Saturday, 29 September 2012

29th September

Most Italians recognise this date as the title of a famous  Lucio Battisti song  ‘29 settembre’. For others, it has its own special significance being Berlusconi’s birthday (born in Milan 1936). It is also my wedding anniversary. 5 years ago me and Marco and Eve got married.

In May we found a nice place to have the reception, invited the people we wanted and then forgot all about it… Did not want to be stressed.

It was about 4 weeks before the wedding when Marco said to me, ‘So, have you got something to wear? Have you got a dress?’
‘Dress?! Yes, Right…No!!’ I hadn’t even thought about it.

I’d also completely forgotten about organising a bouquet and woke up the morning of my wedding with no flowers. Luckily my neighbour had given me a bunch of roses the evening before so I grabbed some of those, cut off a few olive branches from the garden and tied the whole lot up with string.

I went to the hairdressers at 9 o’clock that morning and said, ‘Can you do me something for a wedding.’
‘Oh that’s nice, who’s getting married?’
‘Me!’ The hairdresser rolled her eyes and sighed. Apparently you’re supposed to do trials and makeup and hair accessories and all that. Pazienza!

But I arrived at the church feeling so relaxed and unstressed (funny dress and hair but I survived that too). Marco had turned up, Eve was there looking like a frilly little ballerina, my little niece and nephew were looking lovely too. Everyone was happy, my lovely friends had decorated the church and were ready to sing for us and our very great friend Bishop Eric was there to do the deed.

It wasn’t until after the service that I realised two friends who’d come from England were missing and had obviously got lost on their way from the hotel to the church. Whilst everyone moved on to the reception Marco, Eve and I (still in silly dress) drove to their hotel to pick them up. We didn’t realise until we got there that another disaster had happened. My mother-in-law (I’m sure as some kind of twisted vendetta for having married her son J) had gone off with ONJI in her pocket.

Now those of you who don’t know Eve very well won’t necessarily know what ONJI is and how completely essential he/she is to her whole being. Some children have a favourite teddy, some have a little comfort blanket. Eve had an orange table napkin(long story)which became her best friend when she was a few months old. She is devoted to it and cannot live without it. My mother-in-law had been looking after Eve during the service had put ONJI in her handbag and then gone off afterwards without giving it back.

So there we were, squashed in the back of the car whilst poor Eve was having convulsions. She was 17 months old, very cute but particularly bad tempered. My lovely white dress was being covered with little black footprints as she kicked and struggled and screamed for ONJI. When we arrived near the part in the old town where are reception was Marco parked the car and decided for some reason that I never really understood (must have been our first argument as a married couple) that he and our two friends would go on ahead whilst I walked with Eve. It was quite a steep old cobbled street and they quickly disappeared leaving me to deal with my daughter.

Picture the scene: Saturday afternoon in old town Genoa,  a 40 year old woman struggling up a steep cobbled lane in silly shoes, hitching up a ridiculous white dress with one hand whilst trying to contain a struggling screaming infant who she’s got shoved under the other. 

I finally arrived... the last one to arrive at my party, with a dirty dress, sweating, cursing and determined to get revenge on my mother in law. 

ONJI was promptly recuperated and all was well.

Moral to the story: have children before you get married or, alternatively, don't invite them to the wedding. 

On a lighter note, I'd like to wish Berlusconi many happy returns of the day… 76 years old and still going strong…I'm sure he's had a nice day . He has a certain talent at organising parties and I’m sure he wouldn’t have let his birthday slip by without a bit of a do.