The killer fish legacy:the first casualty

Here I am talking about my fishes again.

The girls just ran into the kitchen looking for the little fish net.Not a good sign.LuLu died.Noooooooooooooo😩again.First casualty of the new generationThis death came totally out of the blu.I swear, up to yesterday, there was no sign of distress or illness inside that tank.It is true LuLu was considerably smaller then the other two and she kept for herself but not to a worrying level.The three of them were quite active and seems to get on well together.Was she bullied? Did she fall sick? Smarty is indeed a big fish and both late LuLu and Ozzy ,were not a match for him.This concerned me since the beginning,considering our history but, honestly,after seeing how they were coping,I had no reason to think that something could happen.May be Smarty is a bully or may be Smarty and Ozzy together are misogynistic and simply cut out ,literally,LuLu from their little club.How brilliant: I went from a sociopath bully killer fish to two chauvinist killer fishes.Actually,now it looks like Smarty and Ozzie are suffering as well,may be this time ,once again ,is something viral rather then a disturbing defect in my fishes personality.Wow, I am nearly relieved but,if there is some form of contamination in the tank,again,that means the tank must be replaced too.Someone who read the previous post,flatteringly compare me to Mr.Wolf(from Pulp Fiction)after all the cleaning and scrubbing and the disposing I did.When I finished the tank was basically sterilised,every ornament thrown away in the assumption they could be a source of infection:What now then?The only explanation is the filter container.Replace the filter was not enough,the container has to be disposed of too.I am not going to do anything until I find an other casualty.I am afraid it won’t be a long wait.When it will happen I must be ready.I must have already thought at a solution.I need a plan.May be, I just need to give up the idea of keeping an aquarium in the house.May be,me and my girls should turn our interest to some other little pet.Not that we haven’t gone through few options already before getting the fishes.Not that easy.Our choices are very limited.Having two hunting dogs in the house,we had to exclude rabbits,for obvious reasons.We had to exclude hamsters too,for the same obvious reasons.We might try with a cat .Cat it would perfectly fit the purpose but it must be a kitten.Not because I am one of those person who only wants cute little puppies but because few years ago we already tried to bring home an adult cat.I rescued it from the road as it started to follow me and even got into the car spontaneously.The girls were small and overly excited.Well not that it was the first time we had rescued animals .That is why I specified the cat got into the car “spontaneously “.Just in case my husband might read the post.He is convinced that I kind of snatch dogs and cats and various species of living creatures,from their garden.It is indeed a matter of fact that,to him, it never happens to find a lost animal.Only because he never stops when he sees a wonder cat or dog.I might be a bit impulsive,I admit it,and once I spent an entire afternoon with a magnificent golden Labrador in my back sits trying to find the owners only to discover it was the local pub guy’s dog,who didn’t even realised the dog went missing.He just thought it was wondering around the village as it usually does.That was a happy ending story but what if the dog was lost for real?I say thank God I stopped.Last June I rescued a injured baby seagull that was trapped under a parked car.If you are wondering how did I spotted it,I can tell you from now that I don’t walk looking under cars for animal to rescue in the hope to keep them.Two summers ago we also rescued a bat.That was in our garden and that,I was really hoping to keep it .I love bats they are my favourite animals.There was an hole on one of the wings.We kept it for a while worm in a towel and then managed to make it fly again.So,now,back to rescued cat :once we brought it home ,my eldest dog didn’t react well.She went straight for it.The cat then started to run all over the house and scratching everything was in its way… included.Even if we bring home a kitten,there is still a little insignificant detail: my husband doesn’t like cats and my youngest dog likes to mess up with everything so the cat’s litter should be locked somewhere but, if it is locked somewhere,how the cat can use it?May be not even the cat is a good alternative to the fishes.I am afraid we ran out of pet categories here as also birds are not suitable for the same reason of the rabbit and the hamster.May be a monkey could do good.Not one of those little monkeys pirates usually have,those I don’t like them.I would like a chimpanzee.I like chimpanzees.I am not sure why ,but I don’t see this happening either.Better I keep an eye on Smarty and Ozzy and see what is next.

