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.

A change in feeling

So, I mentioned before that a friend is coming to Milan who I haven’t seen for more than 35 years. And, I mentioned that I was a little bit apprehensive. After all, we’ve kept in touch by Christmas and birthday cards only. Not even letters or stuff. So I don’t really know much about him over all these years.

At one point, the cards started to come with J’s signature. I guess that was about 10 years ago or more. I’ve seen some Facebook stuff and J appears to be Chinese or of Chinese origin (in fact, I learn, Taiwanese.)

They’re coming tomorrow.

We’ve exchanged phone numbers. And last night, we talked. It was so strange. It was him and it seemed like, apart from knowing almost nothing about each others’ lives over the intervening years, we’d always been in touch. Which, of course, is very good.

In his words, they want to “soak up the atmosphere.” They mean, of being in Italy, of course.

And that made me think. I’ve been here so long now that I don’t see things as different or strange. Or, at least, not so much. So I’m having to rethink. To try to remember what makes Italy different from being in the UK. What makes you go “ooh!”

Aperitivo is one thing. I’ll have to pick some places to go. Eating outside isn’t really on right now, unfortunately. Ice-cream, of course. Pizza. Coffee at the bar. Coffee near the Duomo, sitting and watching the people, even it’s it’s outrageously expensive. The places we should go.

I’m gong to take a couple of days off work. F doesn’t really understand this. He thinks it strange. But, then, even if he’s lived in the UK, he doesn’t quite understand us that well.

Anyway, he’s hardly going to be here. Sadly, PaC is not good and he’s going down for a couple of days. Then, on Saturday, he has to go to London for meetings. I’m not sure when he will be back. Possibly Tuesday. So, in the end, he’ll just have dinner with us a couple of times. But that will probably be enough for him.

So, now I’m quite looking forward to seeing D and meeting J. It should be nice.

Breakneck speed …..

As we hurtle, at breakneck speed towards the “time to go back to work” and the “time it gets to be effing cold”, I thought I’d get you up to date ……

Most years, I wish for snow at Christmas. It never happens, of course. Maybe we have some snow before Christmas but that’s gone by Christmas Eve. But, just once, it would be lovely to have snow and for everywhere to look like it does on the Christmas cards.

However, this year, I didn’t wish for snow because, for the first time ever, I would be travelling on Christmas Eve and the road/motorway I would be travelling on would be through mountains – so I definitely didn’t want snow. I didn’t even want rain, to be honest.

So, secretly wishing I wasn’t travelling but, rather, staying home, I travelled. There was little traffic and I was down there by the afternoon.

F had put the heating on for a full day but opening the door, it was like a sauna. My glasses steamed up immediately. The house has a damp problem. A big damp problem and the heat, instead of drying it out, just created a steamy atmosphere. I opened windows, hoping it wouldn’t be so bad.

To be honest, I was a little bit worried for the dogs. I’m not sure that the humid/damp atmosphere would be good for them but there really wasn’t anything I could do.

That night, we went to his cousins for something to eat. I was bloody starving as I hadn’t eaten anything all day. I had planned to have something for lunch but our cleaner was in so I didn’t and she only left at the time that I was leaving so no chance to grab something quick. I ate like a bloody horse – so much so that this was the butt of jokes over the next few days.

We slept at the house. We switched the heating off and it got very cold and damp during the night.

The next day, Christmas Day, we went round to his parents’ place to say hi. PaC, to me, didn’t look worse than the summer except he was slower and seemed resigned, almost as if he had had enough.

Then we went to the restaurant for our Christmas lunch. Christmas lunch with the extended family (not F’s but the cousin’s). It was OK but once I caught myself thinking that I may have preferred to be in Milan, on my own. Still, it was nice and I was included. F drove back and was going to drop me off at the house and then go his parents but had a headache and asked if we could go to his parents’ first and then I take the car to the house. I was to have a bath, take the dogs out and call him. I didn’t call him because it meant he could stay with PaC and I didn’t want to disturb that. Eventually, around 9, he called me. He had been sleeping and had a bad cold (which he had had before Christmas but now it was worse.) We agreed that, with his cold, it would be stupid for him to come over to the damp house to sleep and so he stayed here and I stayed at the house with the dogs. I left the heating on low all night.

