Work in Progress

Maandelijks archief van augustus, 2017


Sunday funday. So what to do on a beautiful Sunday like this?


We bought a bubble blower for doggies, when we were grocery shopping last week. Off course we couldn’t wait to try it at home. But while it’s just like a cute, small, girly pink, Marvin the Martian kind of gun, it shoots bubbles like an Uzi. So after two rounds of bubble shooting indoors, everything was coated with sticky soapy water stains that smelled like sausage.



Didn’t like that much.


Perfect for playing in the park on a warm sunny day though.



Sunday funday bubble blowing day it is!!


When we entered the park, we walked into Malha’s friend Molly and her owners. While we stopped for a chitchat, her four year old girl was looking at the bag I carried. I told her it was the doggy-bag and I made it myself, and showed her the images I had embroidered of Kuzco traveling. When I opened the front flap, she was curious to know what was inside the bag. I let her take a look, and she saw the bottles of water and a bowl and some treats. But then her eye caught the tiny pink bubble blower. She picked it out of the bag, and with a twinkle in her eyes she asked me what it was. I showed it to her, and she bounced up and down, clapping her hands. ‘Can I make some bubbles… can I-can I???



Her mom stopped talking to Ramon, and with utter surprise, she looked at the bubble blower. ‘Did that really come out of your bag? Do you always carry such strange things inside your bag? Why in heavens name do you have a bubble blower in your bag?’

When we explained we were going to play with Kuzco and Malha for them to chase meat flavored bubbles, she had to laugh. ‘What strange people you are.’





I inherited a love for second hand, antique and vintage bric a brac from my parents. I have absolutely no knowledge when something is ‘the real deal’, I just love old things. So whenever there’s a flea market or ‘antique’ market, I love to stroll along the stands, and see if there’s anything I would like to buy.

I have a huge love for old cutlery, crockery, and glasses. I honestly could buy everything pretty that catches my eye. But I’ve made a promise to Ramon (and myself), to not go crazy, and only buy crockery if it has a brown or black toile de jouy , which matches so wonderfully with my grandmothers tableware. Sometimes I hate myself for ever making such a promise, because more often you see blue, red and green toile de jouy, rather than brown or black. But, it makes the findings ever so special, and eager to purchase when I do find something. And then there is another rule I made for myself; it has to be worth the pretty.

Ramon once took me to a famous market in Belgium for my birthday. It was the most beautiful weather, and I loved strolling together with Ramon while eating fresh roasted nuts out of a paper bag. I saw the most beautiful things, which Ramon scratched off the pretty with ease. He always calls those markets ‘junkyard markets’, and if it was up to him, he wouldn’t even be there, let alone spend one dime on all that ‘truly old-’ or ‘made in china-’ junk. But because I love it so much, he also sees when I really love something, and will even haggle for me for a better price. That’s how I bought my ‘wedding ring’.



I had lost the original one, and didn’t wear any for years, until I saw the ring from the movie Miss Potter. I wanted it, and I wanted it badly. Ramon tried to talk me out of it, but after a second time we walked by, he started to haggle for me, in terribly spoken French. And for a good 35 euros, and only if Ramon would put the ring on my finger at the stand,  because the stand owner thought Ramon was going to ask me to be his wife, I walked away wearing that ring with the biggest smile. I have the most fondest memories of that day, even though I might have coloured it even brighter after all these years.



And last Sunday, I went to a flea market with my mother.



Here in my hometown, at the most beautiful setting a flea- or ‘antique-’ market could be at. One of the historical estates, which is often used for wedding pictures.



My mother is someone who just as easily get carried away when seeing something pretty. But we stayed strong. We strolled down the market twice, just to make sure we didn’t miss anything. And then it happened…



I told my mom I always keep my eyes out for the wooden toy horse my little wooden soldier had lost. It is a toy from my childhood, which got broken and only the soldier remained. But I never could find it on any of those markets I have visited. ‘But there it is Joyce!’, my mother said with a surprise in her voice.



‘No way!!!!’

There was no room anymore to haggle, because we were like two chickens clucking loudly and clapping our wings of joy. But it was a reasonable price thank God, cause we would have bought it anyway. I was too tired to start skipping, but in my mind I was. Besides the fact it was a wonderful, sunny, lovely day spend with my mother, we  left with, what felt like a pot of gold.





I could so get used to not having seizures almost all day, every day….

During our holiday, just to be able to push through a day doing all kinds of fun stuff, exhausting stuff, and absolutely way too much stuff, in my case, I doubled the dosage of my medication. It’s okay for short periods of time, like once in a while, but I have pushed the limit this time.