A long happy week

I woke up this morning,had breakfast and,as some of you already know,spilled my coffee all over me.In my defence this time there was a reason.I was reading and laughing my head off.I was just not being clumsy as my usual me.I am afraid last night I had a couple of glasses of whiskey too many as my stomach this morning is reminding me.Head,more or less is fine…….hard to say when it is more confused then usual.It is been a long week but not like a heavy long week.It has been long because out of the routine.Pleasantly out of routine.The travel husband(as I am calling him recently because of all the business travel he is doing)came home Wednesday night and took a day off on Thursday for our anniversary.My sweet grumpy bear!Considering that romanticism is not a word belonging to his vocabulary,it was an extraordinary gesture.Wednesday was slushing rain and so was Friday half day,but Thursday was an amazing day.Sunny and warm.The cosmic forces were totally on our favour…..a bit of a stretch??May be!!Anyway we didn’t have to collect the kids untill 3.30 so we took the full treat: breakfast out,walk on the beach with the dogs,lunch in town……When we go out it is usually evening time ,we don’t usually call the baby sitter during the day and my husband very rarely takes days off work, so it was strange being out in daylight just the two of us.It was nice.We didn’t do anything special but the whole day turned out perfectly special.The perfection of simplicity.The week was pleasantly long even because yesterday evening,an almost impossible thing happened: both the girls were invited to the same birthday party.That meant we had nearly two hours for ourself…again…and again no baby sitter to be paid.We went to the village next ours,and sat outside at one of the pub on the harbour:what a luxury!.I am always amazed by how lucky we are ,by how happy we can be ,simply being able to enjoy and appreciate the little things that life gives us.They might seems little ordinary things but in fact,they are big presents we are blessed with.We should be grateful and appreciate them fully,always.When I think at everything I have,emotionally and materialistically, I feel incommensurably rich and wonder in shame why so often I can’t just focus on this instead of ranting,complaining and feeling down.Human nature I am afraid.It has been a while now that,on the Fridays, I imposed the rule of no television,for the adults.If we are both at home,it is date night.We have dinner ,we chat ,we have a drink,(sometime far more then one),we reconnect.So we did yesterday.I think,because of all these happy happenings of the last couple of days I had the impression I already had my week end in a way and this morning when I got up I was nearly surprised(pleasantly surprised)to realise that I still have the whole week end ahead of me.Well,to tell the complete true I was also relieved,considering the sluggish feeling I woke up with.I felt all morning like the frog in the heartburn tablets advertising.May be that’ s why I decided to wear a long green skirt… subconscious leaded my fashion choice today…….the burping frog has been my personal shopper.The day is progressing slowly.The house is quiet,girls are busy art crafting,husband went out shooting ,dogs are sleeping and I had nothing plan for today anyway. I am more then happy to stay at home and go back to my writing.It is been few days I am not posting and also it has been few days I am not working on my story.Today it seems the right day to go back to both.

Broken clocks and decluttering

I had a singing birds wall clock in my kitchen,but it broke few months ago after years and years that it was keeping me company.It was part of the household and, thinking back,there are lots of memories connected to it.When the girls were small they used to come into the kitchen shortly before 7 and wait for the woodpecker to sing .That was the signal it was bed time.If I was lost in my thoughts and jobs the 2 o’clock bird’s chirping reminded me it was school pick up time.The six o’clock one reminded me to hurry up and start getting dinner ready.During the day hearing a chirping here and there it was comforting,familiar and kept me company .I loved my singing birds wall clock and I missed it desperately,the first few days.It already happened once that it stopped working but,it was only in need of new batteries.That time I was desperate to make it sing again.It was like the kitchen had no reason to exist without it.It was part of the house,of my family’s life.Being without the clock would have been like sacrifice a in entire section of my existence .This time is completely different.I am different!

