14-21 December: Routine, Trip to Mountains, Rosa's show
Centre-our host Nicola
14th Tues Suzie
We are beginning to have a routine and on the fine days, which is
almost all the time, it is really lovely. On Monday I do a lot of catch up
housework- washing etc but on Tues., after I have dropped off the kids at
school, Finn and I walk back slowly through the narrow streets of the
old town and stop into Toni's for a bit. Today I had a chocolate
croissant, but I usually just have a tea and Finn has a drink.
When it starts to get busy with morning coffee drinkers, we head home
and do some work. I time a break for 10.15ish, because on a nice day like today
the sun hits our balcony for about 15mins and I like to have a cuppa
there. The lucky people on the left of the Piazza have sun all morning
but I'd probably do no work if I had that. We go for Sammy at 12.30 at
the moment because we haven't arranged about lunch at school yet. We
either go back home or play in one of the sunny piazzas in the old town,
then its back for the big guys and home slowly for lunch. We waited for
Mike today to eat and after lunch took it easy until Rosa and I had to head
back to school. Her class is continuing rehearsal for "The Grinch Who
Stole Christmas" and I had to paint the small back drops they need. I
could only stay an hour because I was supposed to go back to the woman
in charge of schools about Sammy's lunch tickets but it turned out that
she was in a meeting. I had time, therefore, to drop by the school of
music to meet up with a nice young guy who I had met in a local shop. He
had been to Ireland and speaks a little English. He is very nice and
plays trombone so Sammy, Eli and Finn came too and saw trombone, drum
and keyboard lessons. The teachers were all good fun and invited Eli to
drop by any time to join in flute with his tin whistle! After it was
back to school to collect Rosa. The teachers are very wound up after
rehearsals as are the kids and it amazing to see how when they loose their
tempers with the kids they are completely unself conscious of the me or
any other parents watching. The Italians are truly expressive. I go out
again before diner to pick up some school lunch things and walk Cal and
meet and greet neighbours and new acquaintances on the way there and back.
Its a nice feeling.
Mike and Sammy can't keep their eyes open over diner. They rise together
when Mike gets up for work at 5am. Everyone else is tired
too. We laugh at the fact that the Italians' evenings is just starting.
15 Dec Wed
Normal morning routine, then I walk out the Molfetta road to a toy
shop, and Finn falls asleep so I am able to go back to school to do more
work on the art for the play. Everyone one is very friendly and helpful
at the school. One teacher exclaims over the art work, (which is mostly
very simple) and says I was sent by the baby Jesus to help for
Christmas. Of course they all love Finn. Later, walking back through the
main Piazza, I see a poster which says "Perche Encora BUSH" and mentions
the film we watched last week. Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore. When I
collect Sammy I get a text from Maria Grazia and we meet up as she is
collecting her nephew at the same school. We have a little walk and talk
as Italians like to do (its called passagiera----??) and she tells me
she is off to Rome on Frid. to visit her sister who is due a baby very
soon. I tell her about the poster and ask her to babysit again so we can
go investigate. I tell Toni about it later too. Mike comes back wrecked
and with a sore back so I tell him to shower and sleep as he'll have to
go back again tomorrow. We have a quiet afternoon and evening, but by
night time Finn is off colour with a temperature.
16th Dec Thurs Suzie
Tired this am as Finn was awake a lot but is ok if clingy this
morning. Manage to get guys to school but, I can't go back to school
to do the last bit of art so we take it easy and I do some house work.
When I collect the kids I talk to Toni who tells me that a woman I met
in his shop the other day was in again and he told her about the meeting
we are going to. It turns out it is a ARCI meeting which is one of the
communist parties here. She knows lots of the young men there and wants
to bring us. She says they will be really interested to meet Michael.
Finn is okay this evening but I give him Calpol just in case and we bring
him with us when we go out. He falls asleep in the buggy. When we arrive
at the meeting the film is on and after a Professor is going to speak.
Some young men come out to meet us. One of them is the Prof's son and
speaks excellent English. We chat during the film as we have all seen it
and they are really interested in all Mike has to say and what I tell
them about things Vivian has told me. They tell us others would love to
chat listen to us and we think they mean after the meeting. We go in to
listen to the Prof with Maria Angela and the Profs son translating bits,
he speaks about the republican political machine demographics - its all
very interesting. We learn later that this Prof is a prominent communist
but also extremely rich and is said to be wealthy enough to be a
communist or a communist with his mouth but a capitalist with his
pockets. When he is finished a young man thanks him and then says in
Italian and now we are going to hear a testimonial from Michael an
American who's father was a republican and has changed and his mother
helped campaign against Bush. Mike gives me a look and heads to the top
of the room. He is interviewed about it all and after I am asked to
repeat some of the things I said earlier that Vivian told me about the
changes in civil liberties and fear mongering as well as conservative
legislation slipped through after 9/11. Its all nodded at with interest.
