The Solar System

… Is anybody out there?… 

Trolls or no trolls it doesn’t matter. I wanted to add this Funny because it made me and Thing 1 laugh so much. 

Thing 2 has been learning about the solar system at nursery. He loves it and is truly obsessed. He’s made a solar system mobile for his room. He draws the planets all the time and he’s constantly talking about them and asking questions. It’s ENTHUSIASM in capitals and it’s just great to see him like this. It’s also very sweet as he’s only just six and so Venus is veenee-us and Pluto is BL-uto and URANUS … Well…. Uranus which was u-rah-nus became ‘you’re anus’ yesterday:-

“Thing 1!!! How big is “Uranus”. Does it have strong winds like Mercury? And poisonous gases? Does “Uranus” have poisonous gases”

I’m afraid to say Thing 1 saw the funny side and couldn’t stop laughing. Thing 2 got upset but insists he will continue to pronounce “Uranus” his way.

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Cats got my tongue…

The internet trolls have got to me. Sob sob…. It had to happen sooner or later I guess. But i’ll be honest, I’m really reluctant to write anything anymore. Their vicious words know no bounds and whilst I don’t really care what such ugly hearted people think, I do find that their comments do get to me. So there you have it, that’s why I haven’t been writing. I didn’t want to write anything about it, imagining it would set them off again, but I felt I should offer something by way of explanation to all you followers who have only ever been lovely, supportive and friendly. 

Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year. 

Love, Fanny P. xoxo

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Sunday Smile


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Proud Tears

Today I couldn’t be prouder. Today I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.  

You may or may not know about Thing 1’s concern for the refugees arriving on this country’s shores. It’s been troubling for a while … The fact that his daddy was a refugee brings the plight of these people much closer to home for Thing 1. He doesn’t see them as just “blacks… From Africa…a faraway land that ‘doesn’t matter'”; he sees them as us – in his eyes, this is  similar to what his babushka and dad went through and he just wants to help in any way he can. So today he braved the freezing cold park and sold his toys / DVDs/ CDs etc to raise money for the Refugee Centre in Milan. 

There were VERY few people in the park and half of those that were there were not interested in buying anything (especially as it was going to the refugees!) so there were some tough lessons for Thing 1 to learn and try to comprehend. BUT all’s well that ends well: he DID make a few sales and an amount that did make it worthwhile to have sat out in the freezing cold for hours. Two local shopkeepers came specially just to support him and that for me was something I will be forever grateful for. Indeed, there was a bigger lesson in the act of those two shopkeepers than in any of the ‘non-sales’ to passers by or the lack of support from friends. And I think Thing 1 totally understood what their support meant… At least the huge hugs he gave them seemed to suggest he did. Forever grateful! 

Today I have literally looked at my boy in awe and wonder. 5 hours sat in 2/3 degrees waiting patiently to make a sale…Any sale…In an empty park. It couldn’t have been easy for him. He could have been sat at home,on the sofa, in the warm, playing MINECRAFT. I certainly wasn’t forcing him to stay. And I certainly didn’t suggest he do it. But he did. And for those reasons, today I couldn’t be prouder. 

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Do Me A Solid

We’re weaning. Thing 3 is 5 and a half months old now and a couple of weeks ago I started him on puréed fruit and veg and baby rice. It’s going really well. He’s a very tidy eater and, if I forget to put a bib on him or to change out of my best clothes, I’m pleased to report it’s usually not a complete disaster. He is (generally speaking) a mess free eater. I deserved one after the likes of Things 1 and 2! 

Weaning’s great! Yep!!! I never thought I’d say it either. I was DREADING it. Yep!!! In capitals. DREADING it. But, it’s been and is, rather pleasant. I’ve become quite the Jamie Oliver in the kitchen as far as Thing 3’s food goes and all his meals are so tasty I’m actually happy to share them with him. Maybe that’s why he’s not messy… Maybe they just taste a helluva lot better than the other stuff I’d feed Things 1 and 2…

Anyway, I digress. 

So yes! We’re on solids. Now, what goes in must come out, and the liquid breast milk poo is long gone. 

Now it’s:-

5am feed time 

He feeds beautifully for five minutes or so and then starts to complain and wriggle. I feel his nappy and it’s bulging. It’s a step away from exploding and I decide to change it because if he were to poo in it… Well THAT would be disastrous. 

Oh no!!!!

He’s straining. 


Seconds. He beat me by seconds. I was just about to change his nappy.  I’m panicking. The nappy won’t hold anything and at 5am the last thing I want to be doing is dealing with an exploded pooey nappy. 

He’s straining. He’s straining so much he’s purple. He looks so scared, bless him. His worried eyes say “mummy! Help me. What’s going on???” And I say “it’s ok sweetie! You’re just doing a ginormous poo.”  

