Wednesday, March 11, 2009

English as she is spoke

Following on from my last piece I am afraid I let myself down badly the other day. I was in charge of the crossword and giving out the clues when I had a bit of foot in mouth experience that of course sent la Duchessa into paroxysms of mirth.
The clue was “Food and sport fish of the family Serranidae that contains about 400 species of fish”. Unfortunately I read the last three words out as “fecies of spish” After la Duchessa stopped writhing on the floor holding her sides - I didn’t think it was that funny either – she said that I had to put it in the blog. When I started to say that I didn’t think it should go in, her whole demeanour changed. Well, here it is then as she requested. (The answer by the way is Sea Bass)


Last week-end we went down to what the Americans call a “yard” sale being held by some friends who are having to quit their nascent business and return to the UK. They had opened a martial arts and Buddhist retreat just down the road from us in an old hotel that had been renovated by the local comune (Council).It’s a real shame as they have worked so incredibly hard and put a lot of money into it too, to get the business going but unfortunately it did not take off as it needed to do.
So, they were selling everything off to raise some much needed funds to start life again in England.
There were loads of people down there, English as well as lots of Italians. Not being oversupplied with Euros ourselves we made a couple of small purchases to add to their pot. One of them is a small statue of Buddha. La Duchessa has for sometime, even before we moved here, been looking for a Buddha statue to put in our garden. Well now we have one and he sits looking rather peaceful at the foot of one of our Olive trees.


One of the other things that they are having to leave behind is their cat Jess. Jess came into their lives several months ago. As a kitten she just turned up at their house one day totally out of the blue. She was not feral as she could be stroked and picked up easily. They asked around but no one seemed to know anything about her. Anyway they were about to go for a trip back to the UK and asked if we would look after her for them. In fact they said to us that if she runs off, not to be worried, because they hadn’t really expected her to stay anyway. But stay she did. She is a lovely cat.
When we looked after her last year, our friends daughter had called her “Fluffums” I said to her, “I’m sorry but under no circumstances am I going to stand outside and call Fluffums”. La Duchessa agreed. Jess has markings so like Postman Pat’s cat Jess, that that is what la Duchessa and I called her and fortunately the child could see that we were right – smart kid!
So Bert will have a proper companion. We hope he’ll take to her and of course vice versa. He still loves the community cats. He was giving Starlight a wash yesterday morning, and she seemed to really enjoy it.

Man ‘Flu and other unhealthy things

Despite having had an anti-‘flu jab at the docs a couple of months ago, I have succumbed to the lesser, male-only virus of Man ‘Flu.
I feel quite rough really. My throat, which is now better, was raw and even just swallowing was bloody sore. It felt like swallowing razor blades – honestly it did.
I’m on the mend now after copious Lem-sips and Ibruprofen – although I am unconvinced that they do help much. They might give a bit of relief but ……..
Anyway I have to be better for Friday as that is the day, I hope, it will be my third appointment, that I am going to hospital to have a dye injected into my body and then to have photographs taken of my retinas. Apparently, the dye allows the technicians to see some vessels at the back of the eyeballs to see if they are OK or have been got at by the diabetes. All a bit too technical for me.
I had been told what was to happen by an Italian nurse and doctor so we roughly know what’s what. But to relieve any concerns la Duchessa very kindly printed off from the internet a set information that Oxford Radcliffe supply to their patients undertaking a Fluorescein Angiography, or FFA for those in the know.
Now I know that La Duchessa has my best interests at heart, I mean who else is going to chop the wood, turn over the garden, strim the estate, do the ironing, clean the car, etc., etc.? But there are times when what you get is just too much information or perhaps worse, conflicting information. For example, the nurse said I was not to have any of my medication on the morning of the FFA. Oxford Radcliffe says you must take your medication. Agghh.
But that’s not the best bit. The nurse told me that my pee would be yellow for a couple of days and also my skin will go bright yellow. Radcliffe says the same thing but then goes onto some other quite interesting possible side effects:
• Outbreak of hives
• Complete collapse of the venal system around the vein where the dye was injected leading to loss of the limb
• Death
Wow. Roll on Friday I say.

I hope to be here to report next week. Gulp!

Ciao. Mantenere la fede

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