Getting drunk with the Internet guy

Having a house renovated can be quite stressful. I cannot tell you how many bottles of wine I’ve killed over the past year just to keep my sanity. The walls are presently being redone and the guy said ten days it will be done. He is still working on bedroom number one, five days later…Red or White tonight? By the way, I am still holding onto my optimistic ten days regardless…anyone wanna place bets?

In true Italian fashion, I have also easily adapted to popping a cork for lunch and always having coffee in the house (of which I rarely drink myself). Yesterday, the Internet guy came back. He showed up close too noon, which I’ll admit, kinda brought out my grumpy side. My stomach is like a Swiss watch when it comes to mealtime! I meandered down my hill to my car only to find some other random truck in our parking site and blocking my car in. I wasted no time in giving these guys proper cacca and I am sure they think I am the biggest bitch on the hill now.

This is a very small community and it is not the best idea to piss people off but I had to skip lunch, go pick up the Internet guy (round two of this saga) at the busiest time on my road and bring him back up to my house. My road is two way with only space for one way traffic. Catch my meaning?

But it gets better I assure you. I sent an Italian family member down to the parking lot to properly curse out the dudes in our space, since I am not that proficient in the language and so therefore all political politeness gets tossed out the window (who am I kidding, I am actually a bitch in both languages when I’m hungry, lol).

Then, the Internet guy tells me he needs a ride back down the hill to town to see a central control station, then back up my hill again! I grabbed the dog and a leash and said ok, but I am going to wait for you in town. 45 minutes later, we headed back up the hill. I offered him coffee, he said wine, I said cin, cin!

He fixed my Internet, I had a rosy glow on my cheeks (1 glass of wine and no food = drunken sailor) and I drove him back down the hill a third time (speed limit is 10 KM so no comments about the wine please) 2:30 p.m. I finally ate lunch and then promptly had a nap. Who said house renovations can’t be fun?

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Coming up for air

Adventures ahoy! You know when people tell you they are really busy and you think in the back of your mind really? Are you really that busy, or do you think I will be impressed if you seem to be busy? Or what about those people whose phones are always ringing? FYI, mine never rings and I am totally ok with that.

I like a quiet life. Not boring, but a balance of excitement in bite size portions is just fine for me. I also like order. The more organized I am, the calmer my brain is, the happier I am.

So, why in the world did I think it was a great idea to have my first art exhibit while my husband was home and in the middle of a renovation and only days before the big move…and then bugger off to sail in Mexico two weeks later for Christmas?

Yep! That is exactly what I did. I moved into an incomplete house with two cats and then handed my keys over to a complete stranger two weeks later. The matress was on the floor and I will say that I got really lucky with my cat sitter because she didn’t seem to mind that I still had no bathroom doors! She just kept saying no Leah, I am the lucky one, this place is paradise. Well, she was coming from Buffalo, so I could see her point.

It probably wasn’t my best laid out plans to be jetting off overseas so soon after moving but it was Christmas and I promised my mom we would cruise with my husband over the holidays.

Admittedly, I was exhausted beyond belief and a week after I returned home I got that horrible flu and thought I was dying. I haven’t been that sick since I had pneumonia thirty years ago!

It is now February, and I am coming up for some air. But the saga continues with the house because we have mould on the new walls upstairs and so I had to move out of the bedroom yesterday and all the walls are being replastered! Can you believe it?

A week ago I was ordering a new bed and waiting for doors to be installed and now this. I had to move all my stuff out of the upstairs. The cats are freaking out a little bit, and I just want a nap.

Did I also mention that I have to fly overseas again in May? The way I figure, I will get the cats calm and the house in order just in time to leave again.

And about that nap…yes, I think that’s a great idea. So, if I tell you I am really busy, it is most likely a lie and I am just napping, lol.D8754B64-BD9C-4849-8DFF-CAA049A5B9CB

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Catch up October!

Time for a quick recap since my last post. October brought us fantastic weather and we were able to harvest the olives this year. We had a great crop and after only picking half our trees, we managed to haul in almost a thousand pounds of olives!

As you can see above, my husband is home and so I also took him on one of my car rallies which just happened to be in Portofino. We had a mishap with the car of course because well, that’s just how I roll, and the hood came flying up into the windshield! Scared the crap out of me but thankfully no one got hurt. Here are a few fun pics of the day with the Fiat 500Club of Italy…

Halloween was a flurry of activities too with a show for the kids in Recco, with my dance troupe, and I also did my annual trip to Lucca for the Comicon festival which I only had time to take part in two days and not the full five. We kinda got rained out and unfortunately the house renovation is still going on and I could not be away for the full festival. But, I still managed to squeeze in lots of costume changes and take many photos of the awesome cosplayers everywhere. Yes, that is me in the Robin costume…a bit of yellow foam, black paint and a hot glue gun and it was a pretty quick and easy costume to put together on a time and money budget.

So, that wraps up October pretty much and when you put it into a neat little blog post it seems like it was a pretty breezy month. To sum it up, Olives, Cars and Costumes! Oh My!

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Destiny Portofino Mountain…

I got my car back from the mechanic after a month of not being able to drive it and couldn’t wait for a roadtrip! My ordeal with my car will follow in another post but for now, I want to link you to my good friend Di Mackey’s blog because she is an amazing photographer and storyteller and she posted about our little adventure here.

We stopped in San Rocco for lunch, a coffee and sweets at Cristallo in Rapallo, then drove up the mountain to my house to hang out in the olive grove with the sheep and Yuri the Wonder Dog while chilling out in some awesome hammocks. So basically, we ate and drank our way to Portofino and back. Not a bad day at all and definitely a nice way to wrap up the end of summer!



