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something cataclysmic + fifty shades of grey

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Having to leave the farm and only go back at weekends is onerous and irksome. Not just for me, for everyone. However organised I try to be, I always forget something. I overpack the car and put things in inappropriate places, like my Aerolatte milk frother. I tucked it in the boot and the dogs sat on it. Annoying, as it was a gift, and embarrassing, as the twirly thing was bent out of recognition.
Misshapen frothers aside, something cataclysmic always seems to happen as we are about to leave.
The other day, I was checking what had to be done before we left Tuscany. Shutters shut, gas turned off, perishables removed from the fridge, the computer cable, the very essential under-eye cream.... I was almost there when I heard...
“Mummy, there is blood everywhere.”
True to my 'if I ignore a catastrophe, it will go away' attitude I casually replied,
“Oh it'll be fine.”
A pang of self-reproach later, I asked,
“Who is bleeding?”
I raced out of the house. Our dog gazed at me with his big, brown eyes as if to say,
“Sorry, I couldn't resist the chase.”
He was seriously wounded. A wild boar had severed the artery in his leg.
Several stitches later, a very sleepy Alvin made me wonder. Why was he gored five minutes before we left? Does he loathe our constant expeditions too?
However vexed or nettled I am with our frequent trips up and down the motorway, I love seeing my Roman friends. It's fabulous to talk about something other than damaged fencing or stunted raspberry growth.'s hard work.
They are tanned and relaxed after their weekends by the lake. I, on the other hand, look weathered and exhausted. Getting an appointment with the beautician early Monday morning is hell and let's not talk about burning off the country fare!
Still not to worry, there is a fabulous gym around the corner. Or should I say, there used to be a fabulous gym around the corner. It closed due to money laundering. Seriously...
As a consequence, my dear friend Laura now hosts a gym class in her garden. Fitness instructor Andrea teaches 'Body Pump' three times a week. We call him 'our boyfriend' for obvious reasons. 6ft, tanned, Italian and well...ripped!
A couple of days ago, something strange happened and Andrea asked for some rather unusual advice.
“I've got something to show you”.
We gathered around his iphone.
An Italian version of the Chippendales appeared.
“That was me 10 years ago. I've been asked to strip again.”
He attempted to enlarge the photo.
“No, we can't take it,” squealed the ladies.
“With the gym closing, I need the money.”
After pondering his predicament and the socio-economic implications of organised crime, I came to the locker-room conclusion,

“Who needs 'Fifty Shades of Grey' when you've got Andrea?”
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Vanessa 09/01/2013
Haha!! Love it x
Laura Gladstone 29/10/2012
I laughed aloud reading your blog! We sure enjoy our workout sessions three times a week with Andrea. Its easy for me to workout since it is in my own backyard! The downside, is that I can't miss class! Thank you for the frother, I will think of your dogs every time I use it! I am looking into making that small group shot of Andrea into a poster. Do you think our husbands will get a bit upset or will that encourage them to workout? Looking forward to Monday's class! Love the blog!! Can't wait to...
Paula 26/10/2012
Andrea, Andrea…what I want to know is how is poor Alvin doing?????
Tanya 24/10/2012
Sounds to me like your Super human. Not a bad quality to have. To make you feel a bit better, I live 5 minutes from the lake and I spent the whole of Sunday cleaning out my garage and trust me, it really needed sorting out. Be positive and remember " that which does not kill us makes us stronger. To all the non gym goers, I can vouch for the power of Andrea!
Jax 24/10/2012
Just wrote a long message and pressed send before pressing privacy agreement so the whole thing disappeared! Bugger! Was just saying that you are one tough lady Kate and have huge admiration for you!!! Also wanted to know which one is Andrea? I am so living in the wrong country! So wish I was just down the road and joining you and Andrea for fitness classes! Come and see us sometime soon. Love Jax xxx
susan chalker 24/10/2012
First off, after having only your page and the pictures, I would never leave ..but then i know I am seeing all the good could try yoga and meditation...About Andrea, i would sit and look at him for hours..:]...he should really do it....Great looking guy....go for it Andrea...

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