could even come up with the first part of his escape, someone started knocking on the room’s door from outside.
A slow, steady knock of a hand that sounded big…….
Part 10 by Dorinda of Night Owl Poetry
…enough to topple the door if he kept ignoring it.
Trying quickly to decide what to do, Adam slowly went to the door. Trying to disguise his voice, as high pitched as he could, he asked “who is it?” A loud laugh came from the other side.
“Surely, you don’t think I’m going to fall for that, now, do you?”
The voice sounded familiar. Adam hesitated then swung open the door. He was right! On the other side stood his father, a man he had not seen in years. What was he doing here, and why was Adam stuck in a hotel room, in Montana?
“Dad? Is that really you?”
“Yes, son, it is. We haven’t much time, so let’s stop the chit chat. I have to get you out of here before they turn you over to….”
With that, a loud noise came from behind his father. An odd looking thing, holding a mallet, stood there, glaring at Adam. All Adam could do was watch his father slowly slump to the ground. A pool of blood gathered beneath him. Adam jumped forward to help his dad, but whatever the thing was, it stopped him.
A cold, icy hand picked up Adam by his neck, reading itself to toss him far across landscape of the lodge. Trying to think clearly, Adam grabbed it by the arm and pulled. The arm came flying off. He was right. A robot. So this was why they sent him here. The Earth was being taken over by mechanical men. This was his mission. His dad had died for his country, and now he felt he was next. He made a break for it, running as hard as he could.
Once he reached the perimeter of the lodge, he….
Part 11 by Susi at I Write Her…
… couldn’t quite determine the best route to take. The men who brought him here had the obviously had the advantage. He thought that maybe it would just be best to lay low for now. Adam would need a disguise first though.
He spied a house with laundry hanging out to dry to the right of him and moved towards it to pick off a fairly dry dress. The fit was perfect. Dressing as a woman should throw them off his track for a bit. He could see there was a Goodwill store a block down the street and proceeded in that direction to get shoes, makeup, a bra (to stuff), and
, a wig and a hat to complete his ensemble. He luckily found everything he needed and the transformation was complete.
Adam left the store, cautiously looked left and right for anyone who might be on the lookout for him. As he did, he noticed that he was getting quite a few stares but not the “is this a he or a she?” looks, rather admiring glances. One or two even gave him the up and down, eyes rolling treatment. He actually chuckled to himself and thought – “this is totally going to work!”
He began to walk across the street…
Part 12 By Truly Madly Ordinary https://ortensia72.com/
Adam tried to walk as naturally as he could, but those heels were killing him. He should have bought the shoe’s cushion the shop clerk suggested him and making a mental note not to ignore advice anymore kept walking with his back as straight as possible and wiggling his hips as women are supposed to do. Heads were turning at his passage, and he thought he maybe had exaggerated with the filling inside the bra, but it was too late. When he turned the corner of the block, he saw the two mechanical men from the hotel standing, weapons clumsily concealed under their long raincoat, and observing the people in the street. They were still looking for him. Adam ‘ s first instinct was to turn back, but when he was about to, one of the two men looked straight at him. Panic raised I side Adam, but if he had suddenly changed direction, it would have been suspicious. He had to keep walking, pass them and hope his transformation in the curvaceous busty girl he was now worked and tricked them. Drops of sweat started to run down his forehead while he was about to approach the mechanical men. He slightly lowered his gazed and walked in front of them. He passed them, and they had not recognised him, well probably because their looks were all on his boobs, but it worked! Adam had to use all his self-control not to run or turn. He was eventually to relax when he felt a presence behind him…..
“Excuse me man….”,a metallic voice said……..
I am tagging Victoria Ray @raynkotbradbury.com to carry on the story
Once I got my sight and my mojo back, (see previous post), I also got a new foster dog.
She didnt stay with us long because she was already promised to a family in England but long enough to break my heart when I saw her go. I know, nothing new, as the travelling husband says and then he suggests I should stop fostering considering the emotional burden. Sure, nice try, but it doesn’t work.
Bindi had to have her vaccination up to date before leaving, and I made an appointment with the vet. Kurt, also needed his annual boost and so I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and I fixed him an appointment straight after her.
Lercher dogs are such placid souls that every time I have one in the house, I look at big ears german and I think: Why? Why me? Why can he not be a bit more settled?”
Anyway, you love your kids no matter what and so you do with your dogs, and he still is my boy, and in fairness, he is still hyperactive for his age, but he is also the sweetest and affectionate of the dogs. If he only would stop to hop poor old Clara, it would be perfect!
