Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It’s raining cats, not dogs
It was La D’s turn to exercise Bert this morning. I turned over waiting for the bounding hound to leap onto the bed – very wrong, I know – whilst La D went to feed him. All of a sudden she came rushing back to the bedroom. “L’uomo chi fa, L’uomo chi fa” (she doesn’t really say that of course “ there are five very small kittens in a basket outside the back door. Mum has given birth!”
Now we had known Mum was with kittens, as is her daughter Starlight, but we didn’t think she was going to have them right outside our door.
So, just as I was about to have a nice glass of OJ and a hot mug of Red Bush tea in bed reading my book, all change.
What are we going to do with them? We asked each other. The interim solution is to put mum and kittens in the old laundry room under the stairs. Fortunately I had only cleaned it out a few weeks ago and it was relatively dust, cobweb and dead leaf free.
So that’s were they are at the moment and I suppose they can stay there for a few weeks – there is hole in the wall to the outside and we think that Mum can get in and out through it.
Of course the big problem is the Bert. Now Bertie is a big softie and if he saw some kittens all he would want to do is to play with them. But 25+kilos of a frantic 7 month old puppy leaping about might be a little intimidating, not to say fatal to the poor things. But we will have to see. Mum may decide to move them anyway when they are a little bit older.
No doubt we will return to this subject. Pictures may be published.

Speaking Italian
Now I know you probably don’t realise but I speak perfect Italian. The only problem is that the person I speak perfectly Italian to is myself. It’s brilliant. I never misunderstand what I am trying to say. However it does have its drawbacks. It’s quite solitary, and I need to get out more.
When I am waiting to order something, I go over and over in my mind what it is I want to ask for, to such an extent that I ooze confidence.
It is as though I am soldier and in my mind I see myself in all the camouflage stuff, bristling with weapons, swaggeringly self-assured. If you were to stand behind me you would see this authoritative figure, legs apart, arms akimbo, 6’ 6” feet tall. You get the picture.
So there I was waiting to ask for some minced beef – macinato. It was my turn. “Buongiorno” I said to the butcher in a deep manly tone. “Eh, cinque cento grammi macchiato, per favore” I said with a knowing smile on my face.
“Che?” he said. My weapons were beginning to bristle less, my camouflage was beginning to fade. “Eh, cinque cento grammi macchiato, per favore” I said again. The butcher looked blankly at me.
Oh no. It suddenly dawned on me what I had asked for. For all those coffee devotees out there you will probably noticed I had asked for 500gms of espresso coffee with a touch of frothy milk. Doh!
“Scusi, scusi” I squeaked for by now I was only 3’ 2” tall, devoid of any camouflage, weapons in fact any clothing, my legs were turned in and touching at the knees. Well at least that is how I felt I must look like.
“Macinato per favore”
The butcher fulfilled my order without another word and handed me the package. I went and paid for it at the casse and left. I felt a right wassock.
It’s great this “speaking another language thing”. But it’s not that easy for me, nor for La D, but we continue to learn and are positive enough to know that it can only get better despite having a few hiccups on the way.
Oh the joys of learning a foreign language.

Green Shoots of Recovery – The Gooseberry Pie maybe back on
Last week I wrote about how a newly acquired Gooseberry bush had failed at the first hurdle due to you-know-who having savaged the thing before we were able to get into the ground. Well, we have had a lot of rain recently and as I was walking by the bush, I looked over and noticed some new green shoots. So naturally we are hoping to have some of those lovely hairy green balls later in the year.

Have Passport, Will Travel
La D and myself are proud to announce that Bertie has joined the fairly exclusive club of international canine travellers. The world is his dinner pail. We are not sure if he plans to go back-packing, but it is a possibility, just as soon as he masters international dialling codes.

La D Surprises Again!
We were sitting reading some Sunday newspaper supplements that the DIL and MIL sent us – keep them coming DIL, we need them – when La D uttered a cry of surprise. She was reading an article about some top man in a financial institution and the difficulties being faced by him compared with the difficulties being faced by the company’s lesser mortals, i.e. job losses.
She announced to me in her very haughty and beautifully sensuous way that only she can, (it is a difficult thing to combine haughtiness with sensuousness, but La D does it fabulously) “These Big Ponchos think they can get away with anything and leave the poor ones to fend for themselves. It’s just not fair.”
“I agree La D” I said, “But I think you mean “Head Honchos”, not Big Ponchos”
I smiled, she laughed, and then she threw a glass of water over me.

Ciao. Mantenere la fede

No comments: