I wrap the fresh, hot loaf in a tea towel to keep the crust soft, toss the cheese into a ziplock and lob it into the fridge to firm up. I double check before whizzing to the supermarket. My daughter, the job seeker, will mind Nonna, or maybe the other way around?
I return home with emergency supplies.
I smell it immediately. The strong honk of "cheese," or more specifically "Cambozola." My very, very favourite, unless you include Stilton, which is much more difficult to find in California, "the cheese capital of the world." Out here, blue cheese is for drinking, in liquid form only, more commonly referred to a Blur dressin.
I look around for cheese but find none. I do find a sign on my computer screen. A big red warning sign that states, ‘DEVICE REMOVAL!’ which is a little worrisome.
I dive into the garden to pick cherry tomatoes before the sprinkler system kicks in to flaunt me. I trip over a spade in the middle of the path and several heaps of soil, mole like when I am confident that my garden if free of vermin. Nonna appears from out of the pergola, “ave you phoned?”
“Dah Chemist in England?”
“Oh no, remember, the pharmacy doesn’t open until 8:30 tomorrow morning, so I’ll phone them at 11:30 tonight when it will already be tomorrow there……. then.”
Nonna blinks. “Right…..I think.”
It certainly already feels like tomorrow.
I pause just in case there are additional queries after my gobbledegook and then dash back into the house, dump the tomatoes next to the bread and zip over to the garage door. I pause and shut my eyes so that my vision can adjust to the gloom where the freezer is parked. I step into the garage and fall over a body bag as I have failed to inventorize my daughter’s camping equipment. I heave six foot of dead weight away from the pristine freezer and peer inside. I am out of time. It’s instant food in the microwave or nought. I fly back into the house where my camper job seeker is close to my computer. “Hi mum.”
“Hello dear. Do you need something?”
“I can’t find the phone.”
“Maybe you left it by your computer for all the job interviews?”
Nonna appears in the kitchen waving something at me, “Ah dere you are! I thought you were lost. What about dis thing den?”
I take the thing from her hand, a curling iron.
“Would you like me to curl your hair?”
“No I can do it myself thank you.”
“Alright…….” I wait for a clue.
“Oh…….Ah!” she opens her other hand which holds a gas canister which she rolls like a wad of notes.
I take it, twist out the old one and tuck in the new one, “there you go.”
“Mum?” My camper appears, unstuck from her own computer screen. “Why are their fifteen messages on the phone?”
“Because I don’t want to delete them.”
“Because they sound very garbled but there might be something important there when I can decipher them, maybe tonight, when it’s less………busy.”
I have only a few moments until I need to collect the children from school but I must also ensure that sustenance is available for the starving minions on return.
“It’s only ten bucks an hour, 24 hour alternate shifts.”
“But does it have medical benefits? That’s the bit you need to find out.”
“Er……right.” She bounds off and leaves me in the heat and cheese infested kitchen. I hit the delete button on the telephone messages. Where is the cheese? Maybe she could get a job in CSI, or at least the forensic training? I still have one Pokemon head, one tail and one miscellaneous limb to superglue back onto various bodies.
Nonna reappears waving a mug at me. I pour her a fresh cup of coffee in a fresh mug, dump out the sour milk, rinse the container and leg it out to the recycling bin before the refuse disposal unit appears. Back inside Nonna waves at me with a little flap for emphasis, as she conjures up a complete question for me. “So……….as she got a job yet den?”
“When she get one den?”
“Soon we hope.”
I brain beeps with a visual message. I re-open the fridge door where there is a tea towel dangling down. I remove it and unwrap it to find a wedge of gooey Cambozola cheese. I step over to the counter and the half loaf of fresh bread stuffed into a cheesey old zip lock bag!
“The school phoned.”
“Did they? But I just deleted all the messages…..like you said!” Why do I listen to any of my children?
“Oh no. I spoke to them.”
“Ah. What was the message?”
“Who is fine?”
“Oh I thought you’d already spoken to the school nurse?”
“Yes. They managed to get the eraser out of his nose. He promises he won’t do it again.”
3 hours ago