When Bindi, the foster, was done, I left her in the waiting room with the girls, and I went to get Kurt, who was still in the car probably chewing what is left of my boot.
We had only recently changed veterinary clinic because the old vet retired and I didnt like the substitute.
I wondered why we had not switched sooner: more extended opening hours, closer to home and the same I go with the fosters.
Back to big ears german, his only experience with this vet was when he had his chest stitched up after jumping over razor wire.
He is usually not nervous about coming to the surgery, because it is typically only the fosters to go in, not him (except for that little accident). Today was no exception, he thought, as at first he was left in the car and I went in with Bindi but then, when I went back for him, he was taken by surprise.
With a puzzled expression, he got out of the car and reluctantly walked with me inside the clinic.
The vet was cleaning the table and asked me to wait at the reception for a couple of minutes, that was long enough for my boy to mark his attendance in front of the desk. Hoping my blushing cheeks were not giving me away I pretended it was not us but a gift left from some other dogs.
We are called in. The vet is not the one who had stitched him up, and between her and Kurt, there is immediately an understanding. She called him handsome, and he is chuffed.
Handsome big ears german behaves incredibly well even after the two injections and a full examination. Of course, the treats the vet had kept giving him had help, but I like to think he is a good boy.
She had been smart to take him by the palate, she sure got him. What she didnt get, it was that those ridiculously small crockets could not keep him quiet for much longer and sure they were not enough to keep him at bay when the time of the kennel cough vaccine came.
The kennel cough is a vaccine particularly annoying because they shot it up the nose. I must say that even if Kurt never liked it, he never viciously rebelled against it. Until today.
After the first failed attempt to inject him, I suggest to the doctor that maybe I could do it, but I was only the owner, she was the doctor, and she knew how to do it properly. Her message for me was clear.
At the third failed attempt, she asked for help from another vet: The experienced one.
“Don’t worry; I got this. I developed a certain technique”.
I tried as hard as I could to hide my frown when she positioned herself, legs spread on top of my dog like she was about to ride him while holding him by the collar. I tried to warn her he is stronger than he looks, but she insisted that this way he could not move and sent me back sitting on my chair.
At that point, I didn’t even try to hide the smirk as it was so obvious what it was going to happen that, if neither of them got it, they deserved it.
As expected, the moment the first vet took big ears german’s face in her hands and tried to squeeze the syringe up his nose, he simultaneously shook his head side to side and kicked his back legs like a bull in a rodeo while arching up against his back.
The first vet fell ass on the floor after squirting the vaccine all over herself; the other one, instead, after being kicked in her lower back was flipped in the air and landed on the floor too. I had stayed sat down as suggested the whole time.
When the two vets eventually made sense of what had just happened, look at each other in disbelief and embarrassment. Kurt, the meanwhile, came to sit beside me as nothing had happened.
“He is a solid boy, isn’t he?” they say at the unison trying to regain a professional image.
“Yes, he is”, I say biting my tongue not to add, ”I told you !”. What instead I dared to say it was:”Can I suggest something?”, and this time doc I know everything 1 and 2 were more than happy to let me help.
I know my fat chickens and it only took me an handful of treats and a few seconds and in no time big ears German was sneezing away and after being injected the kennel cough vaccine.
The truth is only one: once a mommy’s boy…always a mommy’s boy.
After the Easter break, I seriously thought I lost my mojo.
Maybe some of you had noticed that I didn’t post anything for a few weeks and if you are wondering why, that is the reason.
It is not that my life became boring all of a sudden; it was just me not willing to sit down and write my weekly post. I nearly convinced myself that my blogging career was over: dead, kaput, gone.
Could it be? Nah, the truth is that my repulsion to sit down and write was more physical than emotional.
The entire month of April, I worked like there was no tomorrow on finishing the first draft of the new book. I was so absorbed in my goal that I had no time to bother about the constant migraine, or headache or my regular stiff neck. Some neurophen combined with arnica and devil claws and I was fine, so to speak because there is a limit on how much you can push it, right?
After we returned from our break in the west and we jumped back in the ordinary day life routine, a strange phenomenon started to happen: every morning it was like a truck hit me.
During the day things used to get a bit better, but then in the evening time, the truck came back and reversed over me. You know when in the cartoons someone is smashed under a van and they reemerge flat, well that was me except my curves were still all there and roundly, nothing had flattened.
