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In January, I intercepted two stink bug intruders in our house and I thought this was absurd. As someone who looks forward to winter and the break from vermin that it provides, these two critters were really ruining my seasonal holiday from the nail-biting drama that unfolds should I find myself alone in the house when my keen eye spots one. I can be having a great day, dancing around the house with the kids, feeling cool, calm, and collected and all it takes is one bug sighting to shatter my bravery and give me a nervous twitch and tendency to stare at the spot where they are. The first one I promptly took care of without having to call for Lumberg as my suit of armour was brought on by liquid bravery. If I have a few drinks in me, I can take care of any bug I find in the house. I am fear-less and don’t hesitate to use any prop beside me as a weapon. In this case, it was 1am and I used a book. A heavy book.
The second sighting I was sans-liquid to enhance my cool courage because it was the middle of the afternoon and I was home with the kiddos after school. Without my secret super-hero potion and cape, I tried to collect the specimen in a glass, thereby gifting the critter the potential to live its life out in the grass in our courtyard. Obviously I wouldn’t take it downstairs (that would be preposterous!), but at least he would be confined in a glass until Lumberg got home. Alas, clumsiness has always been a part of my etiquette and style and hence I squeezed it when I was trying to cover it with a glass and accidentally removed one leg and squished its belly. I swear on the soul of Inigo Motoya’s father I never meant to cause it any harm, but I did end up having to flush him down the toilet. All this just makes me curse the mild winter in Milan this year because the bugs have been fooled and are sticking around.
Fast forward several weeks later and a few days ago I was in London with the kids, and in our room at a friend’s house, I found a spider. With Lumberg in Milan, and Nina’s husband at work, I couldn’t call anyone for help. (Nina suffers from a lack of spider-bravery like me and hence together, we are as useless as a ‘Please Form Line here’ sign in all of Italy). Being that he was in a tricky spot, I decided to use the only liquid item that I could find to try and ‘stun’ him in his foot steps. I grabbed hair spray. I’m convinced all that did was make him cough (assuming spiders can cough) as he began to flee under the carpet. I then proceeded to stomp and jump on the carpet like no tribal dancer ever has in a sacrificial jig, hoping my weight and estimated coordinates of his location would get him. Who knows where he ended up in the end, but so often I ponder why spiders have to exist.
Back in Milan now, the clock is ticking loudly in my head. Our days are numbered and hence the title of this entry, borrowed from the Head and the Heart. I can let the muggy (that’s British slang for ‘cat’) out of the bag and update that we are moving to the land of the royals, crumpets, and obsessive queuing. We are all very excited to be heading to live in London, especially since it’s close to Milan so I can pop over when I need a dose of Luigi’s in Luigiland and all the chaos that provides. (Also, it’s a quick 8 hour flight home to visit the Great White North). And, London has the coveted lunch venues of all-Pret a Manger. But perhaps the most glorious and stupendous reason to live in London is the amount of concerts I can go see. I get giddy looking at all the upcoming shows when I peruse online at my coveted site of concert listings. An expensive hobby I have, but a good one indeed.
The kids and I went last week to London to look for schools and after a few tours of schools we were able to pick one that best fit us and where we want to live. We hope to arrive there in March, hence why time doesn’t exist much for anything else these days but to sort, pack, sleep, and repeat. It’s been an interesting experience to start boxing up one’s items and memories. For saps like me, it’s never easy and the emotional baggage tends to weigh more than the tangible items. Aside from the schools, the week packed some adventures too-I realized I lost my passports seconds after we got on the plane heading to London and spent the whole flight going through all my bags over and over again in search of them. I must have gone through everything at least 18 times and looked like I suffered from short-term memory loss. I notified the flight attendant, who notified the captain, who notified both Milan and London airports. They were trying to determine what to do with us because we had nothing to show for who we were. It turns out, we would have been sent right back to Milan upon our arrival in London, but literally seconds before the captain told us to sit and buckle in for landing I decided to crawl around the floor again. This time, on the floor and under the seat behind me I spotted my black pouch of liberty. The flight attendant was so relieved and I jokingly informed the kids we wouldn’t have to sleep at the airport anymore.
My friend’s house also had a massive leak of water which in hind-sight was funny. As I was prepping the kids to go out for dinner with everyone I heard yelling and running upstairs. Upon further inspection, we went upstairs only to witness an improvised water feature in Nina’s study where her husband was working. An entire tub of water from the bathroom above poured into the room below via light fixtures and speakers. It was a collective mad dash to save all electrical appliances as well as photos and heaps of other memorabilia. The kids got in on the cleaning too and it was quite cute to see. I have to admit, I did have to bite my tongue so not to burst out laughing when Nina’s husband called his landlord while standing amongst the sudden waterfalls in the room and left a message that started off by saying ‘Yeah,……. so it’s raining in the study……..I really need you to call me back’.
Lastly, on the flight home to Milan, I sat across the aisle from two teenage girls who were petrified of flying. They had heard it was snowing in Milan and they were afraid of landing on snow, (it was only raining, no snow). Telling them I was Canadian seemed to comfort them a little because clearly everyone knows Canada is bursting at the seams with ice and snow, yet miraculously planes land there daily. The flight was filled with a teenage group coming home from a trip to London and in my old age I thought they would be obnoxiously loud because every one knows ‘kids these days’ have no respect for people around them. I misjudged them too soon because they were great, normal teens. At one point mid-air they started collectively singing a song they all knew and it sounded pretty groovy, if I must admit. I enjoyed talking to the girls beside me throughout the flight and had a laugh at their reaction every time the plane bumped. Admittedly, I was not too keen on having the plane bump and rock back and forth as we descended because we were coming down in fog and rain. But then again, I had my passports safely tucked in, the Albino Hulk and Little Miss Stubborn couldn’t stop giggling (this was their 34rd and 43rd flights respectively), and all was well. T’was great to see Lumberg at the gate indeed who often laments the house is far too quiet when I take away the kiddos and well, myself. (It’s no secret I like to yap and yap about the most random useless things). It was good to be home, if only for a few weeks more, but then again, home is where the Albino Hulk, Little Miss Stubborn and Lumberg are. And my adopted purses.
Below, some photos from London.