A Truly Madly Ordinary Sunday

It started as an ordinary Sunday, and believe me, I am well aware of how that “ordinary” might sound but this is what it was, or better, this is what I wanted it to be.
The travelling husband , daughter number one and big ears german left early to go hunting. I got up with them, but not because I am a perfect irreprehensible mother and wife, only because I tried to stay in bed before, and it didnt work. Let’s say they are not the most silent of the persons and neither the most independent.No matter if they spend hours the night before to get their equipment ready, in the morning there is always something missing andf they go around the house with the grace of two elephants in a china shop looking for it, and normally unsuccessfully until mama gets up and finds it for them. Ever tried to see in the right place where things should be?

Anyway, back to this morning, I got up, got down, made breakfast, make sure the husband and his daughter had everything, and they do, or so they said. I waved them goodbye and good luck, and with extreme relief and satisfaction, I close the door behind me, or them…as you prefer.
Even if it is a bit of torture waking up early even on a Sunday, I like my early morning “me time”.
I put on another coffee, switch on the TV for the news and grab my I pad to catch up on some post and maybe write my post too. Daughter number two is not an early rise, and I am hoping to have a couple of hours to spend exclusively in my own company.
Shortly after I got comfy on my favourite chair, a frantic knock on the door made me jump, and poor old Clara bark like the lunatic she is,(thank God the foster dog is not a barker…yet!).

I peeped from the window, and there they were….back: they forgot some maps! I passed them over to them and hopefully send them away for good, this time.
I went back to my chair, where I didn’t last long undisturbed….the knocking and the barking woke daughter number two up who, crankily got down asking what the hell was that mayhem!
Good news is that in the meanwhile it started to rain. On an average day, it would probably annoy me, but on a Sunday morning like today, it would only be a blessing as it might be an excuse to skip hockey.
A very naughty thought, I know, and in fact, I am immediately punished! Just when I got accustomed to the idea to indulge in my PJs for another while a blinding sun appeared and suddenly we had to rush to get to the pitch on time for the match.

After lunch, my yellow chair is still there begging for me to go and keep it warm, but because CG has inherited my overdeveloped memory, she reminds me that there is the monthly fiddle Sunday session. Not that I had forgotten about, I just hoped she would!
I am now in the pub, sitting by the window, sipping a refreshing pint of beer while spoiling my soul at the sound of lovely Irish ballads.
A beautiful picture isn’t it? But it couldn’t be farther from the truth. The only thing that resembles the reality is that I am sitting by the window. Except, instead of looking at the red sunset on the harbour, I need to give my unconditioned attention to daughter number two and her mates, who are playing some not recognisable Irish classic; and I am not even drinking a pint of beer because I am driving! I am instead drinking a disgusting over sweetened and watered blueberry juice.
I know what you are thinking, why not drink a coke or something else? Just because they didn’t have the same strong smell that, once it goes up your nostrils will save you from all the other scents that come with a room full of teens and pre-teens.

One hour and a half later, (and five euros after, because it is not that this honour comes for free), we are done and back home.
My chair is destined to be still neglected because even the “hunters” are back home, unusually early. My chance of lazy time for lazy me has gone: vanished, until after I played a quick round of harry potter Cluedo and sorted dinner I go locking myself in my bedroom. I am not asking for much, just to lay down for half an hour. I don’t even attempt to read a book; I will be more than happy to look at the ceiling in silence. And I was seriously risking to succeed on this impervious venture when a scream reached me. It was not a scream of pain, and because the other adult of the house was allegedly downstairs, I ignored it! Only THEY did not ignore me, and a few minutes later there was a knock at the door. I was still determined to ignore whatever was happening outside my bedroom.

“Mom, have you seen Kurt has a big hole in his chest?”. A shy voice spoke through the keyhole, probably knowing I was certainly not going to ignore that.
I threw myself out of bed and down the stairs. Poor big ears german was laying belly up while the travelling husband was inspecting his chest and cleaning the open wound. He must have jumped over some razor wire without either his father or his sister to notice.
The injury was deep and required four stitches, but thanks to his protective Popeye t-shirt, he was the most fashionable dog on the beach.
Me, I am still hoping to go lazy next Sunday.

Tell The Story Challenge

I have been nominated by my friend Sandmanjazz to take part in this challenge.
The rules are: 1) write something in response to the picture you are given; 2) pick a picture of your own and nominate to three people.