My jaws hurt, my bones ached, my joined cracked, and even my teeth were in pain.
It was like I was coming down with the flu except for the flu never arrived, and I never had the excuse to hide under the cover.
I confess I had considered eating a full tube of toothpaste to get temperature like you to do when you are in school to skip an interrogation, but that temperature would have come at the worst time ever as the travelling husband was away and I should have to perform my duties of the devoted mother as usual. Now, those are the odd times when you regret not to live closer to some relatives, but then you simply think it straight and would it worth to have your mother in law nearby all year round only to have someone to pick up your kids from school during the only two days a year you are sick? NO, NO, NO.
As much as that general feeling of unwellness was annoying, the worst was the dizziness accompanied by blurry vision, when not double, and an immediate headache every time I tried to sit in front of a screen.
I am not a worrier by nature, and so it is not that I thought I was dying or something, but I am not stupid either, something was not right unless, after you hit 45 your full body starts to collapse piece after piece and nobody warned me. I enquired with some friend slightly older than me but they all said it is usually a progressing process, it won’t happen overnight.
I was back to square one. Something was wrong with me, and it had to be fixed, but what?
The first thing that popped on my mind was the blood pressure; maybe I needed stronger medication. Nop, blood pressure was under control. At this point, it couldn’t be anything else but my eyes. Last December, I skipped my eyes test; I only bought new frames. My most updated prescription is from last summer.
I had no doubt, that was the problem and only booking an appointment for an eye test made me feel better: who says the placebo effect it does not exist?!!!!
It turned out I was right, what a delightful sensation, just a pity I had nobody but myself to say “I told you so.”
It seemed that the fact I don’t use the reading glasses only to read but also to work, all that back and forth from different distances caused the dizziness and the blurry vision. The effort of the eyes to adapt then, it caused the headache. The stiff neck, I’m afraid, is simply one of the joys of ageing. Long story short , the prescription on my reading glasses must be replaced with progressive varifocal lenses….and only the name gave me a heart attack at the thought of how much they could cost. If that was not enough, the optician also detected a high dryness in my eyes.
Well, that was no news. I have been fighting with that all my life, and so I tell her that I already use lubricant eyes drop.
“Not enough”, she cut me short, “You need to put them on every hour.”
“Oh boy, that is going to be challenging, who can remember “, I say spontaneously freaked out at the idea to set the alarm on my phone every hour….and what about night time? Can I leave it for 6/8 hours or I have to wake up on regular intervals? The optician, whose eyes work instead very well, read me thoroughly and add: “You want to be better, you better find a way to remember”.
“Maybe I should hang the little bottle to a chain to keep around my neck.”, I say thinking to be funny, but the look that I got in return told me that I was not funny at all and that the woman in front of me was born missing the gene of sense of humour.
Once the visit was done, I had been handed to the nice lady who usually looks after me when I go there.
She was like a breath of fresh air, the thing that I usually am not for her. I am convinced that when she sees me stepping through the door, she makes the sign of the cross and hope for the best.
Because I have to wear them all the time I tend to be picky with my frames and It takes me ages to make up my mind. I am usually a well-determined shopper, but not when it comes to glasses. In my defence, I can only say that at least, in the end, I always buy something. Well, always except for this time when thousands of frames and an hour later I decided to have the new lenses fitted in my old frames.
Now, You think it is over right? But it is not because thanks to a promotion I am entitled to a pair of free progressive lenses for my everyday glasses too.
NOOOOO, now the dilemma starts all over again. Will I keep my frames, will I get new glasses? And which one? There was nothing I fell in love with, plus the lenses will be free but then I will have to thin them down, and if I am already spending a little fortune as it is, then it will become a big fortune all at once.
We look at each other in silence, a silence full of panic as I don’t know what to do, and she doesn’t want to spend the additional hour with me.
“You know what you can do?”, She eventually break the silence, “you have three months to use your offer. Why don’t you take your time to think about it and come back.? In the meanwhile, I’m sure we will have received new frames as well and you might find something that you like, or, in the worst case scenario, you can have the new lenses in your old frames”.
GENIOUS, I think. She found the way to take us both out of our misery, and with some luck, by the time I will be back, she will be on holidays or in a sabbatical.
“Deal”, I say.
“Good”, she says, and in that short little word, there is all her happiness, relief and gratitude.
Happy out one week later, I am home writing away at the computer.
My mojo is back, and so is my good sight.
