The porch of my dreams.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bye Bye Pippa

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

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

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

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

A Truly Madly Ordinary Scandinavian Awards Tale.”

Since my late teens years I have always been fascinated with Scandinavian countries. My love for the Nordics started from Denmark through the director Lars Von Trier and the writer Peter Hoeg. In my mid thirties I eventually went to visit those beautiful lands.Despite the fact I was carrying around a six months pregnant bump,that was the best holiday ever!.All my expectations were met and I fell even more in love with those countries and cultures that ,until then,I got to know only through movies and literature.
Because life sometime has a really funny way to present itself and pleases us,it happened that in the recent years I met few Swedish and Danes and I established my little circle of Scandinavian friends here in Ireland.On top of that,I met Swedish and Norwegian bloggers and,on top of the top of that, even my foster dog is going to Sweden.
Now, virtually over fika,I thank SINDRELF for my nominations.

Five Things I like about Myself:
Oh dear ,I don’t even know if I can go that far with the list but sure I like my positive attitude towards things:always look at the glass half full.
I am over all happy and grateful for what I have.
I like my eyes….if their sight would be as good as their look would be even be better but,as I said, I am happy enough with what I have.

Here I am definitely required to work a bit more with my answers:
1.I started blogging because, after keeping a diary for therapeutic reasons,I eventually remembered how good writing,(that is something I used to do since I was in primary school), made me feel.
2.I have a very sweet tooth , comfort food is cakes with cream.
3.I love horror and thriller movies,always did .
4.I don’t think I have one specific favorite song.It depends on the mood but, “Harvest Moon” always makes feel good and cheers me up.
5.My dream …..: having a book published and live a long healthy life surrounded by lots of dogs,as bats are not really pet material.
6.The perfect evening in is good food,good wine and ideally good company.If not,lets at least hope the wine will be abundant enough to forget the bad company.
7.As I haven’t visited all the countries in this planet I can’t really say what is the best one.
8.I would love a human colony on the moon but only if we will treat it with respect not like we are doing with hearth.
9.How humanity succumbs to extremism scares me to death.

I know I usually don’t do nominations because I don’t want to leave anybody out but this time I will and I will be fair as I am only nominating Scandinavian bloggers (please check their blogs as they really worth it)for a Scandinavian award of my invention:“Sunshine Nordic Little Thoughts “.

No list of questions and no pressure for my nominees ,just one curiosity:
Three things that pop into your mind while “walking on sunshine”?

My nominations are:

Raynotbradbury(raynotbradbury.com)

The Photo Bloggers(photobloggarna.se)

The Helsingian Pathfinder(helsingianpathfinder.com)

Sindrelf(sindrelf.com)

Hanne Siebers(toffeefee.wordpress.com)

The Arrival Of The Foster Dog

“Hey Kurt ,have you seen that?”….”what?you usually bark at everything it moves and you missed that big car pulling over in front of the house?Dear Lord you really have that head just to keep your ears apart”.”Now it is a bit late to start barking sweetheart…..she is already in and she is sniffing my butt.”.

Good morning everybody my name is Clara and,without proud or shame,I will say I am an old cranky lady.Sometimes I am called some word starting with “b” instead of “l” but, I dare all of you not to be cranky when you are totally blind on one eye and an half and live in a house where everybody forgets cupboard’s doors open and move furniture around perpetually.Not to mention the bad habit they all have to talk to me always from the side of the deaf ear.Don’t get me wrong, I love my house,my mama,my papa…and even my two leg sisters.I love even my four leg brotherKurt,deep down.He has giant ears and long legs that,at the age of four,he hasn’t figure it out what to do with yet.He goes around throwing them up in the air all day: embarrassing!When he came along I was not happy at all but,at the time,I was young and didn’t like to share the rides on the dolls buggy.Rudy just passed away and I was eventually not “the other family dog” anymore. I was “THE family dog”, eventually.I had just got comfortable on the role of only dog when one Sunday in February big ears German arrived.He was ferociously annoying but smaller then me,then he started to grow (around his ears) out of control.Big and bold he became and once he even tried to steal my food .Wrong move man!I had to show him some discipline and he learned his lesson.

