When times get itchy, you just have to scratch

The plan wasn’t actually to let pass all this time before going back to posting but as you probably by now know, nothing ever goes according to the plan here.


I was driving daughter number one to hockey practice like every Monday night when I started to suspect something was not right with me. My tongue felt far too big to fit into my mouth, the glands in my throath felt like they were the size of a coconut, my speech was impaired and my face and ears were on fire.

Pretending at my best that everything was fine I made it to the hockey pitch. Daughter number one, got out of the car and after looking at me said: “Bye, I love you, mum!” . Now, the fact that she inherited her father’s dislike for any kind of physical or verbal display of affection, gave me the final confirmation that there was something wrong with me. Something very wrong!


One look at myself in the car’s rear mirror and I immediately knew: the doctor screwed up with my medication.


That same very morning I went to my doctor to get some more antibiotics for an infection it was bothering me since Christmas. My usual doctor was not there, there was a substitute young doctor who missed noticing the big red flag on my chart saying that I am severely allergic to penicillin. Unfortunately not even me waving my new allergy bracelet in front of her face during the visit rang any bell to her and neither did the fact that I highlighted that the antibiotic I was already on was without penicillin. It wasn’t that difficult, she only had to give me another week of what I was already taking but, instead, she changed it. She probably just wanted to prove her knowledge and live a mark and…oh boy if she did so!!!


Back to Monday night, I rushed home, took an antihistamine and from there it all went ballistic. My body was burning, my face looked like it was exploding, I was freezing and shaking and gasping for air.
“You are in shock. We have to go to the hospital”, the travelling husband said and the next thing I remember it was me in a triage at the A&E covered in blisters and with a drip on my arm.
When they eventually discharged me, my ass was itchy and flat after 9 hours of sitting on a chair.

Once home I just wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep and suddenly I remembered that a few nights before I texted a friend of mine who was sick in bed saying that I could do with some resting alone day in bed. Well obviously this was not what I meant and from now on I can assure you I will be very careful with what I wish for.


By the end of the week, my bedside table was covered in tubs of pills and soothing creams, nothing seemed to work as fast as it was supposed to but I looked far less like a woman whose botox went terribly wrong and more like a zombie ready to kill and eat anyone on her way.


Now nearly two weeks later my skin is turning from purple red to pink red, the blisters are drying up and if I want to, I can even pick my nose. Not that this is a habit of mine but it is indeed a great achievement considering that just a few days before that nose of mine was so swollen that I couldn’t even see the holes of my nostrils and my earlobes were as thick as a steak fillet.


Now, still, with some itch and scratch and no make-up, life went nearly back to normal and we can all have a good laugh.

Crime comes with Christmas

The local hardware converted its top floor into a fancy homeware shop and they also opened a nice cafe, where I took the girls for a treat on their last day of school before the Christmas holidays.
As it was due to close soon, the cafe was not very busy. A young waitress welcomed us in and instructed us to sit anywhere in the front. We smiled and nodded but as we walked further into the room, it became quite obvious that we had no idea what she meant by” front”.
So here we are, standing in the middle of the room deciding which part of the cafe could be considered front, side or back. In the end, we decided on a nice round table by the window with a big comfortable armchair.
“I am sorry, but this area is closed.” A voice behind us said before we could make ourselves comfortable. A brief look at the big yellow cones crossing off the area should have actually already warned me but, as it didn’t, once again I smiled, rigorously avoiding making eye contact with my daughters who were already embarrassed, and lead the way back to the centre of the room to pick another table.

“Can I help you?” another young waiter came to take us out of our misery and we followed her to a cosy corner table with a velvet sofa.
We could eventually sit back, relax and enjoy our hot chocolate and cakes…and all this phone free.

Now, whoever is used to teenagers’ company knows that is better not to push the phone-free zone too much and so once we had finished with our cakes I suggested going and having a browse around the shop, with relief of the cafe staff that had already started to clean up the place eager to close as soon as we stepped out the place.

Happy and content with our bellies staffed we are looking at the ridiculously expensive and fairly tacky Christmas decoration when we see one of the waiters from the cafe running into the shop waving and shouting. I and the girls briefly look at each other wondering what may have happened but as it has obviously nothing to do with us we ignore her till I feel someone tapping me on the shoulder:
“Miss, you have to pay!”

In a flash of a second, my cheeks go through all the shades of red when I realised I just left the cafe forgetting to pay. I profusely apologise hoping they believe it was a genuine brain fart and pay.