To be honest, without him being there, it made it possibly the worst Christmas I’ve ever had. At least the one Christmas I had been on my own, many years ago, I had the comforts of home. Here I had no computer, no films and not even a TV! It was really dreadful.

The next day, we were to meet at his sister’s to have lunch. When we got there I said, as I decided previously that morning, that I would go home after lunch. I mean, what was the point of staying if I wasn’t even going to have the nights with him? He was happier with that too as it meant he wouldn’t have to worry about me. And, so, I came home and happier to be here. F said that it didn’t feel like Christmas and for me, it was worse, it was a crappy “weekend”.

But it’s done and over now. New Year’s Eve was the usual dinner with (mostly) self-invited guests. We put on a wonderful spread with help from FfI and her friend, H. We finished at 4 a.m. I think it was successful.

And now, tomorrow, is F’s birthday. The special thing which I helped to fund via Kickstarter has not arrived in time, so it will have to be a birthday present to come later. In the meantime, I’ve bought an Italian copy of The Humans by Matt Haig, my favourite book of 2014, a DVD and one of those cards with the year he was born.

Tomorrow, as well, because we didn’t have our usual Boxing Day lunch with P and A, we shall have that, to celebrate his birthday. Then there’s a dinner party for A, my friend, and his girlfriend on Monday, then Tuesday is the “take the tree down” and him getting ready for London and Wednesday is all back to the usual grind.

And, apart from the day before New Year’s Eve, when he was a complete bastard (but I’m trying to be so patient with him given the circumstances) it’s all been either OK or, in the last few days, quite lovely. We now have TV and so we’ve been spending some time watching films and stuff in the lounge, which has been nice.

From Wednesday, he’ll be in London for over a week and I’ll be struggling to get back into the swim of things.

And, so, I hope you all have a great 2015. Wishing you all a very happy New Year.

Rubbing along, sometimes more like a cheesgrater rub!

“Tell me when you’re ready.”

I had started to take the glasses out of the cupboard. We’re putting some place mats into the cupboards so the glasses can sit on top of them.

Can I be really honest? I don’t know why. For me, to have theses place mats in means that we just have something else to clean. But, it will make him happy so it’s OK.

I clear the first shelf of the cupboard. I haven’t shouted that I’m ready yet. I want to clear the whole cupboard first.

I start on the second shelf.

He arrives, with cloth and ammonia to clean. He sits in front of the open cupboard, right in my way.

So then he starts handing me stuff to put on the table temporarily. I am, just a little, fucked off by this. I hold my tongue but, for a moment or two, I think about going somewhere else. To not be there. FFS – say one thing and do another! It drives me mad. But not so much, as long as I don’t react.

Then he cleans all the shelves, then adjusts the top one so we can put the wine glasses at the top. Then the place mats go in and then I start handing the glasses back.

There are an extra four place mats for us to use on the table. They match the upholstery of the sofas and are the other shade of blue than the seats in the dining room. Now, much later, he has laid the table. There are the place mats and a couple of candles, a slightly darker shade. I must admit, it all looks rather nice.

Earlier still, we had been for breakfast – the rain is persistent, constant and heavy. We go to the supermarket. I had nearly said that I would go later but, as it was raining so much, I thought better of it. In the supermarket, after a few minutes, he tells me to go and do my own thing. I guess he finds me as frustrating as I find him. That doesn’t make it better, of course. I worry a little about our lack of synergy . I mean to say, on a practical level, day to day, we don’t really have the same ideas or, if we do, we would go about them in a different way. And, yet, we kind of rub along together quite well. Later, in the supermarket, when we go to scan our items through, I tell him to pack. He doesn’t want to. I explain that I don’t want him complaining like last time so he must pack. He does but grudgingly. However, this time, at least he couldn’t blame me for anything going wrong! Not that it did, of course. After all, he had packed everything :-)

And so, tonight, we have our second dinner party together. There’s some chickpea soup that he’s done, the fishcakes and then a lemon meringue pie which I have made because one of the guys likes it so much and made a specific request that I make it.