The summer came and we were leaving so I decided to deal with the order of the new clock when back from holidays.We are all back for a while now and the clock has not been reordered yet.To be honest the wall clock is not among my priorities nowadays.May be the fact that Its space on the wall has been occupied by a picture I received for my birthday made me kind of forgetting about it.Not having in front of my eyes an empty space on the wall ,constantly reminding me of it,sure it helps dealing with its absence.The singing birds wall clock came up in a phone conversation with my mother .She has one too and it broke too.Apparently she can’t live without it.It is her company during the day.She feels lonely without it.I must specified that my mother retired two years ago but she is never home anyway.Lets say her local petrol station guy(she refuse to make petrol herself)didn’t notice any decrease in the amount of fuel she buys, even if she doesn’t drive for 50km every day anymore.It is a matter of fact that even our conversation are mainly done while she is driving and she has time to speak,(or she is bored…..who knows).Then she get to her destination and we are done🙄She asked me to order an other clock for herself and was horrified that I didn’t replace mine already.She was actually horrified by my laziness.She always complained about me being one of those person who constantly postpone to do the things they don’t care about.It is true but it also true that if it is not something important where is the urgency?.”The urgency is in having it done and out of your way so that it won’t bother you any longer.”,she would say.”But what if I am not bothered by it at all?”,I would replay.I didn’t really want to go down that road so I just took it and said nothing .Sometimes the best survival policy.Talking about the wall clock with her made me realised that the long work I have done on myself in the recent years left me with an incredible emotionally clean environment around me.I used to be obsessively attached to things.I had an extreme difficult to let go.I suppose in a way everything had an emotional link for me.For instance I was feeling guilty to give away clothes that were sitting in my wardrobe untouched for years just because they were a present from a specific person.Moving house was a torment because the house was the container of my life and memories:where could I possibly find an other one that good?!Then I moved for the first time and the second one and the third one……I am in the house number 7 at the moment,and realised that as much as I love it I would be ok to move again because home is were my family is,is not a building.As my dear friend Abigail once said, I am a “nester”, I can make my own nest everywhere,I just need the materials.Over the years I accumulated so many things that space became a problem.I was in constant need of storages because most of the objects were not even on display.I was not using them anymore.Let’s be honest,some of the stuff, I was so sick to see it around me that I couldn’t even bare the sight of it but, throwing it away,was not an option.Same with clothes:I had jumpers and dresses that I didn’t wear for years and probably didn’t even fit anymore but they were in perfect condition.What a waist to give them away!!!.(I will never stop wondering why the wrong washing machine cycle or that unbeatable oil stain always victimise your favourite outfit and never the unwanted,unworn ones!!!).In most of the cases all these objects were hiding memories or they were a present from someone close to me.The guilt prevented me from getting rid of them.Weather they were clothes or paraphernalia :throwing them away was like wrong doing the person who gave them to me or erasing the memories they were connected to.Insane,I know.But it was all I knew,and guilt has always been a persistent feeling in my life,but this a subject for an other post.Slowly I learned to let go,things emotions,sense of guilt…………First I start to clean my head and then I went through my house.Now it is hard to detect witch big clean comes first but the two of them combined worked,and still do,very well and both my head and my house get the benefits.No more cluttering.If it is not used,if it is stored away then I don’t need it and probably I won’t use it never again.The first baby gown my daughters had on,that is enough to keep as a memory.I don’t need bags of old clothes to remind me they were once my babies.An old tin of biscuits given to me by an old friend is enough,I don’t have to keep all the cute tins arrive into my house.Most important ,my husband won’t get offended if I throw away a worn out jumper he gave me over 20 years ago.It is not that I don’t care anymore .It is not that I don’t appreciate his presents.It is simply a jumper I don’t use anymore and only take space in my wardrobe.Those fantastic silk shirt my mom gave me and that never really fitted me,has no reason to stay in my drawer,someone out there can wear it!I still love ornaments in the house and I have plenty but they are there because I like them,because I choose them,because they reflects my personality and my taste not my sense of obligation,duty,guilt.So,back to the singing birds wall clock now,I am still without it and I am ok.I loved it,I might buy an other one but for the moment I am fine even without it.I don’t have to have it just because it has always been on my kitchen wall and I had a such wonderful time in its company.That time nobody will ever take it away from me.It is just a clock and if I get a new one it will only because I like it and want it not because there is a emotional bundle that traps me in.I don’t need to fill any empty space,neither physically nor emotionally with it.Your house is the mirror of your soul:true.In my day by day life I have always been very organised and methodical ,but only because I need structure to contrast the chaos I had inside.I need to control what I could.My house was the exact reflection of all this:tidy and organised but only because everything had a place.It had to.There was so much of everything that if not stored,it would have taken over.If my head was overcrowded with thoughts and feelings and emotions,my house was overcrowded with objects.All of it well concealed,but there,alienating me.Declutter it came a long painful way but,once I started ,I couldn’t stop.It started from an inside need and soon it came naturally to declutter my outside too.It actually became a necessity because ,the way it was before, it was not making any sense at all .Not anymore.Weather you declutter your house to declutter your head or vice versa ,your final destination will always be the same:Freedom.From what, it is only up to you!

Mama fairy lost her marbles.

