Monday, April 11, 2005


Before I explain, some amusing Skittles stories.

I don't think I mentioned how she managed to get to school one day with no knickers? She DID have tights on. However, she was moved to show her classmates, at lunch, her bare bum. Nice. Her father claimed, "Like mother, like daughter," but I am not known for leaving the house with no knickers. After all . . .

The next day she announced, "Don't look while I get dressed."

When I demanded a knicker accounting, she claimed, "I forgot." She was sent upstairs to put some on.

Yesterday (Sunday), she was playing some sort of hiding game with her older sister and her father. There was lots of shrieking and laughing, hiding behind things, and jumping out. Later, she was heard to explain that once she was really startled and "I scared my ASS off."

Shortly after that, she played the piano for a bit (she has now had three lessons). She finished her piece, and ran off shouting, "How's that, SUCKERS?!"

So today, when she got sick, we have seen a total 180 in her normally effervescent personality. She becomes very flat when she is sick, and it is the saddest thing ever. She may be totally exhausting to live with when she is fine, but she is very much with us then. These sick days are really empty.

Today Baboo had a cello lesson and then bike riding with Jaro, the Hottie and Recently Single Sports Teacher. I learned a while ago about an English couple who are buying a manor house here and arranged to meet them this afternoon for an interview. They now live in a village just ouside Bratislava and I mistakenly thought that the village where the property is was Pezinok, which is just a few minutes from here. We met in a store parking lot and I realized we were off to Piestany, which was about 50 km from our meeting point. These village names still sound similar to me sometimes.

The good part of the day was the Cool Factor. It was a lovely spring day with cloudless blue skies. And we got the full exotic, Eastern Europe treatment on our way there: thick-waisted grandmothers in aprons and headscarves, a stout little pony pulling a ramshackle cart through a main street, a goat drinking from a metal pail in a meadow along the road. I don't often get out of Bratislava, and today I definately got the "You're in a Foreign Country" trip.

On the way, I realized that I was never going to make it back in time to pick up Skittles at 3:30, so I tried to make arrangements for an after school play date. When I called the school to let them know that Skittles would be going home with Maria, they informed me that she may, indeed, be the next victim in the chicken pox epidemic that is currently sweeping the school. As we spoke she was asleep, which is unusual as she normally scorns naps. But they would keep her there and let her sleep. I would return as quickly as I could.

The drive there seemed endless. I was already doing the math and had concluded that about all I would have time for was a quick photo. I would have to speak to Ann on the phone later to get the whole scoop on this project. And when we arrived Ann and David apologized for the slow drive. Someone had recommended that route as supposedly being quicker, but "Bunk!" they concluded, and rightly so.

They did not have access to the interior of the house today, so I will have to return another day anyhow. But the exterior has potential. The place was built in the late 1600s. A British television crew is following them around and documenting the whole process for a program that will air in September of this year. So while filming will conclude in July, that means the exterior must be finished by then to give the impression that the whole thing is done by the air date. They must be ready to open their doors when the show airs or miss a fantastic advertising opportunity.

So I rushed through and flew back to Bratislava faster than I normally drive. For once 160 kilometers per hour felt okay. Collected the Skittle One and brought her home where she, willingly, went straight to bed. No spots yet, but we will see.


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