Bad planning

The midterm break was supposed to be my time to write write write, but instead, I ended up to drive drive drive.
Daughter number one, now also known as the teenager, went from class’ outcasted to class’ queen of the socialite. Don’t get me wrong, it’s brilliant that she had settled well in the new school and made a variegate circle of friends, but I and daughter number two were looking forward a much quieter and lazier week especially considering that we had not a day without rain.

The most positive thing about the non-chiling but chilly week of midterm, was that we got to meet with our friends from Boston. We went into town and spent a few pleasant hours with them before enjoying a stroll around.
The city was as intense as ever and full of Italians and Spanish tourists.
Absolutely normal, except that when we got back that very same evening, we heard about the outbreak of coronavirus in Italy. I can’t deny I did panic a little far more than a few after realizing the travelling husband was just back from Italy where he spent an entire week going around the most affected areas.
So now not only he could be infected, but he could have spread it merciless to everybody.
Thankfully nearly three weeks later, he has been cleared, but his company stopped all the travelling and here it is when the big panic assaulted me.
Ortensia is not used to having him home every evening.
NO more hassle-free dinners and early PJs evenings for a while. And the worst is that we don’t know how long this “a while ” will last.

In fairness, I can see he’s starting to feel impatient as well.
Of course, not because he is home all week with his lovely wife and daughters and hiper-farting dogs; it has more to do with the fact that he has to shower in the girls’ bathroom and he hates it.
It all started the week before the midterm.On sunday evening, the husband came in to bathroom while I was showering and with extreme calm, he knocked on the shower door and kindly invited me to hurry up because there was water dripping down the kitchen ceiling.
Disappointed that he didnt come in with bad intention but even more astonished that he managed to keep so calm, I rushed out the shower and went downstairs to check.
He normally goes bananas for this kind of things thinking at the cost of fixing them; but not this time. And neither he blamed me. ( last time that happened it was because I removed all the sealing as it was dirty and dint replace it)
Something was not right: either he had taken an overdose of valium, or something else was going on.
On Monday he was going to leave for two weeks, that was why he was so calm. The shower wouldn’t have been a problem of his as he would have been showering in fancy hotels, and with some luck, by the time he was back, it would have been fixed.
Well Well Well, it turned out I am not the only one whose plans got disrupted. On that Monday the travelling husband never left because of the company travel band; so I have to make dinner every night and not slip into my pjs until after it, but he has to shower in the gils bathroom until the good old plumber finds time for our shower.

To Pole Dance Or Not To Pole Dance, this Is the Dilemma.

And after a long and unexpected break, Ortensia is back. Unfortunately, when life gets in the way, there is no much that you can do. I had to take my time an on top of nursing my poor Clara,(who is doing much better), I also had to ponder a change in career. They say it is never too late and grab the chance when it arrives so …..can a fortysomething woman, with a bit of extra weight on her hips, suddenly become a pole dancer?
It all started a few weeks ago when accidentally I slapped one of the chandeliers over the kitchen island. It was not a hard slap but the thing half-collapsed. The husband was away hunting with a friend who was staying with us for a few days, and so I had a few hours to try to fix it. Why was I so adamant about hiding the accident? Because considering it was a few months that I was stressing my other half about changing the two kitchen chandeliers, I was not so sure the story of the accident, even if true, would have sounded genuine.
After multiple attempts, I had to accept the fact that there was no way I could fit that lamp back in place.
When the husband and the friend came home, they immediately spotted the lamp hanging crookedly from the ceiling. When I explained that it all happened accidentally while dusting, they both seemed to believe me. I was speaking the truth, after all. It was not that fed up with old chandeliers I hit them with a tennis racket or anything of the sort.
The travelling husband tried to fix it too. Considering the hassle it had caused him to fit them, he worked hard and adamantly, but still unsuccessfully too. Now the only option was to remove them both and replace them.
I can’t say I was unhappy with the outcome of the events, but of course, I could n’t show it. I spent the evening cursing my clumsiness instead and googling for close by lighting centres.
The following morning off we went to drop the friend to the airport and then straight to lamps shopping.
It didn’t take long to find what we liked — two beautiful glass chandeliers.
The lamps we had before were purposely of different colours, and so we decided to keep it that way and picked one blu and one red so to match the main colours of the kitchen. That very same afternoon, the travelling husband was off, and so he fitted them straight away.
Unfortunately not being a DIY lover he tends to become cranky while engaged in those type of jobs. The awkward position he had to stay to remove the old lamps and fit the new one then, didn’t help his mood and at the end of the job his neck was as crooked as the chandelier he had just taken off.
Crancky and crocked he totally misunderstood my instruction about which colo had to go to which side of the island and so when I received his proud text with the pic of the two chandeliers on and perfectly working I had not the courage to say he had to switch them. Well, I didnt do it straight away, I waited a few minutes and then let him decompress his more than likely anger attack while I was out with the girls.
On my way home after collecting daughter number two from art class and daughter number one from hockey practise, I received another text from the hubby. Thinking it was the pic of the two chandeliers hanging from the right side, I opened it immediately.
“New bloody lamps on and now she wants them switched. I m going to tell her it is not possible”, the text said. Ops, it was not for me.
“sorry that was for Alessandro”, a second text a few seconds later.
-like I didnt guess it-
I said nothing and resigned to have the lamp colourwise not in the right place I drove home.
A strange light was irradiating from our kitchen, a bit like those illuminating the windows in those Amsterdam areas that made the city so famous.
When we picked the red chandelier, we didnt think about the effect of the colour through the glass. After all, also the lamp we had before was red. Just it was not made of glass.