Everything (more or less) is ready to go and we’re three hours away from them arriving so it should be fairly easy. I hope.

Noises are not good.

He presses into my back but he can’t settle.

Two or three times, he turns around, each time, pushing himself into my back. Trying to get closer still.

Eventually, he decides it’s not enough and he steps over me and tries, again to settle.

This time between us. Having something on both sides must be better, I suppose.

I realise that something is wrong. There are two possibilities. One is that he is ill. The other, that he is frightened. I wake myself up, enough so I can tell the difference. There are noises. Bangings, from time to time. It’s the wind. The tail end of the hurricane must have reached us. He is so frightened. He gradually moves up between us until he is almost sitting on the pillows. Then lying on the pillows. Then up again, sitting but anxious. Panting because he’s hot but there’s no way he’s going to move from this place of safety.

I hear a banging from, what I think may be the bathroom. I get up. I close the bedroom door which shuts out (a bit) the noises of things being hurled around the courtyards below. I go to the bathroom and see that the window I left open is banging shut from time to time. The wind is strong and very gusty.

I go to my studio and shut the windows there too. This, effectively, closes the back of the flat.

Back to bed and I have to move him to get back into bed. But he is not, just NOT going to be moved far. After getting into bed he starts inching up again towards the pillows at the next sound.

F is awake too now. Piero cannot settle and, I’m sure, would prefer to be under the covers with us protecting him. F says we should shut all the windows. He says he’s worried about the stuff on the balcony from the kitchen. We keep the rubbish bins out there (he doesn’t like them in the flat – the smell, you know?) As well as a ton of other things. I go and shut the lounge and dining room windows first. I go to open the closed shutter in the kitchen but he is there first. He always complains that it is too heavy to open so prefers it open. I close it in the evening as I go and switch on the coffee in the early morning and don’t want other people to see me before I’m fully dressed. I go to take over from him but, as usual, he won’t let me help. I shrug my shoulders and walk away. It’s one o’clock in the morning. I don’t even have words to say. He opens it and the door and checks the balcony but leaves everything out there and just closes the door.

I go to close the shutters. He says to leave them open. I try to explain that I don’t like them open until I’m dressed. He says that no one will notice which is probably true. But I’m funny like that. But I can’t be bothered to argue. I get the clothes I will now need to get up and put on before I go and switch the coffee machine on. I am pissed off. Royally pissed off but I say nothing.

We both get back into bed, sliding in next to Piero. Piero can still hear bangs and clunks from outside and he just won’t settle. I consider that, if I can’t get to sleep, I’ll get up, have a cigarette and some milk and read some of my book (Gone Girl, btw – I want to read it before I watch the film) but I try to crush those thoughts.

He gets up again and tries to call Piero but Piero ain’t budging. He goes into the kitchen, opens the door and brings everything inside, closes the door and then the shutters. He does, kind of, listen to me but only grudgingly and with bad grace. It doesn’t matter. I know he has done this by the noises from the kitchen not because I saw him do it.

He comes back to bed. Piero doesn’t move but accepts his strokes and affection. After a while, I go to sleep.

The alarm goes off. I feel like I’ve slept for about 5 minutes. It’s going to be a crap day. And it’s still very, very windy. But the sky is clear, which is something and, although it’s colder, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.

Later, by message, he tells me that he’s going to leave a window open. I say no because Piero will still be frightened. Even with them closed, he’ll be frightened but, hopefully, less so. Tonight he’ll be as attached as a limpet, I’m sure.

Unseasonable weather; the sorting of many things; illogical obsessions.

Well, let’s do the weather first. 29°C! That’s what my car said on Friday afternoon! That’s Friday halfway through October. Incredible!

And we’ve been having some lovely weather although the mornings are a little cool and sometimes there’s a dampness in the air.

