Pecora Nera, What have you done with my hairdryer?

Erh! Packed it.

Mrs Sensible: We don’t move house for another 3 months…

Uh Huh,

Mrs Sensible: Go and unpack it.


Mrs Sensible: Do it.

Mrs Sensible's hairdryer rescued from the box

Mrs Sensible’s hairdryer rescued from the box

I have been absent, once again from bloggoland because I am in the midst of a packing frenzy, plus other distractions that I will come to in a minute. We currently live in a house that was renovated by a man who had a fetish for light switches. Honest I am not kidding, in our lounge there are 12 switches on the wall and only one light bulb in the ceiling.  Over the past four years we have worked out that we can operate the kitchen, lounge, bathroom, hallway and outside lights from the bank of switches in the lounge.

A bank of 5 switches, we also have a bank of 3 on the other side of the settee and a bank of 4 on the other wall

A bank of 5 switches, we also have a bank of 3 on the other side of the settee and a bank of 4 on the other wall

In the hallway I have 2 lights in the ceiling and another 11 switches, you may be asking yourself what all the fuss is about; well let me enlighten you. In Northern Italy it gets pretty cold in the winter and when I get out of bed to visit the bathroom it can take 5 minutes to work out which switch will operate the light I need, while I am dancing on the cold floor growling at the light switches, Mrs Sensible is telling me off for walking on cold tilled floors in bare feet and all I needed was a wee…. not some sensible advice.

I am also positive that Luigina (the nice lady who lives next door)  is well aware that I am about to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, not because she can hear me cursing the light switches, but because she can see the exterior lights flash on and off followed by the kitchen light the lounge light one of the bedroom lights and finally if I am lucky the hall light.

Someone, anyone please switch on the light

Someone, anyone please switch on the light!!


Over the past 4 years Mrs Sensible has managed to work out which switch where, operates which light; there is however, one switch that even Mrs Sensible doesn’t know the function of. I think it controls the light in Luigina’s bathroom, and every so often I give it a little flick, but so far I haven’t heard her scream.

So we are on the move to our new house, I am very excited and have packed my books, pictures, pots and pans. I have also unpacked pots and pans the occasional hairdryer and one or two other things that Mrs Sensible thought that she had lost.

On top of the grand move to our new house, I have started a new business with an Italian friend. I firmly believe that any person who wants to open a business should be passionate about his product. Mrs Sensible vetoed the idea of importing Bacon Butties, she also vetoed skimpy underwear which left me with crisps.

Maria our garage attendant

Maria Grazia Cucinotta from the great Italian film  il postino. I am told she wears skimpy underwear.

So here is a shameless plug for my new business.

Brown Bag Crisps

Brown Bag Crisps

Please come and have a look at us at  and join us at our facebook page

PS. I think I had better go and unpack that Scabby White Cat.




73 thoughts on “Pecora Nera, What have you done with my hairdryer?

  1. Welcome back 🙂 and how fun your new business. Love a handful of those right now 😉 Anyway, good luck with both the business and the new place with 3 houses, 3 dogs and no chickens…. But are sure you want to go to a place without chickens?? :p


    • Hi Jenny,
      Everyone is worried, except the cat. yesterday I was drawing up plans on how to catnap him, late yesterday evening he scratched me, so I am now trying to convince Mrs S that he likes living in Berroni and the scratch was a sign.


  2. If I had a business that involved “crisps” which we Americans blatantly call “potato chips” I would be bigger than your house and totally out of business having eaten all the inventory. I desperately try not to bring them into the house. Sometimes I even succeed. Sort of like you and wine/grappa.
    Yes, leave the car door open…or that final box and Scooby can just hop in and happen to appear at your new place.


    • If I leave the cat here, I will have to write about something sensible, maybe an exposé on how the Italian police function over here, or if an Italian live without a bidet


  3. Happy moving and happy new business venture!! I can’t wait to click over to check out—potato chips eh—never would have thought the Italians keen on such—but perhaps it’s just novel enough to appeal to their sense of daily chaotic living —and by all means you are taking Scooby Do with you!!
    Now if I could find those “crisps”, aka chips, here in the States….they look most tasty!!
    Good luck with the latest transition—if living in Italy wasn’t simply enough transition for you—hence the 12 switches to do a single job!
    Ciao Ciao–cookie (as in biscuit 😉 )


    • Ciao Cookie,
      Italians eat crisps, the manufactures make lots of different shaped crisps big salted crisps, square salted crisps, in fact any shape of salted crisp. They just don’t produce Bacon or Cheese and onion or my fav Salt and Vinegar.