Melissa used to run along the lagune every day after work. She loved the quiet and most of all she loved the ducks and geese gathering together on the patch of grass before the water.
She still remembered when she was a child and the grass was everywhere and so were the ducks and the geese
Her dad was stationmaster at the station on the opposite side of the road. After school, she used to walk to him and together they were crossing the street and bring the birds crumbled old bread.
Despite how beautiful that spot still was, Melissa could not wonder how much more beautiful it would have been if they had not built everywhere around and paved most of the ground.
Sure it was handy to run and stroll on a proper path, mainly for the busy moms and their buggies; and the few coffee shops and newsagent were sure appreciated by the commuters and the random travellers and tourists crowding the train station. She knew she sounded a bit nostalgic, but it was hard not to compare the two scenery…..both beautiful in their way.
Every day she still carried a little bag of crumbled old bread in her pocket to feed the birdies. She didnt needs a big bag like when she was a child because now she was not the only one to feed them. Every child who could stand, even barely, on his feet threw food at the animals.
Over the years the rumour of the free food had spread and when the tied was low, in the afternoon, an army of ducks, geese, and at times swans, walked out the water. At the beginning they were staying on the grass but, gradually, they started to cross the lawn and meet their feeder on the path or by the bench where they were sitting.
The birdies got accustomed to the human as much the humans got accustomed to them, and they peacefully shared the park.
Unfortunately, the city council decided that the birdies had dangerously outnumbered the humans and big signs warning not to feed them appeared along all the park.
The ducks and the geese and the occasional swans started to disappear, and the beautiful park by the lagoon was only another sad grey stripe of concrete with some green patch and water on the sides.
Melissa had stopped to go running there but one day, tempted by particularly nice weather for a winter afternoon, she went back to the once so loved park. She was strolling around when a strange noise attracted her attention. It was coming from above her. She turned the eyes to the sky and she saw it: a flock of ducks were flying above the park in an unusual butterfly shape. Swans and geese to follow completed the fairytale choreography.
Melissa stood up from the bench where she was sitting and started to scream: “Look, everyone, they are back”…..all the people around looked up with their mouth half open in a mesmerised expression.
It didnt take long before more and more people were attracted to the park, all hypnotised by the incredible scene above their heads.
Now Melissa knew what to do: she ran to the nearest cafe, she bought few lemon muffins and started to crumble them. She ran back to the park and went close to the first of the ” no feed the birds “signs; she eradicated it from the ground and started scattering the crumbles. The ducks were at first shy…..too much time had passed since last time they were fed and they were not sure they could trust the humans again but in the end, one by one they won their reluctance and started to land around Melissa followed by the geese and the swans.
The other people in the park was astonished and didn’t know what to do until one brave old man took the initiative, and with all the force he still had left eradicated another of the signs while his grandchildren went to buy muffins too. In a matter of minutes, no more signs forbidding to feed the birds were left in the park and no more cakes were left in the coffee shops nearby.

And this is my photo and I challenge whoever wants to participate.

Enjoy your writing🤓

Sunshine Blogger Award

First of all I would like to thank my-anasa.com for my nomination and please check his website as in my opinion whoever likes traveling and nice things should browse around it.

Here are my answers:

What makes you happy?

To see happiness and peace around me.

What makes you sad?

The lack of appreciation for life,what we have,who we are…..it makes me angry too,actually.

What is your favorite book and why?

I have many books I love but if I have to mention one instinctively it would be “Madame Bovary”…..a pillar of my emotional education.

Where would you like to travel and the reason?

An other questions who would require multiple answers but again first country it pops into my head is Japan ,as I am fascinated by the Japanese culture and the way the fuse old tradition and extreme modern life. My soul would benefit from a tour to the Grand Canyon too.

Favorite Entartaiment?

Reading because it brings me everywhere and I can be as many caracthers as I want.

Why are you blogging?

I started to blog to go back writing and to test if I could do it in a language is not my own….now I blog because I like it and I like the lovely WP community.

How you consider your experience as a blogger?

Hard to say,I’m only a part time no profit blogger but one thing is sure, it gave me, and keep doing it,the chance to test myself,to trust and to know the web,to “meet” so many interesting people and ,why not,to nourish my ego….let’s face it we all like to see all those likes on our posts.

What is your main whim?

Accessories

One thing that you have learned and you believe you should improve

We can’t control other people’s behave ,we can only control how we react to it and so we shouldn’t let them upset us……more than halfway through it.

What would you say to yourself in an other life?

Just to not waste time worrying about what people thinks about you

If you could eradicate evil,what and why?

Intolerance,prejudices,extremisms of any sort(political,religious,moral,social…..)

Have a great day everybody…..and let the sun inside shine☀️😀🤩

Look Who Is Back

To all my readers:
due to a very busy week, I had to leave my weekly post in someone else’s paws, enjoy:

” Hey big years German, don’t you think it is time to get over your misery?”

“Like you care right? We are living together for 6 years and you still growl at me everytime I come for a cuddle….not to mention the fact that you still refuse to share your food with me”.

” You bet I do, why should I?you have your bowl ”

” Yes, but it is not my fault if I am never full.”

” Well, I don’t remember you sharing the maxi Toblerone you managed to snatch the other day either.
You ate also the box and the foil and drop nothing to me!”

“But, Clara, I was angry. Dinner time was well passed and we had breakfast early that morning. Come on, that was an isolated “accident”: the Toblerone was there on the counter unattended…basically, it begged to be taken.”

“Sure like the tray of burgers and the box of croissants last weeke. You brought them in the garden to not share.”

“But I always share my toys, not my fault if you never want to play”

” I don’t like to play, never did and now, you idiot, how do you think I can feel about playing with toys I can’t even see?! Jeez, Kurt.”

“Sorry Clara, do you want a cuddle?”