For those of you are willing to spend sometime in the murderous Irish countryside Fields Of Lies is free on kindle this weekend
In the last few years, we always take a little family vacation over the second week of the school Easter holidays. This year it coincided with my birthday, and I was very excited to celebrate my birthday away….until reality hit me.
The day of my birthday we had the ferry booked for one of the Aran islands. The travelling husband, thinking that three “women” would take ages to get ready, set the alarm clock unreasonably early. When we got down to have breakfast the percolator in the bar had not even finished brewing the coffee, and the waiters were still preparing the buffet. We arrived at the ferry nearly an hour early. Plenty of time to go to the loo but also to drink more coffee and tea, in the only coffee shop around and needing more bathroom trips. That was not a problem; after all, we had lots of time to waste (In the bathroom) and could not go anywhere because it was raining outside.
Despite his attempt to conceal his mistake in time management, it was evident from his puffy eyes that, like us, even the travelling husband could have done with some more sleep. Of course, he would have shot himself on the toes rather than admit it, but we knew it and made the best we could to let him know it too ! When the ferry eventually arrived, the sun made its appearance as well and like in an old movie where miracles happen daily, my gang’s brain woke up too and they remembered what day it was: halleluja, happy birthday to me.
So far the day of my birthday was not going according to my expectation and I kind of starting to regret not being home having some “me birthday time” alone. The only “me birthday time” alone I had during the day , in fact, it was when I was left behind because I pedalled too slow. Now, despite the incredible beauty of the Aran islands, spending my birthday massacring my butt cycling up and down and experiencing the four season in just one day didn’t sound right.
When back to the hotel, I must admit that they all made an effort to celebrate me in the evening: they gave me my pressies and brought me out for dinner, but we were all so extremely knackered, after been out and about for 12 hours, that we had no energy to speak, not to mention to blow candles. When the cakes arrived, we all ate as fast as we could already dreaming the moment when we would have laid our heads on the pillow.
The following morning we got to sleep a bit longer and even if well rested, I woke up with an unpleasant feeling of having missed my birthday. On my phone and there were thousands (no I’m exaggerating,remove at least two zeros….may be three🙄 )of messages that I missed because in the island there was no reception and that I didnt check,once back , because struggling to keep my eyes opened. The day ahead of us was another long day, but nothing like the previous one, and we also made it back to the hotel early enough to indulge for an hour in the spa. While the girls and the travelling husband immediately dived into the swimming pool, I patiently waited for the inside jacuzzy to be free. (The outside one was not an option because it had started to rain). On the warning sign it said that it could hold three people, but not really unless they were leopricans. Two sets of standard legs were all it could fit. I still have the bruises from all the kicks the gentleman he was in there with me gave to my poor legs.Well, not that he had left bruises free, of course. We endured in a sort of under water wrestling for a good few minutes until we agreed to take a side each to stretch our lower limbs. And still, the “stretch” word is an overstatement. The other problem of that jacuzzy was that it bubbled only for fifteen minutes, so at regular intervals of time someone had to get out and re-push the power button. In this case, that “someone” it was me for three times until I left but not before asking my jacuzzy pal if he wanted me to push the button again. He, out of gratitude or under the effect of heavy drugs, ( I haven’t decided yet but I’m keen on the second one),looked at me and said: “you have the figure of a model.” Now, I know a compliment is a compliment, and you take it no matter what, but this one was so absurdly untrue, despite the poor man natural tone. It was so unreal that I couldn’t even get pissed with the travelling husband for his reaction when I told him: I simply joined his spontaneous loud laugh.
That night we were all in excellent form, and so we decided to give it another chance to my birthday. In fairness calling celebration what we had the previous day required a lot of imagination. We all happily had the whole birthday treat again, but this time we chatted, I blew the candles, they sang me the happy birthday song and then myself and the travelling husband also indulged ourselves with a couple of kids free birthday drinks.
Next year I’m not sure I want to spend my birthday away again but if it the downside is to have to celebrate twice maybe it is not too bad as it sounds.
No pics of the traveling husband because he is a privacy obsessed person , but I swear he exists 😎
Happy Easter wonderful WP People.
I know on Sunday I’m supposed to post but I’ll have to take a two weeks break but I’ll be back soon with new Truly Madly Ordinary adventures.
