Well, I don't know what to say. I'm quite speechless. Or to put it in Barrack Obama's words: "Wow!". I received an award!
It was given to me by Mrs Ayak, an English woman living on some hilltop village a bit like ours in Turkey. She talks about her adventures on her blog: http://ayak-turkishdelight.blogspot.com/. It doesn't sound like your usual ex-pat hang out where she lives.
Well, I'm not sure what the etiquette is with these award thingies. Although this blog has been going for some 2 years now, I have only recently, with a bit of extra time on my hands due to the enforced injury break, started looking at some blogs by other people and mingled a bit. It seems you are supposed to stick it on the side of your blog, must work out how to do that, and then pass it on to someone else.
I've been rehearsing my acceptance speech all day in my head, but I think I'll just keep it short and sweet:
Cheers Mrs Ayak and everyone else who follows my blog! I'll have a think about passing it on and keep you posted. In the meantime you are all invited for Prosecco and nibbles this evening.
Unfortunately these news were a bit overshadowed by something very sad for me today. I'm generally a very positive, optimistic kind of person; easy to get on with; not easily thrown by events. I keep my sense of humour if I have to live on a Euro for a fortnight or when things just don't work the way I hoped. But there is one thing that makes me very sad: the loss of a friend.
I rarely put really personal things in my blog, especially if they concern other people. This particular person, I shall call her Y, is not likely to read this, but some people who know us and her may recognise her. She has been a good friend to us ever since we arrived in Italy. She has been almost embarrassingly generous towards us, showering us with unrequested gifts, helping us financially when we were in the doldrums, taking us for meals when we had nothing. Any protests she would put down with a "that's what friends are for."
She has long lived on her own and she doesn't have much in the way of family either, so sometimes I had the sneeking feeling that in her loneliness she was trying to 'buy' our affection. But we got on well, we saw each other often, I liked her sense of humour.
Last week we were invited to her house for dinner. She had sorted through a whole pile of clothes she didn't fit into any more and got Susan to try them on. They fitted her perfectly, so Y gave them to Susan. We had a pleasant evening together and went home late as usual.
A few days later Y rang us up and she said she was near us, could she pop up, she had something else for Susan. I said of course and she arrived with a brand new woolen coat and another cast off pair of trousers. Then she asked if Susan during our last visit, had accidentally taken a silk bra of hers, which may have been lying on the bed with the other clothes. I don't pay any attention to clothes, but Susan said she didn't think so. The two of them then went upstairs to have a look if they had ended up in Susan's underwear drawer. They hadn't. We promised, we'd have another look, as Susan's memory is not always the best.
Today Susan found another bra, which fitted the description and we said we'd meet her today to return it to her, she seemed quite upset about the loss of the garment. When we met up with her she said it wasn't the right one and now openly accused Susan of stealing the bra out of her drawer. Now Susan may have some psychological problems as a result of a brain injury sustained in a car accident 30 years ago, but kleptomania is not one of them. I assured her that I would guarantee her that she definitely did not deliberately steal this bra. If anything she may have accidentally picked it up with the other clothes, but we've had a major tidy up of our bedroom this afternoon, and it hasn't turned up.
Y said she couldn't have it that if she had people to visit that she would have to lock away valuables. Susan of course, and me feel badly insulted and we left under a black cloud. Me on the other hand, can't call somebody a friend who accuses me or Susan of stealing. I'm not too sure how to handle this situation. I'm thinking of sending her a handwritten letter, telling her that she must have made a mistake. But if she insists on her accusations, we could no longer be friends. I'd thank her for her friendship and her generosity, it would make me very sad to do so, but I would have to end it. I'll wait for a few days, in case she suddenly rings having found her bra.
I don't have that many good friends, so I don't like loosing any...