I’ve spent the past month annoying people, and for once it wasn’t even by forcing them to read my blog or boring them with my absurdly thorough knowledge of Italian building terms.
We went back to England for a few weeks to catch up with family and friends, which of course sounds great until you realise that it involves a ridiculously long car journey, a hotel, several restaurants and a ferry, all with a small baby and a dog in tow.
At the hotel, we caused a huge queue at check-in… the room has to be quiet, you see, but it mustn’t be too far from anything, and there needs to be enough space for the travel cot and the dog’s crate, and can we have some extra towels please? Urgh… I think I hate myself!
And then we went to the restaurant. Thankfully, the baby didn’t cry, she hardly ever does. But she did sing. Really loudly, throughout the entire meal. Actually, I lie. She stopped for about five minutes to allow Otto time to bark incessantly at a cat he’d seen through the window. It turns out the French don’t have much patience…
And then there was the Gotthard Tunnel, all 15 kilometres of it, cutting through the Swiss Alps. There we were, in a traffic jam a few hundred metres from the entrance, baby perched on the boot, bare behind twinkling in the early morning sun as we changed her nappy in the fast lane of the motorway. To be fair, other people were taking the opportunity to walk their dogs along the motorway so we weren’t the only annoying ones in this instance. And this really was a true emergency situation. Trust me.
I nearly forgot to mention the ferry. It’s possible we didn’t help ourselves with this one, but we thought we’d get away from the riff raff by treating ourselves to an hour-and-a-half in the Club Lounge. They give you free champagne you know (which is great when almost everyone in there is driving). Bee decided, once again, that not only would it be a great place to practice her scales but that the leather sofas would look better with a bit of puke on them. Much like the French, business travellers, it conspires, are quite low on patience.
Still, the rest of Europe can sleep easy now because we’re back in Italy and we’re finally moving back to the Langhe to keep a closer eye on the build, make decisions more quickly and maybe even get involved a bit (cue DIY disasters nos. 3 to 500).
The builders sent us daily updates while we were away and it really looks to be taking shape. Of course, they may have been being sneaky and only showing us the good bits, but we’ll find out soon enough.
The wood, which we had just chosen before we went away, now looks a lot more roof-like and the dreaded asbestos sheeting is but a distant memory. Next up are the back road and the internal walls. It’s so exciting to see it all happening after staring at plans for months on end. We’ve been living away from the place for about eight months now so I really can’t wait to get back there and, of course, introduce noisy Bee to what will one day become her new home!