“That was so embarrassing. Can we go now.?” The girls are already marching towards the exit and I follow them still with quite an excess of colour on my cheeks but now laughing at my forgetfulness hoping to share the hilarity of what had just happened with my daughters who, unfortunately, must have instead inherited their father an inexistent sense of humour.

Back to the car, we drive, in meritorious silence, straight to the next town for daughter number two orthodontist appointment.
The damn surgery is right at the centre of the Main Street where finding parking is nearly impossible, especially around Christmas time. After a couple of drives around the block, I give up and go to the big parking behind the orthodontist’s building. There you are always guaranteed to find a space and not because it’s great parking, but actually, right because the opposite. It must be the only parking left in the county not working with the parking app and with one of those old ticket machines that only accept coins. In between the three of us, we managed to pout put together 1 Euro, indeed enough if only the stupid machine wouldn’t ask for a minimum payment of 2.50 euros.
“And now what do we do?”Daughter number two asks while checking the time as we were getting late for her appointment and, unlike her mother, she is a very very on-time person.
“Don’t worry I got this” I confidently say and after rummaging for a few seconds in the glove compartment of the car I find what I was looking for. I wave an old parking ticket, in front of the girls’ puzzled faces, and carefully place it half-hidden under the insurance and tax road disc.
“I always keep it in the car for emergencies,” I explain to the girls who are now looking at me like I was some kind of genius.
“well well, first we leave without paying, now we counterfeit the parking ticket, what’s next then? “
Daughter number two, who lacks humour but not sarcasm, states.
“Well, next we get you to your appointment on time and hopefully without a fine.”
Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The Perfect Christmas Present

Here we are again, time to pick the travelling husband’s Christmas present. 23 years together and only twice I managed to surprise him. The travelling husband’s super power is, in fact, to always guess what I want to gift him. But this year his power is going to fail him. This Christmas I have it all figured out. Well, maybe not all, but the husband’s present for sure and he is never gonna guess it. How am I so sure? Because I will buy him a smart watch and he never showed any interest in one of those things, at least with me, but I happened to overhear a conversation he was having with a friend.

After some very discreet investigative work including also checking the browsing history on his Ipad, I knew exactly which watch he set his eyes on. What I did not know was the variety of different models. There is one for every frecking sport on earth.
What the heck? Could he not just go for a simple Apple Watch or a Fit Bit? For God’s sake, he is not even a fitness/sporty guy. He goes hunting and plays social tennis once a week, that’s all his fitness routine.


I crossed off the list all the runner, cyclists and surfers models because he doesn’t either run, cycle or surf. I crossed off the list all the too-chunky ones because he doesn’t like big wristwatches. Ultimately I excluded even the solar survivor models because, even if thanks to your new super-powerful watch you survive whatever extreme activities you had challenged yourself with, you are anyway going to die of starvation as after you had paid for the watch, you will have nothing left in your card for your grocery.


So, now I had just three candidates to choose from and feeling nearly accomplished with my mission, I confidently walked into the closest shop that I knew had them in stock. I only had to look at them, and choose. Since they all looked pretty much the same to me, I just picked the latest version, called for the free salesperson and expressed my will to buy.
“Very well mam, what size do you want?”
This, I had not seen it coming! Not only there are a ridiculous variety of different models but they all come in three sizes! These are not watches, this are evil matryoshka camouflaged as watches whose only purpose is to confuse you and make you feel stupid an d unprepared. But I was not gonna let them win.


I went home, measured the travelling husband’s wrist watch and the following day I went back to the shop, ready to make my purchase.
To my disappointment, I learnt that smartwatches are measured differently from the other type of wristwatches. Thankfully Phil came to my rescue, or so I thought.
Phil was the watch expert of the day. Phil was also not trying to hide the fact he would have liked to be anywhere else but at work. Phil hated his job and the fact that they made him wear a ridiculous Christmas jumper with Rudolf’s nose lighting up every time he moved, didn’t make it better.
“I am sorry mam but all you can see is on display. All the other models are boxed and we can’t open the box.”
“But how am I supposed to choose if I don’t see it?”
Phil didn’t need to answer me. It was none of his concern.
“So am I just supposed to buy blindly?”I Insist.
“OH, but then you can return it, once the box is still sealed, of course.”
“But if the box is still sealed that means I haven’t opened it yet, and if I haven’t opened it how can I see the watch and decide if it is the right size?”
“I am sorry mam, but I don’t do the rules. I know it’s unfair but it is what it is!”
After holding myself from screaming at Phil that this was not only unfair but also stupid and he could stick the watch along with his rules and attitude where you all can guess, I say instead that I was going to think about it and left. Actually, I did not leave. I just hid around the corner until some other unfortunate customer engaged Phil, at that point I looked for an other salesperson who was possibly showing a slightly higher interest in his job and his customers.