When I entered the room, the dim red light made my kitchen look like a cheap night club.
The travelling husband, terrified at the thought of removing and refitting the lamps again, tried to sound cool:”how do they look?” he asked
“reddish”, I said
“yes, the read one is a bit too reddish, but the blu is nice…we have just to get used to it”, he said
“Maybe, ” I replied.
We both spent the following day trying to get used to the new light and believe me that was not easy as during the day, with the sun hitting it the lamp reflected a kind of psychedelic light, perfect for disco parties, not so much for cooking. In the evening instead, once the light was switched on, you were suddenly transported from a hippish atmosphere to a club prive’.
“honey, I am sorry, but the only way we can keep this lamp is that we install a pole around which I can wrap my curvey self and dance.”
The travelling husband looked at me, looked at the ceiling and the floor, and then looked at the chandeliers. He is a numbers man and rationally drilling the roof and the storey to fit a pole dance was a far a bigger job than substituting the red lamp with one of a different colour. To him, the most rational thing to do was to abort my change in the career before it started and buy the other blu chandelier.
Here we are now with two beautiful blue glass lamps hanging over the kitchen island…. a bit boring but the light is great, also…….because you never know what the future will bring you, I carefully stored the red chandelier in the attic.

Coffee and suspense: a call to read and review

Coffee, chocolate and a good thrill….no better way to spend some of your spare time..📚☕️🍫🕵🏻‍♂️🔪

“Lola never met her father, and her mother took her own life when she was still a. Raised by her aunt Mara, a callous woman who never showed any affection towards her niece. As soon she turns, 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?

Interested in reading and reviewing? Contact me by e-mail or DM on Instagram and Facebook. Gabrielli Carrara Author


