An eventful uneventful weekend; A supermarket open every day in Milan; Dog walking

Well, it didn’t really last long. Three days, in fact. Still, it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?

Isn’t it? Tell me ‘yes’, please?

Well sort of.

It was an uneventful yet eventful weekend. I mean to say, for most people almost uneventful. For me, quite major things were done.

In particular, I am talking about sewing.

Yes, this post may not be the most exciting ever. Please look away now if you are afraid it might be boring. If you do read it, you can’t then say I didn’t warn you. And it is looooong!

I am, as you may know (or have guessed), a gay man. Actually, an old, gay man. But I’m not really your typical ‘gay’. I am, as N would say, quite a straight, gay man. An old, straight, gay man.

I don’t sew. Well, I do but only when I have to and we’re talking simple things here. Buttons and stuff. Buttons are hard. But not as hard as real sewing. But, like ironing and cleaning, they take me a long time. And, just like ironing and cleaning, if I can, I put it off.

So, all the shirts that I had that lost a button or ripped or needed some sort of repair had been, over the last (OMG! I just realised over the last 18 months or two years!!) ahem, period of time, had been hung in a special part of the wardrobe.

But, I was ‘running out’ of workshirts and having to use the ones that F had bought for me. So, on Saturday morning I said to him that I was going to have to go out and buy some. And then, I thought, of course, I’ve probably got a couple that just need buttons so I should do them first and then I would know how many I really needed.

So, Saturday morning, after F left to go to his place and ‘tidy up a bit’, I thought OK, I’ll do it or, at least, look to see how many I could ‘reclaim’.

I really didn’t realise how much stuff I had in that wardrobe. It was a shock. I started looking at the shirts. Putting the ones which had ripped (usually on the sleeve or under the arm) in one pile as these were, probably, irreclaimable (at least with my level of expertise at sewing) and the ones that missed just a button (or two or three), in another.

There were 7 shirts that were reclaimable. It was a big surprise but welcome, nonetheless.

I started. It was cold in my kitchen. I found that threading the needle, normally a process that takes about 15 minutes for me, seemed to be easier than usual. This was a good sign. I found buttons in my little ‘button store’. And, where I couldn’t find the right ones, I found them attached to the shirts, at the bottom. Or I found one that was very similar.

I progressed well, completing the first one in about half an hour. That’s how slow I am. One down and 6 more to go. After the second one, I was finding it difficult. My fingers, hardly as nimble as they were, seemed to be ‘not working’. It was far too cold. I put on some gas rings on the cooker. It would soon warm up the flat or, at least, the kitchen.

The washing machine was on. I think I was doing towels. Or jeans. Something which meant a full spin at top speed.

I did another shirt. (Exciting, isn’t it?)

I decided to have a break from sewing. I took the three shirts that I had done to hang them in the wardrobe (they were already ironed). On the way back (not that it’s a truly long distance but it’s still true since between the bedroom and the kitchen I go through every other room in the flat – apart, that is, from the bathroom – however, the bathroom is on the way back to the kitchen), I stopped off in the bathroom.

I’m standing there, having a pee (I know you may not want to know this but it is material evidence for the next bit) and I hear a sudden crash from the kitchen. The washing machine is in full spin.

There’s not a lot I can really do, standing there as I am. It’s just not possible to turn off the tap, so to speak. (See, I told you it was material to the story). I finish and walk into the kitchen.

The trays which are on top of the microwave, which is on top of the washing machine were the things that caused the ‘crash’. They have fallen onto the cooker. With them, obviously, are the things that are on the trays. Not much, normally, but F, in one of his ‘tidy up’ moods last week, had moved all the stuff that was with my computer on the kitchen table, onto the trays.

This included some paperwork, some CDs, some DVDs, some pens and some other associated ‘junk’.

You may remember (it was on a few paragraphs back) that I mentioned turning on the gas rings to heat up the kitchen a bit? Well they are gas and, therefore, flames and, sort of, flames tend to do things to pieces of paperwork, plastic CD holders, plastic trays, etc.
To pieces of paper, even bank notes, they tend to send them up in flames. To CD and DVD boxes, the tend to melt them before setting them on fire.

The kitchen was full of flames. Well, the cooker was full of flames and not all from the burners.

I don’t know what happens sometimes in times of crisis. Usually, I react quite well. Sometimes, though, my brain doesn’t seem to work. For a moment or two I blew on the flames, trying to put them out. It almost worked but for one small but very important fact. I couldn’t blow the burners out, of course, and so blowing the flame on a piece of paper out had the effect of it going out for a split second before reigniting itself from the burner.


