Car break-ins, Cancer or Not to Cancer, iPhone software bugs.

It is about 7.15 a.m.

I am, as usual, hardly what I could term as “awake”. However, as usual, expecting something bad, as I do often, surprised to see the car where I left it.

As I walk towards it, I press the button on the fob and the indicator lights blink, as they usually do, to inform me that the car is now unlocked. Now, unlike yesterday at about 6.30 p.m., there are no “youths” hanging around in front of the car. Last night, as always, after locking the car (using the fob and not the key), I had checked that I had locked it properly by trying to open the back door as I passed. Only last night, I had made sure I had done it (it’s such an automatic thing that sometimes I cannot, within a few seconds, remember if I have checked my locking by this method) because of the group of four of five youths in front of the car. They were innocuous enough but, you know, I’m an old man now and you can’t ever be too careful, can you? And, anyway, I’m British and youths hanging around with little to do are always a bad sign.

I get to the car and open the door, taking my bag off my shoulder as I do so to slip it into the passenger footwell.

And I noticed something slightly strange. On the front passenger seat is the emergency first aid box that is permanently in the car. The reason it was strange is that I had not moved it from under the front seats and so it was completely out of place. I looked behind my seat where I put various thing, most of them in some cheap yellow shopping-style bag. And sure enough it was a little in disarray, and the umbrella could have been moved and my “summer driving shoes” had almost certainly been moved.

I checked each of the windows of the car. No, none had been smashed.

So, someone had got into to a car that I absolutely, certainly KNOW was locked without having to break any windows. They had rummaged around a bit and, from what I can tell, took two or three lighters (that I get for free anyway) but nothing else.

Not that there was anything to take. The yellow bag holding things like a bottle of water for the dogs, some additive for the windscreen wiper water and some other fairly crap items that are only useful when making car trips.

However, it did give me a slightly weird feeling. It’s not as if I can really report anything? I mean, what could I possibly say? But now I doubt the security of the car, of course.

And the reason I was parking in that particular place was that I had been to the doctor. And I don’t have cancer, of the lungs, at least, although I’m not entirely convinced I haven’t got it. However, because the heart doctor had panicked, I’m now on pills for blood pressure, which doesn’t really please me, and I have some further tests to do next year (the first booking I could get). So bugger a bit but relief as well.

The doctor suggested that I try and cut down my smoking. She also added that I was a “lucky man” – but, then, I’ve always said that, haven’t I?

In other news, Apple phones are just as crap and unreliable as other phones. iMessage doesn’t work with phones that aren’t other Apple phones. A long conversation with Apple Help, which included resetting my telephone, didn’t help and they told me it must be my provider. It didn’t really make sense as it HAD been working and, then, sometime around April/May it stopped working – which, for a while I thought was because the phones I was trying to text were in the UK and I thought it was a UK problem – until a colleague had a problem sending a message to me.

I’ve now found that this is a known problem (well, known to the world except for Apple, it seems) and, although I’ve tried every trick given to sort the problem – so far, no good. Which doesn’t please me much. It’s something to do with an update to the operating system that they did a while ago, it seems. Let’s hope the next update fixes this. I thought the guy from Apple who was helping me was quite OK – until afterwards when I realised that he, like nearly all helplines, actually knew nothing and was just doing the equivalent of “switch it off and then back on again”

So bugger.

I will add a photo later or tomorrow.



Have I ever mentioned that I’ve been smoking for over 46 years?

And that I smoke around 30 cigarettes a day? (Although, obviously, I didn’t start by smoking 30 a day – but I’ve probably been smoking 30 a day for about 35 years.)

And, yes, of course I should have given up by now. in fact, I rue the day I started and wish I never had.

But, such is the way of things.

So, at some point, probably, I’m going to suffer some disease as a result of all this smoking. And, at some point, I shall tell you that I have said disease, like, for example, lung cancer. Being the nice person that you are, you would, no doubt say how sorry you were and how dreadful it was, wouldn’t you? And, assuming I had treatment, you would hope that I would recover and, as they say (although I don’t feel it is the right word), “beat” it.