Anyway, back to Friday. That is, Friday 17th. I went to get the rugs, which had been cleaned. This was going to be the weekend of finishing (well, almost) the flat. I picked up the rugs and, whilst I was paying, some other customer mentioned that it was Friday 17th. Which is like Friday 13th in the UK and nobody had mentioned it at work and, so, I didn’t remember – until that point. I said that, for the English, it’s Friday 13th so today I’m English but on Friday 13th, I live in Italy – either way, they’re OK. It got a laugh, anyway – or, maybe, that was my bad Italian?

Marco Felegname had been round to fix the cupboards and the rest of the lamps.

Saturday morning, we went to get the kitchen table, donated by a friend/colleague of F’s. It’s an IKEA table, white and has a kind of 50s look. Perfect. After we got it back I went for a haircut and tried to find something to send BM for her birthday. I got one stupid thing and then, as I couldn’t find anything really suitable, ordered a book, online, when I got home. The book was The Humans by Matt Haig.

By the time I got home, I felt like crap. The onset of ‘flu. So I said I was sorry but I just had to go to bed for a bit. I felt so tired, all my bones ached and I felt “‘fluey”. I dozed, on and off, for a couple of hours. After that I felt considerably better. Not really well, but better.

In the meantime, the rugs were down and the table set up. Also, a few more pictures had been hung. Things were moving apace. Almost everything had been moved from the kitchen worktops into the cupboards. Not what I wanted but I’m not arguing about it. It makes him happy and it’s not like I use everything every day (or, even every week!)

The next day was more “organising”. I put up another set of drawers for my studio; he moved the towels and sheets from the cupboards in the bedroom to a new one in the hall.

“Can I move my books, yet?” (into the cupboards in the bedroom that were now free) I asked.
“No, I need to clean behind the cupboards first,” he replied.

Later, I start moving my books. “Don’t you want to clean the cupboard first?” he asks. “I thought you did it,” I respond. “No, I cleaned behind them,” he said. “I’m sorry my English is no good,” he continues, irritated that I would put the books away without cleaning. Whenever he says about his English being no good, I know he is pissed. I refrain from saying that, if the cupboards WERE dirty, then so were the sheets and towels that we just moved and that, surely, they all needed washing, then? He’s just manically obsessed by this cleaning everything lark. I say I will clean the cupboards (even if there is absolutely no need) but, because of his stroppiness, he starts cleaning. I walk out of the room – after all, there’s no point in arguing. Not only doesn’t he listen but the whole thing makes no logical sense.

Later, he hangs all my pictures. There are four that he groups together. “I don’t really like these,” he tells me. “That’s OK. Don’t put them up – or put them up in my studio,” I don’t really mind. Eventually, they are put up in the hall. It seems he doesn’t really hate them. Or he puts them up because they’re mine. I don’t know. From time to time he says, “Do you like this (picture here)?” “Yes,” I say. “Or is it better here?” “Either looks good to me,” I reply. Which is true. He’s the one with the eye for detail, not me. In the end, everything is put up.

By the end of the day, we are really almost finished. Even the wire connecting my computer to the television in the lounge is fitted (although not tested yet.) Now there’s only the curtains and the sofa bed to get. Maybe, also, a new filing cabinet. And some new (more) rugs? This was F’s idea because he realises the dogs suffer a bit with the slippery floors.

And then we’re done.

But he’s already very happy, so that’s good. The party will be in December. Apparently.

There was discussion on Saturday evening. “Shall we do an aperitivo or an after-dinner party?” I had always assumed an aperitivo. “But will people come to after-dinner?” I ask. It seems that they will although I am not convinced. Anyway, by the end of the discussion, it seems aperitivo has won the day – although it’s not really fixed. Later, over dinner with friends, he says there’ll be about 40 people coming. even I am surprised. We shall see.

Reading, the last of summer and more eating!

It’s the first weekend in October.

I’m in a T-shirt and shorts. In the sun, it’s really too hot for even a T-shirt. Out of the sun, a T-shirt is necessary. A jacket or jumper is necessary in the evenings and the mornings. Summer is making a last gasp, but failing to assert itself.

I sit in the garden. F had gone to his cousin first thing this morning. I took the dogs for a walk. F kept texting me.

“Where are you?” “Are you going to the beach?”

I tell him where I am and I say “I don’t know” to the beach question. Several times.

