It is as it is.

Nearly, nearly done.

The cocktail cabinet is in the wrong place. And, by that I mean that we both agree that the place where I have put it is wrong. It will have to be moved and the chest of drawers that is in the hall will have to be moved to make room for it. Where the chest of drawers is to go, I have no idea!

The final bit is the final payment which will be done tonight. And then it is finished, done, complete. Phew!

F arrived home last night. PaC continues to go through good days and bad days. I asked how his mum was. He said that she seems OK but he really couldn’t tell. Sometimes, with the exception of his sister, they seem more English, with the stiff upper lip, than English people.

He should be going away to Venice at the end of the week but he’ll cancel. He should go to Greece next week but he’ll cancel. It’s all a bit uncertain.

But J comes on Thursday. And the weather is quite spring-like which seems likely to continue. I keep thinking of what to do when J is here. So, I thought maybe of going to the lakes (Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore) if the weather stays good. I had thought of taking her to Villa Litta where they have a fantastic water garden but, unfortunately, it is only open from May through to October.

But I have some ideas for a rather gentle time, strolling through Milan, etc. Nothing too strenuous. We shall see but, in any case, I’m looking forward to it. How much F will be here, of course, all depends but I’m planning that he’s away most of the time.

It is as it is. And nothing I can do will change this.

Not a walking holiday, as such.

Even now, when I get up to walk somewhere, there is a twinge. Just at the side of my right calf.

Yesterday, it was my whole leg. I sometimes thought that my legs would give up on me as I got up :-D

It’s ‘cos we walked. And walked. And walked.

The weekend was wonderful. Dino was so tired at the end of it all that, by the time we arrived home, he hardly moved, staying in the kitchen for several hours.

We ate and drank and walked. Did I mention that walking bit?

The weather was, overall, kind although the wind was strong and cold on Sunday. Even if we sat outside to eat, R struggled a bit with the coldness of it – she being worse than me for hating the cold.

Still, the weekend was relaxing if tiring; fun if normal for when we go there. Sunday night we even sat watching Some Like It Hot on DVD! A great film with a simple story yet it ages so well.

3 days in a different environment with good friends and, wonderfully, Morgan who has to be the cutest dog in the world. His curly hair making his eyes look like those black, button eyes that you get with a soft toy dog and with a face that is both querying and antagonistic. He would make me want one of the same breed but for the stories I’ve heard – which are very amusing when he’s not your dog!

Even though I slept well each night I do feel like a weekend of sleeping would be perfect, right now.

It’s definitely cooler today, in Milan, but the forecast says it will pick up tomorrow or Thursday. I’m hoping it will be nice for our weekend away at the end of this month. We’re entering a busy period now.

The Easter Bunny has left the building…….

Well, of course, as you all, probably, expected, everything was fine.  No, that’s not quite right.  It was wonderful.

It was a delightful couple of days in Pallanza, in spite of one whole 24 hours of rain.  We played cards but it was so enjoyable.  B was there, with her friend S and the four of us had fun and relaxed.  I learnt some new card games, which was good since F really likes to play cards – and really likes to win, which I find very amusing.  I was struck, from time to time, how like V he could be but there are many things, also, that are different and that I really like.

He loves the dogs so much and I love him for that.

And, although he may not say it, he makes me feel loved.  And that is, after all, what counts.

As I suspected, he wasn’t that keen on going.  Or, at least, that’s the implication afterwards.  But he really likes B (which makes me very happy as I do too) and he liked S and liked that everyone liked playing cards (including the fact that the liked that I liked playing cards) and so, after a few hours, he relaxed and enjoyed it.  And now he is talking about going back there and spending some weekends there.  And as I truly love the place, for me it is great.  And now we have something in common :-D

I suppose, the most notable event, apart from me (almost, phew!) losing the keys that B had to lend me because I had forgotten the set at home (!), was the loss of the chocolate Easter Bunny.  Bought by Betta for us to enjoy on Easter Day, we left it in the lounge/bedroom that F & I used.  The plan was that, after the meal at Osteria Dell’Angolo, we would go back, have a game of cards or two and eat the chocolate egg.

The dogs were out of the bedroom when we got back, in spite of the closed door and greeted us a little too enthusiastically.  The reason became clear.  The wrapping on the floor and one tiny bow were the only things that remained of the chocolate bunny.  I knew it was Dino since Rufus would never have done that.  Of course, it being Dino, everyone forgave him almost immediately and everyone was worried as to whether he would be OK, so it stopped me being really angry with him.

But, for me, the real highlight was the fact that F & I seemed to be closer than ever before.  And, therefore, Easter was fantastic.

We got back last night and, later, went for a pizza. He said – ‘Imagine how it would have been if I didn’t like dogs’ and, yes, it does make a huge difference that he likes them so much.

First Time

It will be our first time away.  That is, away – together.< More importantly, it will be the first time that we shall actually spend 24 hours together or maybe 48 or maybe a little more. Best Mate said, last night, that I worry too much.  This is true, of course.  Will we be able to stand each other for all that time together?  Will he still love me tomorrow?

We are going to Pallanza on Lake Maggiore.  We shall be with a friend of mine, B and a friend of hers over from Canada – but we shall be together for the whole time.  Perhaps even Saturday morning through to Monday evening!  Normally we have quite a number of hours apart – in our respective homes; shopping; doing odd jobs, etc.  We’ve never spent this amount of time together – and we won’t have any other distractions.  Hmmm.