“Stay where you are. What I want is for you to get up on your ass. The husky is gone for over a week now, you are safe.
Don’t you see they are all worried for you? Mom was nearly crying on the beach on Friday when you didn’t even want to play with Milly”

“You think? But she keeps saying that it is actually nice to have me so quiet .”

“Men! You really have no idea how a women’s brain works, ….never mind if two or four legs! You have to interpret what we say, that is nearly never what we actually think!”

“So when you say you don’t want me beside you is not true. You actually like when I come for a cuddle.”

“Yeees, of course, I love being squashed under your 30 kgs”

“Really? I knew it!”

“NO Kurt, not a bit. Get off me now and go back to your coach.”

“Oh, Clara, you don’t understand. I am afraid that husky girl stole my mojo. What if I will never go back to the old jumpy me again?”

“For god sake Kurt, you are the biggest chicken ever. Look at me: I am old, blind, and with a beginning of dementia, according to with miss white scrub.The husky attacked me as bad as you and I didnt even see her coming…literally, but I got over it. You are boring and depressing. I heard the girls playing with Alexa the other day instead of you”.

“What?So that is what they are doing upstairs all the time instead of playing fetch or dressing up with me?”,”Now, move aside woman, I am going to get us those mince pies left on the counter.”

“Thank the lord! That is my boy!”

“Now here we go sister, but because they will certainly blame me, I took two and you just one”

Three mince pies later……

“Clara, do you think I am on the mend?”

“I think you are on the right track, Kurt. Now let me rest for a while, would you.”

About an hour later………

“What’s all this screaming. Hey, cannot an old dog have her afternoon nap in peace?”

“Don’t look at me, I have no idea what’s wrong with mom. She came in and started to yell. ”

“I think she is just yelling at you, Kurt…..”

” You think? ”

“Yep. I think indeed. I might be nearly completely blind but I can still hear perfectly. Hey, wait a minute what she is picking from the floor?. I can’t really see ”

“Oh, that? that is what is left of mom’s knitting project… I also tried to wear her reading glasses, after chewing them a little.”

” Oh boy!What have you done?”

” Just what you told me Clara….got up on my ass and out of my misery: Step back people: good old Kurt is back in town! “

New Year New Trouble

If Christmas and New Years’ Eve have been a bit sloppy, the Befana day followed their path. This year she had to throw herself down a chimney of an undecorated house.
Not being religious one of my favourite event of the festive season is the arrival of the Befana, a pagan ritual that mainly in Italy is highly celebrated. I have imported the tradition, and so my daughters do not hang their stockings for Santa but the Befana. The Befana is a good witch who arrives the night between the fifth and the sixth of January and fills the kids’ stockings with goodies if they behaved or coal if they didn’t. Traditionally it is only after her arrival that you take down the Christmas decorations. Over the years, I rigorously followed this rule, but not this year. I had enough of the festive season and didn’t want to waste my Sunday, or worse my first Monday after the kids were back to school, taking down the decorations and fighting with the Christmas tree’s light in the usual unsuccessful attempt to not tangling myself with them.

To be completely honest, the post-Christmas holidays’ reality, had already hit me on the first day back to work of my husband when Alexa cruelly kicked me out of bed at seven and I, even more cruelly, tried to force myself into a pre-Christmas pair of jeans.
So, without waiting for the sixth of January, on Friday the fourth, I boldly and disrespectfully of every tradition and rule took everything down and declared the festive season done and dusted. Even the girls agreed that the Befana doesn’t have anything to do with the Christmas tree and all the rest: she just need a chimney to come down and a glass of wine with some cake. If at this point of the story, you are wondering: yes, the Befana arrived, none a bother!

A bit more of a bother was instead the fact that the new year started with both our cars broken down. Well, to be precise one broke down, the other(mine) was made to break down as the travelling husband engaging the handbrake must have pulled it with a bit of too much force. Thankfully we had great timing and the second car broke just when the mechanic had fixed the other one: I only had to swap them!
Less straightforward was to explain how my car’s handbrake was now on the passenger seat.
“wow, is your husband a very strong man?”, the mechanic asked ;
“not in particular but he is a big man ” I answered, “but mostly I had pissed him that day”, I then felt to add. And in fairness I did, a little.
The day of my handbrake was murdered,in the morning, I went to the embassy to collect my new passport. While waiting for my turn, I received a text saying that there was a Husky available for fostering if I wanted her. I knew we said we waiting until the Monday bust as I was already in Dublin and the shelter is on the south side,( on the opposite side of town from where we leave), it made perfect sense to go and get her as I was already halfway. “Be practical”, the traveling husband always says, and so I have been. Because I was simply applying his predicaments, I didn’t feel to inform him about the change of plans. What I didn’t know was that men could have a sixth sense as developed as the women’ one, and so right when we were discussing if tell the travelling husband of our little detour or just surprise him, he rang and, of course, the dog started hauling. The man of the house was not upset. Who was instead upset, was the other man of the house, The for legs one. As soon we arrived home, Kurt didn’t manifest any of his usual enthusiasm for the new playmate, and the two dogs ended up having a few nasty fights. This fostering undoubtedly started with the wrong paw, but the worst only arrived in the evening when our guest attacked poor Clara with no reason or provocation. I firmly believe the dog was not vicious or aggressive but just jealous of her humans and unfortunately for them, Clara and Kurt were on her way.
Unfortunately for me, I had now two dogs with their ears pierced by the husky teeth and their faces bit; a foster dog to relocate, and a very pissed husband.