And even though I know I shouldn’t, at least for this long a time, and I know this will only advance the degradation of many organs, it was so hard to return to the normal dosage.

Every day I could use an upcoming event as an excuse to postpone the day.

The day; where the first two days feel like my dying days. To adjust to the normal dosage again, means experience every (normally) suppressed seizure triple its strength. And makes usual days at a minimal of twelve seizures, at least 30 seizures a day.

But I promised myself that my birthday would be the last used excuse, and then I would start life as usual.

So Monday, Tuesday, and the better part of Wednesday, were my dying days. Almost unbearable pains in my head, way too many seizures, and simply exhausted of going through one after the other seizure. But Wednesday in the afternoon, the storm of seizures subsided. And while I still felt horrible, and extremely tired, I wanted to have a picnic with Ramon and the doggies in the park.



There was going to be an open stand-up music event in the park from 17.00 till 22.00. So I made a simple dinner of salad and bread, and strawberries for desert. Coffee, tea, water and wine would be enough liquid to pass the time. So off we went when Ramon came home from work.



It was a lovely time. It was still rather muggy, so even when it became utterly dark in the park, it still was nice to sit in the grass, and later at the Tearoom’s terrace.



It didn’t mind, me still not feeling too well, because all we did was relax on a plaid, and cuddle. The doggies were running around or played with the children who were there as well. The only thing we regretted was not bringing our camera with us.

We had a good laugh over an Elvis Presley imitator. He was the first to enter the stage. He played his part well; he walked like Elvis, talked like Elvis, dressed like Elvis, even the famous Elvis lip was there. But when he started to sing Dutch children songs and kept swaying his hips….

It just completely diminished his act….

A couple of teenagers who brought their instruments with them, entered the stage soon after, and they were just wonderful.

It was such a nice, relaxed evening after three horrible days. I survived them again off course, and life as usual has started again.



Birthday girl


Love, honest caring, and making someone feel important. Every time it happens to me, I am amazed of the power it holds. And it makes me cry of happiness, I am finally open to receive it.

But every once in a while, especially when I have enough to carry emotionally and physically, I close down, and make myself believe I am not good enough for anything, which immediately give people whom sense this kind of weakness, take advantage of it, and I bow down to the feeling of in-importance and not worthy enough. Even though I am working my ass off for years, to change my perspective on life, and especially myself, it’s strange I still haven’t learned to stay strong in self-love and self-confidence, and I give people room to hurt me. I hate it, but apparently in my weakest hour, it still feels safer than to be loved and feel important enough.

This birthday I almost let myself slip into to the old familiar coat, but people whom I love so dearly, made sure I stayed reminded of being important enough, and loving me for me.

So this birthday, the one I never ever in my wildest dreams would dare to think when I was 23 would come true… turning 38… people around me made sure I stayed strong in my new self-love.

Off course my handsome husband, made me feel like a queen, and bought me a present, which we agreed we wouldn’t do. A pair of shoes holding Lucy and Snoopy on each shoe, giving each other a kiss. I told Ramon during our holiday in Italy, that were the only Vans I liked for me, after he bought some cool Vans for himself.

In hindsight, these shoes even holds a powerful message for me, beside being so utterly cute. With Snoopy being Kuzco and Lucy being a me, I could use one or two trades from her.

My love for Kuzco is immense; so a girl kissing a dog represents me loving Kuzco. But the character of Lucy is the total opposite of me. Whilst she could do with a little less, I on the other hand could use a little more of the Lucy character. So every time I wear them now, it reminds me of loving myself more, as well as loving the ones I love deeply.


All that in a pair of Vans….. who ever knew…..


Happy birthday dear 38 year old me!!!


And thank you ever so much to the people who made me feel so very special!







The last day we spend in Italy, we decided to go to lake Bilancino. A couple of days earlier we tried to visit the famous dog beach in Livorno. But this time we only saw the beach as we drove by back and forth. Two and a half hour drive, two hours of searching where it could possibly be, and when we finally found it, there was absolutely no parking space to be found. So we turned home again with two jumpy doggies in the back of the car, howling and barking of discontent with their noses pressed against the window to watch the sea disappear further from view.



