Thursday, 17 January 2008

Episode 4 - All of a flutter

I love this time of day, the intense heat has gone from the sun and the rosemary bushes that line the roadside are pumping out their wonderful heady aroma into the warm air. Walking back up the hill from the committee meeting I have to admit that I am secretly hoping that I might see Paolo working in his fields.

Just the thought of seeing all that bare flesh as he digs the earth is enough to make me break out in a sweat. He is so handsome, in a rugged, unshaven kind of way. Admittedly he’s past the first flush of youth, but then again I’m no spring chicken.

‘Buenos sierra Signora’

Where the hell was he hiding? - ‘Hi Paolo, how are you today’

‘I’m well Signora but you are looking very thoughtful, are you sad?’

No, no not at all, I’ve just been to a meeting about the summer fete for the donkey sanctuary and have volunteered to do the catering’ - why am I telling him all this? - ‘and I was just thinking about menus’, - shut up woman, you are rabbiting.

Oh my, he looks so handsome standing there in his ragged jeans and bare chested with just a little kerchief around his neck. Concentrate you fool, he’s talking to you.- ‘I’m sorry, I’m just a little preoccupied and please Paolo will you call me Fliss, Signora makes me feel so old’

‘Oh Flees’ he laughed ‘nobody could ever think that you were old’

If I don’t stop grinning and blushing he is going to think that I’m simple. This is ridiculous. I haven’t felt this giggly since I was a school girl. Think of something intelligent to say to him – foolish woman!

‘What are you planting? – is that really the best I can do?

‘Potatoes and onions, I will give you some when they have grown if you like’

‘Oh yes please that would be lovely’ I answer distractedly as I stare at the smudge of dirt on his cheek, how wonderful would it be to reach over and gently wipe it away….Pull yourself together woman! ‘I’m sorry I must get going’ I stammer. ‘I have arranged to phone my daughters tonight and they will be wondering where I am’- ‘where I am’, oh good god woman now you really do sound a fool.

Paolo looked straight into my eyes as if he could read my mind and smiling said ‘Goodbye Flees, I hope to see you again soon’

As I start to walk away I glance over my shoulder, he is still standing there leaning on his hoe and smiling at me. I smile back and wave, just a little wave, before hurrying away. Why is it that he can make me feel so, I don’t know, tingly, when all he is offering is vegetables, get a grip woman!


‘But Mum I have explained all this to you, our flight is due in at 5pm and I will get a taxi from the airport. Please don’t drive out to meet us, your car just isn’t big enough for us all plus luggage. I did tell you at the time that an estate car would have been far more practical out in Spain

Why did every conversation with Sophie make me feel like a silly schoolgirl?

‘The girls will probably be tired after the journey so a light supper and early to bed would be best’

‘Sophie darling surely they will be far too excited for that. I was hoping for a BBQ around the pool, I don’t get much chance to use the BBQ with Dad being away during the week’

‘The last thing I need is two overtired children under my feet all evening. No Mum I think that an early night would be best, so if I could leave it with you to arrange the supper please. Oh and before I forget, have you told Ella about the present yet?’

‘No Sophie’ I sighed ‘I did think that you would be arranging your Father’s present between you’

‘You know what a scatter brain Ella is Mum, and I just don’t have the time to run around after her. So if you could phone her please and say that I will send her a cheque for my half of the present but she will have to arrange to collect it’

Sophie thinks that Martin would like to have flying lessons when he is in the UK, but she wants Ella to arrange them.

‘Sophie darling you know that Ella is really busy at work at the moment, I’m not sure that she will have time to get down to the flying school’

‘And I do?’ she shrieked ‘do you realise what it is like having a career and children? For heavens sake Ella only has herself to look after and she doesn’t seem to do that very well!’

I just don’t have the energy to argue with Sophie tonight, so I agree to speak to Ella for her, just as she knew I would.


‘So, Sophie has got you to do her dirty work yet again has she Mum?’ sighed Ella ‘When will you learn to say no to her?’

‘Ella, please no more arguments, if you want, I will arrange the lessons and ask them to just bill you’

‘Oh no Mum I won’t have it said that I don’t have the time for my Father. I will just have to make the time this weekend and hope that my car will manage the round trip down to Kent

As usual I feel emotionally rung out after talking to the girls.

Well that’s it; I’m not going to sit here on my own brooding about them all evening. Bugger the diet, I deserve a little treat, supper in the village at Maria’s sounds just right. Let’s face it I can always power walk back up the hill to burn off the calories. (Well maybe not in these shoes!)