      You would howl with laughter if you listened to my sales pitch….. I am still trying to string words together and grappa, vino, and dovè mio moglia is not very useful in selling crisps.


    • They are really tasty, the manufactures make the crisps with real ingredients, ie cheese and onion not chemicals that taste like cheese and onion. I love them and they have won awards for their great taste.


  4. I’m sure the scabby white cat has already torn a hole in the box and is plotting revenge against you as I type. As to going to the toilet in the middle of the night – I learned long ago that to avoid waking sleeping children, you need to wait for your eyes to adjust and go in the dark.
    Good luck with your new venture 🙂


    • If I waited until my eyes adjusted, I would freeze to death in the winter 🙂 Before I spent 2 years trying to convince Mrs Sensible to live in Italy, I was under the false impression that Italy was hot….. It is flipping freezing in the winter, add to that no carpets, only tiled floors and a wood burning fire.

      We do have radiators, but gas is so expensive here, it would cost 600 euros a month just to heat the house.

      Maybe I need some of those night sight goggles that the army use.


  5. And for nocturnal needs….wouldn’t it help to keep a torch aka flashlight by the bed? It would help with all those switches.
    They had something similar in the apartment I rented in Venice. I’ve stayed there twice, for a month each time and still could never remember which switch governed which light. I learned to navigate by the light reflected in from the canal.


  6. I sure hope your scheme to take Scooby with you works out. It doesn’t sound as though the ‘owners’ really care much about the lad.

    I hope I get to eat some of your potato chips next time I have a spritz somewhere in Venice. They typically put a bowl of temptation on the table with your drink. I’ll tell them about your brand.


    • We have just started negotiating with a couple of national distributors, so with a bit of luck you may find our crisps in Venice. A friend of mine lives in Vicenza and we shipped 2 mixed boxes by TNT to her. There is a great photo of her kids with the crisps on our facebook site.


  7. No way! I just read that article on The Local’s web site last night. I didn’t register the names. It’s you! Best of luck with your new venture. As I’m sure Mrs. Sensible will tell you, every glass of wine needs a snack to go with it.

    p.s. Doesn’t the draught from the hairdryer cause cervicale?


    • Ha ha ha! I never realised that the millions of cases of cervicale could be caused by the hairdryer. Maybe I had better re pack it.

      It was good of The Local to do the interview.


  8. Ha, this post made my evening! Latvians also veer towards overkill in the light switch/socket department! Though I always have my slippers beside my bed so it’s not so much of an issue in the middle of the night 😉 Congrats on the new business! I was wondering why you’d bought all those crisps – massive diet fail 😉


  9. Hope you’ve settled into the new house along with Scooby/Scabby doo? Hope the business is taking off too… they look and sound delicious… I’m terrible with crisps, once I start munching I find it very hard to stop! 🙂


      • Scooby Doo wants to go with you… he has adopted you and Mrs S… cats instinctively go where they feel comfortable! If you end up getting your dog that you’re pining for… there’s a great saying that goes… ‘Women and their cats will do as they please, so Men and their dogs should just get use to it!’ 🙂


        • Last week I was stroking Scooby Doo, he was purring quite contentedly and then for no apparent reason he did a 360° spin grabbed my arm in his claws and sunk his teeth into my arm.

          When I complained to Mrs Sensible (HER THAT LOVES THE SCABBY WHITE CAT) she asked me “were you tormenting the cat”
          Me!!! tormenting the cat. The last time I tormented him was after he clawed me and I retaliated with the hosepipe.


    • I didn’t seal it in a box deliberately, I was just getting a tad giddy and excited about the big move…. and next minute Mrs Sensible couldn’t find anything.

      I will need some luck with the crisps, or somewhere to hide them until i have sold them.


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