So,this is me. Even if I am not an only dog anymore, thanks to my age and my hierarchic position in the house I have some privileges:The biggest of the beds is mine and also the front seat of the car.Over the years we four and two legs siblings reached the perfect equilibrium and,I admit it,most of the time I growl at Kurt just because it is fun to see him going away with his tail between the legs. True must be said,he deserves some credit too:first of all he can reach everywhere with no effort and he always snitches us food from the counter when we are on our own;second,since he likes to play, he is the one to entertain the girls and I can enjoy my retirement .A pretty perfect setting right?So,who the hell is this creature with the spotty bandana settling in with all her things ?”A foster dog? and when did we talk about this?”,Mama is twisting things around here!It is true that she always wanted to do it but, papa always said no.He is a smart man and knows that whoever dog might enter this house might never leave it.What was he thinking allowing her to do this?I might better have a word with him tonight.Unless he has something very terrible to be forgiven for,he owns me an explanation and better be a pretty convincing one.

Anyway,at this point,whatever his excuse is ,it is too late:we will have this Pippa dog at home with us for rest of the week.Big ears German is of course happy and excited.No wonder,for him everyone is a chance fir a play.He is probably still missing Millie that was with us few days while her parents were on holidays.He probably still misses Toni’s rabbit too that,was wit us for a day.Well,may be that is missed for other reasons: more culinary then playful.

Back to us,”sharing is caring”mama says and so we have to share our house with less fortunate dogs.Hopefully I can share Kurt’s attention too.May be,at the end,Pippa will bring me a break from big ears German and a week of peace.
Now, if you would excuse me, I have to go and have a barking breakdown.

Girls Little Chats

I never thought I had seen the end of this week.Still uncertain if it was more atrocious the weather or my mood I would just declare the match had finished with a draw.
Things started to pick up on Thursday. I eventually decided to start talking again to the traveling husband who, was indeed annoyed by the cold shoulder I was giving him since Monday but,indeed secretly glad for the quiet brought by a silent wife.I still like to think that,in the end,he was starting to get terrifically bored.

Beside the husband wronging me and the wintry depressing weather,I have to be total honest here: a week without alcohol,cheese and biscuits might have done the biggest damage to my mood.I know I will be happy for inflicting a such sufferance to myself when I will start trying on summer dresses and beach outfits but,still,it is threatening my mental health.It is even worst then when my mother used to brush my hair like she was raking a path of stones and kept saying, “there is no gain without pain dear”.And then she wonders why I have been wearing a bob for the last thirty years!

By Friday my soul and body got used to have cardboard under the shape of integral cereal instead of delicious digestive biscuits for breakfast.Even the weather seemed to improve,still pretty grey and cold for this time of the year but, at least, not windy and rainy.Because today I have two little pals of the girls in the car,I am moved by a sudden instinct of good hygiene orientated parent: I decide to hoover and clean the car inside.Twenty minutes later I realize the job is far behind my capacity.They will have to be happy just not sitting on a carpet of sands and dogs hair.

Daughter number one and her friend have a party to go. The party is quite far away(over half an hour driving)but definitely worth it as it is a tour of a chocolate factory.There is no time for me and the other two to go home and back so we treated our self at the factory with coffee and babyccinos accompanied by a yummy complimentary chocolate each.For the record,mine is still in the bag untouched.Two hours are long to pass and we are fast drinkers so we decided to venture to the nearest shopping center. Not ideal but better then sitting in the car. Ikea would be close too but I have no space left in the car and,by experience,I know there is no chance to go to Ikea and get out empty hands.

If the drive to the party was all about what was going to be the chocolate factory and an interminable sequels of laughs and giggle at the expenses of a poor boy who, since first grade, unsuccessfully proposes to every girl in the class;the drive back home proved to be intellectually more challenging.May be without the rush hour traffic I could have make it to keep the conversation strictly about the just spent afternoon but,with all that extra time at our disposal while stack in the motorway, the little four devious minds I was transporting started rambling around.Two fifth grader plus two third grader who are also two couple of sisters can be the most explosive combination but also the most funny.

