Friday, July 17, 2009

Grandma's noisy night

From our bedroom
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
During our Italian holiday, the cough that had plagued me for a week in June returned with a vengeance, encouraged, I believe, by the air-con in the car. This cough was - and is - of the variety which becomes more insistent the moment you go to bed, and gave rise one night to a sequence of events which I can only imagine as belonging in one of Catriona's picture-books.

Scene: Dark bedroom, dark courtyard outside open window (in picture). Second frame: loud coughing from inside window. A dog appears round the corner. BARK. BARK. WOOFWOOFWOOF.
A cat streaks round the corner past the barking dog.
The dog gives chase, by now WOOFWOOFing uncontrollably.
Another cat joins in, then another.
The low-slung, slow-moving, roly-poly dog waddles into the courtyard. Inside the room, there is the sound of cursing, followed by another bout of COUGHCOUGHCOUGH.
The roly-poly dog joins in. GERWOOF. GERWOOF.

By now the night is hideous with the sounds of battle. An unknown number of cats have joined the fray - remember, there are 15 of them in the vicinity - and both dogs. Their paws make a drumming noise in the echoing confines of the courtyard. There seems to be no reason for any of them ever to quieten down. And no chance of sleep. It is 2am.

Suddenly a light comes on at the top of the stairs (look at the photo again). A door opens and a silhouette appears. It is la nonna - Grandma. A high-pitched torrent of Italian abuse is hurled at the miscreant beasts and a door slams.

And then, miraculously, there is silence. The cats slink off to their nocturnal prowlings, and the dogs retreat to wherever it is they sleep at night. And behind the ornamental bars, behind the geraniums, behind the mosquito mesh, I attempt to be silent, to avoid further barking, to refrain from talking to the dogs.

Now, I need an illustrator ...


  1. Indeed you do!!

  2. Oh GLORY!!! This is sooooooo good! Forget an illustrator...just take random photos, use an editor to make them B&W outlines, then "color" them in with watercolor type colors!!!! (clear as mud, right?) Anyway, think of the legacy...Chris the author/artist!!!!!

    What a tale this is, and if nothing else, PLEASE put this together in book form for the grandchildren! It is too cute to NOT do it!!!! My neighbor did books for her grands when they were little.

  3. Golly, Katya, you make me want to abandon sermon prep and start drawing! But I do know the odd artist ....

  4. Aw, gee could draw and just take your book to church and use it for your sermon. Must be something relevant in there. Jesus said we must come as little children, after all!!!

  5. Oh, and the artist you odd???

    Sorry...Michelle had a sleepover last night in which neither girl SLEPT! Now, if she had asked to have an all-nighter, I think I would have said NO!!!! I am so sleep deprived!

  6. Tee hee... I don't think she's any odder than most artists!
    As for sleep deprivation - try a respiratory virus which has lasted for 4 weeks in toto. I've had one full night of unbroken sleep in 12 days....yawn..... :-o

  7. Tex Avery scene ! Very good way for putting it and take it on the right side !
    Hope it's gone !