Here comes Brad. Brad is young, inexperienced and knows absolutely nothing about watches and even less about the shop’s rules but he kindly volunteers to go to the stockroom and bring back to me the watch I wanted in the different sizes.
As grateful as someone who just had been gifted a winning-lotto ticket, I made my choice, thanked Brad and informed him that I was going to buy the watch.
“Oh, I am sorry but we don’t have it in stock, you will have to order it online and have it delivered here.”
“But you just showed it to me. I am still holding it in my hand..” I say totally confused.
“Oh, yes but see because I broke the seal, now I can’t sell it, or the guarantee won’t cover in case something is wrong.”


As daughter number one always says: karma is a bitch when you are a bitch!!!! And this certainly was my payback for cheating on Phil.
In the end I had to order the present online and after a week of excruciating painful waiting hoping nothing went wrong , I eventually received the email that the travelling husband’s Christmas present was ready for collection.
Well, what can I say, It wasn’t a smooth purchase but in the end I made it. The travelling husband’s Christmas present was safe in my hands and it will be a surprise!!!! Except it will be not, …. Guess who I bumped into on my way out of the shop?

Call Me Wendy, Part 1:The teaser

It appears that, for my family,  I can’t get “properly” angry. 

According to my mother, that’s due to laziness, and believe me, she might hate gyms, but when it comes to picking a fight over her principles (and she has plenty of them), she is not a lazy woman!!

 My daughters, instead, blame it on my lack of coordination. According to them, especially when driving, I am far too slow to react, and so by the time I register the offence I’ve been a victim of, I find my voice to swear and finally push the right spot on the steering wheel to use the horn, It’s far too late. Whoever wronged me has either left or already forgotten what he did to cause my upset, making me look like a total lunatic.

“You should overtake them and show your finger…” Daughter number one once suggested.

“What? Where did you get that? We don’t do that, besides it’s dangerous, your grandmother tried once, and a very angry track driver followed her home.” I replay, not specifying that I was in the car with her, still a child, and that’s probably why I don’t argue much on the road.

“It never happened to papa, and he does it all the time.” God bless kids’ innocence!

“He does not!” I reply fighting for my husband’s decency.

“Oh yes, he does! All the time when we are in Italy .” She replays candidly, “Right C?” and I don’t have to say that daughter number two enthusiastically confirms it.

“He had never done it with me!”I keep fighting for my husband’s honour.

“Because you are never in the car when he does it, and you know what he can do too? ” I am not sure I want to know it, no, but it seems I have no choice, “He can roll down the window and give out to other drivers at the same time!!” WOW, that’s classy!

“Ok, I got it!!!! ” I say defeatedly. Fighting for the travelling husband’s decency is a lost battle, and I have to accept that I can compete with a family of professional anger show off….until the day I can!!!

Stay tuned to hear what happens when Ortensia gets “properly” angry.

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Sparkling Joy

10th of march 2021…. is the date of the last actual blog(shameful Easter advertisement aside).
Holy Posy! For how long did I neglect my creature?18 months? And if I have to tell the truth, during these 18 months, I also thought to shutting it down! I know….I am a horrible person, but I didn’t .Did I?! And that’s what matters, right? And in my defence, it has been a very rough time: health issues, family issues, court battles, hormone rebellion and yes, some laziness too. I even cut my hair on a very very short pixie and went back to work full time. I know, I might have gone a bit too far over there, but I learnt my lesson, and one day I came to terms with the ugly truth: besides the blog, everything else was neglected too, the house, the children, the dogs and worst of all I turned into one of those women wearing short hair because it’s easy to keep. Except, because I have very straight hair, it did not turn that way either. It was true my life needed some changes , but I am afraid not the ones I made. But which ones? And that’s when I had an epifany. No actually, that happens only in the movies. To me it was after reading Sarah Knight and Marie Kondo. And if the first one thought me The life-changing method of not giving a f..k (and God only knows how much I needed it); the second one thought me how to keep my house tidy and clutter-free (and only God knows how desperately needed that too), but most of all she thought me how to keep only what sparks joy. And so I remember how much joy my little blog sparked in me ….

10th September 2022: Welcome back good old /new (Ortensia !

And just as you know, my Bob is nearly back , the job is now part time and I have 18 months of stories to tell….and many to comes because you never forget that a laugh and a bit of extraordinary can be found everywhere 😉