No love (yet) in Portofino

I should never have got married. It’s costing me a fortune getting divorced

I am living in hope of a fresh start

Dear Hadji,

Thank you for your most delightful invitation to spend the summer with you – and Dorcas (WTF) in Hydra. As it happened, I spent the summer practically across ” the bay” from you all…

I didn’t come because just as I was contemplating it, (rather seriously as it would happen) Jonny Rosso dropped an invite through my box and suggested I head off to Portofino with him.  Heavens above – which girl could resist an invitation like that?  Not been there since one our anniversaries… but I went… and what a summer we had!

In any event, I needed something to take my mind off the divorce which although lasted less time than a Gin Fizz will still cost ME a lot of money.  I remain perplexed.  How is it that the girlie ends up paying the bloke.  Well, I’ll tell you!  It’s because he doesn’t have a brass farthing to his name and goes around marrying stupid – yes, there I said it – stupid ladies of a certain age with more money than sense.  Oh Hadji what on earth was I thinking of?  Now I have another terrible tangle to try to get out of, so I saw the Invitation from Jonny Rosso as manna from heaven and it certainly took my mind of most of the awful things in life which seem to befall me.

Once a cad – always a cad

I remember you were never very keen on him.  You said too much hair; too much lip (I guess you meant that literary rather than figurately talking about constantly talking) and that bit is still true…

I was recalling when we all first met.  We were invited to some sort of luncheon at his place.  His wife had rather unwisely applied herself to cook the meal herself having given the kitchen staff the day off.  I think, if we were being kind, we would say she was something of “a steady cook!”  Brave as well I reckon. Rumour has it that his appetite after lights out was insatiable.  No wonder she always looked a little drained. Oh, I did feel for her in the early years.

He’s got sloppy though.  Once he would have got around in shiny tassled loafers but now he seems to wear these soft espadrilles which remind me of a Portuguese sardine fisherman.  Bit infra dig really.

Anyway, I did go off to Portofino and had a jolly fine time.  The only thing which put me off was the Teasmade on the bedside cabinet.  Now I know that we are Brits abroad but surely one doesn’t have to have a Teasmade complete with Twinings tea by the side of the bed, ready for a brew each morning.  I dont know why people can’t get up and make themselves a cup of tea and drink it on the terrace. But it appears with Jonny he needs to have one before he even moves out of bed in the mornings, hence the contraption. Although I am embarrassed to say I did indeed use it on more than one occasion but the long-life milk put me off and I reverted to Earl grey with powered lemon (try it before you knock it) Still nothing can compare to early morning tea from the copper kettle we had in Kenya with sterilised milk.

Oh, how I loved that sweet taste…

Well back to the story….

So Jonny Rosso did indeed slope around all day with his Sardine Espadrilles and at times had taken to wear a kerchief around his neck like an extra from a Noel coward play.  I’m not exactly sure how I felt about that, so I decided to to consider it at all and get on with the business of having a fabulous time.  And what a time we had.

After the first week when we did not a lot more than swim, read and sleep we hooked up with a couple from the Home Counties.   He was, rather predictably, in Banking and she didn’t work – at all!  Not even a bit of charity work down the local shops.  I asked her how she spent her day and she said she didn’t know, but the days just “went”.  Well, even if I do from time to time wish I had rather less of the social engagements than I do have, I can’t say I favour the idea of an empty diary and simply floating around waiting for someone to call me.  No, not at all.  Talking of things which just “went”, you should see her smash down a bottle of something fizzy at noon.  Blimey I don’t think it touched the sides of her neck at all.  Boy, that woman was thirsty.

Phillida, (that’s the wife) however proved to be entertaining company after downing a few Campari’s and one night took on a dare from Jonny Rosso to swim naked in the harbour.  Now as we both know, the harbour is filthy with diesel oil from the yachts, always completely busy at night with diners and walkers and probably rather dangerous to consider swimming in when you are nine sheets to the wind.  However, Phillida being the girl that she is, took on the dare and having no costume of any sort to hand, simply stripped off right down to her knickers.  Now before even YOU get over excited at the prospect of skinny dipping in the sea, I have to tell you that her knickers were the sort of large, structured sorts that our mothers might have worn in the 1900’s but did allow me to find out how she could wear those tightly fitted dresses all day.  Her excess skin was neatly stored in the ample knickers.  Anyway, flushed with her success, she then started doing some sort of water aerobics which caused quite a crowd to form, especially when she kept jumping up on one of the buoys and diving back into the water.  Its fair to say her prowess in the water was rather good and after diving into the water barely causing a ripple, she dived deep under the water and threw her knickers up from the deep and onto the harbour quay.  As you can imagine, *(well I am sure you can!) this caused the whole crowd to hold its breath to see what would happen next but before anything else did the local Carabinieri came along and demanded she came out straight away – although there was no towel waiting on the quay to spare her blushes.

No one likes a show off, Phillida! Read the Memo……

What worried me was the fact that she may well be arrested for causing a public breach of order or disturbance or something like that but more importantly, Jonny Rosso was clapping her on.  He thought it a great wheeze and kept shouting “encore” “encore” and adding a whistle after it which rather added to the whole lack of taste that I had come to expect from him.   Just because he has taken up smoking a pipe rather than his roll ups doesn’t make him any more couth.   Yes, Hadji, I have to say I was very disappointed in the behaviour from Jonny as most of the evening his eyes were fixated on her very ample bosom (false ones, obvs….) and at one point he was spoon feeding her, his Crème Brûlée .   The shame and embarrassment I felt when he was leaning right across me with the spoon and feeding her. And the pair of them were giggling. Yes, giggling. Ridiculous at their age as well! Bovine creature that she is!

She would never last long in The Tropics wearing that!

And, for sure, her dress was something in polyester.  I shudder at the thought of it?  Not even silk or linen, which we all know are the only fabrics one would wear in the heat. No wonder she was constantly shimmering across her forehead. Anything synthetic would make her sweat and that’s not very feminine, now, is it?

Anyway, I tried to overlook it as it was a free holiday and at other times it was super fun.

Yes, all in all it a pleasant diversion from the forthcoming divorce proceedings with lots of raised eyebrows and sharp intakes of breath (all by me, of course).  Hadji, do you ever wish we hadn’t divorced?

Now, how was Hydra?

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