After we are finished and relieved, we talk with some other people
including a man called Franco who is wearing a Lenin hat and red scarf.
He is really nice and very interesting we think he is a sort of youth
worker or social worker and he works in Bari with disadvantaged youth
but has traveled all over the work on projects including Nicaragua and
Israel and other hots spots. He tells us about a series of concerts in
Bari in churches starting with one directed by a famous Italian Jewish
singer. It is a group made up of Muslims, Jews and Christians and they
perform music from a period in Spain 600years ago from these traditions.
Apparently, at that time the three religions co-existed in harmony in Spain.
According to Franco the Spanish architecture from that time is
particularly beautiful and he says it is evidence of what can be achieved
in harmonious times. He hopes to bring us. We head home amused at our
adventures and encounters.
17 Dec Frid Suzie
Finn back to normal this am and very lively. After dropping everyone
off I go to Lorella's for tea and she brings me to Molfetta shopping. She
gets some toys and her husband's and older daughter's perfumes for
Christmas. We head back and I go into school to make the Grinch's cave.
This time Finn is awake, but sits in his buggy eating while I work. Then he
makes friends with the custodian who brings him drinks. Rosa's class is
rehearsing in the hall where I am working and I stop to watch her do the
snow dance and realise that she has a sort of central position and does
a little extra bit. I am fighting tears as I watch. Who knows what I
will be like for the real thing. I tell her teacher how happy I am to see
her happy and dancing, and she tells me she will be in tears when Rosa goes
because she has settled in so well as part of the class and works so
We are supposed to go back to Molfetta this pm to hear our trombone
player in a Christmas music thing on the street but it is raining and
cancelled so we go to get pizza, but the restaurants aren't open until 8.
A man in a pizza place tells us to try "Mimo's Neck" on the piazza. We
find Mimo's Snacks a take out place and get 4 big Pizzas for 10 euro, and head
home for Shabbat. We have to hurry out for our ice cream after the pizza
as Sammy is falling asleep over the table. After Toni's the kids have their movie then Mike goes
back to Toni's to make cookies and Eli
and I watch the Hulk.
It was hard to get up for school after our late night movie. After
I get the big kids there, I go to Lorella's with Sammy and Finn. She
enjoys giving them chocolate cereal and biscotti to dip in their milk.
We head home and meet Mike, back early today. As we continue walking Lorella passes us in her tiny, cool, smart car and asks if I want to go to Molfeta. I leave the boys with Mike and hop in. We have a nice time
shopping and then I go home for lunch and school pick ups. Later I'm
back to Lorella's to use the internet and do some Christmas baking.
While I am there Franco from the meeting the other night phones to ask
do we want to go to the concert he mentioned. We arrange to drive him
After diner Franco arrives and we go to Bari. As usual the
driving is pretty hairy, but I manage to get there and parked. We have
to walk around the block to the huge church, but aren't getting much of
an impression of the city just large and busy. The church is packed out
and I think I will have to stand with Finn, but some people bunch up and
let me sit. Sammy and Finn squeeze onto my knee and Rosa looks at me
forlorn wanting a seat. An older man beside me offers a knee - she shyly
leans on it, but before long she has made herself comfortable and he
tells her he's her grandfather for the night. The music begins and is
stunning in the acoustical setting. We enjoy the diversity of vocals and
instruments including some things that sound like Uillan pipes and a bohran. Slowly Sammy, Finn and Rosa all fall asleep much to the
amusement of all around us. Later Finn wakes before the end, and I have
a few minutes chaos while I wake everyone and head out. Mike and a sleepy Eli follow with Franco
and we listen for a few more minutes at the back of the church. We meet
the trombone player Micala and Franco introduces Mike to a man he
describes as his African brother. We head home with Franco telling us
more about his travels including a trip to his friends wedding in the
Ivory Coast. He's very interesting.