But because I know you are all loosing your sleep I can give you ahead up saying that Mr.M has eventually showed up to replace my bathroom tap and that my new bed has arrived,after an odyssey of phone calls .Only problem is…….after they assembled it we realized is damaged😱
Good news are I have finished the first draft of book two, and that’s where all my writing time went and so now ,before the real work stats,the editing, I ll take my family for a break in the west of Ireland.Well, I’m sure they would tell you it is them to take me for my birthday but , as you you know truth is always in the middle😉
In the meantime you can take a break too and if I can suggest somewhere I would suggest Seacross where Lies,murders and love affairs will keep you entertained and where secrets refuse to stay hidden in the past!
I know….shameless self promotion……just forgive me 🤷🏻♀️and in my defense I’ll try to use my break to catch up with your posts😘
On Thursday I had my first interview as an author on Instagram. Live streaming.
Lovely Brandy who helps and supports authors and writers asked me if I would have liked to be her next guest and I, in a raptus of total lack of any common sense, I said yes.
Only after we agreed on the day and time of the interview, I eventually realised what I have done: Me, in front of a camera? Live with people looking and listening to me? I must have been temporarily insane when I agreed. I am a bubbling person but in my little group of people. I am certainly not someone who likes To be centre of attention and I am usually that someone who reacts at it most awkwardly and clumsily.
After I thought to fake an attack of tonsillitis right on the day of the interview, I felt like the biggest coward ever. So, rather than keep running in my garden with 1 degree Celsius and wearing only my underwear in the hope to get the most significant sore throat in history, I tried to focus on transforming the panick in excitement. And because the power of our mind is limitless, it worked! At the idea of me, answering questions about my life as a woman, a mother and a “writer”, I developed a total blind and irresponsible excitement but, still excitement: “Feck tonsillitis, I am going to d this, and it will be great”.
In the following weeks, after Brandy and I spoke about the interview, so many things happened that I didnt even think about it again, until the day before “the event”, (because let’s face it, this could be the highlight of my entire year).
I texted Brandy, we agreed on a few topics, I even wrote down a few answers, on a piece of paper that it is superfluous to say I couldn’t find on the day of the interview, and the whole thing was suddenly real and making me predictable anxious again.
That evening before going to bed I practised in front of the bathroom mirror to speak slowly.
First of all, because I know my fat chicken, that in this very case it is nobody else but me, and I notoriously have the tendency to talk too much and too fast when I am nervous. Second, because as slower you speak and as higher are the chances to camouflage the accent. In particular when, and I will quote my daughters, it is as silly as mine.
Thursday morning, I woke up feeling good and driven to give my best. Nervous as well as my hands were disgustedly sweating hours before the interview but, never mind. I had decided to play, and I was going to play it entirely, to the point that I advertised the conversation on all my social media pages.
Of course, after every time I pushed the button “post”, I immediately regretted, but it was too late: I was in the game, and I had to play.
Eventually, it was afternoon. I came back home from collecting daughter number two from fiddle at 4.45. The Interview was scheduled to start at 5.I had fifteen minutes to instruct the girls not to enter my study unless the house was on fire. And by that, I specified that I meant the whole house because if it was just one room, they could close the door and move to another one or even better in the garden, along with the dogs.
Breath in, breath out…I was officially agitated and the proof was that I went to the bathroom three times in ten minutes. I made sure to have a glass of water handy, the I pad fully charged and my lipstick impeccably applied with no trace of it on my vampire’s tooth. I was ready and waiting.
At 5.20pm, nothing had happened yet!
I checked my IG account, but there were no messages from Brandy. I must have got the time wrong, I thought, and possibly the wrong day too.
I went back to the conversations with her, and I was definitely on the right time and day.
I checked my connection, but even that was correctly working.
Worried that Brandy was somewhere out there in the web introducing me as her next guest and I was nowhere to show up, I texted her.
With my significant relieve none of those scenarios was true. The interview was merely supposed to start at 6 pm, my time, instead of 5 because while in Europe we changed the time in the States they didnt.
A simple misunderstanding that causes no harm to anyone but that reinforced my hate for the DST that not only for six months takes every day a precious hour of sleep from me but it also nearly ruined my interview.
I had now half an hour to wait. Half an hour to fit in the most significant number of housework possible, from getting some dinner together, to take care of the laundry and feed the dogs to avoid them to be heard hauling outside the study.
6 o’clock arrived and I had barely the time to go back to my desk and jump into Brandy’s video. That delay in the start distracted me and avoided me the waiting to start that usually builds up the anxiety.
Great, I thought, I am going to be so relaxed and spontaneous. I even decided to follow my friends’ suggestion just to be me. Something that in normal circumstances I would consider dangerous, in particular when my tongue is accidentally faster than my brain, but that, in this case, it instead paid off…..or, so I believed.
