Nearly there, I think …….I hope.

Of course, it’s not really finished at all. But we’re getting there. Saturday was the lounge. Now, all that MUST be done before Christmas is the bathroom, which is not an easy room to do.

Still, bless him, even if it’s for him really.

The pictures were put back up – but in an order he likes – all neat. It does look better, of course, and it is the kind of thing he does for a living, so it’s easier for him.

But it was the whole day on Saturday. I shall be quite glad when it’s all finished and I can have Saturday’s to myself again.

It would be the main drawback about living together. No real time to myself. And I never thought I’d ever think like that.

But, from something that happened last week, I’m now pretty sure that he has taken to ‘living’ with me and using his place as more of a ‘private studio’. So, if we did move in together, we would have to have at least one or two more rooms.

He doesn’t want to get the tree until about the middle of December. Although he loves the tree and decorations, he doesn’t really like the ‘mess’ that goes with it.

I’m going to cook chicken this Christmas because he’ll eat that (or, at least, he’ll eat the breast). And, assuming that P&A will come on Boxing Day, I’ll do Roast Beef with all the trimmings.

I have to be honest, I am really looking forward to Christmas.

Killing children cannot be justified.

Imagine, if you will, that I am walking along the road when a child throws a very large firework at me.

It misses but explodes nearby.

Would it be right to go over to that child and punch him so hard that he falls to the road, banging his head and dying as a result?

If you would answer ‘yes’, then read no further.

So, imagine this, then.

A man, pushing his child in a pushchair, throws a rock in the air. It comes crashing onto the windscreen of my car as I’m driving, narrowly missing me but making me swerve and smash the car into a wall. The car is a write-off but, apart from some bruises, I am OK.

I get out of the car.

Should I, at this point, take out the iron bar from my car and walk over to the man and hit him on the head several times until he is dead?

As a consequence of this, by the way, the bar accidently falls on the child in the pushchair, caving in his/her head and killing him/her instantly.

Am I right to do this? Again, if you answered “yes”, please don’t bother to read any further.

If, however, you answered “no”, then you may understand my feeling when an Israeli man, who has proven to be an arrogant misogynist, sent an email to a female I know, saying that they should think themselves lucky because “on the bright side – no one is firing rockets on you – now you see how life are pretty good”.

I so wanted to be able to reply that, unfortunately, there were children in Gaza where the rockets were killing them. I wanted to say that, as far as I am aware, no one has died in Israel in the last few days – but a number of children have been killed in Gaza.

It makes my blood boil.

I’m sorry but I don’t believe you can EVER justify any act where a child is killed – especially when the act that killed them was, in any way, an act of revenge.

Piero is nearly as big as Dino!

Piero has grown.

In fact, everyone who hasn’t seen him for more than about a week comments on how fast he has grown.

And he has. His shoulders are now just a few inches below Dino’s. He hasn’t got Dino’s bulk (not that Dino is fat, jut muscled) nor power but he’s working on it. The games of ‘tug’ that they have every night prove this.

Piero is still very ‘cute’ though, even if he is nearly the same size.

And it got me to thinking about whether Dino was this big when he was seven months old. I thought I might have commented on it in the blog so went back a way to see if I could find out. I didn’t find it. Instead, what I found was the end of V and I (Dino was just about 10 months old at the time). I should go back, from time to time, to see what was happening then.

For example, I found the post where I had been to see the flat that I am now living in.

I found some posts that were quite well written. But then, a tortured mind seems to a requisite for good writing. Perhaps I should randomly go back and have a look at some posts I wrote? It’s interesting to see the change from a different year. After all, this blog has been going for nearly 7 years now and a lot of things have changed in those seven years.

Anyway, back to Piero.

He is cute, he is much bigger, he is more affectionate, he is very, very playful and he is a right little bastard.

But wonderful too.

However, Dino is still the best dog ever.

But I love them both, just the same. And, as my friend C, from London, wrote recently, F REALLY loves the dogs. So all is well.

Two dreams

I had two quite strange dreams last night.

The first involved a famous footballer. Not a specific famous footballer, you understand and, yet, I suppose he could have been David Beckham.

Don’t get me wrong, David is quite good looking but not really my type. And it wasn’t really David as this guy had some hair on his chest. How do I know this, well, because he was naked and lying/sitting on the bed, propped up on the pillows.

But this vision was, in fact, a flashback, whilst I was telling someone about it and insisting that ‘nothing happened’ because I really wasn’t interested which, if you’ve heard David speak, you may understand. His manly frame is not upheld with his, frankly, pansy voice.

Even more weirdly, his wife or girlfriend was also there – lying over the corner of the bed (but clothed, obviously)!

The second dream was, indeed, more weird and just a little horrific and I think it was this one that made me wake up.

I would suggest that if you’re a little bit squeamish or don’t eat meat, you stop reading here.

No, honestly, this is going to be terrible for you.

In fact, this will be quite terrible for anyone.

So, stop reading.


You won’t like it.

Really you won’t.

I didn’t and it was MY dream!

Well, if you’re still reading it then either you’re mad or you don’t care and can watch the most horrible of horrible of movies.

And so,

It starts with me sitting with an animal (like a baby calf or a baby pig) lying with it’s head resting on my lap.

Continue reading

A no-painting Saturday

There was no painting because, until Saturday evening, there was no F, being as he was in Germany.

I went to pick him up from the airport, with the dogs. Piero was sick on the way back. It was unexpected because, after the first couple of times, he was fine going to and from Carrara. Ah well, poor thing, I shall have to remember that he’s still a little bit dodgy when it comes to car travel.

However, they were very pleased to see him, as was I.

And, although nothing particular got done over the weekend, I quite enjoyed it and felt quite happy this morning.

Work soon changed that, even if I was busy this morning.