OK, but the thing is that I don’t need any other distractions, I will have him. I worry that he does need other distractions though. Anyway, I won’t be here for a couple/few days from Saturday morning, so in case I don’t get the chance to say before, have a very Happy Easter.

In Como with true friends.


Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before

Hotel California – The Eagles

And the conversation over dinner in this rather nice and not so expensive pizzeria, in some square in Como, was a distraction from the current feeling and A was very concerned and, what’s more, I could see it in his eyes. For all that I complain about him, I could tell that this was true and that, even if he thinks I am some sort of alien, he does, really, actually, care about me as a friend. And I am grateful for that.

He has said he will call me from his holiday to check up on me and see how things are going.

I am supported by friends and, even if they cannot take this away from me, it is good to know that if or when I crash and burn, they will be there.

We had been to Fox Town, as I mentioned a couple of posts ago. I had wandered round Iceberg and found a very nice, blue suede jacket/shirt thing. I tried it on because it was so nice. It had the outlet price as half of the original but was just way out of my range and I wouldn’t have paid so much.

I had put it back on the rail and had wandered around more of the store, picking things up, giving a cursory glance, putting the stuff back. Neither caring nor interested, really, in what I was doing.

A came over to explain why they were taking so long. It seemed that the 60 or 70% sticker was the extra discount, not on the original price but on the discounted price. At first I didn’t believe him. But he insisted. So I went round to the rail on which this blue shirt/jacket was and calculated how much it was now.

It’s one thing that V has given me. I know that, this thing, although only a thing and, therefore, not important, can be worn for years and still look good. So, suddenly the price was not only affordable but, for something that will be worn so much, well worth it. I was very happy about it, as much as I could be given the circumstances – and it was the first time I have bought something that I didn’t strictly need for about 3 years.

After shopping, we were to have gone to Lugano but because it was late, we went to Como instead, somewhere I have never visited before (although I have been on a train through the station).

We sat and had aperos overlooking the Duomo and then went to the pizzeria which had been recommended. The pizza was good – not the best – but good. I’m sorry but I forgot to take a card so I cannot tell you the name.

And there, rather than pooh-pooh my story, which, in any event was difficult to explain and posed as many questions as it gave answers, is where A showed how genuine he was; how understanding; how much of a friend he was.

His advice coincides with my plan. I don’t know whether it’s the right thing to do but it is the only thing I can do. The only question now is ‘how’?

However, right now, with this tiredness and the situation, I could burst into tears – which is certainly not a very blokish thing to do – but I can tell I am only a step away from that. Let’s hope I can keep it together until I get home, at least.

Driving at stupid times

It’s nearly midnight and I start the drive back to the Lakes. I had offered to go back just as we arrived in Milan and would have been back before 10, I reckoned, but was informed that although it would be difficult, it would be alright and that ‘one’ would manage.

Then, as I was finishing up my drink and closing my computer I hear an ‘Oh, no!’ wail from across the hallway. It seems that the tickets for the flight to Rome and to that very important meeting, the next day (but only just) were in the bag left behind. So, instead of going to bed to sleep for 6 hours (which is the very minimum I need to function like a human being of any sort), I get my shoes and coat on and head out the door. To return a few minutes later to collect the bag with the car documents which are essential here as it’s illegal to drive without all the documents, both for the car and for yourself.

In the car, I forget to take off my jacket first so I know it will get too hot, but I cannot be bothered to stop.

I start to drive and it’s foggy. In fact, it’s very foggy. I’m driving out of Milan, on the motorway, and I’m thinking that, at this speed, it will take me all night. Luckily, the fog stops not too far from Milan and the roads are clear so it makes for an easy journey. Me, of course, grumbling about the fact that I could have done this several hours earlier and be in bed by now.

Then, just off the motorway, I get flagged down by the police. Thank God that I went back for the bag containing the documents. After about 10 minutes they hand everything back to me and I continue.

I arrive back at the house to find the door bolted from inside. This means I have a choice. I can go sleep in the car until about 6 a.m. or I can raise them now. ‘Them’ being the relations that live in the same building (it’s owned by one family).

It’s about 1.20 a.m. I’m thinking of a warm bed against the (very soon to be) cold car. And, of course of the fact that it’s getting colder and that there may be more fog by morning.

So, I rang the bell. They were very understanding but I just wish, so much, that I had gone when I first thought of it and then I would not have had to wake them up at all. V owes them (and me) a present for this!

The drive back was uneventful. The fog stretched further from Milan but did not seem quite so thick. I made it home just before 3. That meant 3 hours sleep. However, so far, today, I haven’t felt so bad. I know that I only have to hang on for a couple more hours (well 4 to be precise) and then I can be in bed.

And the special prize this morning – the flight was cancelled. I presume they caught another as I have had no word from V, so I guess the meeting with all the important people, went ahead.

A weekend away – 2; What do they want with Vanda?; The season of the wardrobe change

And the weather was truly fantastic. On Sunday from about 11.30 a.m. for about 3 hours or so, we sat outside a café, in the sun, without coats, watching the lake and the people, Rufus lying at our feet (having had several long walks already that day).

Continue reading

A Grand Day Out

In the UK, if someone suggests a trip out, where you were going to travel for two hours to get there and two to get back, you would tend to make a day of it. So, for instance, when we lived in Herefordshire and you decided to go to, let’s say Aberystwyth, you would set of at, say, 10 a.m., reach Aberystwyth, have lunch, enjoy the afternoon having a walk around and set off home at 6 or 7 p.m.

Continue reading