The eldest sisters started lecturing the youngest ones about puberty.From there we went through the possible code names they could use instead of “puberty” as,apparently,it is an unpleasant word.I diligently explained that it is exactly its name and it is not unpleasant or shameful and everybody goes through it.”Yes even the dogs”,CG said,”Kurt is now a teen ager in dogs years and he has spots.”.Actually Kurt,the giant dog,might correctly be a teen ager in dogs years but more likely the spots that keep showing to his head and disappear, have to do with him learning how to open the utility room’s door and eat directly from the container of his food.Better safe then sorry,I played along.They were all happy about the subject of puberty but still quite in shock by the fact that dogs grow boobs too, to feed the puppies. As consequence ,I have been ask to have a litter with the next dog so she will grow boobs to see.Great,now not only my mouth gets me in trouble with adults but also with children!

Nearly home,tiredness started to kick in:the voices went lower and the talk was about dreams.A safe topic eventually.No,not yet safe: the proposing boy is still the protagonist but,this time,he proposed to a class mate and then “they had the thing”.This,to quote one of the third grader who was telling the dream she had. “What is the thing?”,the two fifth grader asked in a coir ….they can be older but the youngest sisters are a step ahead,no doubt about it .”The SEX”,and this is CG,my daughter number two that I quote.Loud and clear she spoke and I nearly crashed in the car in front of me.Thing last one,that I am really not allowed to do ,again. This time I doubt I would be so lucky to get away with a pan of homemade tiramisu.

At that point I don’t know what gave me the greater relieve:the disgusted expression they all had at the sound of the word Sex or the big sign on the side of the road stating we were eventually home!

A Little Thought About Friendship In The Samurai ‘s Garden.

I finished the book.Slowly but surely I did it even if with a bit of delay compare to my book club companions. In my defense I must say that,in the last two months, my bed side table has been the home of five books of which three I borrowed and had to return.On top of that,like every other human on this planet,I only have 24 hours for each of my day and I really need some of them for my beauty sleep.

Back to the book, I will say that the second half has been a delightful and gracious reading as much as the first one.I already mentioned how since the first few pages I was captivated by the author light writing and her ability to define the leading characters without even describing them.Once the introductions are made,page after page,they take shape,spontaneously.Places follow the same pattern.
The Samurai’s garden grows in parallel with a young boy starting his journey to become a man. His thirst for life and knowledge of the human nature makes him enter the adults world more knowingly then forcefully.Around him there is net of characters undoubtably playing a key role in the development of the story and in Stephen -San nearly Kafkaesque metamorphosis.
In my vision The Samurai’s Garden is a little book about human nature with its strength and weakness.It is a little book about relationships and loyalty, inside families, between friends and between lovers.
To me,friendship is the leading topic in between the lines.It is the source of every action,the food of every feeling and the hand that hold the threads of the story.

A while ago I wrote a post about friendship.The real one:the one that never makes you judge or feel judged.
“A real friend never judge”.Since I started to apply this simple rule to myself and my so called friends, I realized they were not as many as I thought and,most shockingly, they were not even the ones I thought they were.Applying the same rule to myself,it meant instead coming to terms with the fact that I am not that such good friend I thought I was.Harsh discovery but inspiring and enlightening. If I would have applied that rule sooner I would have wasted less time with the wrong people,I would have been hurt less and I would have hurt less.

Toni and I used to live in the same estate for years until, she moved further south and I moved further north.Despite the busy life we both have and the distance,we kept in touch and try to meet regularly,usually half way.
Now, you are probably thinking I lost the plot and I am mixing posts here.I am not!May be the plot I do loose it,sometimes, but not in this occasion.I am not certainly mixing the posts either and when you will get to the end of it,you will understand what I am talking about.This is not a threat.I swear!