In one click I was out there, live in front of total strangers and familiar faces, that I realised was even worst. My ears and cheeks felt on fire, but Brandy was brilliant and made me feel complete at easy, and all those people participating were fantastically supporting.
I talked like a chatterbox about everything, and by the end of the hour, despite feeling emotionally drained, I felt unstoppable. I was enthusiastic about my performance.
Nothing could destroy how happy and satisfied I was, not even the fact that the travelling husband barged into the room in the middle of the interview: “Bloody Hell what are you thinking? That you are better than your daughters or your dogs. If the room is off limits it is for everybody, you included”.
Obviously I couldn’t say it, and instead, I smiled like the most in love of the wife and briefly introduced him to my public. It did cost me, because what I wanted to do was to kick him out the room as that was my space and he had no right to be there but, as my friend SJ, later told me: “it could have been worse, he could have come in naked”.Fair enough, maybe I should only be grateful he had all his clothes on instead of being pissed for the interruption.
The entire evening I was so proud of myself: “I am so a natural in front of the camera!”, except I am not and the reality hit me when I rewatched the interview.
As more I watched of myself and as more painfully my enthusiasm died.
Starting from the accent, I was so concerned that it was too strong and too Italian that I sounded like a German all the time.
To be clear, I have nothing against Germans. On the contrary, they are one of my favourite people and I love the language, but I don’t think it is a good thing to sound german when you are talking English and you are a native Italian. That said, this throws some light on the fact that I am always mistaken for french, german, polish or else but never for Italian.
Unfortunately, the video of the interview, also highlighted that even if my silly accent(to quote my darling daughters) doesn’t give me away, sure my body language does. As my gracious cousin confirmed with a text crowded of laughing emojis. She was right. Not only my hands were continually looping in the air, but my butt kept shifting in the chair from side to side and like some occult force possessed me, I kept stretching my neck back and forth looking like a turkey with red lipstick.
My famous /infamous frown had made its appearance a few times too, but always in its funny self: Pew!
So yes, the perception of yourself and your performances sometimes cannot be more different from reality.
If I am ever to be interviewed again, I will get someone to tie my hands behind my back and the night before I will sleep with a fan on my neck so to be sure to wake up the following morning with a stiff neck that I won’t be able to move. Or I will agree on a radio interview where only my voice will be heard. Of course, the accent will still be silly, Italian or German, but because I am quite happy with the contents of my answers, I like to think it will be them to get people attention and interest.
What a week!!!!.
The gardener came to prune trees and bushes; the fence man came to take measurements as we have to replace the trellis that the last storm took down, and the skip man came to take care of all the junks.
And all this just between Monday and Wednesday: quite impressive right?. Well, no. It would have been impressive if even the plumber had shown up.
On Wednesday morning, he swore me on the phone he was coming in the afternoon.
Not that I was so naive to believe him, but the fact that the travelling husband announced he was coming home a day earlier from his business trip, made me think that maybe there was something going on.
Maybe Mr M(our plumber for those who had not read my previous post) and he had secretly spoke and arranged to eventually meet in person.
The excitement of what could have possibly happened that day, gave me an incredibly writing boost and I wrote non stop all afternoon, but when by 7 pm, the husband was home but Mr M had not come yet, I had to give up the hope.
It might have been the rollercoaster of emotions , or (most likely) the fact I wrote in the kitchen instead of in my study embraced by my very comfy office chair, but an atrocious migraine accompanied by a very stiff neck assaulted me and didnt leave me for a few days.
The rest of the week was a nightmare: I could not write because the screen made me puke; driving was an absolute hassle but I had to do it, at least for the school run. Even walking the dogs was a challenging task.
My brain was totally messed up, to a point that I left one of the teachers cornered me and convinced me to walk daughter number two’ s class to the local mills for a tour that very same Friday.
In my defence, she caught me completely off guard but still: “seriously? “, said the wise and clever me to the naive me, “eight years in the school and you still had not learned to run as soon a teacher come towards you with the suspicious imploring face?”.
Friday morning the headache was slightly better but still there along with my sore neck and my extreme crankiness. By 10.15 am I am ready to leave home and meet the class at school gate by 10.30 as instructed , except I received a frenzy phone call from Mrs O (the begging teacher) saying she had given me the wrong time, she is very sorry but the class is already on its way to the mills.
