For the love of Mildred

For the love of Mildred

Mildred my poor little Mini is not long for this world. After 299,800 km she has finally decided she has more or less, had enough. The main problem with Mildred is, (apart from the exhaust being held in place with a strong wire) she keeps overheating and throwing huge clouds of steam up in the air., much like an Italian waving their hands in the air. Personally I think Mildred is just attention seeking, because I can drive 60km or further and the car behaves, however sometimes when I stop the car, Mildred vomits her coolant all over the floor and throws clouds of steam into the air.

Mildred needs a good wash.

Mildred is pretty good at choosing the right time to make an exhibition of herself. Last month I stopped at the toll booth on the motorway near Turin, just as I handed the money to the man in his little box… Mildred decided to show off. Plumes and I mean plumes of smoke cascaded from under her bonnet. The guy in the box looked a little worried and quickly raised the barrier. I hit the accelerator and with a scream of the fan belt (wet from the steam) Mildred pulled away. I watched as the temperature gauge slowly dropped back to its normal position.

With a line of cars behind her, Mildred knew she had an audience.

This month, Mildred saved me from close scrutiny by the Carabinieri (military police), I was on my way home when the Carabinieri stopped me to do a document check. This is quite normal, I get stopped every month or so. If I am in a good mood I give them my Italian ID card, if not, I hand over my UK passport and let them figure out the information. This particular day I was happy, until I saw the men with their red lollypop sticks.

Yup! I took their photo as they checked my documents (Photo of our local police not the Carabinieri)

This time it was the Carabinieri (military police) who had decided to stop me I had just handed over my UK passport when Mildred, coughed, farted and vomited her coolant all over the road, followed by the inevitable plumes of steam. The police were understandably concerned, I smiled, accepted my passport back and said “è normale, non preoccuparti” (Its normal don’t be worried) and drove away. Wisely the Carabinieri had decided not to do a full document check.

So unfortunately, MIldred is to be pensioned off, she will probably go to the great car breakers in the sky. A good friend of mine, Miss Cinders, (so named because she has to be home before ten o’clock in the evening, thanks to the Italian Covid regulations) is not impressed that I am giving up on Mildred, she keeps hinting that Mildred is a lovely car and I should keep her. Hmm!

Mildred Sulking after I ‘parked her’ in a ditch. Look how high the rear wheel is off the ground!!!

Dear readers, please don’t tell Mildred her days are numbered, or she might decided to barf her coolant out when I am in the middle of nowhere and please don’t tell Miss Cinders I am considering keeping Mildred and restoring her to her former glory, because Miss Cinders might decide I have to spend my summer stripping the engine down, replacing the exhaust, interior head-liner and God knows what else needs changing and to be honest I would much rather be sitting by the pool drinking martini cocktails than working under a car during the summer, no matter how much I love Mildred.

Poo Poohed

We are up to our necks in snow, well almost up to our necks, maybe a little over our ankles if the truth be told. The snow that fell on Sunday is the cold wet type that freezes quickly, makes your fingers cold and the roads in Italy even more dangerous than they normally are.

On Midday Sunday the weather man warned that it would snow, the competition that Italy is running to find out if teachers like Mrs Sensible can have a proper contract was cancelled due to the forecast of heavy snow. Luigina and I looked at the beautiful blue sky and poo poohed them. Mrs Sensible washed the rugs and I hung them outside, they are still hanging there.

Frozen rugs, pure rug no horse meat

Frozen rugs.

On Monday morning on the way to work, I managed to pirouet my little Mini on the roundabout, as the car slide and slewed  towards the barriers, I could hear Mrs Sensible, she was somewhere deep in my head saying “I told you, you need to put snow tyres on your Mini” As I simultaneously asked God to stop the car from crashing and cursed the idiota who was trying to overtake my spinning car. I promised myself that I would change the tyres, immediately if not sooner.

Mrs Sensibles Car

Mrs Sensible’s Car

God answered my little prayer, both my little Mini and I survived our little spin on the roundabout. At lunch time I changed the tyres on both my impractical, but fun Mini and Mrs Sensible’s small but practical and economic Peugeot.

It was still snowing on Monday night when I was driving home,

Snow

Snow and a little pic of my thumb

My house is on the right, if the council used our taxes to install street lights, you would be able to see it. Luiginas house is also on the right. On the left is the house where the bereaved  German Shepard howls at night. The dog started howling after its mate died. The only time the dog doesn’t howl, is when Gilda, Luigina’s short but incredible fat sausage dog wanders down the road to bark at it.

One of these days the German Shepard will jump over the little garden fence and we will see how fast Gilda can actually run.

The snow effects everybody, even my hens are not very impressed, I opened the gate to let them out and they just glared at me.

Hens

Two legged egg laying machines.

Even after I walked back to check on Mrs Sensible’s rugs the hens hadn’t moved.

Hens

Hens, not the brightest animal.

My little Mini was frozen solid. The doors wouldn’t open and the wipers were frozen to the windscreen.

Pecora Nera One

Pecora Nera One

Last picture,

This is what Italy should look like,

IMG_1451

OK, admittedly this was taken on the beach, but you get the general idea. Roll on Summer.