Before moving in the new house I promised my daughters they would get a fairy door each .At the beginning the fairy doors where in their bedrooms but then they decided to build a fairy corner and moved them just outside their bedrooms,one beside the other.At the beginning they were just fairy doors ,more decorative then anything else and presumably there was a fairy out there somewhere .Soon they realised there were 2 fairies out there looking after them.Poppy and Elda.How did they know it?Simple,the fairies speaks to them!Well,more precisely the fairies write notes to them.Over the years the correspondence between the human world and the fairy one became quite active. Superfluous to say that the notes arrive only when nobody is watching as fairies are very jealous of their privacy.Elda and Poppy became my proud and joy and the girls faces when they come to show me the little notes priceless.It doesn’t come without effort and hard work:I have to be careful to always use paper that will never be recognised as mine;I need to modify my handwriting;I have to carefully dispose of all the notes left for the fairies and be careful not to let anyone see “mama fairy” leave the notes by the doors.I also have to be careful that the note won’t be eaten up by the dogs who both love chewing paper.As the time passes ,mama fairy sometimes is forgetful and doesn’t check daily the letter box so Poppy and Elda are not as pronto in responding as they used to be but ,still performing their duty more then efficiently .As the time passes even the girls might have lost some interest in their fairies as notes and request are less frequent.That,to be honest,is not a completely bad thing ,mainly on Fridays when sometimes it happens to mama fairy to indulge herself in a couple of G&T too many and she is not always completely straight to write fairly comprehensible notes and to give fairly appropriate answers to questions that ,intentionally or not ,became over time more challenging.I think what is happening is that my eldest daughter start to questioning the existence of her fairy but deep inside she doesn’t want to stop believing plus, if Poppy doesn’t exist, not even the tooth fairy exists and she is for sure not ready to loose the money that come with every lost tooth.Her questions are becoming more tricky but ,hey,behind every fairy there is a “mama fairy”and you don’t easily trick a mama fairy.Well ,you don’t easily trick any mama actually!On the other side my youngest daughter doesn’t doubt at all the existence of a parallel world populated by fairies,gnomes, unicorns and any type of fantastic creature but,she definitely misunderstood her fairy’s role and power.We came to a stage when she was asking her to find things for her in the bedroom or to tied up her bedroom with the touch of her magic wand.One morning Elda left an angry note where she reminded her that she was a guardian fairy not a maid,but she was also so kind to leave some magic fairy dust that ,as everybody knows,helps with everything!Just before summer my husband said our eldest daughter for sure doesn’t believe anymore and she just plays along to not hurt my feelings(in witch case I would be very touched and proud of her sensibility).He also said I should gradually let this fairy thing die as our younger daughter is becoming too old for it too. Totally outraged in my role of mama fairy,I just ignored him!And I did right,as proved one afternoon last summer.We were all at the beach and an old acquaintance of mine stopped by with her son .The kids started to play together and we started to chat .After a while we were talking I couldn’t stand the conversation anymore.It was all about what she had and what she bought and what she was going to buy for her perfect,athletic,very intelligent and talented kid who of course was wearing branded swimming suits matching his Tshirt and flip flop.And his flip flop of course matched his mother’s one!From where I was standing I could overhear the kids and,like mother like son,the little fella was all about the toys and the technological gadget he had.They came closer and without even apologising for interrupting an adults conversation,the little boy asked his mother for his phone .He wanted to show it to my girls and he was teasing them because they didn’t have their own mobile phone.”Of course they don’t have their own phone They are 8 and 10 ,what would they need it for??”,that’s was what I was thinking but for once I stopped my mouth in time.I managed not to snap:”but they have their own personal fairy,you know?!”,I said instead.There deal with that now!! He started to laugh and shouted fairies don’t exist and turned toward his mother looking for confirmation.She looked a me with a mixed expression,half sorry and half patronising like ,come on a fairies?In 2017 ?Really?Really!!!”Prove it or you are a liar”,he shouted at my daughters while the mother was completely oblivious to the all situation and obviously thought this kind of behaviour was acceptable.God bless my youngest daughter, whose tongue is sharply developed.She turned to him with a fearless and annoyed expression on her face and said:”they leave us notes and we keep them .When we go home we can take a picture and send it to you.To Your Phone! “.Her tone was bold and would have normally got her in trouble but ,not in that occasion!He was defeated.He started to cry that he wanted a fairy.The mother looked at me annoyed and tried to calm him down saying she would have got one for him and I could tell her where to find them.”Oh, I am sorry you don’t get your fairy,you must deserve her.”.Here,served,and,technically, I didn’t even snap because I used a very sweet maternal voice.The boy was upset and so was the mother. I shamefully admit I felt triumphant !In my defence I can say I hide it from the girls because I knew I should have know better but………it was one of those situation s with a big “but”😉.My husband that was reading his book during the whole time,or so it appeared, laughed out loud and after mother and son left ,he lifted his head and said:”I like it when “my mama fairy” looses it “.

Turning pages……literally.

Today is one of those grey day when the sky is full of rain.At some point this afternoon the rain has been unleashed and is pouring.I left home to run some errands and stop by at the local bookshop to get a new book.I have been reading on my kindle for all summer and now I need paper.I love my kindle and I find it very handy for traveling.I like browsing around in the kindle shop and discovering new authors.Being a voracious reader I love the kindle deals too,but, it is time to go old style.I feel an uncontrollable need of touching and smelling crispy paper,I want to turn pages.The gesture of turning pages fascinates me.Not only when I do it but I like to see other people doing it as well.There is something in this gesture that relaxes me.It gives me peace.Or,it is simply my fetichism.Whatever it is,I can honestly say it is a gesture that gives me pleasure.Books have always been my way to live a different life,my way to escape.Sometime I find myself wondering what the characters of the book I’m reading would do in my shoes.I tend to bring the characters of my books in my life.I like to pretend,to imagine I am them ,while I get on with my daily routine. Turning the pages of my book is part of my escape;it is actually the instrument of my escape but it also my accomplice and the way to transform myself.Does it sound extreme? May be! But don’t we all have a gesture that we like to do or that simply reminds us of something?