A big smile started to form on my face as for a brief moment I thought I was off the hook. Pretty soon that smile turned into a grin as what she meant, it was actually for me to go straight to the mills, meet the class there, walk them through the tour and then back to school. “Boomer” . So now here I am at the local old mills reception. Of course, being so late when I arrived everybody turned to me and I suddenly turned into a third grader myself and felt the excruciating need to justify my indefensible lateness with everybody: Sorry I was given the wrong time, it was not my fault”, I started to recite like a mantra until one of the teachers approached me and gently caressing my arm went:”It is ok Mrs V. We know it was not your fault. You can relax now”. I am straight back into an adult, only a very stupid and embarrassed one.
The mills’ tour went better than expected and even the weather had held up. It was indeed windy and cold but dry.
Two hours later we finally made it back to school, I waved happily and a bit less happy I realised I had to walk all my way back to the mills to collect my car and so I ended up to walk also daughter number one class that was on the second mills’ tour.
Once I put the “Mills’ affair”behind me and I eventually headed home in extreme need for painkillers to ease my headache that by then, no wonder had gone worst.
Not even five minutes in the house that someone knocked on the door.
I peeped from the window and I see a huge guy with a toolbox.
I opened the door and he introduced himself as one of the guys who help Mr M and says he was there to replace the tap.
For as much as I cared he could be whoever he wanted, as soon he changed that bloody leaking tap.
All excited for the unexpected visit, I escorted him upstairs and I didn’t even get upset when he didnt remove his shoes(obviously MR M had not had time to properly train him yet).
Ten minutes later, he walked out my door while I was left in my bathroom looking at the drops that kept spilling and cursing the travelling husband who bought the wrong tap.
That was far too much for one morning: my head was pulsing and my mood was dangerously bad.
I drove down to the village and annoyed by everything and most of all my hair that kept going into my face with the wind, I stepped into the hairdresser and ask for an appointment:
“When”, she asked. “Now”, I answered.
Lucky me she had a cancellation. She sat me on the chair and asked what I wanted to do. “Chop it all off”, I said exasperatedly.
The young girl looked at me puzzled, but also a bit scared. Understandably scare, as I had the face of someone who had not had a proper sleep in three nights, had a pounding headache for the same numbers of days and, on top of it all, had a very bad morning. She, of course, could not know all this and probably just thought I was a psychopath or a potential serial killer ready to jump on my feet and make a massacre in the saloon.
“Oh ok, I wash it and then we will see what we can do”, she told me with a stupidly far too patronising tone, because if I was really a psychopath that would have sure triggered me off.
Lucky her, and the test of the people in the shop, I am a pretty stable person and calmly followed her to the washer!
Her gentle and light little hands did very well to my head, I have to give her this.
Back to styling chair and in front of the mirror, she approached me suggesting a restyle of my bob.
“I don’t want a restyle, I want to cut it short”
She started cutting and then stopped: “no no”, I say” cut more”.
She suggested to blow dry it first and then if I still think I want to go shorter she will cut more.
I frankly thought it was a waste of time, but her terrified expression told me she must have had some very traumatising experience with unhappy clients and so I graciously agreed to do as she said.
When she had done and I look like I am wearing a mushroom hat on my head, she asked: “So? What you think?”
” Still too long”, I sharply replayed, and even if I was really tempted I kept myself from adding, “I told you!!!”. She cuts the first lock of hair and looked at me for approval. I nodded with my head and we kept going like that: she cuts and I nod until there is not much left to trim.
I feel lighter, and even the headache is gradually starting to fade off.
Saturday the head was much better, the mood had dramatically improved, and even the weather was back to spring. I gardened all day planting and repotting flowers and vegetables and in the evening realised that the migraine was completely gone🎉
Only on Sunday morning, when I got up the bed, I realised that after all that kneeling, bending, lifting and digging, the pain had simply shifted from my head to my joints. The joy of ageing they say, but when I look at my garden and my new hair I can’t care less!
Have good week everybody.
here is the new hair😀
When my Argentinian friend asked what was my next post about, I genuinely answered “the plumber”. With the complicity of a couple of glasses, he quickly responded that in most of the movies from his teenage years, there was a plumber. From the kick his girlfriend gave him under the table, I can only imagine at what kind of cinematographic masterpieces he was referring.
Anyway, this post won’t talk about “that kind of plumber”.
Our Plumber, Mr M., is a very nice guy and he is with us since we moved into this house.
According to the family tradition, that wants us to have heating problems in every single house we move, the very same day we stepped into this house, we realised that the lid of the oil tank was misplaced, and there was a high risk that some rainwater had mixed with the leftover fuel.
