Lads I feel like I just need to take a moment to extoll the virtues of the bidet. Contrary to popular non-Continental European belief, the bidet is actually your friend. When I first moved into my room here I popped my head round the door of the ensuite to check out the situation and the bidet caught my eye. "Yeah, right", I says to myself. At first. But as time wore on, my cynical glances became more like curious glances - what is this porcelain pretend toilet and how does it wish to serve me?
At first I used it shyly, tentatively using it to soak my feet in ice cold water after a long hot day, but little by little, I got more and more comfortable with it being in my life. What is its purpose? I hear you asking. Well I mean we all know its purpose people so I think you mean to ask what is the point? I decided to investigate by interrogating my lovely friend who shall go without a name for now as people need not know her bidet habits. She helpfully informed me that if she had a shower every second day, for example, then on the days she didnt have the shower she would have a bidet. I probed for more details and she described the fill-and-dip method. Interesting.
This doesn't apply to me as I have 47 showers a day but I am beginning to understand the convenience, nay, delight the bidet could bring into my life. Jacques family Christmas related "mishap"? No problem! Never mind your bottom half shower - just fill and dip! Genius.
The days wore on, and I became more curious with each passing second. Until one evening I came home and I thought "I'd love a nice shower now before I go to bed, but alas I am too tired", and then, as I was brushing my teeth, it caught my eye. It was just sitting there in its spot next to the toilet with a "come hither" air about it. Was it...was it inviting me? Surely it would be rude to refuse...
Five minutes later, I emerged from the en suite, gloriously reborn, bottom-half freshness levels at an all-time high. And so the love affair began...
Want that fresh panty feeling? Forget Bodyform - have a bidet!
Don't have time for a shower? Have a bidet!
Whole family died in a horrific accident leaving you completely alone in the world? No problem - have a bidet!
There now, isn't that better?
Tuesday 26th Jan
I have no recollection of this day whatsoever.
Wednesday 27th Jan
Made two tarts today, one normal apple one and one apple crumble one. The second one I left in the oven for BBB to supervise while I went to training, with strict instructions:
"Take it out when it is golden brown alright? Golden brown now not mahogany, is that clear enough for you? If I come home and that tart is burnt you are DEAD."
But let's leave the tarts for now and take a moment to discuss appropriate sports changing room behaviour.
When you walk into a changing room in Italy, the delicacy of your nature is immediately assaulted by giant hairy fannies all over the gaff. I'm talking jungle hairy. Tribal, even. Not a groomed undercarriage in sight. How distressing. But I digress. What I witnessed tonight was just the most...the most icky ocky thing ever. I have no problem with nudieness in these situations, that is all acceptable. But what I am about to describe actually shocked me to the core.
Now in these dressing room situations nudie chats are the norm. Chit chat, pull someone's three foot long pube out of yer eye, chit chat etc and so on and so forth. But tonight. A girl was chit chatting away and the next thing she pulls down her scanties to down around her knees and proceeds to peel her heavily soiled sanitary towel from the inside of her knickers and roll it up into a sausage while chit chatting away to the girl next to her, who incidentally, didn't bat an eyelid. I couldn't cope. Like I actually couldn't cope. I mean we are all ladies, yes, but there is still the need to be ladylike. No one needs to see that. Ok let's change the subject. Back to the tart.
After training, myself and Laura headed back to my place for tarts. Fnar fnar. Anywho, I came in to see the crumble tart that had been left under BBB's supervision. Lads, I was after terrifying the poor child so much he took it out the minute it started turning brown so it was still considerably raw. Shur God love him.
"It's a bit...." I started.
"You used too much butter" says he.
"Yeah, that's it Love. Too much butter." Nothing to do with the fact that it's still raw like.
Stop, I love him.
Thursday 28th Jan
Giovedì gnocchi. Whipped up another batch of my gnocchi. I am an unstoppable gnocchi-making force.