15 Dec Mike
Despite the days off from olive picking, I'm only just now sitting
down to catch up on my diary entries. Suzie has covered the past week in
great detail so I won't revisit that, but since I'm now back at work the
past few days, I thought I would describe a typical day picking. I set
my alarm for 5:00am and get up trying not to wake Suzie or the kids.
Most mornings I have at least Sammy up with me, this morning I also had
Eli. I put the kettle on and wash last night's dishes, then make some
toast and sit down to breakfast and about 10 minutes of English language
news. I discovered the other day that they broadcast CNN and Fox at this
hour. Unfortunately at that time of day, they seem to do features on
obscure things rather than international news. I watch because its in
English and I try to glean a bit of real news implied from what's
discussed. I am able to enjoy the overdramatic presentation and strong
bias of both channels without its bothering me much, as at least it's
something I understand.
I had been leaving the apartment at about 5:30 but I've found that I can
leave the apartment at 6:00am at still get there on time. There's no one
in our own little piazza and Newbie sounds very loud at that hour.
However as I turn into the narrow alley that leads onto the Piazza
Principale, there are street cleaners and a few other people out. I
drive to the edge of Giovinazzo and usually the train crossing is closed
and there are other cars waiting. I have waited at this crossing for
over 10 minutes before, watching other impatient drivers turn around to
find some other way out of the city; this morning I have timed it right
and am only there a few minutes before the crossing opens. The other
cars in the queue are all olive workers: I know because they are in the
3 wheeled APE trucks, or in a normal car but with a ladder on top or
nets stuffed in the back.
We head off and I pass the APE trucks and the cars pass me. On the main
road out of Giovinazzo there is a point as you crest a hill, when you
receive the full stench of the city's tip (dump). This lasts for at
least 5 minutes, and despite the smell and the morning cold, I leave the
window open because it is preferable to breathing the fumes from Newbie
that come into the van because of a leak in the exhaust system. Once
past this, the air is nicer, though at this hour the sun isn't up and it
is still cold. To get to Toritto I have to go through the centre of
Bitonto, which at this hour has a lot of men out; they aren't all going
to pick olives because they aren't dressed for it, I can't figure out
what they are doing at this hour. There are lots at the open Bars (which
serve coffee; I can see through the windows that's what they are having). It takes
about 1/2 hour to get to Toritto, and then another 10 minutes through
small roads in olive groves to get to the Masseria. As I go on these
narrow roads I have to pass several tractors pulling trailers loaded
with mats, ladders and field workers. I arrive at the Masseria and
unlock the outer gates, pull Newbie in and unlock the courtyard where
Yippie now lives. Our hosts and seemingly a lot of people we've met are very
concerned about security; I've had to stay overnight several times at
the Masseria to watch the trailer full of olives. This morning I let the
dogs play and get out my bike, then coax Yippie back into the courtyard
and lock them both in for the day, as we'll be picking too far from the
house for the dogs to come with us, and Cal was getting in the way a lot
(sitting on the mats and dropping sticks at people's feet) when I had
I get my plastic bag with food and water - you see everyone out with the
same - and cycle out the small road to the slightly bigger road where
I'm to be picked up. I'm there a bit before 7am and Pasquale isn't there
yet, good; yesterday he was already there and I have no way of knowing
how long he waited. The other day he arrived in a line of tractors and
stopped for me; I think they were having a race for the laugh. It's
still very cold and I am wearing four layers, including the old coat
that Pasquale has loaned me for the drive out to the fields. We load up
the bike and he heads off at speed to fields that are about 10 minutes
away. In the open bed of the trailer with the cold wind in my face it is
really cold. I sit next to Mikele but we don't talk to each other
because we can't, other than my "ciao" when I get in. After a couple of
minutes I turn around to face the back because it's so cold, and don't
turn back until we slow down to turn into the field. I say "freddo"
(cold) to Mikele and he smiles and nods.
Pasquale looks at the trees and drives partway into the field, then
stops with the tractor and trailer at a skewed angle to the straight
lines of trees. We offload the bike, the mats, the pole and the shaker
machine. We all take off our extra layers and pile then onto the back of
the tractor, then immediately get to work.
I hear hunters shooting in the middle distance and Mikele yells "ayeee"
for no particular reason. Workers in the field here yell out to each
other as a sort of greeting, but as near as I can tell it isn't words
other than maybe something that means "Hey!". With other people working
nearby fields, Pasquale will occasionally yell out to them and they'll
yell back. He also does this as he drives by in his tractor.