This weekend, apparently, will be the lounge.

Christmas is coming …..

Further to my post about Amazon and my desire NOT to use them, I have to tell you that it’s actually quite difficult. I found a website – The Book Depository – who were independent – until being swallowed by Amazon. I ordered from them anyway. I found Powell’s – but it’s an American site.

It seems that Amazon have got the market pretty well stitched up. I’m still working on it.

But, back to Christmas presents. One thing was bought months ago. Unfortunately, he saw one of them in a shop abroad and said they were not that good. Oh well, it’s bought now.

Then there’s the turntable. This is proving more difficult. I have delved around the Internet and found a couple that are good contenders – but trying to find a shop (any shop) in Milan that might stock anything like them, is proving difficult. I may have found some but I’ll have to go and look. Luckily, they’re quite near my flat.

Then there is the problem of other things. In past years, buying DVDs or books means a trawl through the Amazon site but as I said above, I am making a concerted effort NOT to use them.

Then I shall buy him an Italian version of the movie “Up” – if I can find it. He liked the version I played to him – but it was in English and it would be better for him in Italian.

Other things must be thought of. But it’s difficult when every Saturday is the dreaded painting.

Last Saturday, it was the hall. But, I must admit, it’s looking a lot better. We reorganised the furniture so now it looks (and is) much larger.

He has been saying to people that he is looking forward to Christmas and having a tree and cooking (which he generally doesn’t like) and being with the dogs. Me too. I will buy the tree but, of course, he will decorate :-)

And the flat will be newly painted and very clean, of course.

But, for now, the getting of the presents is the most important thing.

And finding an alternative to Amazon would be good, if anyone has any bright ideas.

Be careful what you wish for ……………..

There’s a lot going on at the moment in the British press about the BBC.

It’s almost like there’s some sort of witch-hunt and it seems as if some newspapers won’t be happy until the BBC is disbanded.

But, in my opinion, that would be a huge mistake.

If it were to be broken up, there would be nothing to stop Mr Murdoch and, as well, the ‘dumbing down’ of TV that is usually blamed on the BBC, would accelerate to, well, the standard of most Italian TV.

I always think ‘be careful what you wish for as it might come true’.

There do seem to be a few voices trying to make themselves heard amongst this clamour for the destruction of the BBC – but they seem to be fighting an uphill battle.

In any event, Joni seemed to sum it up quite well ……

Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi

I was exhausted

It will rain all day on Saturday so I can’t escape to the park with the dogs :'(

As someone pointed out – it’s the wrong time of year for it.

Not the weather, of course. The weather is typical.

Last Saturday, it was still the wrong time of year but, at least, it wasn’t raining.



Too early. I was told to take the dogs out for a walk.

I came back and he had already started. He hasn’t even dressed – just in underpants and T-shirt. He stays like this all day. I busy myself with going shopping, doing bits and pieces, occasionally responding to requests for something or for something to be held or for something to be found or something moved.

I also sit in the chair just outside the kitchen. Playing a game on my telephone, smoking, being bored. But there’s not a lot else I can do.

When it’s finished, I am completely exhausted. My legs feel as if I have been up the ladder all day. I can barely walk – and, yet, I have done very little towards the actual ‘work’.

This Saturday it is the turn of the hallway. He didn’t really like the orange wall in the kitchen but painted it the same anyway. I think it was a compromise. He definitely DOESN’T like the red-painted alcove in the hallway – but it will still be red after Saturday. I told him that I liked it, which I do and, if you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you will know that it was one of the reasons I fell in love with the flat.

So it will remain red.

This Saturday will be different. This Saturday I will be cleaning everything which has been moved out so that, when it’s put back, it will be clean. Apparently.

And, yes, it IS the wrong time of year – but it’s necessary, apparently, for Chirstmas.

He is already planning the tree. We have talked about his main present (it is a turntable to permit him to digitalise his vinyl record collection – and, as a by product, he will be able to digitalise mine too (although he doesn’t know that yet :-) )). We have talked about my present (which will be a new television).

But, Christmas preparations are a seperate post, I think.

For this one is about preparing the flat. And, this year, it’s not just a clean. It’s a paint-job.

So, kitchen down. Hallway this Saturday. Lounge the Saturday after. The bedroom the week after. Really it’s for him and, quite possibly, so that he can have his friends over during the Christmas period.

Christmas has never been this much of a pain in the arse. Nor as exhausting.

Last Thursday – Eating and Drinking – I’m in Italy, so what else would there be :-)

There’s this wine that we got last year. It’s delicious. I’m no wine expert but this is a smooth, deep-red, full-bodied, tasty wine. It’s called Roverone.

Last Thursday, we went to get more, with friends. The same friends who we were with last year. It’s a vineyard, set in the low hills south of Milan, between Pavia and Lodi. It’s still in Lombardy so it’s Lombardy wine they produce/sell. The vineyard is Nettare dei Santi. We got one bottle of white too, for F. The Roverone will be my wine for Christmas, for sure :-)

After we were there, we went to the same restaurant as last time, the Trattoria Righini, which I have posted about before.

You get served all at the same time, with many, many small courses. Having been there once already, i was much more careful this time – NOT to eat F’s left-overs and NOT to ask for seconds. I succeeded with the first but not always the second. In any event, we got there at 12.30 and left sometime after 4.30!

The food is fresh and they use in-season vegetables. You don’t get a choice of menus – you just decline (or in my case, accept) the dish they are serving you at the time.

In any event, we ate and drank far too much but it was fun and great food and drink and a rather wonderful day all together.

I did go and have a lie-down for an hour when I got home.

Also, I didn’t actually feel like eating anything at all until about yesterday!

p.s. I DID eat, of course, I just didn’t really WANT to eat :-)