When I turn the page of a book I see myself from outside.When I turn the page of a book I see myself in the present reading :I see a very peaceful me.When I turn the page of a book I see myself in the past,studying compulsively,scribbling on my school books.I can smell my parents house ,my old bedroom where I used to get lost in classic novel and dreaming of my future life.When I turn the page of a book I see myself not long ago reading for my daughters when they were small.I can smell the unmistakable baby smell in their heads that I always kissed after they fell asleep,and still do(but shhhh,don’t say it.They are too old for that).When I turn the page of a book I see my grand father at bed time reading for me .I can hear his warm soothing voice and smell his cologne.Turning the page of a book becomes my way to feel and smell those emotions that cannot be lived again but that will never leave me.

The killer fish legacy

This post is mainly for the benefit of my friend from the rabbit patch.

That said,I also hope this will be the last of the series as the circumstances that inspired it ,are not the happiest.If you followed the killer fish saga ,you know we had a break out of “fungus bacteria disease” that infested our aquarium and we got two new fishes.Unfortunately Dot and Annabelle lasted not even a week.We knew something was wrong since the beginning but refuse to acknowledge the fact that we were going to loose more of our little aquatic friends.They were definitely acting weirdly but at that point I couldn’t say were their abnormal behaviour finished and my paranoia started.I couldn’t trust my eldest daughter( who is in charge of feeding them) judgement either as she is a worrier by nature and got basically obsessed with those fishes.First thing she was checking in the morning and last one before going to bed.During the day then,she kept watching them and kept updating me every ten minutes about their movements.Very few movements actually.They in fact left the bottom of the tank only this morning to float dead .A quite macabre image,I know.That is the scene my poor child saw when up this morning.Not a surprise,I am afraid ,but really a disappointment.We were hoping in a new start and in a longer life.Of course with the girls I played cool but these last two deaths bothered me.How did we come from having perfectly healthy fishes for years to not even being able to make them last a week?In fairness Dot and Annabelle looked suffering since the beginning.Their death surprised nobody.My guess is that, despite the anti bacteria treatment ,the water was still contaminated.They were showing the same symptoms of Patricia . Only explanation was that the water left in the thank and the ornaments were still infected.Bacteria were probably trapped in the stones at the bottom of the tank and inside the shells.Once home after school drop and walking the dogs,I emptied the tank completely.I did throw away every ornaments and started to scrub it(the tank)like a mad woman.Then I filled it and emptied 3 times.Just to be sure! I changed the filter .The tank was as clean as new.The water clearer then mountain spring water. I would have had a swim myself in there.For sure there was no bacteria left.We could really start over this time.I collected the girls from school and drove straight to the pet shop.The usual guy was not there.I was relieved I didn’t have to tell him that the two fishes I only bought the last Sunday,died too.On the other side he already knew our story.We created a bond over time and …..over death.He was kind of betraying me not being there……when I needed him the most!Not to mention I now had to explain everything from the start to the new guy.What a pain and waist of time.Once I explained everything happened with the aquarium in the last year and the big cleaning I did in the morning,he agreed there should be no trace of bacteria left.He actually laughed when I said I filled and rinsed and emptied and refilled the tank three times:”psycho” woman”,he was sure thinking.Ok I was quite agitated while explaining to him the whole story.May be I also indulged in too many details but it was absolutely understandable considering what me and my daughters have been going through.I needed support there not a patronising cocky attitude.The worst came when I asked if the bacteria could be trapped in the shells .He asked if they were real shells from the sea.Of course they were.”And you cleaned them before putting them in,did u?” ,he said.”Of course I cleaned them.”,I replayed.What am I,an idiot?Yes! It turned out I am! Apparently,in fact,before using seashells to decorate a fish tank you are supposed to boil them.How could I know????!!!???We had them in the house and thought it was nice for the fish to have the real thing in their aquarium.Wrong,very wrong.He suggested that may be the disease developed from the shells over time.I wanted to cry…..may be not even Robert was a bad fish by nature but went mad because of the bacteria that for a year were poisoning the tank……because I didn’t boil them!I am going to have this big chip on my shoulder for the rest of my life.The pet shop boy must have noticed my sad mortified face and hurried to say,”or the bacteria just happened to come for no reason,you know”.How sweet!He tried to make me feel better.We eventually picked the new fishes.This time we didn’t get gold fish kind.We decided to change type hoping to be luckier and,determined to not leave anything to the chance,we also bought a Leoprican rainbow and gold pot little sculpture to place in the aquarium.Not that I am a superstitious person but as they say every little helps!The new fishes are small and with cute popping eyes.We bought three of them,one for me and one for each of the girls.So far Lulu,Smarty and Ozzie are active, eat well and none of them shows any sign of being a bully.Water is still as clear as ever.For the rest of the afternoon and early evening my daughter provided me with a behavioural report every 30 minutes.I just checked them myself and I have faith we are back on track.May be this time we will have a happy ever after ending.