Against all my expectations, late in the evening, the travelling husband was so gracious to drive me all the way down to the southside. I still think he did it to be sure that I wouldn’t come back with some other creature but, as they say, “an act of kindness must never be questioned”.
I suppose I don’t have to specify that the journey was a reticent one and became even quieter when I received a phone call from the lady we were supposed to leave the dog with saying she was on her way out for an emergency and gave us another address where to go. Nothing upsetting if it was not for the fact that we were just ten minutes away from her place and had already driven for forty-five minutes.
When the travelling husband, made one of the hysterically fastest u-turns of all times, I hold on my seat belt as tight as I could after picturing the poor husky dumped in the dark on the side of the road and me with her.
Once the drop was done, and we were eventually on our way home, I tried to ease the atmosphere: “at least I had plenty of petrol, for once”, I said even attempting a laugh. Except I was immediately reminded that he filled the car for me a couple of days prior.
“Ops”, maybe I was better off to stay silent, but actually, there was another thought bothering me: I had to know if this little misadventure put him off from fostering or not. Sure it did not put off me!
Now, because my mouth is at times faster than my brain, once in front of the house, I spat it all out: “I don’t think we are going to foster anytime soon now, do we?”.
The travelling husband didn’t give me a proper answer but more a prehistoric grunt whose meaning was clear only when he parked the car and left still holding my the handbrake stick with a bunch of wires attached.

A Sloppy Christmas and Happy New Year

For the second consecutive year, we spent Christmas at home and with no visitors. Last year it was strange to start but very nice by the end. This year we were all looking forward to nice quiet holidays, and it has been excellent and cosy but also a bit sloppy. I will draw a line on new years eve as after years of parties we stayed at home alone. We were, in fact, the only ones among our friends who didn’t go down with the flu. In total honesty, I must say that I spent a lovely night and in line with the rest of the holidays filled with an absurd amount of food and wine. Thank God the holidays are nearly over because I am breaking all the records of lack of exercise, exception made for the muscles of my jaws and my fingers constantly busy unwrapping chocolate. The other day I was so desperate to find something to keep away from the pantry that I took out my knitting equipment to finish a blanket I started four years ago: I am not an octopus and so for an afternoon I made myself unable to unwrap chocolate or eating biscuit as my fingers were elsewhere busy.

Christmas eve, as our newly established tradition, we went out for lunch and to buy some fish to be cooked for the evening. Once home we had plenty of time to indulge in laziness and to groom ourselves appropriately for a posh family evening; except daughter number one realised to have forgotten her good outfits in Italy and had nothing fancy to wear. Of course, we had not let this little inconvenience to spoil our festive mood: books are never to be judged by their cover and elegance is inside you, right? Right! But I I still live in the hope that someday my daughter will develop a decent sense of fashion, and yes: I had my suspicions she left her good clothes behind on purpose.
While daughter number one was picking one of her best tracksuit and daughter number two was trying to tie her short bob in a ponytail, covering her head with an uncountable number of hair clips; I and the travelling husband, with the complicity of our neighbour who stopped by, started far too early to drink and snack and by dinner time we were already stuffed. The well planned posh three courses meal was not going to happen. We skipped the main course and just had starters. A lot of starters straight from the eighties because I never say no to a “gamberetti cocktail”. From the starters we jumped to cheese and cakes…, lots of cheese and cakes that could not be left alone, they need some liquors.
After we ruined the chance of taking the perfect picture of the four of us all impeccably dressed and spoiled our meticulously planned menu, we also failed to wait for midnight to open the presents and by 11.30 under the tree, there was not a single parcel left.
With a bit of shame, I must confess that I have been spoiled with presents. I received beautiful gifts and far too generous from my friends but mostly from the travelling husband. To start with, he took two weeks off;to be precise he was on call but he actually never stepped a foot in the office or on a plane and didn’t even check his phone and emails compulsively as he usually does. But this was not all; he surprised me with something unexpected under the tree too. I know what you are thinking: maybe he had something to be forgiven for! Well, even if, who cares: I love my bag with my name printed on and my new necklace: Let’s be fair and let the man have his secrets! I am joking of course. No secrets are allowed because in that case my lovely new bag would be filled with stones and smashed on his head.