He’s straining. I’m thinking, ‘just my bloody luck. The biggest poo ever and in an already full nappy. This is gonna overflow big time. Ugh!…’

He continues to strain. His purple little face and tense body. His funny little expressions. His dilated nostrils…

He strains some more.

It’s endless. ‘He’s just like his father!’ I think to myself. 

More straining. 

And then he relaxes and I prepare myself both spiritually and mentally. ‘Prepare to meet the biggest, squashed poo of your entire life’ I think to myself. ‘You gave up a career for this??,’ I reprimand myself. 

I’m dreading it. 

I unbutton  the baby grow and, before going in further, I take a deep breath and hold. I carefully undo the nappy and what I see is astounding. I can’t believe my eyes. Really?!?

Al that pushing. All that straining. All that effort. All that hard work has produced :  Two tiny grape size  droppings. 

Go figure!…

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The Beauty Farm Down The Road…

We live right next to a huge nature park. It’s one of the reasons we chose the area and both I and The Husband adore the many cross country trails you can do, both on foot and on mountain bike. Last summer The Husband and a friend of his took one of the trails and went all the way up to Monte Martica on mountain bikes. His friend lost a tooth on the descent but that’s a whole other story; my reason for mentioning THAT expedition is that on his return (post emergency dentist) The Husband excitedly informed me about this amazing “Centro benessere” he’d come across half way up the mountain.

“It’s in a gorgeous setting.  No one around. I’m SO going to book you in when Thing 3 is old enough. You SO deserve it!”

You can imagine my delight. Yay!!! A health spa on our doorstep. Hurrah!!!

Thing 3 is weaning now so you can imagine: I’ve been dreaming about this health farm / spa place and I have mentioned it as a Christmas present. It all seems possible…

The other week we decided, given the beautiful, warm weather, to do the Monte Martica trek as a family. We decided to invite some brand new Italian friends along (we don’t have many of those!) and have a picnic at the top. The weather was Spring-like and we were really looking forward to doing the 8km hike with the boys. I was also looking forward to seeing this Health Spa as I was aware we had to pass it to get to the top. Maybe I could pop in and get a brochure…

We met our friends and the hike began…

When we arrived at the beauty farm we were walking at a good pace and the kids weren’t whining and complaining so I decided it was best not to stop just to get a brochure. I saw the Spa was called Cascina Tagliata and I figured I could go online and get all the information I needed. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, The Husband was letting the other husband know about just how much I needed a few days at this place and how he was thinking about getting me to stay there over the Christmas holidays. 

The rest of the hike went well. The picnic was lovely and the descent was spectacular with a stunning sunset. We had a great time and we’re sure we’d hear from these new friends again. 


The other day, while waiting at the school bus stop, a car stops and I’m asked for directions to The Gulliver Centre. I have no idea where it is and one of the other mums jumps in to help. 

“Ok. So… From here you take the next left and drive up. You’ll see signs for Bregazzana and also for Cascina Tagliata. It’s there! Not far at all. That’s its new name. Cascina Tagliata.”

Hearing about the Health Spa I seize the opportunity to fill her in on my possible Christmas present …

“Cascina Tagliata. I might be staying there for a long weekend. Do you want to join me?”

She looks at me really strangely and pulls a ‘ARE YOU F*%#*%G MAD???’ face. 

“Cascina Della Tagliata??? The rehab Centre???”

Oh dear… The penny drops. I now understood why our brand new friends hadn’t phoned back. They thought I was an alcoholic or worse. The Husband, with his “not so great” Italian, had been told the place was a ‘Centro / Casa Di Cura’ and taken thi to mean ‘Health Spa.’ The word “cura” does after all mean “care” – it’s a fairly easy mistake to make. I guess…


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Heavy Heart

“Mummy. Today… Everyone at school was going on and on about what happened in Paris.”

“Well yes. I can imagine. It’s a really bad thing.”

“The French teacher talked to us about it.”

“Yes. I can imagine the Ftebch section are …”

“We had to all go to the playground. Even Thing 2. Abd then the French teachers talked to us about it.”

“What did they say?”

“I don’t know. It was in French. I didn’t understand a word.”

“Oh… Okayy… Well … Do you have any questions? You know… About what happened…”

“No. I didn’t understand when you tried to explain the Russian plane. You know… Them blowing it up. And it just made me really sad… and scared. I know this… This Paris thing… will be the same, but worse because Paris is in France which is next to Italy. Do you think they’ll come here next mummy?”

I pull him close and hold him in my arms. 

“No sweetie. I don’t.”

“But will they do it again? Shoot people in restaurants and stuff.”

My heart sinks…

“I don’t know…”

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