Mats are carried to the first trees and laid out, and if I'm doing well
Mikele won't have to yell Tire to me for a while yet. With our lack of
verbal language, I spend most of the days trying to anticipate what he
is doing next by his body language. This is only partly successful; I'm
not great at reading body language generally, and find it harder here
because Mikele often checks out the next trees while planning to lay the
mats for a different tree. Once mats are laid he gets the bastion (pole
) and I get the tubo (piece of plastic pipe), and Pasquale starts up the
shaker (which is very loud) and slings it over his shoulder. The day
takes on a pattern: Pasquale shakes the tree, we whack down the
remaining olives, we carry away the mats to the next tree or to the
trailer to dump the olives, and it repeats. With 5 or 6 mats, we
sometimes chop and change to ensure that Pasquale has another tree ready
before he finishes the one he's on. This is what causes me trouble and
keeps me watching Mikele, since I can't predict when Mikele will decide
the situation warrants us switching to another task. As I mentioned
before, the pace of all this is relentless. There is little wasted
motion or time, we are always doing something and the moment one task is
done we rush (it seems to me) to the next.
Today Pasquale has trouble with the shaker and we have to stop for about
10 or 15 minutes while he works on it; he sends Mikele off to the guys
in the next field to get a spanner of the right size. We finish this
field by about 11:30 and everything's piled back on top of the olives to
get to the next field. Pasquale produces a chocolate pie which we eat in
the trailer on the way. For the past few days he's brought something for
us to eat, though the first week he didn't do this. They were amused to
watch me take bites of food throughout my work day - which I definately
needed! - the first few days neither of them ate anything, though now
they do stop once and eat something.
My back has been sore all morning and I've been trying to keep it
straight and lift correctly. Because of the speed at which Mikele works,
sometimes I end up lifting before I am in correct position but today I
am taking my time and he is getting impatient. So be it, I prefer a
healthy back. I wouldn't expect him to understand or sympathise anyway.
I do think while we're working about what he and Pasquale might be
thinking of me as a worker. That is, I'm not experienced or efficient
and we have some language difficulties which slow us down. Domenico
wouldn't expect me as a volunteer WWoofer to work at an experienced
worker's pace, but I think they are a mix of amused and frustrated. I
wouldn't blame them, though I think there is something else here as
well: some of the Italians we've met can't understand why we'd leave
good jobs and we are doing this trip. So it isn't just us that is
foreign to them, it is everything about us, including that fact that
Finally we get to the last mats, which are very full, and Pasquale and
Mikele do most of the work hauling them to the trailer and folding up
the empty mats.
Everything's in the trailer and today I am close enough that Pasquale
gives me directions to cycle back to Masseria. I know how to get there
from here, but because he is giving me directions I assume he is telling
me a shorter route, which he isn't. This confuses us for a few minutes,
and then additional confusion when he tries to tell me where we'll meet
tomorrow. I'll have to ring Domenico and get details because I can't
work out what he means. I cycle back to the Masseria exhausted, unlock
the gates and release the dogs. My bike and Yippie back in the
courtyard, I head off. I've got a large plastic bag full of packages of
cookies (we've been given far too many for us to eat!) which I am hoping
to give away to the gypsies or Romanians who beg at one of the traffic
lights. Yesterday I gave them a full bag of oranges which they seemed
to appreciate, and had a short chat with their little girl:
Her: blaho blaho blaho blaho blaho
Me: Non parlo Italiano. Parlo Inglese. Io d'Irlandia
Her: blaho blaho blaho blaho blaho
No one waiting for me there today, so I make it back to the apartment by
about 3pm, where I get a great greeting from Finn and everyone is in
good form. It's great to be able to communicate with someone and Suzie
and I get a few minutes to catch up before I take a shower and a nap.
I made choc chip cookies at Tony's shop. Two of his friends,
neither of whom speak any English, were in the kitchen as well, trying
to help me. We used some of the same words I hear every day olive
picking, prendi (take/hold), aspe (wait), basta
(enough), but this time I was saying them! Generally I've noticed
Italians pay more attention to details and presentation in shops than
the Irish or Americans, and I saw it here with these lads too:
they commented on the cookies' shape, particularly that it wasn't really
consistent or regular, even suggesting cookie cutters; when helping to
take them off the baking tray they were carefully and beautifully
arranged onto a tray which was good enough to present, although it was
just for cooling.