At the same time as blowing, I start to move things (well, move isn’t quite the right word – more like grab and chuck) from the cooker hob to the sink which, luckily, was full of water for washing up, the washing up being in the water and not having been done by now because I am on that long, horrible job of sewing.

I do remember thinking that this really wasn’t the best day for this (but, then, when would be?). Not only am I sewing but it is also too cold for me. And I’ve had a bad week at work.

And my tooth hurts.

Although this may seem like a long time for me to ‘do the right thing’, in reality, of course, it was seconds. Seconds before I realised that, of course, before trying to extinguish the flames I should, in all probability, turn off the hob rings.

I do. Then I am blowing and throwing stuff at the sink at the same time.

The CD/DVD cases have started sticking to the black covers over the gas rings. And sticking to each other. In that plastic burned way. They also go into the sink along with the washing up.

I’m thinking that a wet CD/DVD is invariably better than a totally warped one.

I start to clean up the cooker. I fish things out of the water. Some bits of paper have fared better than others. Some now have no writing on. It seems pointless to keep them without anything on them, their meaning lost to the water. I hang others in various places to dry.
I start separating CD cases. The CDs themselves, look OK. I will have to try them. Possibly when they are no longer wet.

The plastic box full of blank DVDs is difficult to open since bits of the plastic seems to have become welded together. I prise the lid open. The DVDs themselves, seem OK. We shall see. Again, perhaps better to check when they are dry.

I make a cup of tea. There is irrational fear in turning on one of the gas rings to boil the water. I mean – REALLY irrational. There is nothing on the microwave any more. It all went onto the rings, into flames or was melted, then the water, then the drainer for drying out or thrown away for being of no use any more.

I have tea.

I re-start my sewing.

I finish the shirts. There are a couple of pairs of jeans that also need repair. They are my favourite jeans. They need repair because I am not sticking to my wine diet very well. And, also because the jeans were always quite ‘tight’ – even before I had need of any wine diet! One of them has come apart where the buttons were. It was either that or the buttons. The sewing gave first. I sew that up. Not well but, I hope, quite ‘strongly’. The other pair were not so lucky. The second button down – since they are not really buttons but those stud buttons you get on jeans – sheared in two. I have a stud from some other pair of jeans. I fix that in and hammer it together. I hope it holds. But I guess there will be another real button put there if it comes off. I guess there’ll be a button there soon, then!

Also, maybe as a result of the need for a wine diet, some shirts have ripped at the sleeve – underneath the armpit. They cannot be repaired. But a couple of them are good shirts and I don’t want to chuck them. I decide that I could just cut the sleeves off. They would be summer shirts. I try. the result doesn’t look so bad. Maybe they will be fine? I will show F later, maybe?

It has taken me all bloody day to do the sewing. The jumpers have not been done. They will have to wait. I’m quite pleased with myself at having done all this. F and I have chatted over Facebook when I was doing the shirt buttons. I told him I hate doing it, having forgotten how he told me that for S’s first show, various family and friends were up all night doing the sewing. He says he will do it later. For one moment I think of saying ‘yes’ but then decide not to. After all, I should be able to do all this myself. Maybe next time?

We went out for a meal. F was ill. The next day he stayed in bed until about eleven o’clock. Asleep. Then he got up and went home and went to bed and slept.

Yesterday, as he was sleeping, I took the dogs out for a long walk to the park. Have I mentioned that Rufus seems to have really perked up in the last week or so? Well, he’s still quite perky. I’m very happy about it even if I was writing him off only before Christmas.

Then, last night, I went to the supermarket. I love that, now, the Esselunga in Viale Piave is not only open on Sunday but also open after 6! Actually, I think it stays open until about 9 p.m. Italy is moving into the 20th Century. Just a little behind others. In fact, apart from about 2 days in the year, it is open every day and at reasonable times.

I had a hankering for parsley sauce. And roast potatoes. And leeks. I got everything, including some cod (because F likes that). Of course, the cod was salted cod and I didn’t soak it for long enough. The rest was perfect. I must try it again – with a more soaked cod.

And F feels a bit better now and has gone to work.

But he didn’t take the dogs for a walk on Thursday and Friday of last week (because he had very long days and was going to do Pilates), nor Sunday because he was ill, nor today (nor tomorrow, nor Wednesday nor Thursday, I suspect) because he was going to Pilates again. So it only lasted last week. And only for three days. Oh well. I’m sure it’s the thought that counts.


And some lost comments:

  1. Gail says:

18 April, 2011 at 5:16 pm

………phew. I hung in ’til the end. phew – and that’s because I love you you old straight-gay man you!!

Love Gail


    • Andy says:

18 April, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Well done, Gail! Loads of love back