I’ve decided that it’s not healthy to focus on the bad things. In truth I’m always saying that and it lasts maybe five minutes – I see a flower and marvel, my heart swells at birdsong, tears well with happiness at children’s laughter – then one of those birds empties its cute little bowels all over my freshly ironed clean white top and I’m back in the land of doom again. That’s my Yin/Yang I guess and I’m going to have to deal with it. Live with it and accept that there’s no Great Being to blame because that’s the way life Just Is.
So instead of focussing on all the negative stuff that happened in the past 7 days, I’m going to focus on all the positive stuff that’s come out of it. Here goes. *clears throat*.
1. God invented credit cards for a reason. And that reason was not to have us eyebrow-high in debt surrounded by paraphernalia we MUST HAVE right now instead of saving up for it and appreciating it more when we can finally afford it, but to be able to rent a hire car when we go on our annual holiday. And having this credit card would have saved us days of anxiety, stress, cancellation fees and hours on the phone to both hire company and banks trying to organise alternatives before realising that nobody actually gives a sh*t, they just want our money.
2. Deep breath.
3. Tears are there for a healthy release of pent up emotions. As Kleenex is there for the aftermath. As Merlot is there to assist. And when your husband calls you from the bank during the Credit Card fiasco and asks you to take the pieces of debit card you’ve recently watched him slice up with the kitchen scissors and you see your own name appear out of the reassembled pieces and realise that this was the only card you had to both your names to take on holiday, you are thankful for the tears and the tissues and the bottle of red. And yay! – isn’t it grand that we’re away on holiday in the morning… well, isn’t it?
4. Deep breath.
5. Tuscany is beautiful. Driving 2 hours from the airport to the villa, not so much. But everything else is beautiful. Breathtaking in fact. And who really needs a mirror in the room anyway? And we could always ask for toilet paper – there’s a reason we haven’t got any, isn’t there? Always a reason.
6. And lo! that reason floods unending from the toilet, under the bathroom door the following morning. Down the hallway and into our bedroom. Unending. Of course we wanted to see the luxury indoor swimming pool and gym – we just didn’t realise we’d be spending so much time there quite so soon and almost moving in there to use the shower/toilet facilities. Hey, it’s only a short walk down two flights for a pee at night – what the heck, the exercise is bound to do something for my back, right?
7. Who needs conditioner in dry, oppressive heat anyway? And tears are not a good idea on the morning of the wedding. Two bottles of shampoo does not one conditioner make no matter how many times you shut your eyes in disbelief and try to believe it could be so.
8. The Early Donna Summer look is bound to come back into fashion soon.
9. Deep breath.
10. Tuscany is beautiful.
11. Getting married in Tuscany is beautiful. The first thing on the bride’s mind is not going to be “have aunty and uncle got full use of their bathroom facilities?”
12. Deep breath. And behold the toilet is repaired. Which we have no need of until later, but still, it’ll great to be able to shower and pee in relative comfort. We are thrilled. And we all know what happens when I’m thrilled, don’t we?
13. Who needs cold water in blistering temperatures anyway?.
14. Cisterns are no longer a mystery to me. Now I know exactly how many (thankfully not made of raffia or cane or something then we’d really have been in the …) metal binfulls of hot water from the bidet it takes to fill one up before you can safely flush a toilet. Of course it doesn’t help with showering.
15. Deep breath.
16. I knew there was a reason I never joined a gym in my life. And that was because one day I’d get to live in one. Well, three days to be more precise.
17. Deep breath.
18. The villa we transfer to on the 4th day is stunning. The scenery is amazing. We have our own pool, the toilets flush and the shower, although temperamental, at least has a cool setting.
20. Deep sigh.
21. No need for emboldening.
22. More a need for essentials. For the only sustenance we find in the entire villa is a bottle of water in the fridge and ice cubes in the freezer.
23. So even more of a need for a car because of the sheer remoteness of this villa.
24. Deep breath.
25. The main villa staff are lovely. They send over a few essentials (like food) to see us through until a hire car can be found. We appreciate this. What we don’t appreciate so much is the white panic we feel later when we are in the Tuscan equivalent of Sainsbury’s and see that the wine we agreed they could add to our bill is retailing at 30Euros a bottle and we have just opened the third.
26. Deep breath. Deeper sigh. Deep, deep deepness.
27. Tuscan Plumbers are so laid back. They don’t worry that there’s six of us who are half an hour away from needing to be somewhere for the evening and the water has decided to stop running. That’s toilets, showers, everything. So laid back. Such a lovely quality to have.
28. Those conveyor belts you put your hold luggage on are really quite fast. Especially when you’ve rested your handbag on one that’s stationary in order to have a little rest in the hope that your back will stop thumping with pain and then find yourself being chuntered away on one that just suddenly starts running away with both handbag, followed by an ungainly clamouring you.
29. Laugh? Of course they did.
30. And for my next trick…?
31. Oh, who needed those two books wot I wrote and kept on that memory stick that’s now not functioning– and that third one I’d nearly finished? No one liked it anyway – not anyone who worked in the publishing world anyway, and heck, I’m sure I can remember the general gist of them all… it’s only a matter of bashing out another three hundred thousand words or so and there’s still four weeks of the holidays left, isn’t there…? I’ve got to find something to fill the long, empty hours of non-work somehow – and these things always happen for a reason, don’t they?
32. Don’t they?
35. Jeez, I need a holiday…