Wednesday 31 August 2011 – Today begins really well, ‘Bones’ by Editors plays, Tom Smith’s distinctive voice fills the living room with dark broodiness; that’s an amalgamation of moody and brooding. There’s a slight breeze bringing with it a welcoming coolness,and I enjoy a nice cup of good old strong English tea. I even fashion myself; as best I can with Italian ingredients, an English breakfast. I am about to sit down to eat when I hear my name being called, it’s the guests from downstairs.
I resist the temptation to say, “Have you ever thought of knocking on the door?” and smile nicely. He’s come to tell me he’s not happy as there was dirt under the sofa – why he’s looking under the sofa I don’t know? He also says he’s seen two scorpions and there’s been some little ants that have come into the house. I try to explain that we’re in rural Italy and if you choose to live here you must accept the local wild things. I give him some ant powder, he looks at it, wrinkles his nose, then says, “This is toxic,” Oh how I so wanted to make a flippant Britney Spears remark, I was restrained and just replied, “Yes it is, kills them stone dead.”
His next remark is, “I’m finding it difficult to find Wi-Fi hotspots out and about, once more I restrain myself from reiterating the fact that this is rural Italy: I don’t think the old guy who comes over on his tractor has much use for a wireless iPad while he’s tending his olive trees, but you never know. Oh and he can’t get the satellite decoder to work, and he’s apparently highly qualified in all matters technical regarding these type of systems.
They guests leave and I settle down to doing some work, I break for lunch and then notice my workstation has an Italian feel to it – how quickly we adapt to new practices. I drink the whole pot of coffee, then go down to water the plants in the bases of the gazebo, (for ‘water the plants’ please read – have a nosey through the windows). The place is a mess, there’s dishes everywhere, I can see towels on the floor outside the bathroom, and the bedroom doesn’t fare any better.
After a few hours working; with music to keep me company, the guests arrive home. I pop down to see if I can help with the satellite. He opens the door dressed only in his underpants and beckons me inside – I’m dying to say, “Thanks, but you’re not my type shorty”. – The spare sheets that I spent my time and sweat over ironing are strewn on the floor, and all the sofa cushions are on the floor too; if this is what they’re like in a holiday rental, I’d hate to see how they live at home. II look at the plug at the back of the TV, it’s not in fully, I push it back into its socket and hey presto it works. – Does this mean I’m now highly qualified in all matters technical regarding these type of systems?