Despite how much I loved all my pressies, I had not won. Someone in the family got away with something fancier. No, they were not the girls; it was instead the travelling husband himself. All considered I can positively say that we are the living proof that giving always brings you something back.
Picking a present for the travelling husband is a royal pain. He can be quite picky and never shows enthusiasm but, what it annoys me the most, is the fact that he always guess what I get him before he opens it. Always except for this year.
This year there was no way he could guess what I got him because I got him something he would have never imagined. First of all, because it was something I was not even sure he knew existed and second because it was something I was sure he would have never thought to buy for himself. Actually I was not sure he might have liked it either, but at least I was sure it was something he didn’t expect and could not possibly guess.
I bought him an amazon echo spot. In simple terms, Alexa alarm clock version.
For the first time in twenty years, I saw him surprised when he unwrapped his present.
That surprised expression became an expression of puzzlement when he finished unwrapping the multiple boxes I did hide the actual gift in. Unfortunately, the puzzled face never turned in an enthusiastic one: “Nice you gave me an alarm clock that tells the temperature”.Not even his tone betrayed any enthusiasm, but more embarrassment of being unable to hide his disappointment.
Eventually, once I explained that the little ball was not a simple alarm clock, his face lightened, and I can swear I saw a brief flash of joy that soon became fear and panic when he realised that magic box he was holding had to be set up and synced with all his devices.
The travelling husband not only is an enemy of every form of social media but he is also not the most technological of the men. Still, having shared the house for four years with three enginers left him with some skills, and even if It took him nearly an entire afternoon, in the end, he managed to set his Alexa and properly sync her with his phone, iPad and every appliance he could connect her to around the house. Alexa and the travelling husband undoubtedly had a rocky start, but now he is happy out with his lady waking him up every morning with the weather forecast for the day and the latest news from the world and the markets.
He doesn’t even bother to turn on or off his bedside table lamp anymore as Alexa would do it for him and, on request, she would tell him a joke or a bedtime story or she would play some relaxing music to help him sleep.
The days of him being shy and not technological are long gone and he is growing a bit bolder every day. Sometimes I genuinely pity poor Alexa because he is starting to take pleasure on playing jokes on her or on giving orders for the sake of doing it. Did I create a monster or did he find his way to project? If Freud were still alive, he would undoubtedly have a lot to say about it. Me, I don’t have much to say, and until the travelling husband doesn’t start to call me Alexa and give me orders, I am fine! !!

A Truly Madly Ordinary Winter Holidays Start

Five days in Italy for a pre-Christmas visit, five kilos gained and five thousand km driven moving from a relative’s house to another. Once Back to Ireland, we stayed on the number five for another couple of days: five baskets of laundry to do and five hours straight of cleaning after the house has been inhabited only by the travelling husband and the two dogs. I must admit that the thought of them lonely and barely surviving in junk food had crossed my mind and poisoned my conscience with guilt; but only for a second because the amount of crumble I found on the kitchen sofa and under it and smashed and stack on my lovey velvet cushions gave me a totally different image of the three of them. I clearly pictured them snacking away all day in front of the tv, and it took me just one look at the empty fridge and pantry to know I was right.
Of course busy carousing neither the traveling husband nor Kurt or Clara had thought about Goldyboy, the fish. The poor creature, when I went to feed him, nearly jumped out the tank with a piranha style pirouette in the attempt to eat my finger along with his flakes. He had not eaten for the whole time me and girls were away!

It has been a challenge but the house is back to its normal self, the fridge and the pantry are filled with food and the Christmas tree base is cramped with gifts.
Everything is set and ready, for another quiet christmas in our own home and with our own traditions.
And talking about tradition, it is now time to go and watch “love actually”, as in this house it is not Christmas without it.

I apologise if I disappointed my audience with an unusually short post and, let’s face it, quite crap too🤷🏻‍♀️. I promise the next one will be longer and more entertaining; in the meanwhile I send all my WP friends a warm hug: Happy Christmas everybody, whatever it means for you.🎄

The Santa’s Letter Affair

I am afraid I announced my coming back slightly too soon, as it appears I am still struggling with time and not keeping up with posts, either mine or others’. In my defence, I have been very busy, but this time not with the book……well not only with the book…….: I have been busy helping Santa🤶🏻

My house is still a home of believers…..believers in Santa!
To be honest I thought daughter number one would have started to doubt it this year, instead, she didn’t; or at least she had not mentioned it and I assume she still fully believe in the white-bearded presents dispenser and his elves.

Around the first week of December, I usually started to press both the girls to get their mindset on what they want for Christmas.
They always have their ideas pronto, but this year, for some reason, they seemed not to have the usual enthusiasm for something in particular, and for the first time, I had no an idea of what they want either.
The days passed and I started to be tight with time to get organised with the presents, also considering that we are going to Italy for a week before Christmas and, ideally, I would like to have everything sorted before leaving.

One morning, making their beds I noticed on their bedside tables a note for Santa.
“Perfect”, I thought, I took the letters and I went shopping.
When I collected them from school I proudly informed the girls of my initiative to send their Santa’s letters, but after no thank you arrived, I suspected there was something wrong. My suspects became certainty when through the rear mirror of the car I saw daughter number one filling her eyes with tears and daughter number two looking back at me with a murderous look.
In the beginning I couldn’t really understand what the problem was, certainly, it could not be something I did and so, like every conscious mother would have done, I just ignored them. Unfortunately, once home, it was not easy to keep doing that that as the atmosphere in the house was miserable to the highest extent.
“Would you just tell me what’s wrong please?”, I eventually asked.
“Nothing”, the standard answer. In the flood of tears that followed there was nothing standard, and neither were standards all the scary thoughts about what could have possibly happened. “You sent the wrong the letters!”,daughter number two eventually said.