When I arrive back at the house I decide not to go to the beach. Although I don’t tell him, it’s because he isn’t there, with me. I will do what I normally do, given half a chance. Avoid people. Avoid making an effort. I tell him that I’ve decided not to go to the beach because all I would do is read my books and, by staying in the garden, I get the sun, read my books and stay with the dogs for a bit. That last one would excuse me, I know.

I finish Dolan Morgan’s excellent collection of short stories – That’s When The Knives Come Down. Some great stories. Almost a kind of Science Fiction/Fantasy (but don’t let that put you off because they weren’t really – it’s just the only way I could tag them) with some weird ideas. I would say the general theme was nothing or, rather, a lack of something/someone which is not quite the same as nothing.

Then I started Gone Girl. The film is out now and the book was a best seller. So I bought it, when we were in the UK, because the films sounds great. I’ve read a few chapters. It said, on the cover, that you “wouldn’t be able to put it down” which I can’t (so far) quite agree with.

So, for about 4 hours, in the garden, moving from time to time to stay in the sun. Very relaxing and nice. Of course, there was nothing really in the house to eat. Eventually, I found some Pringles – which had already been opened sometime in the summer, when we were down, and were also past their sell-by date. They were quite soft and horrible.

Of course, I could have gone to some café or something. But I couldn’t be bothered. Eventually, F asked if I wanted to come with them to the cemetery and then go for a walk with them. I said “yes” but, afterwards, I wish I’d said “no”. But that was just the lazy me talking.

We went to the cemetery (see previous post) and then on to a small village on the sea. It was a nice afternoon.

Then we went to his Mum and Dad’s for dinner. He told them that I hadn’t eaten anything which meant they could try and force me to eat, to their great delight. But I could eat quite a lot, actually, and we left there, both full.

Then we went to a friend of F’s birthday party where I met a guy who was Australian (born and brought up there until he was about 11)/Italian. He was an artist (painter) and played in a band. Interesting guy. He paints (now) clothes with people missing, in oils, in black and white (and shades of grey, of course.) His band plays electronic music, in costumes with two ballerinas and the singer changes his costume a number of times. I couldn’t help think about the Smurfs, or Frank. They haven’t had any hits, which didn’t really surprise me. Anyway, it was quite a nice evening all round.

And, for me, quite relaxing.

Mantova Festivaletturatura

Here it is, starting tomorrow, the sign that the warmer weather (what there was of it this year) is about to go away in a final flourish of summer.

Mantova’s (Mantua) literary festival is the signal for me that the holiday period is almost over and it’s a soft, gentle way to slip into Autumn.

But, the BIG news this year, is that F is coming! I am so happy about that. I am hopeful that we can get to stay 2 days because that would be nice. But even if it’s one single day, it will be good. I get to show him off. He’s coming even though he has to fly out early on Monday morning, so this is a bit of a sacrifice for him. Or, maybe a peace offering following an “incident” during the holiday?

In any event, I want to make the most of it.

Perk yourself up!

I remember, probably some 10 or 11 years ago (Gillie, if you’re still “popping” by, you’ll remember it too), going down to a friend’s house for her birthday party (mid-July).

The plan was to have a barbecue “party” in her newly done garden.

Sounds good, right?

Well, yes, except this was in England. We travelled down for the weekend. It was going to be great. A summer barbecue, no driving so plenty of drinking and relaxing in the warmth of summer.

But, as I said, this was England. Summer can be lovely but you never know exactly when that “summer” will show its face. And when it does, it’s not always for long. A couple of weeks is pretty good. More than that is strange/climate change/immigrants/European directives or something.

Anyway, we travelled down on the Friday night. And it was cold. and by cold, I mean something like 12°C.

Obviously, the barbecue was modified and the food was cooked in the house.

The reason I mention this is because of last night. But let’s go back to a couple of nights ago, when F and I were heading off to our usual bar. I remarked to F that it was “more like September.” You know, the days can be as hot as hell but the evenings can be a bit chilly and the mornings more so.

He agreed. “It’s not normal,” was his reply.

