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Crap!! It’s five to four! Late… AGAIN. The baby is always so fussy before I have to pick Diggy up. Impossibile dressing Miss Charlie in her winter clothes without her screaming at the top of her lungs. Or leaving a last-minute present in her diaper. Anyway, she’s in the carriage now so off we go to preschool. Only a few minutes before it closes so I run like an insane mommy jogger. Ah, there’s a mother I’ve seen a few times before on her way back home with her son. I don’t really know her. Do I say hi? Smile? Nod in acknowledgement? Ok, I smile. She pretends to look at her watch. Nice! I haven’t yet deciphered the housewife code here in this small town. Or maybe it’s my smile. I try to look approachable but I’m afraid the effect is quite similar as to what Stephen Fry described in his autobiography: “Every time I pose for a photograph I try and smile a friendly smile, a sort of ‘Hello there! Gosh! Crumbs! Isn’t this jolly!’ sort of smile. Every time the photograph comes out I see a silken smirk on my face that makes me want to wail and shriek.” Rush past the parking lot. Oh the stink of funky fish! Market day today. Ok, quick look at the clock tower ( I, conveniently, don’t wear a watch). It’s already four!! And, yep, there go the church bells. I am officially in ritardissimo. Double crap!!
Sorry for that scatological interlude. It’s just an excerpt from “A Day in the Life of a Desperate Scarberian in Small Town Italy”. Don’t worry, it’s just a working title.
Baby miraculously went to bed early!! Cue Aretha: “Freedom, freedom, freeeeeedoooom!!!” So I finally have time to write after all these months. But to be honest, I didn’t really feel like blogging lately. I’ve been lethargic and comfortably numb when it came to my cyber world. I only turned on my computer to check emails, to waste time on FB or just relax. And I desperately needed to wind down lately. It’s been really busy the past few months, what with the various family commitments, travelling, and just keeping our life in working order. We were in Canada over the Christmas holidays where I spent time with family, friends and donuts (not necessarily in that order). It was great. So great that here’s a list of the highlights:
– the transcontinental flight with three kids. If you’ve never done it, I sincerely urge you to put it on your bucket list.
– Oh, I almost forgot how much fun it was to pack now that we can travel to North America with only ONE SUITCASE PER PERSON!
– ketchup chips. Nuff said. Hmmm, now I’m hungry. I think I’m going downstairs for a midnight snack. To be continued domani.
In the meantime, it’s Carnevale in Italy (except for the Milan area, where we celebrate on Saturday). I found this festive clip of Raffaella Carrà to get you in the carnival spirit. She was my hubster’s favourite back in the day. Yes, she was a very hard act to follow.
I was planning on writing about food in this post, because I’ve eaten some great things of late, but a couple of things happened today that made me change my mind.
The first thing was an email I got from my brother. All it said was “Your country is a joke” and this link. I thought something horrible had happened in Canada, that they made Ben Mulroney Prime Minister. But after clicking on the link I found it was yet another article about Berlusconi. Now, those of you who read my blog know how I feel about the man. But for the last month or so, he’s been grabbing the headlines on a virtually daily basis, almost always after putting his high-heeled foot in his big mouth. From the photo session with the Queen to his “camping holiday” remark in Abruzzo, il Berlusca never fails to disappoint with his “jokes”. And he’s got a captive audience who apparently love his special brand of humour because he won overwhelmingly in last year’s election, promising good times for all.
And someone sure had a good time with our garden this afternoon because when we got home from work, we found that some jokester had tried to pull out the jasmine that had just been planted. He/She/It ripped away the vines that were growing around our fence. And this animal did it in broad daylight, not giving a rat’s hoo haa if they were going to get caught destroying private property, because even if they did get caught, they probably weren’t going to be punished. It left me feeling nauseous. But I guess I shouldn’t let it get to me because in Italy, anything goes! It’s all fun and games! Right? This is the “Terra dei Cachi”, isn’t it?
What do you think? Is Italy becoming a joke? Are there any redeeming qualities left? Or should I just pack up and go back to Canada, even if Ben Mulroney is Prime Minister?
I wasn’t going to post anything today but I just saw this clip and thought it was cute. I’m not American and I don’t know how many Americans actually read this blog but I thought you’d be interested to see just how far award-winning director Ron Howard went to support his favourite candidate, Barack Obama.
You’ll have to click on this link as I can’t post the video for some reason. The computer usually goes haywire right before the weekend!
Loved the dig at Sarah Palin!
That’s all folks! Buon weekend!!!
Hey! I sort of called it. Two of my guys made it to the Euro 08 final: Spain’s foine Iker Casillas and German hottie Jens Lehmann. And wouldn’t you know it, they’re both goalkeepers. The last defence. The lone soldiers holding the fort. There’s something hot about that. And goalies are famous for being a leeetle bit crazy. Can you just imagine the hotness if it goes to penalty kicks???
So who’s it gonna be?
(He can read? Is he squinting from too much reading? Hot and an intellectual – what’s not to love!)
(Mmm, mmm gut! He looks nice in blue)
If you ask me, my money’s on Iker, I mean Spain. Plus, they have the best good luck charm ever. King Juan Carlos will be in the house. He’s the coolest monarch around. And he looks much better in a suit than Angela Merkel. So no contest.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!
