Archive for the ‘Old Timers’ Category

None The Wiser


Tired Old Tales for Thursdays

Status Viatoris

status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

SV: Good afternoon! How are you today?

Little Old Italian Lady:Well, you know how it is. Bad back, bad legs, bad eyes. Very tired. Can’t sleep. Weather’s a bit too hot and a bit too cold. Fell downstairs last year. Doctors say I’m too old to fix.

SV: Ummmmm. Oh dear.

Little Old Italian Lady: There was a woman here looking for you yesterday.

SV: Really?

Little Old Italian Lady: Yup. Asked me if I’d seen the lady who’s always walking her dog.

SV: Well, not always, I sometimes do other things as well…

Little Old Italian Lady: So I told her I hadn’t seen you.

SV: Are you sure she was looking for me?

Little Old Italian Lady: Definitely. Lady who’s always walking her dog, she said.

SV: Hmmmm. What was she like?

Little Old Italian…

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Doing the Piazza Rock


Weary Wanderings for Wednesdays

Status Viatoris

status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

The village festa season seems to be suffering from a few fits and starts this year, if reports of last year’s back to back parties in the piazza are to be believed.

A few weeks ago it kicked off with a night of somewhat eclectic musical tastes from the live band. Old style waltzes and paso dobles, so beloved of gentlefolk ‘d’un certain âge’ in villages the length and breadth of France, and apparently also Italy, joined forces with 80’s rock anthems and 60’s ballads, with the odd Latin American ditty thrown in for added piquancy.

Excessive amounts of beer and constant urging from my Argentine neighbour had me up on the dance floor for much of the night, but even my efforts could not compare with the star of the evening. He must have been ninety if…

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To Old Friends


Tired Old Tales for Tuesdays.

Status Viatoris

One of the most uplifting sights that greets me on my way home from work, rain or shine, is that of the local village ladies out for their afternoon leg stretch.

Even the springiest of these particular chickens is probably pushing eighty, and I am not even going to guess how many seasons some of the others have seen come and go.

Cardies or shawls over blouses, skirts just below the knee, woollen socks over legs bandied by age, and sensible shoes (sometimes even Wellington boots) are the order of the day; the perfect get-up for a leisurely promenade with lifelong friends.

I pass them, sometimes miles from the village, gazing out over the valley. One or other of them will be gesticulating, the others nodding as they stare towards a faraway point.

I wonder what they’re actually seeing. The countryside as it is now, or is their minds’ eye…

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Ticking Along


status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

As thrilled as you no doubt all were (cough, cough) to catch up with my news last week, I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be a few out there who are currently tapping their fingers, whilst muttering:

“Yes, yes. That’s all very well, but what about Pooch?”

And quite right too… What about me?

So you will be relieved to hear that Pooch is, well…. as Poochy, as ever.

Perhaps even more so on occasion.

He is also exceedingly relieved to have bid goodbye to the ghastly summer heat, which has been particularly punishing on a boy of nearly twelve, and which has led to the fur on each knobbly little elbow being rubbed into extinction by hours spent lolling dolefully on unforgiving floor tiles.

Too much embarrassing personal information, Mummy!

And it would appear that floor tiles and arthriticky hips are also a ill-advised partnership; all of which meant that by the time the temperatures began to descend to more manageable levels, our dear Pooch was quite reduced to a hobbly, panty, bald-in-patches shadow of his former self.

But despite his previously palpable misery, a couple of cooler weeks was all it took to get Mummy’s Little Soldier back to his irrepressible best.

Just the memory is enough to make me feel faint. Dash and get me another snacklet to perk me up, Mummy, there’s a poppet.

As wonderfully joyful and bouncy as he is, the fact that Pooch will be twelve this December is  never far from my mind. And being that I am one of Life’s worriers-about-every-wee-thing, I have for a while now been prone to panic at the slightest limp, sneeze or shake of his head.

Other than regular exercise, food supplements and eventually medication, I have been assured that there is absolutely nothing further I can do to ease the path of the arthriticky hips.

The squidgy lumps that have sprung up hither and thither are apparently harmless fatty lipoma, and the milky eyes are a result age-related lenticular sclerosis – aka nothing serious.

But there was no getting away from the fact that sooner or later there would be SOMETHING, and after a routine heart scan I was finally given the news I have been dreading since February 2001 when this amazing little creature became part of my life.

Pooch has a myocardial tumour.


Taking cells for a biopsy would be a risky procedure in itself, and even if it was discovered to be cancerous, removing a tumour from a dog’s heart is not an option. Chemotherapy is also known to have little or no effect on this sort of growth.

And anyway, the scans do seem to indicate that the tumour is a benign fibroma.

Pooch is currently showing very few symptoms other than a bit of a cough and slightly raised blood pressure, so hopefully the progression of this hateful mass will be slow.

But progress it eventually will; affecting his heart and lung function, with the obviously fatal consequences.

Having to come to terms with the irrefutable evidence that my beloved dog is not going to live forever, or even as long as I had started to hope given the astounding longevity of some of the local hounds, is ridiculously hard.

But I mustn’t let my sadness impinge on his right to the happiest life possible, so fingers crossed he puts the recent frenzy of hugging down to his ever-increasing cutesy wootsiness, and not my desperation to hold him close for as long as I still can.

This is Status Viatoris, hoping that the cardiologist appointment in six-month’s time indicates a less than speedy decline, in Italy.

83 Shades of Blue Grey


status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

Hectic busyness combined with a sudden but severe inspiration drought are the two components responsible for keeping me from these pages. But I must confess that once the feelings of guilt lessened, I very much enjoyed this mega break from the blogosphere.

However the time has come to set my scribbles in motion once again, and what better way to get back on the blogatory horse than with a tale or two of geriatric lovin’.

Well ok, not geriatric lovin’ exactly, more stories recently (and slightly disturbingly) recounted to me by a lady who is now well into her eighties.

Like the time she was sitting in the piazza with a group of her similarly aged lady friends discussing the losing of their virginities:

“And one lady – ninety-four she is – told us that her marriage couldn’t be consummated on their wedding night because her new husband was expecting to be confronted a hole like this” (at which point the narrator joins thumb and forefinger to form a circle) “and when he couldn’t see anything similar, he declared he had no idea where his whatnot was supposed to go!”

Break for much gasping and wheezing.

“Well we all laughed and laughed at that, even though we were in public!”

And then:

“Another one of the ladies told us about the time she went to the loo in front of her three-year old granddaughter, who told her she really needed to go to the barber because her lady bits had grown a beard!”

Leading to:

“I wasn’t scared, even though I’d never seen one before. Neither me or my husband really had much of an idea what to do, but we eventually figured out where everything went.”

Not forgetting:

“And I said to my husband – well if you really insist on doing it, make sure you pull out; the baby’s only little and I was as sick as anything for the first five months of pregnancy – but he didn’t.”

Which led to:

“So my daughter was born when my son was still breastfeeding. She ripped me to shreds but the doctor wouldn’t give me any stitches so soon after the other birth and I walked bent over double for nearly a year.”

And as an afterthought:

“And my paternal grandmother was a saint, although I never met her because my father was 13 when she died. She always wore bloomers down to her knees; no indecently short undergarments for her. A real saint.”

This is Status Viatoris, wondering who needs “Mummy Porn” when the great-grandmotherly stuff is so much more entertaining, in Italy.

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