Friday, 4 September 2009

Looming touring

I, Persiflage, am going to Italy with a friend for three weeks from next Saturday night - barring disasters - and thus my mind is not totally focussed on my blog. Instead it is making lists, and working towards getting everything organised. Some of the work is being done very systematically, others rather haphazardly, a tiny bit at a time, or as I think of them. Naturally the best laid plans of mice and Persiflage are subject to disruption by unplanned events. Far be it from me to complain - but:

The printer broke down. The ink carriage would not move, and made a fearfully alarming and horrid rattle. I sought help from my local Cartridgeworks shop, which is run by a couple of very helpful blokes. They have a man on call who mends printers, and so I heaved it down the stairs, out to the car, drove around desperately seeking a parking spot and dropped it off, and some days later got it back, all nicely mended. Somehow we managed not to need to print anything in the meantime. All was well, or so I thought.

Next it stopped printing in all colours despite the ink tanks still containing ink, so the nice men said they would clean it out for me by soaking it in some goop. (That's what they said.) It took three days, and as I had to print out my argomento for the Italian class, I connected the other printer, which is really intended for the computer I discarded when I turned to the iMac, and which Dr P uses for his card games. I felt quite techno-accomplished, despite the fact that the printer did not come with a printed cheat sheet and I had to insert a CD into the computer and follow the instructions that way. Naturally the CD did not tell me how to insert the ink tanks so that took several precious minutes. Eventually all was working, I printed the argomento, and rushed off to the class, which was the last of the series, due to the travel plans of three quarters of the class members. This class was a one-off evening class and we had a light meal, and talked so much about life, the universe, etcetera, that we never got around to my argomento, which suited me fine as it really was a rushed job.

In between usual domestic tasks and doing all my fun things (I went gathering cumquats again and made more marmalade) I am trying to pack, and to make sure everything is organised, like getting currency, making sure all my prescriptions are filled, and typing the details of the trip - the flights, the hotels and the contacts.

My new iPod needs to be filled with music and podcasts. A week went by without my using it, and then when I got it out the other day I noted the battery was low. When I tried to charge it later that day nothing happened: not a flicker of a response. I read the manual, I plugged it in and out, I jiggled it, and beat my brains out, all to no avail. My mind willow-walied about how I had only had it for five weeks and surely it could not be broken already??? Into my crowded schedule I squeezed in an appointment with a Genius at the Apple shop in the city, where the device was tested, found to be OK, got partially charged, and I was recommended to re-download iTunes. Having done that, at home, the iPod then accepted recharging. It is all very puzzling. And all these little hitches just gobble precious time.

Inspired by all this techno-success, I went to upload my latest photos. My Canberra daughter and her children came to stay last weekend (involving babysitting, making fruit and vegetable juice in my juice machine, carefully tossing a coin to determine which child had first go at inserting fruit, and then allowing four pieces per child per go before switching turns, sternly quelling incipient tantrums, joint cake and biscuit making so as to celebrate my daughter's birthday, and lots of time at the parks).

Where was I? The camera! It seemed most reluctant to upload anything, and went into total go-slow mode, before suddenly seething with activity and loading, much to my surprise, lots of old black and white baby photos which had been copied and put on a CD. Apart from the alarm it caused me, it was delightful to see all these baby photos on the computer screen and to remark upon how totally beautiful all my babies were.

The trip to Italy is happening because SD3 offered to look after her father to enable me to go, which is very kind of her. She won't be here for the entire duration, so extra help is being given by SD1 and her older son. I am trying not to panic about how they will cope as once I am on the plane there is nothing I can do about anything. The freezer is full, lots of shopping has been done, the beds will have clean sheets on them, and I will leave behind me a clean and tidy house.

Part of my preparations include visits to various physiotherapists, for my neck and head, my feet and legs and my back. In fact, there does not seem to be much of me which does not require regular treatment! Packing takes forever. I am not a light packer, and the decision making process can only be described as protracted. My mind envisages endless weather possibilities. Guidebooks must be selected, the dictionary packed, entertaining but disposable novels chosen.

I'm so excited! So much so that I am contemplating buying a new camera next week! I bet I can cope with one more techno-marvel!


Pam said...

Oh, that sounds Very Exciting! What a long way for you to go. We went to Rome a few Octobers ago and it was coolish, but very pleasant for walking around.

At least you have some nice SDs!

Happy packing.

Frogdancer said...

Have a deliciously wonderful time!

Am green with envy...

(The word verification is 'flings'. Just you behave yourself over there, young lady!!)

Anonymous said...

Oh, how wonderful! You'll have a lovely time and be able to put all that Italian into practice. We must catch up when you're back.

molly said...

Whew! I'm exhausted just reading about it! You need to slow down and breathe deeply.....Roll on Saturday! And how exciting to have an opportunity to test drive your new language skills----on natives, no less! Have a wonderful time and take lots of notes!