Technology,old tricks and a woman determination to fix her printer.

Last Friday I spent most of the afternoon fighting with my printer.It was perfectly working the day before when I printed my daughter’s school project and the following day,when I had to print something for myself, it was not working!!!Classic!!!!

I thought may be when the electricity went off few weeks earlier and the broadband was disconnected something happened with the printer connection to my iPhone and iPad.I reset everything.Still not working.I must have missed something.I did it again……same result.I then cancel the app from both the devices and reinstall it and reset the whole connection :still nothing.I am sitting at this desk for nearly an hour and a half now and getting cranky.It seems the printer is connected to the wifi but neither my iPhone nor my iPad can find it when I try to print.My head is exploding.I hate dealing with this kind of things.May be the problem is the wifi!.I unplug the router and plug it back on but still the same message:”no printer can be found”.I switch off and back on I pad and I phone.Still printer cannot be found.I am now sweating,the dogs keep going around me because it’s already 5.30 and they were supposed to have dinner half a hour ago.I take a break from the printer and feed them,so to be sure they won’t start to eat every cables around the desk. I also tuck something in the oven for the girls.I go back to the study,hoping in a miracle.May be magically,while I was away it started working:NOP.Bling!A bulb flashed in my head:it has been weeks that on the display it says it is low in ink.It is a matter of fact that I also went to buy new ink cartridges but didn’t bother to replace them because it was still printing anyway.But what if it cannot connect properly because is low in ink ergo is not functioning properly?I frankly thought there was not connection whatsoever between the two issues but it might have worth a try.I carefully extracted the old cartridges.Always very carefully I unwrapped the new cartridges and inserted them in.Instructions to replace ink cartridges made me anxious.They tell you to handle the cartridges extremely carefully so not to spill ink or damage the printer.I feel the pressure of the operation I am doing and I am terrified to spill something either on me or anywhere else.The replacement of the cartridges is complete.I realise by looking at the shape of cartridges that it is totally impossible to spill any ink so whoever wrote those instructions is a sadistic monster taking pleasure on mentally torture people who has zero technological knowledge .It is charging the ink now…..Promising!!!The ink is fully charged,printer is perfectly connect to house broadband(I connected it and reconnected at least a dozen of times in the last 2 hours).I try to print.No printer found.I look better at the message, it actually says “no air printer found”:What the feck is it an air printer?!?Mine is a simple Epson home printer!!!I check in my iPad setting to see if there is something else to look for.May be the air printer can’t be found but it is only a matter of switch some bottom to find instead an epson home printer.I can’t find anything.I googled “air printer”.It turns out my printer is an air printer because it works wireless with the wifi.Good to know!!!My culture is expanding,I am nearly scared of my new technical skills but the printer still is not connected to my devices.I feel like I have been in a gym for 3 hours doing some nasty aerobic class.I keep taken off pieces of clothes because I am hot and I am sweating and my jaws sore because I keep clenching my teeth..!”beep beep beep…”, boomer the girls dinner is ready.I serve them the dinner.they have been so good today that I will allow them to have it in the living room watching a movie.That is what I tell them.Truth is I am allowing them to do that because I don’t have to keep them company and I can go back to the printer business.At this very right moment ,I stink,I am incapable of perform a simple act as to print a letter and I am a lier lousy mother.I can’t effort to be a lousy stinky wife too,I need a shower and I need a dinner for my husband,soon.The printer must wait until later or tomorrow.The phone rings and it is my husband saying he is gonna be late.”yesssss”, I have never been happier to hear those words.He is puzzled.I am usually upset when he is late on Fridays as they are our date nights.Very shyly he says:” I am going for a pint with the colleagues”. “Great,take your time no problem love”,I replay in a hurry. Now he is officially concerned,about my mental health!.”Is it everything ok?”,he asks.”Jeez,yes,i just need a couple of extra hours to go through the day”,I say trying to sound relax and casual.My actual feeling is euphoria: I can keep fighting the printer for a little longer and hopefully fix it .I might also be able to have a shower and a pasta dish ready before he comes home.Woo hoo!His silence on the phone tells me that he is still puzzled,definitively concerned about my mental health and level of stress but wise enough to not ask any details.Back to the printer.Now it is a matter of proud and dignity.A little head popped in the study and says:”may be you should ask papa,he is usually good with this things”. He is not,actually!I don’t say it.I just replay that I’m fine doing it myself in fact I sorted it out already.It just took a bit longer then I thought because I had to change the ink cartridges,and it is a very delicate operation!I am a pathetic double lier to my daughters,but worst then that,now I have to sort it out!!!Think think think…..last resource:the online instruction guide.A new world open up in front of me.I go straight to the troubleshooting chapter: issue1-the printer is connected to wifi and devices but can’t be found. Perfect,exactly what is happening to me.Solution:switch off the printer.Unplug it and plug it back on.Switch the printer back on.Print.I do it.It works!!!An hysterical laugh spontaneously comes out my mouth.The old school trick of switching off and back on never let you down!!!If only I had thought to unplug the printer before any other device in my house🙄