Irritated as hell that we again couldn’t run and play and swim with Kuzco and Malha, and wasted a whole day and fuel for nothing, we browsed the internet searching for a nearby lake or something at least. We found Lago di Bilancino, the largest artificial lake in Tuscany in Barberino di Mugello near Florence, and it was told that dogs were welcome to play and swim unleashed. Since there was a Facebook account of the lake, I decided to ask where exactly we could go with our dogs, and if they really can walk and play unleashed. Not expecting a answer real soon, I was surprised within minutes my phone bleeped with a reply. The whole lake was dog friendly, to swim and play unleashed. He even suggested Bahia cafe, a “beach-cafe” set-up on the lake’s coastline with chairs, umbrellas, and every water sport imaginable up for rent. For once we were carefully hopeful, and packed our beach bag one more time.



When we arrived, it was so hot. It looked so beautiful, and not at all as busy as we were expecting it to be on a Saturday. But across the lake we saw very dark clouds coming our way. I felt my body tensing up.

Oh dear…. Please keep those clouds far far away. I don’t think Ramon can take one more set back this holiday…

But off course it did arrived, with thunder, lightning and lots of rain within minutes.

‘What do you want to do?’ I asked carefully. Do you want to go home, or shall we drink something at the Bahia café?’

Like a rolling thunder itself, he growled the words out of his mouth. ‘We are staying right here. The doggies are finally able to swim. I don’t care about nothing anymore! Even if the camera breaks down due to the rain, which undoubtedly with our never ending luck in life will happen…. I just don’t give a fuck anymore…..’ As if the raindrops weighed a hundred pound each, he let his head down and curved his back heavy.



I played with Kuzco and Malha for a while in the pouring rain, and then I managed to convince Ramon to have a drink at the Bahia café.



There was only one place left to sit, which was underneath a canopy. I dried Kuzco and Malha with the only towel that was still dry, and wrapped Malha in it to make her stop shivering  from the cold.



She snuggled in Ramon’s arm like a baby, and within minutes she was fast asleep. It is amazing how a simple thing like cuddling and softly cradling Malha can make Ramon totally relax, and even in his darkest mood, turns a smile on his face.



We had another wine, and with every sip we took, it was raining less and less. When Ramon could smile again, the sun was shining again. We were the only few people left, so we had almost had the ‘beach’ to ourselves.



I was so glad we stayed until the rain was gone. We had the most lovely time, lying in the sun, enjoying each other, and Kuzco and Malha running and playing, and looking so happy.



This was the best and wonderful way to end an eventful holiday to say the least. Even though it seemed something was doing its very best to ruin our holiday, we managed to make the best of it, and am convinced, made it even more intense. I loved Tuscany.



I loved the landscape, the food, the wine, the weather. All through our time in Italy, I didn’t have to wear my gloves. My hands stayed warm, and hurt a little less. It was such a nice feeling  not needing to wear the gloves, and feel the agonising pain so much.



I’m looking back at an intense, wonderful loving time.  I can’t wait to select a few pictures to put on the refrigerator, to remind me of the wonderful, eventful times we spend in Italy together with the four of us.




We were looking forward to see Florence. The history it holds, the story of the Medici family, to see  the buildings that also came to pass in the tv. Series of Da Vinci’s Demons, but most importantly, the fact the Medici rule still holds concerning dogs.



In 2008, the Florentine government passed a bill allowing dogs and their owners access to restaurants, art galleries, post offices, museums and stores. The only place where one cannot take dear Fido in Florence is The Teatro del Maggio Musicale, the Florence Opera House. While restaurants and retail stores do reserve the right to decline the entrance of a dog, that authority is generally not exercised. Dogs are not required to be on leashes either and are free to roam solo along the cobblestone streets of Florence.



‘The heart-warming union between man and his best friend in Florence take roots in the city’s rich history. Dogs have always played an integral role in Florentine society, amassing the reputation of a loyal and true companion for life. A common iconography used in Italian art is a dog- either awake or sleeping- representing the status of loyalty of the parties portrayed in the painting. For Lorenzo the Magnificent, his hunting dogs were a status symbol as well as loyal companions who often received princely treatment and were in attendance during important meetings and dinners.’



With these words, we loved Florence even well before we’ve been there. And now that we have, we  are even more in love. We couldn’t wait to roam the streets of Florence with our two apparently moviestar-like puppies, with and without their designer leashes and shoes on.



The history it holds was truly overwhelming. But that the taste of history would be such a real experience, was a bonus that really wasn’t necessary.



