Aimless, goalless, nothingness

When we first came to Italy, we did nothing.  Well, obviously we did things, but we had no jobs, no reason to get up in the morning, to leave the house (apart from the dog and buying food).  We had money.  It was the plan.  It was what we had decided to do.  Nothing.  Just be there.  See how life was.  See what would happen in the future. Continue reading

How to make people like me

I really shouldn’t have had that fifth whiskey last night (I don’t even really like whiskey), nor for that matter the other four or the large mirto that V poured me. I feel that, although my body is obeying the commands I give it, it is doing so very reluctantly and with a time lag as though my body were in Australia and I am phoning with the instructions. Also, at any moment now the line will break and my body will stop accepting any instructions at all. Still, a nice evening. H had arrived back from the UK and we had much to talk about.

And the title, you ask. What’s that all about? Well, the site is registered on Google Analytics, which means I can see certain information about visitors to the site. In this case the title was what was typed into and the person (in Derby, I think) got to the Vanda site. Tried it myself this morning and I have no idea why it came up as I can’t find it at all. Sorry to the person in Derby for not giving you the answer, but you did have a look around before you left, so I guess there might have been something of interest.

Via The Magistrate’s Blog comes a link to a Guardian article and this quote from one of the contributors:

‘images of us being forced into a van and taken to airport come back. We were taken off the flight at the last minute, but I can hear the screams of the other Congolese being forced onto the plane. My son has had constipation ever since we came here’

No, not some kidnapping or hijack. An asylum seeker in the UK whose two children were born here and who was writing from an asylum centre, having been ‘snatched from our home in Glasgow’.

I can make no comment as I think it says all that is required.

Update p.m.  I’ve just thought, perhaps the person wasn’t looking to be more liked by others but rather they were looking for a method of cloning themselves!

Let me tell you how ill I am!

As those of you who know me may remember, I’m not one for illnesses.  Sure I’ve had my fair share.  I had an operation for a small hernia when I was about 8, had Spillaine’s Syndrome at about 35 and an op for a cartilage tear about 6 years ago.  But that’s about it, really.  Yes, I do get aches and pains but, really, you don’t want to know, so I won’t tell you.  I don’t take aspirin or any other drugs as I reckon that one drug (smoking) is enough – oh yes, and alcohol. Continue reading

Where’s the bloody Tooth Fairy when you need him/her?

It’s difficult to write every day – as you can tell, because there aren’t entries every day.  I do try to write, following L’s advice, but much of the output is fairly banal and not worth posting.  I find myself trying to think of things to write about knowing, as I do, that the blogs that I like have regular posts, giving me a story that’s more interesting to read, that I want to follow.  For example, Wandering Scribe, now that her situation has changed, has stopped posting so often and, in turn, I’ve stopped looking so often, whereas, Italy is Falling, The Magistrate and My Boyfriend Is ….., post regularly, so I look at their blogs every day. Continue reading

Don’t hold your breath in the Gotthard Tunnel!

Today, as yesterday, has been a really beautiful day.  Unfortunately we had some chores to do – mine in front of a computer and V ironing.  However, it was so beautiful that we decided to take Rufus for a walk in Giardini Pubblici (the park closest to where we live in Milan) this afternoon.

Whilst walking in the park, we have to pass under a footbridge – but it’s a wide one as I guess they also use it for park vehicles.   V says that he doesn’t like walking under the bridge because it smells.  I said that it didn’t but he said that it didn’t matter anyway as you ‘have to hold your breath under bridges and in tunnels as it’s lucky’!  Yep, he really said that.  He did add that it probably wasn’t a good idea to do that in the Gotthard Tunnel (from here to Switzerland).

It reminded me of when he was on Jeopardy and, when asked if he had ever worked in a factory, he replied ‘No, but I did drive past one, once’. Continue reading

Current status: dipendente; plus amusing tales of cutting off tongues in Milan

Yes, it really is some big deal here – to be employed with a contract with no fixed end date!  So, here I am, a properly employed (dipendente) person.  I was also told, yesterday, that I was a level 7 employee which, so I am told, is the highest level.  However, this being the country that it is, I now have a clocking in card!  This is the first time that I have ever had one of these and I am sure I shall forget to use it many times.  We’ll have to see how important that is.  But we are in Italy, where rules and red tape are so important.

In the meantime, it would seem that we are about to also congratulate V for getting the same status where he is working.  He should know by the end of the day.

On another subject, however, whilst surfing the internet for something (I forget what, exactly) yesterday, I found a story that really caught my eye.  You can see one of the examples here.

What really makes the whole thing much more fun is the way that this has been reported.  One wonders who started the whole thing by adding ‘off’ to ‘cutting’ and I think it would be fun to have traced the explosion from that one source.

Of course, the idea that a substitute teacher should cut a child’s tongue is bad enough, but the thought that the same teacher had cut off the child’s tongue has a whole new meaning.  I found myself laughing at this.  The reason was simply because the thread on a forum that I found (but, alas, today I cannot find it), started with the same premise that they had picked from somewhere else (i.e. that the teacher had cut off the tongue), but as the thread went on people realised that this could not be so, otherwise it would have had a much bigger impact rather than the reprimand or sacking that seems to have taken place.

I just wish I could find the thread for you.

However, the point is that, my general distrust of the media (and by that I mean newspapers, radio and television), which many of you may know about, as I was the subject of such mis-reporting some years ago, gathers apace.  Although in most reports you see that it is correctly (well, I assume correctly) reported that the teacher only cut the child’s tongue, the initial finds yesterday were all reporting cut off rather than cut.

Of course it came from Milan and it may have been an Italian’s enthusiasm for using English phrasal verbs that was at fault, but from the report above, you can see that it did spread around the world quite fast.  I probably cannot find the thread now because it has been, subsequently, corrected.

In all events, I prefer the cutting off of the tongue as that gives a much more vivid picture of life in a Milanese classroom!  No wonder that the boy now runs away whenever he sees someone holding a pair of scissors!  And I do love the idea that the teacher can claim that the whole thing was ‘an accident’.