My journey home was marvellous. We got on the Eurostar at the newly revamped St Pancras Station. When the train stopped I thought we were in Ashford in Kent or at best Lille. Turns out we were at the Gare du Nord.
Here at home it is a winter wonderland. The lawn is white and the rivers frozen. I am also frozen as am too posh (or maybe too poor) to have any central heating. Leonardo has developed an alarming habit of waking at 5am. “Talk to me mummy,” he shouts in my ear. So for fear of waking the others I bring him downstairs where the temperatures are hovering around zero.
While he watches Scooby-Doo wrapped in several blankets, I work. I wonder who else watches children’s TV at what would be 4am UK time? Other insomniac children I suppose. Top Cat was on this morning, which takes me back. Amazing (and rather comforting) that children’s TV is so consistent. But is that hapless cop ever going to get the better of him? My aunt always said that if you haven’t achieved anything by the time you’re forty you never will. So I guess he’s way past his sell-by date.
Talking of my aunt, you may remember she is not speaking to me since the publication of Ciao Bella. I am taking the children to Italy after Christmas to stay with my mother. My aunt has asked to see them but demanded I go out. I am of course contrite and already planning my vanishing act. Rupert is less so. His first reaction was that I should tell her to get lost. When I refused to he gave Olivia a message for her.
“Tell her she’s a silly old trout and that the truth hurts,” he said. I’m sure Olivia won’t pass it on. But there’s a small, rebellious part of me that hopes she will. How are we getting to Rome? Train of course. I just hope Leo sleeps on. We don’t get to Rome until after 9.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007
Helena, I loved Ciao Bella and as an Italian American, I loved the various characters. I thought your aunt was, although a bit idiosyncratic, I liked her and didn’t think ill of her. I don’t think you portrayed her in any way that was ridicule. I hope she realizes this at some point. Life is too short for such silly grudges and family too important. I’m looking forward to getting your new book by the way! Ciao
I love this thing about the English (half or not, whatever the case may be) of being so posh they want to suffer. Exactly how that fits in with your new venture geared around luxury and indulgence is beyond me but alas, each to their own.
I rather be warm and comfortable for 360 days per year than suffer in silence and make up for it in small bursts.
Good luck with the bizness by the way. It all looks rather nice; is it warm as well?
It will be toasty warm, but the best thing about it is that Leonardo won’t be there to wake me up at 5am.
Ahh, that must be the best bit. I can’t tell you the date my children had their first tooth – I can tell you exactly however when they first slept through. Life got so much better after that.
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