The Brain Dead Neighbour

The other morning I was driving up the lane, after school runs and dogs’ walk, when I saw my neighbours all outside in the middle of the road. Once they saw my car approaching, they started to walk towards me. One of them was barefoot and in his dressing gown. Something was not right.
I parked, and ignoring the wild barking of the dogs, who were not happy about being left in the boot instead of being free in the garden, I joined the little neighbourly crowd. Not that I had many other choices as they were unequivocally waiting for me. Their expressions were a mix of worry and puzzlement. Mine was too, I am sure.
“Are you ok?”. “Has something happened?” one of the neighbours asked.
In front of her questions, I was lost and standing there with idiotic expression, mouth half-opened without letting any word out.
“Your door was wide opened, and all the lights were on. I called for you, but you were not answering. I was afraid something had happened, or someone had broken into. I even tried to call and text you, but you were not answering your phone either,” she added a bit less worried and a bit more annoyed by my lack of acumen .
I still didn’t understand, but instinctively checked my phone and there were calls and texts, only the phone was still in silent mode. Then I instinctively turned towards the front door that looked correctly locked to me.
Still not speaking, I look at my other neighbour, who, despite being out in his dressing gown on a cold January morning, looked more rational:
“She came to me in panic, so I checked your house and then locked it. I had just got out of the shower and came out as I was.”
All the colours of the rainbow passed through my face. I felt so embarrassed and so so stupid. They had already caught me multiple times forgetting my keys on the door( from outside)….even overnight. Now they really must think I am brain dead.
Of course, I had a perfectly rational explanation for my umpteenth brain fart. That morning Clara got sick (a lot on my kitchen rug) right when we were leaving for school. I rushed to clean the most of the mess, and I threw myself the dogs and the kids inside the car. Ready steady go we went, so in a rush and, let’s admit it, so pissed, that I still have no recollection of leaving or switching the lights off and locking the door…..Well, maybe I don’t remember it because I didn’t do it.
While I am blabbing absurd explanations to my neighbours on top of excruciating painful apologioes, the dressing gown neighbour words suddenly echoed in my head:”I went in calling for you and when it was obvious nobody was inside i left locking the door…”
He went in….so he had seen the mess I left.
More embarrassment rose inside and out of me….the only thing I wanted was going inside my house and bury myself in my shame.
Except I didn’t have my house’s keys. I left them inside. Damn, I chased the dressing gown neighbour, who has my spare key and graciously asked to borrow them to open the door.
He didn’t say anything, but his grin spook by itself.
Once I was eventually inside my home, and the dogs were eventually out of the car, I didn’t have much time to indulge in my shame as I spent one hour and a half on my knees scrubbing the fecking rug and swearing.
Lessons learned:
-1always double-check if the door is locked
2-never again buy an under the table rug of such material (especially if you have old dogs)
3- if you are prone to clumsy forgetfulness just don’t be sensitive…..shame will be a recurrent feeling.

The “leaking” Muse

Happy 2020 everybody, I know it feels like we entered the new decade ages ago but it was only 12 days ago and as you can see, we already managed to inspire a poem.

Good old nasty Clara, has not only been the object of my rants but also the muse of my dear friend, Darren Hobson (

After a short period when we all thought her incontinence was under control, in fact, here there was an outbreak. Nappies were not working and neither the vet’s magic potion . Then, after she wet our bed for three nights on a row, not even my marriage was working very well either. The travelling husband, who unfortunately was not traveling, had decided that I was responsible for all our dogs’ bad habits.

OK, I can admit there might be some truth in this urban myth that I’m too soft with our four legs but , still, I felt it was my duty deny his ridiculously allegations and even more to oppose his insulting idea to lock Clara in the cage, or cosy pen as some would call it, overnight.

Me stamping my feet was useless, but she, into the crate, was nonsense.

Clara never considered the training cage as her cosy pen, not even when she was a puppy, and exactly like when she was a puppy she barked and growled through all the night.

” She just needs to get used to it. and when she will realise even if she narks nobody will go to open her then, she will stop and give in”, the husband said on the second sleepless night.

The second night, things didn’t improve. Maybe Clara is a bit slow(and I doubt it), but the message that even if she barks nobody will let her out didn’t quite reach her conscience. Her barking, instead, reached everybody’s nerves in the house, included the travelling husband that was probably so regretting his nights in boring lonely five-star hotels. Of course he wouldn’t say a word and stick with the cosy pen/crate.

The third night of this Calvary I went to bed early, with the only intent to get some sleep before he locks her in the cage and would come to bed too followed by her barking. And I did; I managed to fall asleep but a sudden metallic noise woke me up.

“what are you doing?”

“I am dismantling the bloody cage. She is coming up and she better keep that nappy in place”

Well, hard not to, as he had tied a band around the nappy that makes it m possible to slip off.

Could he have not thought about that before?

Well a week later, the husband is happily back travelling, my bed is happily back to stay dry, and Clara is happily enjoying her 15 minutes of fame.


What happens in the trunk stays in the trunk

After fighting a very strange flu for two weeks, I had to succumb and take the evil antibiotics. The good news is that those horrible aches and pains all over my body and the fever had gone, but as usual, that tedious medications gave me insomnia and nervousness.
Crankiness apart, I am soon fully back on my feet.
No more excuses for keeping the morning dogs walk short, even because I don’t think that big ears german could cope with another day without a proper walk. He loves the couch, but he equally loves galloping on the beach and eats seaweeds like there is no tomorrow.