But, if you’re being honest with yourself, you would also think, “I’m not really surprised.” In fact, you might say this to anyone you talk to about it, although, probably, not say this to me. You might even think/say, “Well, it had to happen sooner or later.”

And you would, of course, be right.

And I would “only have myself to blame” so, really, I should not look for nor expect much real sympathy.

So, this thing that is “only a matter of time” has actually happened to a friend who is about 10 years older than me.

And, of course, it’s an awful thing and I hope it can be treated and that he comes out of it OK.

And, yet, of course, I am not surprised and it was only a matter of time and living long enough and was bound to happen sooner or later – none of which I could actually say to his wife and nor would I say to him.

But, it is/was inevitable, wasn’t it?

But in order that this isn’t too maudlin, there’s a nice picture of Brad Pitt at the top :-D

He comes to stay. And other things

I went to a second-hand book fair last Saturday.  It was organised by the Anglican Church in Milan of which, one of my friends here is a member.

I came away with 6 books to add to my other 2 that I am saving for the summer weekends and weeks on the beach.  I can’t remember all the titles or authors but they included Bleak House which I have never actually read.

In fact, I realised as I bought it, the only Dickens I have read was when I was at school and I thought it was about time I read one of them for pleasure.

Previously, I had bought Life of Pi and the Hilary Mantel book, Wolf Hall, her historical fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power.  In fact, I shouldn’t have bought Life of Pi at all.  I was lent it by someone but then Piero got it and it was turned into small pieces of paper, spread all over the flat, so I bought another copy and I might as well read it before I give it back.

So, that’s my summer reading all sorted now.  All I need is summer which is taking a rather long time to come through and all the rain we are having is rather annoying, not to say anything about how cold it is.

F, having spent all last week in Spain (for work), became ill but still travelled down to his Aunt and Uncle’s 50th Wedding Anniversary “party” on Saturday.  I was invited but I don’t think he was so keen for me to go, so I didn’t.  However, he rang me during the meal because his Aunt wanted to thank me for the present (which F bought in Spain – but which he said was from both of us) and his cousin just wanted to say hello.  It’s nice of them but I still get confused with S and, in fact, his Aunt called me S.

But that really doesn’t bother me at all on the basis that they see us as a couple in the same was as F & S were and, after all, they’re both foreign names to them :-)

F only went down for the day (the party was a lunch) but by the time he came back he was worse.

Sunday we went to the hospital.  The sister of P (One of F’s best friends and who got married last year in Villa Singer), E, has just had her kidney replaced (she had been on dialysis for ages) and, until the middle of last week, had been doing so well, they were going to send her home.  Then it started rejecting and so they needed to put her on stronger drugs and keep her monitored.  Obviously, as she comes from Cararra, she is a long way from home and F tries to see her as often as possible.  Sunday, we went together.

The hospital is one of the biggest in Milan and only a little way outside the city. It took us about 10 minutes to get there by car).  The strange thing was that, apart from the hospital beds and people walking around with bags hanging from them containing liquids of various kinds, it didn’t actually SEEM like a hospital. I mean it didn’t have the usual hospital smell that I really hate. It almost seemed quite nice!

Anyway, P rang F later to say that she had been very happy to see us, so that was nice.

By Sunday night F was feeling worse. Yesterday, he didn’t go to work and this morning, he went to the doctors to be told he had otitis and he’s off work until Friday (which is good because we have the Lisa Stansfield concert on Friday night).

Now, here’s thing. I mean to say, here’s the point of this post.

F doesn’t really do being ill very well. In fact, he always prefers (he says), to be on his own.

However, he has gone home, on his way back from the doctor’s, to get changes of clothes before he comes to my place to stay with the dogs! This is a huge difference from previous illnesses when he would go home and stay there. Of course, I guess it helps that I am there in the evenings to make drinks and other things for him. Bless.