We had lunch at a Irish pub, because Ramon wanted a nice glass of Kilkenny for a change. Huge disappointment they only had local beer to serve, we still stayed for lunch. By the time we were finished, my reflux was working at its best. So with a quick pace I entered the restaurant to search for the toilet. I only had to follow the distinct smell of urine, that became stronger with every step I came closer. When I opened the mixed gender toilet door, I was shocked with horror. There was no toilet. There was only a small platform with a hole in it. Splashes of freshly made shiny drops of faeces covered the wall behind it. No way!!! Seriously????

I was so baffled with disgust, I turned around and swallowed back my returning lunch. No way I was going to throw up in here. I sat down next to Ramon again and told him of my horror. But I couldn’t finish telling, because the reflux came back stronger than before. There was no choice, I had to go back. My fear of what would happen became real. All the remains of my predecessors that I still could see lying in the hole, splatted up against my face when I had to throw up. I kept my eyes closed so I wouldn’t see the faeces onto the wall and in the hole. But the feel of the drops hitting against my face and the smell of it all, made more than lunch alone return. When nothing was left in my stomach anymore to give, I made a turn to the left where even the sink was stained with whatever, and I cleaned my face. No means to dry my face and hands, but even if there would have been, I don’t think I wanted to use it.

So this is how they must have used the toilet back in the days…..


Enough real taste of history for me today… just want to look at buildings and statues from now on.



At the end of the day, when we were on our way back to the car, we decided to have a drink at a  restaurant called Gilly. It is one of the oldest cafès of Italy. Caffè Gilli was founded in 1733. In 1848 it became a local nerve center for the Florentine intellectuals and artists. In recent years, most of the Italian and international celebrities and artists who have come to Florence have paid a visit to Caffè Gilli.



So off course I wanted to sit here and have a drink, to end our amazing day. It was a beautiful experience of the yin and yang of restaurants in one day, especially since it ended with the yang. The toilet was how it was supposed to be, and the food, drinks and service was even greater. I choose a pastry of the menu I thought would be without chocolate, but it turned out to be almost only chocolate. Amazed by the beauty of it, I was utterly disappointed I couldn’t eat it.



By the time we wanted to pay and leave, the waiter asked what was wrong with the pastry. I told him since there was no word of chocolate on the menu on the piece of pastry, I choose this one because I can’t eat chocolate. I simply made a wrong choice. ‘Can you eat fruit? I will bring you a new one, just wait…’ the waiter said and returned with a new one. ‘The mistake was neither your or my fault , so please enjoy this new pastry.’



Well, this day really couldn’t have end any better than this. My smile went from ear to ear, and it didn’t leave my face until it rested on my pillow to sleep.




The old cot


An old cot stood in the atrium of the monastery. Every other day it was filled with fresh water for Kuzco and Malha to drink and play. It’s funny, where we thought Kuzco would be the first one to jump in, he just watched Malha play, and occasionally took a sip of water, but that was it.



We created a little water monster of Malha, even more so than Kuzco ever was.



Where there is water, there will be Malha.



So every day at the crack of dawn, Malha was playing in the old cot, while Kuzco took his best friend Jaap the sheep for a walk. We tried to convince Kuzco to jump in, we even tried to help him in, to cool off on those terribly hot midday’s.



But I think due to Kuzco his sight getting poor, he can’t make estimate on how deep it is.

It was just too adorable how even Malha tried to convince him how fun this actually was. I even think she told him how to get in, and needn’t be afraid.



‘If I can do it, so can you daddy. Don’t be afraid.’



It took him almost a week, and an almost empty cot, to face his demons, and secretly tried to jump in on his own, when (he thought) no one was looking.



But as soon as Malha her little puppy ears heard the sound of water splashing, she ran to the old cot, together with Kuzco’s ball, and jumped in to play with Kuzco.



‘Yay daddy!! This is so much fun! Can we play-can we play-can we??’



Even though we cheered loudly when he jumped out and back in again, this was the only time he actually bathed in the old cot.



It was just too cramp for his liking I guess, whereas Malha her little bouncy puppy bum couldn’t get enough of her private swimming pool.







When I was still working as a house painter, my boss introduced me to the love of Italian food. He loved going to Italy, and if I remember it correctly, especially Tuscany. At one Christmas we got a gift box from my boss from a vineyard from Tuscany. I loved it so much. The presentation, the quality, all products made from the farm itself. Wine, olive oil, tomato sauce, dried pasta, cookies and honey. Along with those product came a card with their website and a cart to order yourself if you wanted to.

My love for food is as old as I am, so off course at the next occasion I ordered some products. In the nicest decorated box it arrived pretty quick from Tuscany. I was in love!