Despite being up until 1:30 am at Tony's I get up early to see if it
is wet outside. It isn't raining so I decide to go to Masseria just in
case they ARE picking. Very tired; make it there through some rain so
not surprised no one is there. Head off with some of the bags of shells
for the kids to go through and pick out the almonds that the shelling
machine has missed.
Go to Auchan on the way back and then home. Meet Suz and Lorella drives
by so she goes with her and I have kids. I bring in first half bag of
almond shells. Suz comes back and I sleep while she does a sort of the
I get kids at school and on way back stop at FairTrade stall, which is
run by the same communist party we went out with the other night. The
young people there try out their English on us and are very nice.
Suz goes off to Lorella's to do some baking and I stay home with the
kids. I try to organise the shell sorting and it works for a while but
Finn and Sammy keep pushing shells onto the floor so we don't get a lot
done. Have a nice chat with Eli when I convince him to come out of his
book and work sitting next to me.
Cleanup and make some dinner; Finn and Sammy help peel veggies for soup.
Suz home and tells me Franko;s coming to bring her/us to concert. I am
exhausted so think I won't go.
Later, meet Mimo on street and he brings me out for coffee. Everyone he
speaks to he gives a story to try to get things out of them for us for
xmas, including some pastries from the bar we have our coffee at. Later
I tell him to STOP and he says in English, "fuhget aboutit".
After my coffee I have more energy so when Franko arrives we all drive
to Bari. A big city (about 400,000) and doesn't look like Suzie is
having fun driving and very difficult to find a parking spot. We get to
the church where the concert is and it is packed so we have to stand with
the kids. Very soon people see the kids falling asleep and offer Suzie a
seat and later Eli gets one too. The music is from Spain around 1400's,
Sephardic/African/Middle Eastern. The Jewish conductor is famous in
Italy and says some good things about Islam meaning the Path to Peace
and constrasting that to the things done in the NAME of Islam; this gets
lots of applause. Music has definate Islamic elements as well as African
and middle eastern. Not what I expected, certainly not East European.
Very enjoyable but kids didn't have the best time as they were so tired
and we didn't have enough seats. I bring Rosa to sit down at the back of
the church and she falls asleep on me, then later I hear Finn start to
cry and takes a while to get Rosa awake and get back to Suzie.
Eventually we gather all 4 and bits and tell Franko and we go to back of
church, where we see Mikele from the music school there who greets us
warmly . Also an older couple comes up and says lovely things about our
kids most of which I didn't understand, and then says Bush Bad!
It's raining and parking very full in our little Piazza. We carry all
the kids to bed and then crash out ourselves.
When we are ready we go down stairs to head for the mountains. We
meet Francesca who brings us inside to try her home made lemon liqure. I
slip mine to Mike as I'm about to drive and its barely past breakfast.
We meet Dominico and family on the edge of Altamura and follow for
another hour and a half into steeper mountains with gorges, valleys and
eventually sides eroded like a river has recently run down them. We are
amazed to see some of the steeper hillsides are ploughed. We have nearly
crossed the heel of Italy to the Ionic sea by the time we get to their friends
newly built Massera. (Later on a walk through low woods we see the old Massera across the valley - it was demolished by an earthquake in 1983).
The friends live in Bari during the winter, but are full time farmers
during the rest of the year. They also use the Massera for scout groups
and have a games room in the barn. There are several couples here for the
day and other children. Ours are soon involved in wild games and we send
them off outside. The Massera is lovely and huge with large windows over
looking the views as we are on the top of a mountain. The highest point for
miles, no doubt also discovered by a telecommunications company as there is a
microwave tower right beside the house. We are made very welcome and
with some English, French and Italian as shared languages, we chat before
lunch. I watch the carving of a huge loaf of bread and deliver out baked
cookies to the hostess. We are soon called to sit at two long tables and
our menu this time is:
wheat grain cooked and baked with vegetables
sausages barbequed over the indoor fire, accompanied by toast which we
are given garlic to scrap over and olive oil with peppers to drizzle on.
It is amazing.
a variety of passion fruit have been put on the fire and then cooled and
chestnuts roast by the bunch full
All this is eaten with gusto and the craic and conversation around the
table is great fun. Our host and
Dominico are very funny. At one point our host comes in to
tell me I should check on one of our kids because there is blood all
over the place, but he is only winding me up. By this point in the meal
the kids are again playing wildly round the tables and in and out of
rooms. A walk is proposed in the woods, but in fact more food is
produced, our cookies and some pattisseries. Eventually the kids,
Dominico, our host, and Mike and I go for the walk. One or two of the
women stuck there head out but decided it was too cold. We laughed. It
was chilly in the wind, but mild in the woods and typical of a Sunday
afternoon walk back home.