I know I shouldn’t be beating myself up about it but apart from the disappointment about Italy losing to Spain last night, I do feel like it’s in part my fault. Why you ask?? Because I didn’t post a sexy ugly list, that’s why! Laugh if you will but I’m sure it brought our boys a little bit of luck the last two times. And being the superstitious gal that I am, I believe in the power of the sexy ugly. But I had a super crazy weekend with the kids and so, I had no time to do the list. However, I did find the time to buy some red white and green maracas for my toddler to play with during the game. Never again!
In the end, Spain played much better than Italy and deserved to win. I could go on and on about the coaching mistakes, how much Pirlo was sorely missed and Toni’s godawful smarmy little moustache, but instead I will leave you with this picture of our boys in happier times. Alla prossima, ragazzi!
p.s. I’ve just read this excellent op/ed article by Vittorio Zucconi (in Italian). His Euro 08 report card is hilarious, esp. his description of Toni.
As a break from my Paris posts, I thought it was time to feed that bratty bambino again. It’s been a while and he can be nasty when he’s hungry. Just like his mamma!
Anyhoo, tonight I have an extra-special guest. You might have heard of him. His name is Mr. McCartney but I like to call him Paulie. Our Paulie, as you know, is a vegetarian. While I’m a die-hard omnivore, I respect his views. And who can say no to mashed potatoes? Certainly not the Bratty Bambino? And I’m sure Jo the Potato Queen at Frutto della Passione will concur.
So even if he’s busy preparing for his big homecoming concert this Sunday (and I’m going to be there. Woo hoo!!), he still found the time to whip up a little something for us. Sweet, innit? So what if he’s a bit kooky and he doesn’t know how to handle a knife. A Beatle is cooking, for goodness sake! Take it away, Paulie!
I luuuuuuuv Paulie. And don’t you just love the way he speaks? “Spuuuuds” “Squuuurs” “Spooon Man” I could marry that accent! But I wouldn’t kiss that accent after it added RAW ONIONS to the potatoes. Blech! And I would have put real butter instead of margarine. So, what do you think of Sir Paul’s mashed potatoes?
And ragazze di Milano, don’t forget to come to our Sex and the City night out on June 7. Let Joanne and me know if you can make it. Ta!
Thursday, May 1
Ah, how nice it is to wake up to the sound of sirens instead of screaming kids. No joke. Despite our late omelette dinner, I was ravenous. We made it just in time for breakfast. Nothing special but the croissants and pain au chocolat were good. I also enjoyed people watching. There was one curious couple, consisting of a homely-looking man in his 40s and a tall Asian woman dressed as if she were on her way to a photo shoot. Sky high, chocolate-coloured platform heels, flouncy back-baring mini-dress, sunglasses. We were in the Breakfast Room at the Holiday Inn Express, for goodness sake! Believe me, Karl Lagerfeld was not about to walk through that door. Anyway, she definitely looked odd, and more so after I got a better look at her. Very masculine features and a voice to match. Hmmm…
After breakfast, Mimmo and I rushed to get to the Musée d’Orsay at a decent hour, hopefully avoiding the hoards of tourists. We decided the RER would be the fastest way to go. We’re both pretty confident at using the Paris Métro and RER systems and easily found our way to the right platform. Or so we thought. When the nice customer service assistant at the Gare d’Austerlitz came up to us and asked if we yokels needed help finding the right train we immediately said “Non!”. Then in a split second of self-doubt I told her we were going to the museum. Thank god I did because the assistant kindly informed us that we were on the wrong platform. Yup, yokels indeed!
We finally made it to the Musée d’Orsay and were thrilled to find that there weren’t too many people around. In fact, there was hardly anyone. My spidey senses started to tingle. Then I realized that the doors and ticket kiosks were closed. Arrrggh!! The museum was fermé for the May 1st holiday! I knew that it was a national holiday but I was sure that in culture-friendly France, they’d keep museums open for tourists. Boy was I wrong! We walked to the nearby Louvre just to check and that was closed too. It was almost heartbreaking to see the people wandering aimlessly around the courtyard, not knowing where to go or what to do. Some tourists sat on nearby benches, hoping that the powers that be would change their minds. They wouldn’t.
So, the hubster and I decided to go for a romantic stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries.
It was so romantic that we ran into Jean-Marie Le Pen and his crew. Well, not really but there was a Front National rally on a street just off the park. Le Pen was blathering about something but I was too bored to listen so we watched a mime perform instead. Well, not really but I’m sure that would have been waaay more interesting.
Now I don’t know if it was a coincidence but right after watching that rally the clouds turned an awful shade of grey. With a storm fast approaching and both museums and shops closed, what were a couple of stranded tourists to do? Well, we headed to the wonderful world of the Bateaux Mouches, the excursion boats that travel along the Seine. Yes, it’s a bit cheesy considering we weren’t first-timers to Paris but the romantic in me always appreciates the sights AND it was a covered boat. Let the storm clouds come!
Mimmo wasn’t as impressed as I was with the tour and fell asleep half-way through. I was sitting beside a yappy dog who tried to eat my hat. After we got off the boat I took some quick snaps of the Alma Tunnel, you know, the one where Princess Diana had her accident. I couldn’t help myself. I was a big Royal Family buff when I was a kid. Anyway, I felt strangely emotional standing there.
The hubster was exhausted after all that excitement and wanted to go back to the hotel for a nap. Nap?!? I was worried. When that man naps you need a choir of Yoko Onos screaming in his ear to get him up again. We had reservations for Chez Michel that evening. Would we ever be able to make it on time?????
Tune in to the next post to find out…….