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La Signora

January 21, 2016 Leave a comment
At least the dogs think something to me ...

At least the dogs think something to me …

I spent a long time last night taking my sprayer to pieces and cleaning all the little bits, but so as not to go the same way as yesterday, I phoned the family-run business where I bought it years ago.

As usual, they recognised my voice. (And advised me to use hot water to mix the ingredients, which worked.)

Is my speech that distinctive, though? Everyone always recognises my voice. I can never be anonymous even if I want to be.

There are few foreigners in this part of Italy, it’s true, and my accent starts peeping through after the first greeting or so. Also I have a slight lisp.

You’d perhaps expect people to know me by name – Damaris, or Signora West. But no-one can cope with either my first name (mangled variously as Daminus or Daramis if they even make the effort) or my surname because ‘w’ in Italian is virtually non-existent.

So who am I? I’m LA SIGNORA!! (The lady.)

(Add the epithet English, American, Dutch or German as the fancy takes you because people often mistake my nationality.)

Even Clive fairs better than me – probably because he’s less tolerant.

So ‘la signora’ phoned; ‘la signora’ will do it; give it to ‘la signora’.

People call out to me: “Signora!” Even people I’ve known for years have no other way of addressing me.

Ah well. The dogs think something to me. My smell, mainly …

Blowing raspberries

July 1, 2013 4 comments
A bunch of red roses

A bunch of red roses

We don’t have any raspberries so roses will have to do. This is the saga from today.

I left Chokri in the middle of jobs which needed lots of tools and materials, Clive tearing his hair out because of a poor internet connection, and Galileo petrified somewhere on the hillside.

I had to pick up an already completed tax form.

Just as I got to the relevant offices in Valtopina, a woman whisked into the room and then didn’t come out.

The people around me didn’t even notice as they chatted and caught up on each others’ ailments.

A spry old man droned incomprehensibly at me until suddenly I heard: “But women are absolute tigers. They’re hyenas. They’re a completely different species from men…” I wish I’d heard the lead-up!

I remarked to the people near me that I was picking up a form and had been advised to knock.

I knocked, and caught the previous entrant mid-chat, wasting everybody’s time.

The officiator didn’t have her reading glasses; didn’t know where I should sign; needed to make a phonecall on my behalf but couldn’t see to dial the number and anyway her mobile had run out of juice. It all took more time than it should have done.

I emerged to a hostile gathering. One woman said in a voice for all to hear: “You may jump queues like this in England but you don’t here.”

I bit back that England had nothing to do with it. I know from experience that making apologies or excuses only fans the flame of indignation.

I’d obviously been discussed because my nationality was correct – I’m normally known as American, German, Dutch – anything but English!

If I could burp on command like David Bowie’s ideal woman, I would have done.