Last week my dad called “We’ll be over on Sunday,” I knew he was joking but the penny dropped and I knew what this meant. They were getting their vaccine.
For the last year my Dad would not speak of coming to Italy we were all in a ‘place’ of thinking with Covid it may never be possible.
They had their first Modena vaccine on Friday and the difference it has meant to them already is so up-lifting. My Mam is excited to go grocery shopping again as the shop keeps on delivering the wrong brands and she enjoys a browse.
She’s also looking forward to letting someone in to wash the floors for her as neither her or my dad can do it anymore.
They are talking optimistically again about coming over to Italy, perhaps in September. So my plan is to go back to Ireland in August and granny nap my parents and bring them to Italy where I can wrap them in cottonwool and spoil them rotten.
I know my Dad has reservations about moving to Italy because of the food, he is a typical 85+ year old Irish man who likes his potatoes. His opening line for every phone call is “Are you eating Macaroni?”.
Macaroni was our only experience of ‘Italian’ food when we were growing up. On the weekend we’d have Macaroni with warm milk and sugar as an evening treat. I don’t know if this was just a speciality in our house because my mother didn’t know that pasta was more of a savoury food rather than something similar to a breakfast cereal, or if it was a general Irish thing to do with macaroni.
Tinned spaghetti hoops in tomato sauce on toast for lunch was another favourite. These were my experiences of Italian cuisine. I was about nine when my Mam starting to buy frozen things called pizzas. They came in five packs and were small frozen disks of dough with a scrapping of tomato sauce and a sprinkling of grated cheese across the top.
Ronan’s experiences of Italian cuisine were equally scarce when he was growing up. He claims he was one of the first people to experience pizza in Ireland. He was friendly with an Italian chipper owner (there is a whole culture of Italian owned fish and chip shops in Ireland – we all thought it was the national food of Italy).
One evening back in the early 80s Ronan stopped off at the chipper on the way home the pub and the owner was very excited. He was having a thing called a pizza oven delivered the following week. “You have to come and experience pizza!”
“What is it?”
“It is like’a… bread… with eh… the cheese melted on top.”
“So a toasted cheese sandwich?” said Ronan waiting on his Italian fish and chips.
“No it is different come and see.”
Ronan was there for the opening launch of the pizza oven. He wasn’t that impressed and told his friends; “It’s basically a roundy cheese sandwich without any bread on top, I can’t see it taking off.”
It’s a year ago today that we experienced the first day of lockdown in Italy. Last week marked the day I returned here from Ireland as the pandemic was taking hold in Italy. The news was on 24/7 talking about the crisis Italy and by the time I was leaving Ireland I was news exhausted, I couldn’t wait to get back to Italy with it’s then 1600 cases. The ongoing news had freaked me out so much I patted my parents on the head to say goodbye rather than hug them because I was afraid I would give them the virus. Also I knew it was going to be quite a while before I saw them again, and a hug would have broken me and turn me into a snivelling wreck. I never imagined I would be sitting here a year later still not knowing when I will be able to return to hug them.
Rather than feeling gloomy at today’s 1-year Lockdown Anniversary I am focusing on the positive.
I never would have thought that the blog I started this day last year to keep myself sane and optimistic during lockdown would lead me to write my first novel ‘A Rosie Life In Italy’ which today is ranking No.1 in two Italy travel sections on Amazon! And I never would have thought I would have created a book like ‘My Post-Pandemic Planner and Memoir’ to inspire others and help them through the gloom.
The fact that my parents got the vaccine last week and that numbers are starting to decrease gives me hope.
So today I’m planting potatoes in the garden in preparation for my parent’s arrival in the early autumn so my Da can have his potatoes rather than that all time classic Italian dish in our household; Macaroni with milk and sugar. Fingers crossed.
If you haven’t got a copy of ‘My Post Pandemic Planner and Memoir’ today is a perfect day to buy it, as I have heard the paper in the printing machines is of excellent quality today! Get on to Amazon now and treat yourself and I’ll treat you to some Macaroni when you get to Italy.