Friday 29th Jan
Tonight it snowed and made Pavia a Winter Wonderland for a nanosecond. BBB's friend had to stay over cos he couldn't get home in the snow so we had to stay in my bed. This displeased me. We always sleep in BBB's room and I dislike when my routine has been interrupted becase my sleeping patterns are very delicate. While my bed is lovely and lady soft and smells like lavender and chamomile, his bed smells like him. The only way to describe how I feel about his smell is that it's akin to a boo boo blanket you might have had when you were tiny. I realised this when I came home after Christmas and opened the door to his room and his smell just hit me and it made me feel warm and fuzzy and safe and yummy, and a bit like I had to wee a small bit. But that could have been unrelated.
Anyway we snuggled up in my bed, and no matter what way I turned or contorted, I couldn't get comfortable. There was only one thing for it - we were going to have to go top to toe. So I started turning around in the bed.
"Where are you going?" he says.
"Can't sleep up there. Night now."
But then I realised I had made a major mistake. I had abandoned the end of the bed that had the pillow on it. What to do? I looked around the dark room, and my eyes spied the outline of two of his jumpers. Yes! That's what I'll do! I'll fashion a pillow from his jumpers, that way I have a pillow AND it smells like him. I'm so smart sometimes. But lads, no matter what way I folded the jumpers it felt like I was lying on a sack of spuds. I felt like I was in a tent in France in 1987.
And then the night time crazies began.
Now lads we all know about the night time crazies. They are what happens when you are dying for an aul sleep but something or someone is keeping you from it and in your state of half-awake half-asleep desperation, you actually go a bit mental. I have been known to scream and shout and threaten people with certain death for snoring (sorry Siobhan). Well tonight both BBB and myself were afflicted with it.
He grabbed my feet that were on the pillow and started pulling on them.
"Move up here!" he goes.
"Ok," I goes and went to turn back around so we were both on the same end of the bed.
The next thing:
"I said move your feet up a bit not fucking turn around! Jesus Christ!" he goes.
"Jesus, alright!" I goes and moved back down to the other end of the bed with the makeshift pillow.
Now lads please keep in mind we were both still asleep while this was going on.
"You are driving me fuckin mad moving around every five seconds. Mamma mia!" he spits, full of bile, before planting a little kiss on my instep.
"Do you hear this fella and he bending his legs all over the place and I'm here "bet" up against the wall! Dickhead!" I goes, full of hatred, whilst simultaneously snuggling his foot.
I loves him so I does.
Saturday 30th Jan
Went for a jaunt around town today with Laura. On the way home we stopped in a shop by her house so I could get my Guarana Antartica fix and while I was there I was scanning the shelves wondering to myself "I wonder if they have..."
"Doce de leite?" the woman said, and pointed to a shelf of jars.
A little bit of wee came out.
Now lads. Doce de leite is the most delicious thing in the face of the earth. It is in the caramel family but it is so much more than caramel. It is just heaven in a jar. Obviously I bought one, knowing full well I would be eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon and washing it down with the Guarana.
At this rate I'll be obese by Tuesday.
Sunday 31st Jan
Today I headed to Milan to see my friend Nami that I used to work with in Dublin. In the end we didn't get to meet up and said we'd meet tomorrow instead so myself and Laura continued on our spot of shopping.
"Can we pop in here a sec and I buy a rake of shite?" I said, pointing to a supermarket.
"Way ahead of you" she goes.
While waiting in the queue, arms laden with shite, a fella walked past me and goes to the fella two people in front of me:
"Do you want a'in else?"
It slid into my ear like treacle. It nourished me like mother's milk: an Irish accent.
Surely I must be mistaken?
"Nah, it's grand," the other fella goes, and turned around in his Republic of Cork hoodie.
I actually felt a bit teary. It's one thing hearing english every now and again; usually in an American or Italian accent, but to hear an Irish accent was so lovely and comforting I couldn't even describe it.
In a good mood then we headed for the train home and I was thinking to myself "On my way home now I'll get a pizza for BBB as a surprise". The poor young fella is stressed, he needs something to go with the cola bottles I got him like. Plus I have a primal need to stuff my face.
Next thing the phone rings as I'm on the train:
"Well Love I'm just gettin you a pizza-what do you want on it?"
The man is a legend.