I have to admit I haven’t ordered in quite some time, because we have an Italian retailer in a nearby town. But every year they keep sending small samples beautifully wrapped in a box. So when I learned this farm/vineyard was a one and a half hour drive from the monastery, I really wanted to go and visit this Fattoria La Vialla. And I haven’t regretted it for a minute.



The farm was just as their package boxes. Beautiful, nurtured, presentation to the detail, great quality, and nice helpful people. Before we went, we were warned it might be too much like an amusement park, too big. Maybe because of the warning, and all the setbacks we already encountered these last view days, I prepared myself for the worst, but it was great. Yes it was big, but in my opinion not too big. But in all fairness, I haven’t been to any other farm or vineyard, so I can’t really compare.



A lady with a straw hat, carrying a basket, and a small apron welcomed us to their fattoria. She asked where we came from, and let us know 4 languages were spoken here. Italian, English, German, and Dutch. We could wonder about the premises, and if we would like to have a tour, we had to wait two hours for the next one.



We were here now, so yes, I would like to have tour.



We sat under a canopy, ordered a huge decanter of water and a glass of wine, and waited. We decided for me to go alone, because it would be too hot for Kuzco and Malha to walk. So Ramon stayed behind.

I joined an English couple who also wanted a tour. They had their own bio-farm, but on a small scale. They were very interested how things were going on a larger scale like this one. I couldn’t have been more lucky to have been put in the English spoken tour, because of a couple of Dutch high horses who thought they could first do something else, and that the Dutch spoken tour would wait on them.



It was so very interesting to hear how things work. The English couple asked very specific questions, ones that I know for sure, wouldn’t have asked in another group. I got more and more enthusiastic, and my fingers were itching to make some dinner using the wine, olive oil, herbs from the garden of the monastery, together with the gorgeous tomatoes I got from the lady of the monastery.



We bought a couple bottles of wine I got to taste, and I left Fattoria La Vialla with a huge smile on my face. I know I will send an order pretty soon again. It is so much more fun, purchasing good quality ingredients from somewhere you have seen the history of the making. And to relive this wonderful day, when I open the beautiful decorated box, with products I now know how they taste, instead of choosing by which label looks prettier.






When we went to Pisa, our expectations of and a dog friendly country were again shattered into pieces when we wanted to hide from the sun on the hottest hours of the day. No dogs allowed in the city park, no dogs allowed to walk on the grass, no water or drinking fountain to let them cool a bit. Even when we tried to make a boring walk through the city a little more fun by using street and stone walls and benches as playground, a fat lady covered with sweat stains on her clothes, had the audacity to say we cannot let dogs paws on a stone bench because of the filth they carry. People sit on those benches you know???

Dare we not speak of your sweat stains you leave on the bench, you ugly fat smelly lady???



We found an empty place on a bench under some trees next to a hobo who was sleeping on what obviously what his home-bench. Ramon rested his head on my lap for a while, and then we decided to have a drink on a terrace while we waited for the warmth to cool a bit. We ordered a rosé and a bottle of water, and when we ordered a second round, I asked the waiter if I could keep the bottle.


Off course it was no trouble, but he was curious to why. I told him it has the same colour as our bedroom, and the Vineyard was close to where we were staying. I would like to keep the bottle as a momentum, and put it on my nightstand with a flower in it to remember this wonderful day. The waiter turned out to be the owner of the establishment, and he sat down at our table and told the history of this particular bottle of wine. When he left I smiled at Ramon.


‘Well that was oftly nice, wasn’t it?’


But all Ramon said after a pause with his eyebrows somewhere down his hairline…


‘it has the same colours as my bedroom…. I would like to keep it on my nightstand with a flower in it as a momentum…..

Really Joyce… you were soooo flirting with  him… It must have been the beard….’ He said with a big smile and winked.


‘Nooooo , no way I was flirting, I don’t even know how to… It really is the colour of our bedroom! Look!

But… I have to admit, he really was a nice looking  person…  With a beard…  It must have been the beard….


I winked back at Ramon and brushed my fingers through his beard and kissed him.



It was around six o’clock, and two Rosé later, when we started to walk again to see the tower of Pisa. We loved it! All those people standing in the same position to ‘hold’ the tower, for a picture.



The tower was beautiful, but we enjoyed watching the people most. When we walked back to the car, we stumbled across an advertisement of an event held in Vinci. A cosplay event called Festa Dell’unicorno, and Sunday would be the last day.



We looked at each other and smiled. This was where we would spend our day tomorrow! We wanted to go to these kind of events ever since we played World of War craft, but always came at the wrong time or was too far away. This was our chance.


