Eeeh, it’s good to be back.
She lies, through clenched, Chianti-stained teeth.
It isn’t. It just SO isn’t.
Returning to everyday life after a two-week holiday is always a blues-inducer – of indigo proportions.
An hour after walking through the front door and the memories of carefree, sun-soaked days and balmy, romantic nights with the man you’ve remembered why you married are rapidly being buried beneath a mountain of unopened mail and three loads of sweat and suncream-scented laundry.
At your desk the next day, your stress-levels have shot skyward by lunchtime. You feel that knot in your stomach and reach for the office biscuit stash, but in reality, it’s anxiety pitter-pattering in your abdomen.
Yes, your holiday is in its grave, resting un-peacefully until you can afford another one next year. I neither live to work or work to live. Work to holiday, that’s me.
And this time, the blues were almost navy – because we’d been to Italy.
Why can’t I live there? Why wasn’t I BORN Italian? Everything, bar Silvio Berlusconi, is so stunningly beautiful. From the clothes to the food, the scenery to the shopping, the wine to the waiters.
Honest to God, the vast majority of them look like the grandsons of latter-day movie idols. High-cheeked, golden-skinned, deep, dark eyes flashing lashes Katie Price would sell her soul for (had it not been contracted out to OK! magazine), they’re as hot, as intense and as stimulating as their dinky espressos.
Unlike the lecherous Turks, the chirpy and flamboyant Greeks beckoning diners with flirtatious banter, or the French, haughtily ignoring anyone non-native, an Italian’s style of service is akin to seduction.
They move with a slow, sinuous grace. You don’t even realise the gorgeous boy, resplendent in his crisp, white shirt, is at your elbow until he hands you the menu and softly croons “Buona sera, senora” in your shell-like (I so hope they didn’t notice the hearing aid). Though even if one of the gorgeous boys did have a Mrs Robinson fantasy, I expect he’d want his hot momma like his pizza; thin and crispy, not stuffed-crust.
I’ve gone on about the waiters too much, haven’t I?
I’m sounding like drooling Dorien from Birds of a Feather. Which is particularly wrong, considering most of those beautiful boys must have been the same age as my son.
My boy, my boy... Him, the dog and the chickens were the only things I didn’t truly ever switch off from. Were they eating? Were they being let out in the morning and being put to bed at night?
Day 12 is usually my Turning Point Day, when I suddenly miss home and yearn for a freshly-laid poached egg on toast, my own bed and my garden.
Though, this time, while indeed I was proper fretting for my odd little famiglia, I couldn’t give a stuff about the rest of it.
There has to be a way of persuading five hens, an extremely hairy dog and a strong 22-year-old to live the dolce vita...