So you think you would like to live in Italy

This is our story, warts an' all. We have come this far since May 2004 and survived the bureaucracy, a freezing cold winter, a landslip and a diminishing money pot. Share our experiences, believe me the good ones far outweigh the bad and if you want to ask a question and we know the answer, we'll tell it like it is.

I found this little phrase in a Collins Italian Phrase Book published in 1963 ~ "passa ogni limite" pahs'sah ohn'yee lee'mee-tay which means: That's the giddy limit. Useful if there's anybody out there that quaint!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Christmas Break ~ The SHIZNIT

My husband’s son and family spent a week with us in January 2008 so we declared the week an official holiday. The race was on to finish the bedroom we had started before Christmas. Chop, chop, busy, busy, work, work, bang, bang. We stopped work the morning we were due to collect them from the airport and apart from a second coat of paint needed to one wall and a chest of drawers, grouting the tiled skirtings, fitting the door handle and a few finishing touches, we had a beautiful new bedroom ready for occupation.

Now, living fairly close to the mountains has its advantages, for one thing it’s very scenic in the winter but snow is all there is to offer here in January so with this in mind we planned to treat the kids and ourselves to some skiing lessons. Sassotetto is our nearest ski centre and as far as ski resorts go it’s not the SHIZNIT (for definition, see below) but it serves an ungainly crew of beginners quite adequately and we found ourselves taking our first faltering skids under the auspices of the very patient Pietro. Could there be anything more alien than having enormous shiny boards strapped to your feet extending backwards and frontwards and which move, by the very nature of the surface they come into contact with, of their own volition. A bike or a car has the precaution of brakes but these snaky protuberances have nothing, not even stabilisers and I can assure you that a couple of hand held sticks are not going to save your bacon. In fact, your first instinct as you are racing towards a calamity is to jettison the sticks.
If only it were as easy to jettison the skis. Anyway, all the excitement was a bit 'Bum Clenching'. The thing is, when you know how all of this can be avoided, with a simple spazzaneve (snowplough) it starts to become a bit more fun. Am I going back for more? You betchya.


My kid is the ‘SHIZNIT’. The word in this context connotes something outstanding surely. I found this wonderful little gem in a Snoop Dog ad on SKY TV. I’m a bit of a word junkie and the ‘SHIZNIT’ does it for me. So, I promptly bestowed it on our little granddaughter, Molly who is 4 years old and who has survived the ravages of chemotherapy and a host of other treatments for a neuroblastoma, emerging weakened but by no means dispirited. She doesn’t see what all the fuss is about but for me, Molly is the SHIZNIT. And just so that she understood this, we reminded her of it at least a dozen times a day. “Molly is the SHIZNIT” became our breakfast reveille, in-car chant and bedtime loony-tune. Then someone queried its meaning and although curious myself, I felt that somehow the SHIZNIT wasn’t quite going to be the SHIZNIT we all hoped it would be. We had to ‘Google’ it of course and it seems that the word is a contraction of part of the phrase:~ That’s the “S**t isn’t it” which contrary to the dictionary definition of S**t implying well.. you know what, is actually the bees bloody knees!! However, the discovery of the definition of the word rather dampened our ardour towards the use of it, (at least towards or in front of the children). Our big, beautiful Maremmano pups, who know nothing about word derivation have become the recipients of the accolade, that is when they’re not being castigated for their misdemeanours. They love being the SHIZNIT since they understand the word ‘sausage’ and think it’s related!! That’s the SHIZNIT.

Next month ~ back to work on the bunker, specifications for the garage conversion (our new home) and finding the right builders.

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