Everyday inspiration: treasure your freedom

I know Europeans will never really get completely what the 9/11 represents.How the 9/11 changed forever a Nation.It changed forever the western world actually.I have some very close American friends and my husband’s cousin was supposed to be at her office in one of the twin towers that morning,fate made her be late.9/11 touched my heart but,over the years,fear and rage started to fade away.Not because I am forgetting but because I am going on with my life,that is the only real opposition to all the terrorist attacks.When tonight I heard President Trump saying that America will always refuse to surrender,I thought it was quite ironic: his immigration policy is a clear act of surrender to fear and terror.His entire political campaign it was.Browsing around on social networks I see so many populistic proclaims about preserving our own countries.About how this uncontrollable immigration flow will soon stole our national identities.Extreme right parties trying to bring the past back and gaining votes promising to return to those days where everything was better.Was it?I don’t know actually,I am too young to remember that past and so are my contemporaries that want to bring it back.They are too young to remember but too stupid and terrified of what they don’t know that everything is better then face reality .Exactly like them I grew up free to circulate around Europe,free to work in witch country I wanted to,free to travel around the world.I grew up free to read what I wanted and free to speak my opinion.And I am grateful for this privileged upbringing .By what I read on the books,in “the good old days”,there might have been rules and rectitude(I doubt it) but everything was not working as they say ,the world was not safer as they say and,in the same way there was not cultural promiscuity there was not freedom either.Would they realise it?Are they aware of it?Or they are so used to freedom that they give it for granted?That in my opinion is a very dangerous thing to do.The many wars still fought around the world should be enough to remind us of it.The world have changed ,it is part of evolution (with its pro and contro) and changes can’t be reversed but we can adapt to changes.We need to start acknowledge the new and the different because we can’t erase it but once we know it it won’t be scary anymore.We might also like it!!!I suppose when you have kids on your own your vision of the world change.You are responsible for an other human being and the question you should ask yourself is what kind of world you want your kids to live in.Of course you want to keep your kids safe and make them feel safe but raise a wall around them is not the solution.It is not safe either.The “enemy” you think you keep out it doesn’t go away,you are just hiding from it.Are there for real so many people who want their kids live in a world dominated by fear and prejudice?What I am really scare of is ignorance,obtuseness,prejudices and rootless politician who feeds their supporters fear for their own interests.I always told my girls to never judge a book by its cover.I always thought them that we are all different ,inside and out,and the only thing that counts is the “Persona”.Gender,nationality,job,religion must have nothing to do with our judgement because they don’t define who we are.We always lived in a small community and both the school they attended have been very small (around 60 and 80 pupils in the whole school).When my eldest daughter started junior infant,she befriended a Vietnamese girl who has been her best friend until she turned 8 and we moved town and school.Her little friend skin colour or her characteristic facial fixtures never was a way to describe her.The kids in the class couldn’t really see the difference between them,pale blond Irish looking,and her with her very sallow skin and her black silky hair.Once they did a project in class,they were asked to describe someone close to them.My daughter picked her besty,of course,and to her eyes,her physical peculiarity was to have very little hands.That’ s all!.When we moved we transferred the girls to an other multi denomination little school.We have been lucky as,despite the size of the school,there are few different nationalities and religions.There are some kid with learning difficulties of different severity and this is a bless too,because is an other way to learn to live and cope with diversity.When we first moved one of my daughter received a particular warm welcome from a boy born from Muslim Pakistani parents.His mother was a lovely lady,very sociable and friendly(I say was because they moved school the following year),I never associated her vale with terrorism.It would have been absolutely out of contest but,surprisingly,someone at school gate asked me if I was not nervous around her and her boy.I simply replayed asking if they were nervous around me:I am Italian after all I could shoot them for a parking space in perfect mafia style, couldn’t I?What you know can’t hurt you and it can’t scare you.Commonplaces and prejudices can ,on the other hand,poison your life irremediably .I thought I have been a such good parent to teach my daughters to be free and have no prejudice ,to not judge based on commonplace,but you know what ?I didn’t. They have been born prejudice free.Kids have no prejudices,they don’t know the meaning of commonplace,unless you teach them.I am glad my daughters can grew up in a multicolour world.I am glad the different colour of skin, the different nationalities, the different religions has no role in their way to look at whoever is standing in front of them.They are raised to respect everybody.I hope they will always be able to enjoy their freedom and treasure it.