Coming from a family who had always been in the oil business, I well knew the potential danger for the boiler, of mixing oil and water. We needed an expert, but we knew nobody in the area, plus it was Saturday. Our only option was to ring the number of the plumber indicated by the oil company on the tank.
The travelling husband dialled the number, Mr M. answered, and that was the beginning of their “special” relationship.
” A Special Relationship” in the way that it is purely telephonic but durable. The traveling husband and Mr M. never met. They only occasionally spoke on the phone, but for some reason, every time Mr M. is called around the house, he never fails to inquire about my husband and never forgets to send him his regards. Of course, in the same way, he sends his apologies to not taking my calls too. It must be some sense of brotherhood he holds deep inside him. Still, I am always tempted to remind him that since I am the one he has to deal with, and most importantly I am the one who pays him, he better worries about me and how much he can piss me off instead!
Anyway, once you know what you are dealing with, you act accordingly, and when Mr M. doesn’t pick up the phone, I keep calling over and over again. I keep hoping he will never get involved in any suspicious accident too, because the first person the guards will go to it will be me, thinking I was stalking him.
If you think that Mr M. is not actually as lovely as I say, you must know that if you are really in trouble and your call is urgent, he will show up at your doorstep in no time. Unfortunately, if your request doesn’t qualify as critical, then better you sit back, relax and prepare for a long wait. How long? Who knows!
Now you are probably wondering why sticking with him; I mean, there must be someone in between right? Not really. I had tried a couple of other plumbers for minors job, but it didn’t work. First of all, I felt like I was cheating on Mr M.; and second, but most important, he is the only one who devotedly removed his shoes before stepping on my white carpet. To me, that gesture worths the wait! And that, it is precisely what had happened with my kitchen tap: we waited from November 2018 to March 2019 to have it replaced.
One morning, last November, the travelling husband went downstairs first and found the kitchen island covered in water.
The tap had leaked non-stop for the entire night. We immediately called Mr M., and he promptly came. Thankfully he considered the waste of all that water an urgent matter. So now we know another virtue of his: he is sensitive to the environment.
Unfortunately, not sensitive enough to keep considering my tap an urgent job even after he slowed down the spillage and suggested to wrap a towel around the base of the valve to protect the counter.
It was winter, and the tap with the scarf was cute, for a couple of weeks, but then it started to annoys me every time I looked at it.
In fairness, my annoyance was not only with Mr M. The travelling husband contributed too. In the beginning, it seemed, in fact, essential for him to come with me tap shopping. Then after we went to a couple of shops, suddenly I could go on my own, but the tap had to be a pull out one, because much handier. Now you don’t think that to find a tap that is extendable and filters the water is easy.
Weeks of researches and boring trips from shop to shop paid out, and I had it. Except the pullout was not a good idea anymore. Too many clumsy hands in our house: “it won’t last”. Thank God I am a resourceful person and I had my back up plan ready.
Not even a week later the new tap arrived.
I didnt waste time and rang Mr M. on the very same day: “Brilliant”, he said. “I might make it to you tomorrow late afternoon”.
That conditional verb should have rung a bell in my head because it was only seven weeks and multiple phone calls a day later, that Mr M. ‘s van eventually pulled over in front of my house.
Before opening the door, I rushed to put a bottle of champagne in the fridge for the husband and me to open that night.( Let’s face it: the event deserved a proper celebration. ).
While doing so, my eyes fell on the tap’s box , that was still sitting in my utility routine unopened. A shiver of pure panic ran through my spine: what if it was the wrong tap?!?.
Like he had telepathic superpowers, the travelling husband phoned me to check if Mr M. had shown up. The lack of enthusiasm in my voice raised his suspicions, and I had to share my concerns.
“No matter how wrong it is…we will have it fitted in, even if it is the ugliest of the taps. If we lose this chance, only God knows when we will get another one”.
Pragmatical as always, the travelling husband was right, but I didnt feel any better.
“I don’t want a fecking ugly tap. I want the stylish, funky one I carefully picked.”, I mumbled on my way to open the door to the plumber.
Lucky us, it was the right tap, and I love it!
The morning after Mr M. came to replace the kitchen tap, a quite annoying noise coming from the ensuite of our bedroom, woke us up: “ti,tic tic….”
I could not believe my eyes; the bathroom sink’s tap was now leaking.
To be continued……when , Only Mr M. can say!