I get the routine now. It’s starts with breakfast at ten which can go for an hour. Anything from cheeses and salami meats to fresh breads and Jam, juice and coffee and fruit. It’s very easy to keep eating. A cafe at 12ish for coffee and a swim. Back for lunch at 2ish which is usually the main meal of the day. Eaten together on the big terrace with the breeze running through if you are lucky and the grape vine for shade. Then it is time to sleep as it’s the hottest time of day. So off to bed I go. I must live like the locals.
I’m supposed to be resting but I can’t sleep. It’s too hot. I pick up my book and try to read.
Mirna pops her head around the corner. “Oh, it’s you in here” she says as she leans over the bed. “I have come to paint your nails holding up a bottle of purple nail varnish.”
“I’m trying to sleep Mirna, but this book is boring. I am supposed to sleep to help my headache. Can you tell me a story perhaps that will put me to sleep?”
She crinkles her nose and tells me she doesn’t know any stories in English. Mirna is eight and speaks Croatian and Dutch and pretty good English, only stumbling over the occasional word. I suggest we make up a story together.
“I will start” I tell her and begin with…
“Once upon a time…there were three dogs, Muffin”, “stop!”she says, “can one be Tyson?” “Ok”, say, “Muffin and Tyson and…”I look at her and wait…
“…And Murvelder” she adds. Now I KNOW Mirna’s going to tell me this is wrong but this is as good as I can remember.
She immediately takes up the story enthusiastically. “All three dogs live together when one day they wander off alone, even tho they know they shouldn’t, and Murvelder carries on, when the other two come back.”
Every time she goes to say Muffin she looks at me expectantly and I open my eyes and say “Muffin”. Yes. She replies. “Muffin” This name Muffin seems as strange to her as Murvelder does to me!
She continues…”The family call the police and everyone is out looking. Hunting everywhere when the two dogs Muffin and Tyson go about sniffing and sniffing until they come to a door and they start to scratch at the door. Tyson and Muffin know Murvelder is in there. The police come and demand the door to be opened and when the man does, Murvelder comes out. Everyone is happy but also he has many dogs he has been stealing, so all the dogs get to go home and the police take the man to prison. Thanks to Tyson and Muffin who have saved all the dogs from the dog thief. Yay!!!!” You are a great storyteller Mirna I say as I close my eyes that are very heavy now and drift off to sleep…as she slips away quietly.
This is Tyson and Mirna with Nona Rina tidying the grapevine after lunch. I take several pics but Mirna chooses this one as Tyson is smiling.