I can pretty much cope with anything, I believe I’m able to adjust to most things and I think it’s these traits that have enabled me to settle in another country. Here in Italy you have to be adaptable, one day the road may be closed without notice for a cycle race, the electricity may be turned of for an hour or so and during really hot weather the water supply may be restricted. These things might appear to others as inconveniences, and I’m sure people would be up in arms in England if they woke to find their water supply turned off just to conserve water: It’s the Italian equivalent of the ‘hose-pipe ban’.
I’ve actually found this relaxed attitude has helped my OCD to settle down. Okay so I still only write my notes with a Steadtler pencil and have different types of cutlery for different types of meals, but other unfathomable traits have disappeared, I no longer have my shoe episodes, and recently I measured the wall for our wall lights, they were fitted yesterday and they are not level, in fact one is a tad wonky too. Months ago this would have been a major issue for me, so my partner was surprised when the builder asked me if he should reposition them and my response was, “Nah, they’re okay. Niente problemo.”
Since moving here I think I’ve coped with Italy’s foibles quite well. My neighbour at the top of the lane had a tin shed, now despite it being an eyesore, it never really bothered me, that was until today. The council have sent some workmen to clean our road, they’re digging up the potholes and making good the surface, following on from the major resurfacing further down I imagine. There’s been a couple of men with hedge cutters and strimmers tidying up the vegetation and we’ve even had a vehicle that can only be described as a giant vacuum cleaner on wheels, drive along slowly sucking up the environmental detritus.
SO I pop to the shop, remembering to get there while its quiet, as it’s bonkers around 4pm. I’m driving down our newly cleaned road with, Melanie Fiona singing Running on the iPod, enjoying the breeze sucked into the car through the open windows. I make my purchases and return to discover the unsightly shed has gone. At first I’m a tad confused almost driving past the turn to our house. I get out of my car and my neighbour tells me one of the council workers has removed it with a JCB digger. At first I think well the lane will look better now, maybe the space will be good for more parking, maybe… Then I spot where the shed has been removed to, a short way down my road and it now sits perched upon a derelict house. A few expletives issue forth and as the JCB driver returns he’s faced with an irate Englishman. He looks at me, wondering why I’m upset, our builder wades in and explains to him that he’s just dumped it on private property, as the land belongs to another neighbour. I mention the Forestale (environmental police) and still he can’t see what the problem is.
So every morning I shall be greeted to the rusting heap of metal as usual, only now it’s closer to my house. I failed to see the irony when a passing Romanian asked me it we had any scrap metal.
I imagine there’ll be several phone calls to the council over the next few days.