The sun is shining, and after a satisfactory walk we go back to the car.
Kurt jumps straight into the car boot, as soon as I open it, and waits not really patiently for his after walk treat; Clara, who waits with the same greediness for her treat, needs instead some help to get in. I help her, and while I bend to lift her back legs, I smell a nasty odour. Presumably it comes from the dog poo bag I’m still holding in my hand.
I am right , but the problem is that the bag had somehow popped and the poo was leaking on my boots: “Shit”, I think and say. And never a word was more accurate.
I slammed the tailgate closed and run to the first bin to throw the bag in. Afterwards, I go back to the beach and walk into the sea to clean my boots.

Back to the car, I notice that a piece of Clara’s lead is sticking out from the boot. In a rush, I must have close it through.
I try to open the boot but it won’t. I unlock ,lock and reunlock the car but still nothing.
The lead jammed in the tailgate must prevent the lock from working.
I push down the back seat so to access the boot from inside the car and check what the real problem is. As guessed, the problem is the lead stuck inside the mechanism that makes the tailgate open and close.
I try to pull it out, but it doesn’t move an inch.
If this is not enough to throw me in despair, just this morning I decided not to use the extendable lead for Clara. I simply slipped the ordinary no pulling lead through her head and so now the poor thing is stuck to the tailgate too.

Ten endless minutes and a few attempts from Kurt to hop his sister later, we are parked in front of the house.
I go grab a pair of scissors and free Clara, who is so happy that she even run towards big german ears, wagging her tail.
A mistake only caused by the fact that she couldn’t see him. And in fact, shortly after, I can hear a massive growl followed by big ears german crying.

Now that the dogs are more or less safely inside, I can go back trying to sort the car boot out.
I try again to pull the lead, and again with no success. Discouraged I think about poossible ways to tell the travelling husband that most likely this week end he can’t go hunting because he can’t put the dogs in the boot that won’t open because his wife, after leaking dog’s poo on my boot (boot that he gave me last Christmas), had slummed the tailgate close with the dog’s lead, (lead that is his favorite).

Now, because the human mind works in very strange ways, while I have already the phone on hand to call the car assistance, an idea popped into my head: what if I go for a drive at high speed, the pressure might cause the tailgate to pop open.
A bit risky, but it can work! Except what most likely will happen is instead that it won’t work and I will end up with a speeding ticket. Alternatively, it might work, but not without making me lose control of the car ….then a broken tailgate would be the least of my car’s problems.
As I said the human mind works in very strange ways but not always are clever.

I am kneeling inside the bloody car boot for over twenty minutes now, with my bottom up and half sticking out of the car. I need to shift position, and I am starting to wonder how many of the neighbours are having a good laugh at me.
Not that we have many neighbours that can see me, but the only who can, is usually quick to take pics of odds happenings.

The car boot has now became a sort of cosy place where to spend my morning. I hopelessly look at the jammed lead and the stuck tailgate. Of course, I don’t believe that keeping staring at them will magically fix them, but as they say, hope dies last.
To be honest, faith is not my strong point, but because I am Italian, I grew up hearing people saying “God helps those who help themselves” , and so I start kicking the boot.
one, two, three: kick
one ,two, thre kick
one, two, thre kick….
and magically the boot opens.

Supporting the arts : Share The Good Music


Sunday afternoon, I am still feeling miserable with aches and pains all over my body and paranoid about typos, when the radio started to play a lyric that immediately captures my attention. I let myself to be transported by the music until I suddenly realize that I know that lyrics and I know the artist.

I am now transported to this incredible singer and songwriter’s house. I have the clear image of him, his daughter and son playing and singing. Then the wife comes along and started to sing along too.  How nature had allowed so much talent in just one family, I still don’t know, but it did. I, on my side, feel quite privileged because surely is not an everyday thing to witness the creation of art, and neither is an everyday thing listen at the radio to a song you know who belongs to.

So, in the excitement of been able to say I know that man whose song is now playing on the radio, I just felt I had to write something because good artists deserve to be heard and shared.

If you love music like I do, (and when I say music I mean good music), and if you like to support arts check this incredible composer and singer-songwriter: Hugh Doolan