3 words... heat, ladder, plastic

Heat… I don’t think I have ever been so hot. This is a much shared sentiment. We are still in the midst of this heatwave. Codiponte, Lunigiana, Tuscany, Italy suffer. The temps are still high but, not like their headlines in last two weeks of news. Ditto for the humidity. Causes repeated costume changes after every adventure outside into the heat. Yet, the real bugaboo is the quality of the heat. It is not European. We could handle that, if it were. No. It’s African. An intense, heavy, searing… and, frightening heat from the Sahara. Difficult to tolerate. I feel to be incinerated. Then, stewed. Odd combination and not pretty, I’d like to add.

Got NO AC at il Poggiolo. Never thought to put it in. There ARE pre-AC Methods. They work too, if you’ll trust them. One must, however, let go of the ambition to be cool means to be in a deep-freeze. Learned way back from a stint in Florence during one extremely hot August to shut the shutters & windows and wait it out until 6PM. Read a book, watch a DVD. Best advice ever from a landlady. But, life calls me outdoors. Bank, grocery shopping, carpooling the Dogs for a w-a-l-k…

Have nearly stopped them. Those two characters disappear into the thick, cool underbrush… and do we blame them?… and come back carrying dead body-parts of a deer. No, thank you. Or, they trundle out of the car and then stare at me like I have just fucked up. Sorry, for the French. So, we return home to their life splayed across a cool terracotta floor, while a fan whirls air over them. Trips in the car… in general… have been suspended until further notice. So few car parks have shady parking places. And, it’s embarrassing to see The Croesus-person’s head poked out an open car window… all the car’s windows are open… and see his tongue flapping. Nothing one should project publically. I don’t want to be construed to be a Bad Mommy.

There are establishments with AC humming. My favourite grocery store is one. Lovely to be so caressed by coooool air while selecting tomatoes. Not bad either just to let others jump the check-out line while one savours the chill. People are nicer in AC. Less combative or anxious as on the road to & fro. And… Thank God… once the groceries have been lugged up the many ramps of il Poggiolo, there is plenty of ice water & beer in the frig and a fan blowing on me too.

Ladder… you all can say what you want, I don’t care in the least. Setting aside any opposition, I do feel quite strongly and am justified in relating to you that I should not have to read an instruction booklet to figure out and assemble a ladder… for cryin’ out loud… so I may attend to my urgent gardening tasks at elevations above my normal reach. Am I asking too much here? My Philosophy on this Topic is as follows… please make note:

everything should have ONLY an ON-OFF Button… or, be so clearly and directly CONSTRUCTED, so that thinking, studying or, dickering into the thing’s inner-workings WOULD NOT BE NECESSARY AT ALL. Lines must be drawn. In the sand. Sand, please.

So far to date, the challenge of the ladder has defeated me. I don’t take defeat well. Dr. You knows all about this and from the very infancy of our co-habitation. One fine day, he asked for a piece of tin foil to wrap something… a half of an onion, I believe… before putting it into the refrigerator. I pulled out the long box of 25m aluminium foil yet… and for the Life of Me… I could not detach the foil from its own roll of foil. So frustrated by this idiotic reluctance to give way, I summarily threw the entire roll of foil… in its long box too… out the Kitchen window. Rather impressed with its trajectory into the wild blue yonder. Done. Solved. Let’s move on. Sadly, I cannot do any such thing with this ladder.

This may be taken as ungenerous of me but, the ladder in question was a gift. Does it’s mechanisms look obvious to you? I am not interested in heavy-lifting or, shifting parts and pieces up & down… or over. The thing is confounding. And, have you seen the Instruction Booklet? How clever. It folds up to join the other 37 languages offered. Nevertheless of that keen advantage, it’s a back & front cryptic-cyber of tiny print AND symbols to explain what to me is A Mystery… and will likely stay A Mystery: how does the damn thing work? Oh! And guess what? Dr. You categorically refused to touch the thing! Probably afraid I’d hurl it off il Poggiolo’s Scenic Overlook. Could be an idea.

Plastic… this is going to be quick… One of many aspects is plastic’s malleability. Not so with the Chinese version used to wrap rolls of caning I had bought at the new Bricofer store. The store is very giallo and is practically across the street from my favourite grocery store, where I recently discovered that I am entitled to a Senior Citizen Discount of 10%. How about that? The three rolls were semi-denuded of their plastic Chinese wrappings. The stuff was crunchy, crinkly, brittle. No wonder. Better to have had none and kept the rolls round with huge Chinese rubber-bands. Oh no, not a good idea… at all.