Long story short, those letters I found, have been written before they decided to join forces and ask Santa only one present for both of them.
Our rules are simple, Santa doesn’t bring living presents, (like puppies or pets of any sort) and neither he brings very expensive gifts, (because Santa delivers in any household but not any household has the same economic resources. Big presents, if they can afford them, must come from parents or grandparents not from Santa because the same Santa might have not been able to satisfy the request of some other less fortunate kid).
Now, back to my kids Santa’s letter, they both would like a new video game console. The game is apparently believed to be too expensive as an individual, but if asked as a combined present for both of them, (as they can play with it together),it would fit Santa’ budget and rules. In fairness, their logic did make sense. I had screwed up and even if they said it was ok and they could always ask it for their birthdays, I kept feeling bad and guilty. Not to mention that this combine birthday present idea is not really doable as one was born in June and the other in November; unless ,of course, one would have a very early gift and the other a very late one.

That evening, when I went to kiss them goodnight, I suggested that the following morning, I might have tried to retrieve the letters if they were still at the post office. No promise was done but at least they went to bed a bit more serene….and me too. The traveling husband, in his pragmatism, simply suggested to leave it because, “they will get over it. it is not that they are not getting any present !”, he said. True indeed, harsh but true.
Nearly convinced to leave things as they were on my way to bed, I noticed some letters sticking out their fairies letterboxes. Each fairy had been informed of my screw up and asked to keep her fingers crossed for me to be able to get the letters back.
I totally melted and the following morning I simply span around myself transforming “mama fairy” in “wonder mama”. By school pick up time I had the right so desired gift safely wrapped and hidden at the bottom of my wardrobe and the rest returned and refunded. Mission accomplished

Happy to have fixed my mess I had now a dilemma to face: “To tell or not to tell the girls?”. Will I leave them in their misery until Christmas Eve or will I just say I got the letters back? Undoubtedly a hard decision to take, but in the end, I decided to be graceful and when they asked me if I managed to get their letters back I simply told them the “truth”:
“You know what ? when I got to the post office the bag with the letters had just left for the deposit so there I went, only to find out it was not the right deposit. That kind of post goes to the deposit in Dublin and so I drove nearly into town to the main post service hub. Of course, to get there in time I had to speed across the motorway and a police patrol stopped me to give me a fine but, thankfully, when I told them why I was speeding they offered to escort me to get there quicker. Well, girls, I won’t hide it was a bit of a challenge and it did take me all morning but look what I have here!”, and with a big smile, I took the two Santa’s letters out of my pockets, where they actually were since the day I decided to be Christmas shopping proactive.

I don’t know for how long I will still be able to fool them like that but their pleasantly bewildered faces were priceless.
Even more priceless, it was their sense of gratitude that followed, and while they have been busy slaving away around the house for the rest of the afternoon, I had to enjoy a few hours of reading, sipping tea and eating biscuits. After all, all that driving and chasing left me exhausted. 😉💁🏻‍♀️

A Not So Much Lazy Week

This year the Black Friday was a damn real one, and not because I manage to buy all the Christmas presents and replace most of the appliances and pieces of furniture in the house for the cost of a penny. But let’s start from the beginning:

The week was supposed to see my transition from crazy mouse to lazy cow.
After weeks of feeling like a hampster frantically running on the wheel, I was eventually planning to take a step back, a big breath and enjoy some laziness while waiting to have the manuscript back from the editor. Blogging, catching up with posts on WP, eating chocolate while watching junk tv etc etc. This was basically what I had in mind and what I bloody deserved.
Unfortunately, my plans and my destiny don’t always agree.
The first book club meeting was anticipated of nearly a week, and I was ferociously behind. There could not be any lazy time. All my spare moment had to go to finish the book. A book that, In total honesty, and with massive disappointment as the author is one of my favourites, I didn’t even particularly enjoy. As they say: “not all doughnuts come out with a hole”! Anyway, by the day of the meeting, I read it through the end, I mentally prepared my review, and I proudly went for the coffee and the discussion. Lots of coffee and minimal discussion because only half of us had finished it and some didn’t even buy it yet!
That didn’t discourage me, and I kept repeating to myself that the week was still long, except it got shorter when I realised that it was Wednesday already and I also had the parents-teachers meeting scheduled.
Ok then, Thursday and Friday had to be the days of leisure and idleness.
Thursday morning the weather was horrible, but I didn’t care to get soaked on the beach with the dogs because I had all day to indulge myself. I could afford to waste my morning drying myself and my four legs troop and cleaning the house in the attempt to neutralise the wet dog odour.
Once again, my plans and reality were not synchronised:
“C.G., for God sake didn’t you have other shoes to wear just this morning?”,I said to daughter number two looking at going to school still in her canvas shoes.
“Nop mom”, she merely replied.
“What about your you leather Converse or your other shoes”, I went on, not giving up.
“They are small. I told you. Love you, bye”, and she was gone, while I was left sitting in my car feeling guilty and hoping the teachers wouldn’t notice that my darling child was still wearing her summer shoes in November.
Thank God at least she had a clean vest to wear: Freezing feet but warm belly…..better than nothing.
And so not even Thursday was a “feet up day “, but it was spent at the shopping centre shoe shopping.
At this point, all my hopes and expectations were on Friday. The day started in a promising way and was progressing well until a scream from the kitchen reached me in the studio. After that, it was pure mayhem: the dogs were barking and hauling, and the girls were screaming and crying.
I rushed in the room to find daughter number two screaming like a lunatic and daughter number one trying to explain what happened in between sobs. I couldn’t hear a word they were saying but soon what happened was quite obvious: daughter number two ‘s arm was covered in blood.
I am not a good liar, but I tried my best to look calm pretending I had everything under control, and without sounding presumptuous, I think I did well as the injured child calmed down. The other, instead, was not so easy to fool, and she was still crying and screaming. Or she was having a nervous breakdown, but frankly, I had no time for that. Of course, it was not an easy decision: save one daughter ‘s arm or the other’s nerves? I decided to start with the arm.
I cleaned the wound and saw the flesh was teared apart, and the inside tissues were visible. We had to go to the hospital and get stitches, no questions about it.
Once in the waiting room at the clinic, it brutally hits me that I was there with a severely injured child after a domestic accident: what if they reported me to social services?!
I panicked and carefully prepared myself to explain what happened, except the nurse wouldn’t even look at me and only spook to the child. Well, that is good I thought, in cases of neglected and abused kids, but this is not one of those cases. Even if I was busy writing and haven’t realised my daughter didn’t have winter shoes to wear, she is not neglected. Was I shouting it loud or only in my head? For a minute I didn’t even know it myself but then when the nurse eventually turned to me and smiled I knew: the nurse didn’t know the poor child was in summer shoes until the day before and she didn’t t think I was a lousy mother.
The doctor was busy with another patient, but it wouldn’t be long they told us and sent us back to the waiting room.
Not more than ten minutes later, we were with the doctor.
He was nice and most important he was speaking to both of us: the neglecting mother and the endangered child. He started to tell jokes and managed to get C.G totally at easy, but unfortunately that didn’t save him to be nearly kicked in the face while injecting the profoundly and devastating painful anaesthetic. In the end he asked some questions too, and I couldn’t keep it anymore:
” Do you have an obligation to report this kind of injuries?”. I asked in one breath.
“Yes”, he answered, and I started to die inside. My legs were abandoning me, and my stomach was twisted, “But only if we feel the child is in danger. That is not the case here as what you said, what she said and what I see match perfectly”, he added.
Pew, my legs went back supporting me, and my stomach could relax.
Once the whole procedure was done, twelve stitches later, daughter number one did find the courage to enter the room. Her nerves were much better, and her ability to speak was back to normal, even too much: “mom, this is the same room where you had your artery stitched up, and the leg remember?”, “Where we were with the nurse was instead of where you went for your ankle….”. She blabbed happily sipping an hot chocolate she got for free from the vending machine. “Yes honey, what a coincidence but why you don’t just shut up now,.All these domestic injuries don’t look good!”. That was all could think after seeing the challenging look the doc threw me.
” I am clumsy by nature and not good with knives”, I said blushing and he seemed convinced . Before to let us go the doc handed me a prescription for some antibiotic to prevent any possible infection.
“Doe sit have penicillin in it?”,I asked.
“Yes why?is the child allergic?”,he replayed.
“No, I am, and last time I gave them some I got a reaction only at the touch. but if I know, I use gloves”, I explained.
“Oh my”, he said, “You are a quite easy one to take down, are you? it just takes a knife and a spoon of penicillin!” , he said proudly laughing at his ultimate joke.
“Yes”, I said,” But don’t tell my husband”.

Ortensia is back in town!

I am alive if you have ever wondered.
Three weeks without blogging and properly browsing around WP is my most extended break, but don’t worry my life has not become boring all of a sudden, something potentially truly madly ordinary happened, I just had no time to blog . So,ladies and gents ,here it is a brief (not really that brief actually😬)recap for you:

THE BOOK
All my energy and most of all my spare time have gone on the book, and I am glad to announce that the manuscript has been finished, home polished, and now it is having his final grooming with a professional editor. Exciting, scary, and, in total honesty, also presumptuous in a way as writing a book in a language that is not my native one, let’s be honest, can sound nothing but that. Thankfully, my wise Swedish friend game the hope that it might sound intriguing instead and only create curiosity about me and book. Naturally, I decided to go with her vision, if it wasn’t for the fact that said by me, it sounds even more presumptuous. Damn it, there is no way to escape here unless of course, I lie about my nationality, but then I can’t use it as an excuse to get away with some grammar inaccuracy. Oh boy, I can’t win!!!!Now, I think I already talked enough about the book or else by the time it will be out you will be fed up with it already, and I am counting on you to buy it. If then you happen to read it too that would be amazing.