Sunday morning I finished the book and on Sunday afternoon I met my friend Toni.Driving back home, I was mentally going through what to write on my book’s review and suddenly my speculations about the book merged with my thoughts about the woman I just had lunch with.In the last twelve years she has been a constant presence in my life.I actually never realized that,in my adult life,she is indeed my oldest Friend.The “F” is not a typo mistake but the result of the fact that in all these years neither I ever felt judged nor I ever judged her once.I suppose that our relationship developed in a such spontaneous way that I never had to question or label the nature of it.We might not see each other every week anymore but we sure turn to each other when something is up.

When you move town there is always the promise to keep in touch with the old neighbors and friends etc.It might happen for a while but,then,both sides go on with their new lives. The distance sure doesn’t help and soon becomes the perfect excuse to not make the effort.Truth must be said,if you don’t feel to make the effort may be it doesn’t worth it but, if and when you do it,then it is when you are off to meet your True Friend.

Award Time:Versatile,Sunshine and Tag Award

It is award time again.Some of them are old and apologize for taking so much time but I guarantee it is not a sign of no appreciation,on the contrary.
P.S. The order I am posting them is strictly chronological:

Thank you very much Hitting 60(hitting 60.com)for the nomination.
I am not good at talking about myself straight and I must confess I had some difficulties to find seven facts about myself decently interesting and that wouldn’t make me sound weird or dull.
1. Ortensia is a pen name with a very personal meaning as it was the name chosen for a daughter who never made it long enough to meet her sisters.
2.I went back writing after many years of abstinence and forgot how good and alive makes me feel.
3.I hate slow driver and bad parking.I allow myself to swear a lot in the car and I beep a lot too.Not much of an example for my offspring I am afraid but considering it runs in the family they seem to be immune to it.
4.After spending so much time on a dark(ish) side I now refuse negativity.The glass is always half full to my eyes and a smile must never be denied to anybody,unless they are proven assholes.
5.Over the years I pleasantly discovered that I can be a nester and a gipsy at the same time .
6.I feel uneasy around people who take themselves too seriously.Actually I find them a bit boring.
7.I deeply love my dogs but I aim to a pet bat.

The TAG Award.
Excuse the ignorance but it’s the first time I hear about this award so ,thank you Viola Blue (ideas.become.words/violableau.com))for nominating me and make me discover it.
Two questions to answer here:
1.Reading in bed or on the couch?definitely in bed ,before going to sleep or,my favorite time,on those lazy Sunday afternoons over summer when it is too hot to stay outside or when it is raining and you can read cuddled by the sound of the rain.
2.Male main character or female main character?by instinct I would say female but looking back at how I pick my book and at the books I read it actually doesn’t really matter.My choice is done through the plot and the gender of the leading character doesn’t affect it.


First of all thank you to She who nominated ,second of all,I recommend to check her blog thisdoorisallarmed.wordpress.com
I won’t hide that I had to work with this award as there are ten engaging questions to answer to:
1.My most treasure possession and its meaning: it is an antique wrist watch called like me that I have been given from my stepfather many many years ago.It is beautiful and it means love to me as he went through a lot of trouble to find it.
2.My quirk.?Unfortunately for my family I have many but they are well used to it by now,you,I don’t know so to just not put you off I will tell you the most normal one:i judge people by their house bathroom,so you know…if you will ever invite me to your house and i will ask to go to the toilet you know what I am up to.
3.I will pass question number 3 as I don’t feel to nominate one blog over all the others as my favorite.
4.Five things to accomplish over the next five years:have something published,move to an other country and mostly keep up my life as it is as i am so lucky to be happy with what I have.
5.How would I be described if I was a book character?frankly I learned that how people see you is very different from how you see yourself so this is a tough one really.If it was me describing me,I might say loyal and positive….possibly bubbly.
6.What i wish to change in myself?This s easy,I wish to change my butt with a smaller one.
7.Stated that i love accessorize and i never leave the house without them(pendant earrings,chunky necklaces and bangles are my favorite)there are jewels that I always wear like y wedding and engagement ring along with he rings i have been given when my daughters were born. Recently they gave me a charm bracelet and that is always on my wrist too.
8.If I had a superpower i wish it would be a healing power.
9.As much as it might sound arrogant I am proud of all the work I have done on myself,and of how I change.
10.What blogging taught me?To trust the web in a way.