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I’m too sexy for my cat…too sexy for my cat

Well I can honestly say that if there was ever any doubt, all doubt has officially been removed and I hereby declare that I CAN NOT DANCE SEXY! Or walk sexy either apparently.

Let me start off by saying that last night I had a date with Netflix, a sofa, and two fuzzy cats. And then the text came, with little furry cartoon gifs pleading me to accompany a friend to a Burlesque demonstration (L’amour Burlesque), ahem, demonstration my ass, but let me continue.

First, my friend and I filled up on McDonald’s, because yes, when you want to feel sexy, the best course of action is to fill up on cheeseburgers and fries. Note to self…a giant bottle of cold Prosecco would have been a much better course of action in this situation.

Then, we arrived to a room full of wonderful Italian women who were all geared up in black tights like they were going to a hot yoga session, not that I have any idea about hot yoga, but this is kinda how I imagine it would be.

Next, the hot instructor starts dancing sexy like it’s nobody’s business and she expects all of us, yep, me included, to stand up and join her. What? I thought this was a demo and I could opt out? After all, I was only there for moral support of my friend, who lured me in with those cute cartoon gifs, damned those cute Gifs already! But alas, I owed her one since I often drag her to vintage car events (see, cars are sexy to me). I was also the only one wearing tight jeans and was cursing my friend under my breath while praying I would not slip a disc in my back. I know, I sound like I am 100 years old, I get it, really I do. It is my own fault for being such a lazy slob…insert here, I have no excuses.

Did I mention this is BURLESQUE? Yeah, so rolling around on the floor trying to look all sexy and you guessed it, I was the class clown, just imagine Lucille Ball in any video clip and that would be me. But come on, funny can be sexy too ya know. How else could I have possibly gotten not one, but two men to marry me? The instructor/sexy dance teacher, with the toned body and limbs like Gumby agreed that I was pretty horrible (numerous times I might add), but I made her laugh and it was a fun night. And her co-conspirator decided I would be a useful dance partner because I have long arms, well thank God for that!




The million dollar question is, will I sign up for the Burlesque Lessons? And my resounding answer is, Hell Yes! I see it this way, I will either end up in the hospital emergency room or I will have some fun and learn a few new tricks. After all, I may not be able to dance sexy (yet), but I did manage to co-write a sexy book (Dirty Words by Dominique Strong) which is available on Amazon -Dirty Words, (and yes, that was just a shameless plug to get you to buy my erotic book) and if I can write sexy, perhaps I am just one step away from dancing it too.

Sophie and Deborah @ L’Amour Burlesque Genova… Thank you for the fun night! Ci vediamo subito!


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Gioiellino di Portofino Park B&B

There’s a cool breeze coming off the balcony today and I am starting to catch the Fall fever of new beginnings. Just like a new school year, our renovation will start up again soon and call me crazy, but I am feeling kind of optimistic now because gosh darn we are so close to the finish line on this.

I planted my sunflowers on the balcony late this year, aren’t they gorgeous! How can you not be in a good mood with these sunny babies shining back at you every day?

This will be my last summer in this apartment in Genova, it has brought me much joy and happy memories with cats, family and friends but I am also looking forward to new beginnings in Portofino. I’ve had a few false starts and many tears shed over the past few years but this time I can clearly see the finish line.

With a little more patience and luck and magic, this time next year, I will be the proud operator of Gioiellino di Portofino Park B&B!  (translation: Little Jewel of Portofino Park Bed & Breakfast). The name originates with my beloved cinquecento, (1975 Fiat 500), which is called Gioiellino or the shortened version “Joey”.

Here are a few photos of where we are presently with the renovation. Moving date is November 30th latest. No doubt there will be a lot to organize over the winter months to get it ready for business and I am sure there are many more hills to climb before we get there but fingers crossed this time, right!

Just want to say a big thank you to all my readers who have stuck by me on this rough ride. Your comments and notes of encouragement have lifted me up and gotten me back on track with my life.




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Genoa – Genova

I came across this nice video today and decided to also share it here. Genoa doesn’t get that many tourists compared to other more popular Italian cities.

Video of Genova here.

Personally, there are many things for me that I love about this city and region and then there are also many things that I hate. This region can be quite difficult at times, we get a lot of rain in the winter, along with severe flooding, it is quite windy and some of the people can be quite grumpy and rude (life is not easy here and I myself can be quite grumpy).

On the other hand, it is unique compared to other Italian cities because it is more genuine and real to me. The food is also very different and walking around here there are many interesting pockets inside the historic center and a feeling like no other. I feel safer here compared to other cities and it is a small city that is easy to navigate on foot, train, bus and boat. Oh, and elevators…the bus company operates several elevators that take you to the top of the city by use of a stamped bus ticket!

I’ve been living here for 9 years and there are still things to discover about this ancient city and everytime I walk past the giant fountain at Piazza de Ferrari I do have to pinch myself.

I moved to Genoa because of my love for a man on a boat…

My good friend, Di Mackey, moved to Genoa because of her love for the city. She moved here a year ago after much coaxing from me to get her to cat sit for me last summer and my covert plan worked! My cats adore her and so does this city!

She already knows more about this place than me and spends every day photographing the streets of Genoa and posting them on her Facebook page. She also offers Photography Workshops here, sells her photos and is just a joy to hang out with because of her vast life experiences, love of art, music, people, red wine and everything Genovese and of course her big, crazy Kiwi heart.

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