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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Knock, knock, knocking


In the 87 degree heat, I net the school for a swim.

Lucky us!

I dither. Maybe I could read my book whilst they swim, but "Bill Bryson" eludes me. Those last 22 unfinished pages, have haunted me all summer long. I still have the book mark but not the dratted book.

Probably just as well, as there are already far too many distractions.

Nonna announces that she will retire to her room to rest, due to a combination of heart burn and leg cramps, two facts that she mentions in an off hand manner, over the shoulder, a mere after thought, but diabetics are like that.

After very little thought I grab the lap top, bound into the garden, open the pool safety cover and park myself on the edge.

Whilst the children swim, I research with a combination of brain burn and crampt cranium, as well as a slightly numb bum. I calculate the odds. If the lap top is splashed or drowned, will this provide sufficient grounds for my husband to divorce me, ignoring all other contributing factors?

In the house, Nonna knocks on the open window to attract my attention, just enough attention to startle. “There’s someone at the door Maddy!” she calls. I reply with hand signals, ‘no! can’t leave the children!’ She signals back ‘o.k never mind.’

The Pokemon swimmers are in full battle mode complete with volume. I shall wear them out, come what may. I strongly suspect that the more they swim, the more strong they become, so the more output is required to reach the original state of tiredness, but it’s just a theory.

After 90 minutes I have drawn no conclusive evidence for any one of my competing theories, as my attention is too fragmented. With the pool cover locked, I shower three small people, dry them and assist dressing. As I examine a split toe nail, the source of much weeping and wailing, I notice a shadow in the hall, a dim figure, an unfamiliar adult male person. I bark and shoo children away to the family room, the furthest away.

I step cautiously towards the hall. I realize that I should have adopted American sports after all. We must be the only family in the locale without a handy base ball bat. I do not recognize the blue T-shirt, jeans and white sneakers, nor the wide shoulders, thick neck and black hair with a glint of gel. I calculate our respective BMI, Blimp to Male Index. “Hello? May I help you?” He spins around to face me. Good grief, the painter from 3 weeks ago. “His Miz Maddy. I just come to check. To ...er .....follow up.”
“Oh…..I see…..but…….”
“Yur mom let me in. I’m happy to wait, it’s o.k. I dun need to be nowhere. I liked chatting with you last time.”

I blink.

He must have been waiting…….an hour and a half, at least, in 87 degree heat, in the hall. Clearly I need to brush up on my hand signals. “Well come along into the kitchen then, I’d better make us a cup of tea. Um.....on second thoughts, you go ahead and put the kettle on, I just need to check something,” I beam.

I leg it over to Nonna's room and take a peek. She lies on the bed in the darkened room, covered by a tropical print cotton sheet. Slightly tousled with open lips, her small frame is inert. A faint waft of eau de "Moustiques Mortes" and Tick Tacks. Her limp arm flops to the floor with her glasses directly by her finger tips on the carpet next an over turned coffee mug. A small dark treacly brown stain and not a breath of air in the fustering heat.

I see the elusive, unfinished "Bill Bryson" gently rise and fall on her chest.

Ahh tea!

Afterall it’s thirst quenching and very good for shock.

p.s. Yesterday I inadvertently used a phrase that's common enough in England but may not translate well into American. What I meant to say was 'unable to orchestrate a convivial social gathering in a Californian Winery' not 'couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery.'

My apologies.

Although free mo's are in very short supply, please nip across and say hello at my "new blog," if only to admire the technical genius of my first, nearly proper, blogroll.

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