We went the next day, and we loved it!!!


We were amazed at the effort people made in their costumes.



One even more beautiful and awesome than the other. And there were all kinds of props to see of every science fiction movie and TV show we loved.



When we walked pass a couple of movie cars, Ramon made some pictures while I waited in the shade with Kuzco and Malha. Little did I know I could possibly take the attention away from a huge air balloon? But apparently I did, and was asked to leave the spot of shade the balloon doll made on the ground. I explained it would only be a minute, but he started pushing me away. I got nervous and picked up Kuzco and Malha because the pavement was too hot to walk on. And the moment I bend over, I tore my pants. Right down from the crotch to the end of my butt crack. I could only cry of embarrassment. Luckily a second hand shop was open, and I could buy a new short. At least this way I could still enjoy this wonderful event, and pose for countless people with Kuzco and Malha, because they looked too adorable for words with their felted unicorns on their heads.



This was a wonderful day!!!



I woke up from a nightmare. I dreamt of Kuzco drowning in the sea. A wave covered his face, and instead of popping his happy little head from out of it, his eyes were on me and were full of panic. The water kept covering his face like cling foil, and in the meantime the sea pulled him deeper and deeper into the ocean. My heart was pounding in my chest when I opened my eyes, and sat up straight.

Thank God it was just a dream, but what a weird dream it was. Especially because we are going to the beach, and we all love the beach. So why such a frightful dream?



It was one and a half hour drive to the dog beach. It was the closest one of three, and the lady of the monastery told us, other dog owners who stayed with them last year, gave a very positive feedback on this one.

So off we went. It was a good day to go, because the temperature was rising quickly, and barely any wind what so ever.

But when we arrived, the sun apparently held its fiesta, and a thick layer of clouds covered the sky. But it was still very warm, and when our feet touched the sand, blisters were already in the making.

We were rather disappointed when we read the regulations sign before entering the beach. This was not at all what we read on the internet. The dogs had to stay on the leash, and were only allowed to swim without a leash. The beach was very small, and the sand had a blackish color. Huge waves crashed on the shoreline. This was obviously a part of the beach that was remote from the nicer and cleaner parts of the beach, tucked away in a corner, where the sea is too rough and dangerous to let your children play. Absolutely no facilities in sight, not even a trash can to throw away the poo bag, which off course you were obligated to.



Ramon’s face turned darker by the minute, and soon turned into himself. The dogs were happy they finally saw the water, and pulled as hard as they could to reach the sea, and waited for their ball to be thrown which is the usual following. I unleashed them, and Kuzco ran straight into the sea, swimming ahead to catch the ball.

And then it happened….

My dream became reality.

A wave crushed onto Kuzco his head, and the riptide kept pulling him down. His eyes were full of fear, and focused on me, with the water acting like clinging foil over his head. My heart almost stopped beating, and in a rush of adrenaline I reached at Kuzco his collar to pull him up. He coughed loudly and shivered from fright when I carried him out of the water. I did not want this to be a trauma for him to never dare to play in the sea again. So I played with him and Malha where only their feet touched the water.

Ramon did his best to snap out of his depression, and wanted to cool off in the water, because the sun had come back again, and made the sand almost unbearable to touch. The riptide was strong enough to even pull Ramon under, and that’s when he was done with all of it. We packed our bags, and carried the dogs back to the car.



He didn’t say a word since, until Kuzco came for a kiss and cuddle when we were sitting under the night sky at the monastery. ‘I’m so sorry Kuzco. I so much wanted to give you a nice time. And every day since this holiday started, nothing is going right. This may yet be our last holiday together with the four of us. It was meant to be perfect, and all is far from it.’ He looked at me with his eyes all wet, and continued; ‘I’m so worried that our time is running out, with your kidneys getting worse and worse every day. Kuzco is getting old. I fear in five years from now, I will go to this place with Malha alone, just to relive the memory.’


I could only look at him, and give him the biggest kiss. I think I made a small joke, to make him smile a bit, and then we had the greatest talk ever under a starry night sky. Every thought of fear, anger, disappointments of live, love… everything came to pass. We even saw the Big Dipper shining bright. Seeing this is Malha her constellation, and she is our pride and joy from Kuzco, this must be a good omen.



I even got to see two falling stars, something I’ve never seen before. For me this was the most beautiful moment ever of our entire time here in Italy. We held each other’s hand while we were sipping our wine and kept looking at the sky.


And I made a wish…



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Joyce Kleine – Work in Progress