Photos of the Day – When stairs are faster than the elevator

I don’t normally re blog but this is a brilliant post on the madness of Italy

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How Pecora Nera wooed Mrs Sensible or a Valentines Post ♥ ♥♥

Mrs Sensible is often asked why she married me, this normally happens when her friends notice I am wearing my beloved flip-flops, instead of some very expensive designed shoes. Today I will tell you how I met Mrs Sensible.

Nice but I l prefer my flip flops

Nice but I l prefer my flip flops

On Monday 17th February 2003 * I walked into Maso Italian Restaurant in Sheffield and guess who our waitress was, none other than the beautiful Mrs Sensible. I was dinning with friends from work and so I was on my best behavior.  The food was great, but I hardly noticed the grilled salmon with king prawns, followed by pana cotta or the glass of tobato that accompanied the meal, because I infatuated with our waitress.

So infatuated, that I returned the following day to the restaurant and ordered peppered steak with a side salad of greens, gelato for desert and of course a glass of tobato. The delightful Mrs Sensible was once again my waitress. As I dreamily gazed across the restaurant and watched Mrs Sensible clear a table or serve somebody else, I decided to ask her out on a date, maybe not tonight but definitely as soon as I had plucked up enough courage. … The following night was a complete disaster, the food as always was wonderful, the wine was great and the owner introduced me to the pleasure of Grappa, but  Mrs Sensible was nowhere to be seen, it was her day off .

Sorry Pecora Nera, Mrs Sensible is washing her hair.

Pecora Nera is devastated that Mrs S in not working

Over the following three weeks I managed to accomplish a number of things, 1) I had eaten every possible combination of dishes from the menu. 2) I had worked out the staff rota and booked a table only when I knew Mrs sensible was working. 3) I almost plucked up enough courage to ask her out.

Eventually I asked Mrs S out on a date, as I waited with bated breath for her reply, she told me it wasn’t possible as she needed to wash her hair.

Mrs Sensible at home washing her hair

Mrs Sensible at home washing her hair

Later that week I tried again and asked her to come for a meal with some friends of mine, she didn’t know that I had asked my friend to arrange the meal with the sole purpose of inviting Mrs S. The meal was great, the wine was fantastic and as I sat talking with my friends, Mrs S was sat at her house, once again washing her hair……   I knew this situation could not continue. Eating at Maso Restaurant 3 to 4 times a week was playing havoc with my bank balance and my waist line.

One evening Mrs S told me she was flying back to Sicily, nice I said, when are you going and more importantly when will you return? She told me she was leaving at the end of the month and she didn’t think she would return…….. I had less than thirty days to woo Mrs Sensible and the clock was ticking.

Pecora Nera had 30 days to woo Mrs Sensible

Pecora Nera had 27 days to woo Mrs Sensible

When Mrs S brought me my glass of grappa, I once again asked her to go out for a meal with me, I explained that she was leaving in less than 27 days and taking her for a meal was just my way of saying goodbye. Amazingly Mrs S agreed, she told me she missed pizza cooked in a wood fired oven, if I could find a pizzeria that has a wood fired oven she would eat there with me.

A proper pizza oven

A proper pizza oven

Over the next 24 hours I phoned every pizzeria in Sheffield and Rotherham. Everyone said, no we use gas / electric but our pizza is great. I widened my search to include Leeds, Chesterfield, Barnsley, York, Hull and Grimsby all to no avail. In desperation I drove to Maso and told Mario about my quest. He laughed and laughed and laughed some more.  As we shared a bottle of Ichnusa (one of the finest bottled beers) he explained that wood burning pizza ovens are illegal in the UK and Mrs Sensible knew!

I wore out many

Have you any idea, how many Pizzerias there are in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Linconshire, that don’t have wood burning ovens?

Appealing to Mrs Sensible’s better nature, I declared the quest null and void and told her she had cheated. Eventually with 25 days before she flew home, I managed to convinced Mrs S to have a meal with me at a fantastic traditional Italian restaurant. I explained that all the staff were Italian and although the ovens were gas-fired, the food was wonderful.