I feel sad for those who don’t.

The killer fish: a great ending and a new start

By now you all know that Robert,the killer fish,died.His last victim,Patricia,survived.Robert was found dead on Monday .The week has been very busy and unpleasantly eventful.My talented daughters managed to bring home,on the second week of school,the classic vomiting bug.Then,the dogs decided to be supportive and getting sick all over the house for two days.Friday was eventually a nice quite day(puke free and bleach smell free).We went to buy a new fish to keep company to poor Patricia hoping she eventually would come out of her misery.Unfortunately,the psychological damage Patricia suffered,because of the bullying,was far more serious then we thought.Not only she kept hiding behind the water filter but she also started to show physical signs of abuse.She started to loose pieces of skins and her tail was falling apart,it was shredding.She died this morning.We like to remember her like a brave girl who fought hard and managed to survive her abuser….for a while.Not even a day after he arrived Dott(the new fish)lost his companion already.Sad to say but may be this loss was for the best: we could now start from the beginning with a fresh new line of strong friendly and sociable fishes .The girls left early this morning to go to the lake with their father and the dogs.I reassured them I would take care of Patricia’s body and buy company for Dott.An other trip to the pet shop.This time I definitely passed myself:two fishes in two days😱.I explained to the guy what happened to Patricia and he confirmed she was showing all the symptoms of anxiety due to bullying to a point that she fell physically ill.He showed me pictures of fishes with her same injuries on the tail and body.Her immune system was very low due to stress and she fell victim of a fatal bacteria infection.O dear,it really looks like this fish saga would never end.I left the pet shop with a new fish,an antibacterial treatment for the aquarium and a big supportive smile and pat on my shoulder from the pet shop boy.I came home ,cleaned the tank,poured the magic antibacterial drops,poured Dott back in and added Annabelle(the just bought fish).I am mentally exhausted .This business with the bully killer fish left scars on me too.I keep going to check on them and whatever they do it doesn’t look right.I can’t stop worrying the water to be contaminated from bacteria .I can’t stop watching them closely to see if one of the two shows some aggressive behaviour.Paranoia is kicking in.Even after he is dead Robert is still bullying……me!

Good Lie Bad Lie. Good Truth Bad Truth.

I was in the kitchen peeling potatoes yesterday,my oldest daughter came in,sat on one of the stool at the kitchen counter and starting to chat away about her day at school.I was distracted,I just picked up fragments of conversation about some school mates being grounded because they didn’t finish their assignments but pretended they did.She didn’t finish her assignment either,but went straight to the teacher to tell she didn’t and why.Teacher told her she was not in trouble at all because she has been honest.”See mama, honesty always pays”.I can’t exactly explain why, but those words brought my attention totally back to her.She was right and I was proud of her .My mother always believed in good lies .She always thought,and still does,that a nice lie is better then an ugly truth.I can’t say how many times she used an alleged hilliness of mine to avoid social engagements.How many times I was stopped by her friends asking me if I was feeling better when I didn’t even know what they were talking about.Even now, I keep saying to her that there is nothing wrong with saying to someone she simply doesn’t feel to go out.It is ok not feeling in the mood for something ,it is not rude to say so.Still,she wouldn’t say it.I grew up in a big extended family.In a way everybody was in everybody else pockets and I totally get it that for my mother was just simpler to lie or ,as she would say,omitting details.Often they were very very big details.If nothing was said,no questions were asked and no explanations had to be given.It always annoyed me and I have always been determined to do the opposite.I always thought this was a way to avoid an immediate problem/conflict/complication but also to create a chain of events that can only bring stress.Stress to keep up lying,stress to remember the excuses that have been told,stress to think about at excuses to be used.I love simplicity too much to engage myself in this vicious circle.I never really understood why I should complicate my life when it is not necessary.There are so many occasion when we can’t speak the truth ,because the consequences could be far more destructive then not knowing that truth,that I am not lying if I can.Not because I am an incredible upright person but because I like a simple stress free life….when possible.The world is not black or white.There are lots of grey areas and the adults sometimes lie.They lie compulsively;they lie relentlessly; they lie naively,thinking it is the best thing to do.Unfortunately even if born from the best intentions a lie is a lie.Good lies exist only in our conscience.There are no good lies and bad lies.There are lies and that is it.This is what I teach my girls ,for now.When they will be old enough they will understand that their grand mother, is in part right when saying that a sweet lie is better then an ugly truth,(on occasion),but it is and always be a lie and it might come back to bite you someday.