Well we’re just back from our first visit to Italy since May. We were desperate to get some time there before the summer was over – they’ve been having a heatwave and in England it’s been just rubbish weather all summer. Apart from that we needed to check all was ok with the house etc plus we were taking our grandson S for some quality time with him. It was quite a visit….
We flew out of East Midlands airport for the first time – a really early flight into Rimini. Although this meant an extra hour’s journey time in Italy, we were landed by 10am so had a full day virtually on our first day there. The drive down to MdF in a little hired Lancia Ypsilon (rubbish naming policy) was easy. Loaded up with food at the newish Oasi supemarket in Porto San Giorgio then headed to the house. I’m always a little apprehensive after a long break away – we knew the garden would be a disaster but you never know what else can go wrong. S was very excited as we pulled into the drive, which was full of 2ft high weeds. Umm. Everything looked ok as we pulled up to the house although I noticed a loose tile hanging over the roof edge and a broken one on the ground. Ummm. Then C thought she saw something fluttering through one of the windows…oh gawd.
We went inside and it was like the bottom of a birdcage in the house. I have never seen so much birdcrap – everywhere. We found a few dead birds (sparrows) on the floor of the kitchen and the dining room and one bird flapping exhaustedly against the windows of the dining room. We quickly let him out. S’s face was just etched with sadness. He just couldn’t understand why the house was ‘broken’.
The lounge was a real mess too and we ventured upstairs half-expecting to witness a scene from The Birds. It wasn’t far off. Another live bird in one of the bedrooms flapping around madly – this guy was struggling to fly and just kept running under the beds. It took me a while to get him to get him out but I did find most of his dead mates in the process. We found more dead ones in the bathroom. We collected and disposed of 7 dead ones and 2 live ones we let loose. 9 little sparrows in all but you’d think they were seagulls from the amount of guano. Every surface was splattered throughout 8 rooms and most of the windows. I thought we moved to Italy, not the Galapagos.
So for 3 days we washed and scrubbed that place within an inch of its life. Even S joined him bless him – he had no choice to be honest. This also co-incided with us finding our first mouse droppings – quite a task amongst the bird faeces – and the weather turning crap too. It threw it down and the roof leaked in the dining room, ruining some of our pictures. The crack in the wall of the dining room extension is also worse. Oh and the power had gone off whilst we were away so the fridge/freezer contents had to be binned. And the broadband and Sky weren’t working. This was turning in to some holiday. I got to thinking is there any chance sweet Lord that you can cast the rotten luck spotlight on some other poor sod for a change? Whatever it is I did to deserve this I’m truly, deeply sorry ok? But we would be grateful if you could have some fun now with someone perhaps a little more deserving like Jeffrey Archer (for DJ) or Chris Moyles or Craig Bellamy or the Duke of Edinburgh. D’ya think?
But then I reasoned a few facts a) if I haven’t spoken to Him before and shown much interest, He’s unlikely to be sympathetic now I reckon b) the house was now spotlessly clean and felt nice to be in c) our grandson felt a lot better and happier d) we realised there were no bugs in the place – not one -the birds must have been living off them for however long they’d been there. Every cloud and all that e) the weather had changed and was now scorching. So off we toddled with S to the beach for the day (our pool is still covered from the winter) and had just a great day. At lunchtime we found a lovely beach restaurant and had a tremendous long Italian meal and you know everything felt so much better.
The rest of the week was great. We made a start on the garden – we need to get back soon to finish it off. The weather stayed fine. We met up with our neighbour P and had a good chat and a meal out with her and our new English neighbours on the last night at Gianni’s restaurant which was great fun. He and Antonella made a big fuss and Antonella told us that many of the locals had been enquiring as to our whereabouts saying that they had missed us being around, which was really nice to hear. I’m also sure G had missed our custom! We started getting back into the habit of popping down into our nearest big town for late afternoon coffees and glasses of wine in the main square just people watching. It was also the week of the Palio. I wrote about this before (see Festivals posting). I took S one night to see the medieaval procession and then the palio itself. This year there were no fatalities or squeamish scenes which was probably just as well as we’d seen enough of that at the house. He loved the event and we got home – two tired fellas – really late. He watched the film Dodgeball with me till we both fell asleep. It was lovely to be with him even though he now mimics the ‘freakin nordy’ line a little too well.
Getting home to the UK was always going to be disappointing but we caught up with our daughters R and E and our other grandson G for a night which was great too. It was sad to say good bye to E, G and S having spent that time with us but we’re now back in the UK groove enjoying the rubbish weather. Daughter S and I are coming for a BBQ today and we’ll have one regardless of the sodding rain. I’m also going to enjoy listening to the footie on the radio but my heart’s still in MdF. We need to get back before Alfred H and the Birds move back in. Ciao amici.