Today, after the chilly start this morning, just after lunch, I went out for a cigarette and, standing in the sun, it was almost too hot. I say almost – but not really for me. Probably less than 30°. But, last night. Last night was a different thing. In the middle of the night, F awoke saying he was cold. Indeed, I was cold too and struggling to sleep. He put on layers of clothes and I got up and, out of the wardrobe, got the thin duvet/bed cover. Yes, it was THAT cold.

According to “my” weather forecast, it may have got down to about 16°. In any event, I’ve really had enough of it. One day hot and beautiful sunshine, the next cold and cloudy or long showers. Just the other day, a river in Milan burst its banks and flooded some Northern part of the city!

As I say to all the people who will listen, I didn’t come here to be subjected to an English summer – for that is how it feels.

On the other hand, it’s ideal weather for packing and sorting and moving.

But, on 1st August, we go to Carrara for our holiday. It’d better be perking itself up real soon and at least by the end of July!

Listening – it’s bloody hard sometimes.

Most of the time, I bite my tongue.

After all, if he wasn’t listening two seconds ago, he won’t be listening now, will he?

We’re talking about things that need to be done. He is going to be there for the Fastweb engineer on Thursday. I want to ask the engineer if he can put a wire from wherever the box goes, through to my studio for my computer. This may be something that he does for cash and, given that we’re in Italy and the wages are so low here, the chances that he will do it are high.

“it will be better,” he says, “as he can do any drilling through the walls before we move all the stuff in.”

I agree. I add, “And I can sort out the connection from my PC to the television before we move, too.”

“That’s not important. It can be done afterwards. It’s more important to find someone to run a pipe from the gas point to the place we want it in the kitchen.”

Well, yes, I know that. after all, without a kitchen, we can’t really move in.

“You’ve got different priorities than me,” he adds.

Well, actually no, I haven’t. The kitchen is the number one priority. The extension for the cooker was given to you to sort out, since you speak Italian and the chances of the plumber speaking English is far less than some technical thing that I should do.

He becomes tetchy because in his head, all I’m worried about is my PC.

“No, the kitchen has to be done before we move in,” I say, “but I also need my computer when we move because of the lessons.”

This, of course, carried no weight. He has already stopped listening to me, if he was even doing that at the beginning. He continues saying things about how our priorities are different and how I’m not concentrating on the right things, etc., etc. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression, I listen to the things he says but, since he’s not listening to me, it is better not to respond. I’ve learnt that much. I cannot argue my point because he misinterprets almost everything I say. I can’t explain. And, anyway, the difference in our languages makes everything more difficult. It’s one of the drawbacks, for certain.

I know that it is better just to let it lie. Although it is a bit frustrating. It means we can’t talk about the thingS we need to do, only the thing he is concentrating on at the moment.

I try to let it all wash over me, and, my strength of will makes it so. After all, it is only this moment and he doesn’t mean to do it. It’s not like it’s going to kill me.

He suggests about moving stuff over. I explain I don’t like doing it. He says he does. Again I get the “I’m not trying to tell you what to do” thing, even if, in reality, that’s EXACTLY what he’s trying to do.

It’s OK. He knows I’m quite stubborn and I’ll just do the things my way anyway.

It is extremely hot. It’s already half nine or so, and it must be close to 30°. We talk about the dogs, as Dino, in particular, is struggling a bit in the heat. He’s going to get some sprayer thing so he can spray him with cool water from time to time. We can try. Anything is worth a try.

He then suggests that, soon, we can start going down to Carrara. Especially because it will be nicer for the dogs. He will have to work some weekends, one of which will be going to Paris. He suggests that I should go down with the dogs on those weekends. I say it will depend on what needs to be done but, secretly, I think I might. I miss the weekends in Carrara – the asparagus and lardo pizza on Friday; days spent on the beach with some books; eating at his Mum and Dad’s; the morning coffee and croissant at the bar overlooking the sea. Yes, I’ve missed those this year even if it’s been for a very good reason.

So, maybe we will go down.

As I’ve written this, I think about something I’ve read recently – listen without trying to form a response in your head at the same time. I must really try to do that. It’s difficult though, isn’t it?