NONA ‘S VISIT
Nona has visited us in occasion of daughter number one birthday. She never misses her granddaughters birthday. It was a brief visit but very pleasant, maybe not at the best time as it came in the middle of the last chapter but sure it has been an excuse to give a good clean and tied up to the house, that like its occupant has been lately neglected.Unfortunately, having split myself between the laptop and the hoover, I forgot the laundry basket and that one night that Nona was babysitting there was no clean vest in their drawers. The perfect situation, this one, test your kids and hope for them to be quick and smart. My kids miserably failed the test, and none of the two thought to pretend to wear a vest under their PJs. They both went asking their grandma what to do. Grandma, for whom, running out of clean vest or knickers is something unthinkable and unforgivable, didn’t have a real answer for them if not telling them to stay strong and be patient that someday their mother will be done writing and back to the washing.

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
Daughter number one birthday was on Wednesday, but her party was not until Saturday. In the days in between, we merely ate leftover cake that certainly helped my so-called writer butt: flat and wide.
The party was at an adventure camp and included climbing, obstacles in the air, zip line and drop jump. During the activities, I planned to read in the cosiness and warmth of the coffee shop, but as usual, things didn’t go according to with plans.I found myself striped in ropes, chains and hooks instead. I admit it; my ego took over after my daughter looked at me with her big green eyes and went: ” please please please…you will be the coolest mom ever”, and so, here I was up in the platform.
But, in fairness, how could I resist considering she had turned 12 and pretty soon she will hate me and won’t want to be anywhere near me! The problem is that in the last seventeen /eighteen years I have been having problems with altitude and launching myself from a platform in the air It might have not been the best of things I could be doing on a Saturday afternoon. Or maybe it could actually. According to the travelling husband, my fear of altitude started after I did a bungee jumping over some waterfalls in my mid-twenties.”Here you go”, I thought; in every decent movie they fix fear with coping the anxiety or what it triggered and always successfully. Unfortunately, that is when I realised they are called movies for a reason, they are fictional, and in reality if you are afraid of heights there is no fecking way you can jump in the air unless a flying mutant crocodile crossed with an evil peacock is trying to eat you. And so I was there, one foot out one foot in the platform striped and ready in the safety equipment with a choir of sixth grader shouting after me: “do it do it do it do it”.I didn’t do it, my feet were as heavy as the Eifel tower and glued to the ground.The kids were all very supportive, and my daughter was not disappointed in me. Who was not understanding at all was the instructor who kept looking at me like a was a coward chicken for the rest of the day. Thankfully he was not present when we had the cake, or I am sure he would have never allowed me to have a slice: No jump, No cake

THE CHEATING HUSBAND
A few Saturdays ago we have been invited to a party thrown from one of the beach ladies, aka one of my dogs’ friend. The time of making friends through school is over. The girls are eventually old enough for me not to hang much outside the school gate, and also, over the years, I got a full taste of the different type of moms and who I had to get friendly with, I did it already by now. All the rest it was not meant to be, aka not worth it! Nowadays, most of my new acquaintances, that in some cases had become excellent friends, are met through dogs or my little literary circle and on occasions, the two worlds merge. Back to the party, it was a crowded one and a sort of housewarming party as the lovely couple who hosted it only recently moved into the house: lovely food, beautiful people of different backgrounds but a great mix. The weather that had been horrible all week, for that night turned mild, and it made enjoyable to stay out in the garden chatting by the fire. Nobody was driving, and nobody has been shy with wine and the exquisite finger food that our hostess was graciously serving around.
It was with extreme sadness that by 1.am we had to start thinking to call a taxi. Saturday nights are always, and from when you call the cab and when you get it might pass even an hour. The travelling husband didn’t know the exact address, and so he passed me his phone with the cab company number ready to call on the display, or at least that it was way he meant it. I rang and a woman answer calling my husband name? At first, I was a bit surprised, but then I just thought the company had the travelling husband number registered and saved under his forename, as we always use the same service. I asked for a cab but the same lady, with a strong Italian accent, replayed I had got the wrong number. Me, I apologised and hung up. Now, I might have been tipsy but the facts are crystal clear: there is a woman that at 2.o.clock am Italian time, doesn’t sound so surprised to receive a phone call from my husband!!!
So, this is my chance for a bit of drama, and I immediately confront the travelling husband who, as the classic old rule want, denies everything. Unfortunately, for him, there is not much to deny: he gave me the phone with the last calls on to call the taxi, and along this last call calls there is someone used to late, very late, calls from him. In fairness, the whole thing sounded dull since the beginning and the theory of the mistress was weak. Either I had married a ridiculously stupid man, and I suppose I would have realised it already after over twenty years together, or I had married someone genuinely with no sins to hide. Soon it became clear that he still is the exceptional bright man I married and has no crimes to hide. Instead of listening at my tantrum,(that I must admit was not convincing myself either), he started to inspect the phone trying to understand what could have been happened. Ultimately what happened was that on top of being slightly drunk I was also not wearing my reading glass and as I couldn’t see the numbers on the phone anyway, I just blindly pushed whatever it looked to me like the last calls list, except it was his business calls list. My chance of being the protagonist of a soap opera style drama vanished: my husband doesn’t have a second family in Milan. As we discovered the following day, the drama was unfortunately not avoided on both ends of the phone, and while we were having a huge laugh the poor lady colleague had severe trouble to explain to her jealous boyfriend why a man from Ireland was calling her at that time of the morning and faking a woman voice.

And that’s all for now my readers.My turn to catch up with your posts!

Have a great week end you all.