This weekend I experienced a proper Italian holiday.
M and G, along with M’s brother David (55 year old man who is very serious about studying English) and his wife Barbara (fantastic woman who runs the nursery, knows everybody but cant speak English) all set off for Lake Como.
The Lakes are incredibly beautiful and I’ll write a whole post about everything you could possibly want to do there somewhere else, but here are a few of the enduring memories I’ll take away from this very Italian mini-break.
1. Waking up on Saturday morning, walking into the kitchen, catching sight of M and thinking ‘Christ he looks rough’ (he’d had a bit of a cold the day before but now could hardly speak and had bright red, streaming eyes). Unfortunately, G and I had watched a cartoon about zombies earlier that week, which led to her running around flat screaming that her father had turned into a zombie and refusing to go near him and get in the car.
2. David, who is taking his English very seriously, asking me about the words to Ellie Goulding’s ‘Love Me Like You Do’ and asking if it has anything to do with Fifty Shades of Grey film. Him then asking me if I’d seen the film and proceeding to tell me the plot as described below (imagine a very Italian, grey haired man in his late-fifties saying the following very seriously):
‘It is about a woman who meets a very beautiful, rich man. But, before the woman gets make love to the man he ask her to sign a contract which says she must go on diet (I love that this is the bit that horrifies the Italians most). Then they can make love but, I think it is hard, because they use many tools and are hitting each other all the time. I think it is not so good way to make love’
3. Driving through border control between Italy and Switzerland and not being asked to show our passports. M and David shrugging shoulders and acknowledging that its probably because its lunch time.
4. Walking through Laguna, a very upmarket Swiss town on the lake, which consists mostly of shops like Hermes and Rolex, armed with a novelty 6kg box of crisps and a pizza made of Haribo, purchased from a service station just outside the border because David thought they were so funny.
5. Me finding porridge at the breakfast buffet and getting very excited because they don't have porridge in Italy. The family watching on, horrified, because of an earlier misunderstanding which saw them mistake the word ‘oat’ for ‘onion’. So for the entire trip they thought English people like to eat warm onions and milk for breakfast.
6. Offering to share a room with G (like sleepover she says) and waking up at 6am to have her stroking my face, nose on my nose, staring into my eyes. Have never woken up next to a man in such a way.