We thought we would be heading home when we got back. It was dark and
getting late, but more food was produced - panadora a special Christmas
cake - big, light and covered with powdered sugar accompanied with champagne.
We begged tea after this which came made in a pot with lemon and lots of
sugar. Next they started to take out Tombola, a game much like bingo.
This we played with much fun especially when they try to translate the
numbers significance in a Napolitan luck system of some sort. Each
number corresponds to an image or idea for example 33 is the years of
Christ, and others are more bizarre and diverse, fallen women, a naked
ghosts and buttocks. Apparently there is a belief that if you dream of one of
these things you should play that number in the national lotto and you
will win. By the time we finish, Sammy and Finn are both asleep and its
time to go home. We thank everyone for a great day. We felt as if we were
with friends from home. Its a very long drive back and we don't get
there until after 11pm
20th Mon Suzie
Luckily for us there has been rain and Mike stays home today. We have
a lovely morning once we've managed to get the kids to school and go to
Toni's for tea and treats. Finn is with us, and Toni entertains him with
bits of ice cream and cleaning his finger marks off the glass display case
where he likes to climb up to look at the ice cream. Toni has developed
quite a soft spot for Finn. After this Mike goes to the barber for a
much needed haircut (they don't charge him as he was shown the shop by Mimo who spun whatever tale he does about Mike having four kids or
whatever he says) I did house work and was in and out. It stayed rainy
so I made some fudge to try to use up some of our sugar surplus and to
have for gifts while the kids got a movie. The rain and wind rose
steadily until there was a storm outside. We ran across the piazza to
Tonis shop to keep Roberto (Toni's partner) company as few were out in
the storm, and had hot chocolate before bed.
I'm up early despite needing lots of sleep - the habit during the
week is hard to get out of. I get breakfast for Finn and then Sammy and
Eli wake up and I put on Italian TV for them. We are going on an outing
with Domenico and family today. Long drive to a his friend's farm near
the Ionian sea (sole of Italy's foot). Landscape - sides of mountains
with deep grooves.
Nicola very friendly, his father was POW during the war and was on a
crutch not from that but from being hit by a car last year! Dinner at a
long table in large room. Later the kids circling around us on scooters
while we sat and ate! Lots of food courses, including a roasted
(toasted) bread which I loved - very simple, you rub it with raw garlic,
add a chili/pepper sauce, olive oil and salt.
Walk after dinner then ready to leave, kids getting tired, but stayed on
for Bingo in several languages.
Very large grain farm, Nicola does it all himself with a large tractor.
Long drive back to Giov.
Things are getting busy trying to co-ordinate food gifts to everyone.
I did a big tidy in apartment because it gets very messy when we all
stay in like yesterday and then made muffins and took them to Toni's to
bake in time to give them warm to Sammy's teachers at school. Toni taught
me the phrase I wanted about making them to thank them for looking after Sammy so
well. Something like "Io fata questa per voi a regrazia per che
attienzioni a Sammy. " I was understood anyway. The kids turned out to have a sort of half day
that I wasn't told
about. Lorella phoned to say most of the kids had been collected and she
would get my guys if I liked. We went home and waited until it was time
to get ready for Rosa's show. Mike did some almond sorting with the kids
catching those that have been missed by the machine.
I go early with
Rosa and am able to get good seats. Mike and the boys arrive later. We
all love the show. Rosa appears in a white costume I knew nothing about,
and looks gorgeous, and is right at the centre of her group and star of their little
dance. Finn says "again, again," when she finishes. The rest of the show is
as cute as anything with all the usual primary school mistakes which make it
even more fun. Finn growls at the Grinch because the little girl who
acts as him is growling her lines. Eli hugs Rosa afterwards and tell her
that her dance was beautiful. In the long list of thank yous by the
teachers, I get a mention for the back drops. We go out on a high.
take Eli and Rosa Christmas shopping for their friends on the piazza.
When I get home Mike has had a hard time with Sammy over the barbequing
of fish. Poor Sammy howled for ages because they were all his friends
and he didn't want us to eat them. We had to wait until he was tired to
actually eat them. I think he's going to be a vegetarian if he ever gets
to like vegetables.