Finally after three months of wooing Mrs Sensible we were finally on our first date, as Mrs Sensible talked to the waiter in Italian, I ask my dad to pass the wine. I caught the tail end of the waiters conversation with Mrs S, it went something like this “ no no I am Spaniard, the owner is Spanish, we are all Spanish, the food is Italian but we are all Spaniards.

Did I forget to mention that Mrs Sensible brought a chaperon to the restaurant and I had to phone my dad to see if he would make up a foursome……

* Mrs Sensible told me the date.

This is a C.O.S.I post, each month the COSI group choose a subject to write about. Please follow the links and check out their marvelous posts.

If you want to join in the fun, use our hashtag #COSItaly

Mrs Sensible, Peggy Sue and Billy Brown

My singing has the ability to make Mrs Sensible weep; she becomes very emotional as I attempt to sing in tune, my spectacular warbling ability and the way I drift from one note to another has often left her in tears of anguish.

This morning I awoke to a glorious sunny day rainy overcast day, as I stepped into the shower, the hit song Peggy Sue by Buddy Holly just floated into my mind and I started to sing, not just sing but with amazing gusto.

Peggy Sue image Wiki

Peggy Sue  image Wiki

Meanwhile Mrs S was in the bathroom on the top floor probably crying into her face cloth and trying to drown out my singing. I don’t know if you remember Peggy Sue, but the lyrics go something like this.

♪, ♫ Peggy Sue Peggy Sue, Peggy Peggy Peggy Peggy Peggy Sue ♪, ♫

Oooh hooo Peggy, ♪, ♫ my Peggy Sue  ooo hoo hoo ooooo.♪, ♫

This above is repeated as many times as you like, however it is advisable to stop when Mrs S starts to brandish her wet wooden spoon.

Let’s quickly back track to ten years ago, when  Mrs Sensible took me to her church in Sicily. While I was finding a parking space for her car, she had found a space in the front pew with her friends, as she told them her news from England, I was left to find a place to sit by myself further back in the church. Part way through the service the congregation stood to sing a hymn, I naturally stood with them and as they started to sing I hummed along with them. It was at this point that a kind gentleman, who was stood behind me, passed me his Italian hymn book.

I have been known to empty churches with my singing

I have been known to empty churches with my singing

Now please try to picture the scene, I am completely tone-deaf and at that point in my life, my Italian language skills had reached the dizzying heights of Si, Non, Grazie and Ciao. But in for a penny in for a pound, I sang with Gusto. I felt completely uplifted and at one with the rest of the congregation.  It was only when three young girls who were sitting in the pew in front, turned around with looks of complete astonishment and amusement that I realised that I had completely murdered the hymn. However I gamely sang on, swapping to the English version of the hymn when I knew I had no chance at pronouncing the words in the Hymn book. It is a lucky thing that forgiveness plays a large part of the Christian faith.

I knew from the look of shock

I knew from the look of shock, that my singing needed a little improvement.

Back to this morning, as I drove Mrs S to work, once again the song Peggy Sue entered my mind and there is nothing more satisfying than driving down winding Italian country roads, singing your favourite song with the love of your life sat next to you, even if she does have her fingers in her ears.

Mrs Sensible told me, that while she was in the bathroom, my singing had reminded her of another song, but by the Beatles, alas she couldn’t remember how the song went.  I immediately burst into an impromptu melody of Beatles songs and even added a verse or two from Oh Billy Brown by Mika. None of this helped to stir Mrs Sensible’s memory.

After dropping Mrs Sensible at her school where she is teaching her chilblains English and how not to pick their noses while in her class,  I drove off to  my office situated at the Bar in Fubine, After I booted my laptop I quickly googled Peggy and Beatles, amazingly Paul Mc Cartney did a cover version of Peggy Sue. This surely must be the song Mrs S was thinking about. As I drink my cappuccino I can only wonder why my cover version of Peggy Sue didn’t jog her memory.

If you too can’t hold a tune, this link may help you

On the 13th of this month I will upload a valentines post, Entitled Mrs Sensible and the Pizza oven, this is part of the joint blogging posts with the C.O.S.I group and if I get time I will also upload the latest installment on the Telecom Italia fiasco.