Carol Forster column

Carol Forster.
Carol Forster.

What on earth did I just see traipsing through my rented apartment?

Three portly ladies, two old men, a harassed looking landlord and a posh dog.

This is the norm.

Oh, and the electrician with lounge-lizard eyes, decorator, various family members of the landlord and perhaps the odd fidgety bambino.

So, you thought your rented accommodation was your own, huh? Think again.

I have got used to a regular melee of visitors enjoying ‘my’ flat, and not always at a Godly hour, as my landlord tries to sell the place.

An unfortunate moment is but days away.

When my landlord and co. decided to peruse the place, a swiftly placed towel salvaged my dignity.

I wasn’t banking on such an audience to my ablutions either.

The portly ladies muttered ‘vergogna’ (shame) a few times and went on their merry way to the balcony to deliberate with the men.

Even an arrrangement of sorts can surprise.

The landlord’s request to house his nephew for a night turned into four extremely tall models from Rome, in Lecce for a fashion show.

Not only did they dwarf me horribly, they also caused me to have ‘bathroom withdrawal symptoms’ when my only hope of entering was all but dashed by wistfully watching each emerge two hours after the other.

I’ve even been in bed as a procession of family members were led through my room to the balcony – a little prod here and there as Signora ‘tidied up’ for me.

A St. Trinian’s-esque situation ensued with room dodging moments and ‘trips’ to the shops.

Some old ladies enquire, ‘Where have you been, and why?’.

This existential question has caught me off guard, but I forge straight ahead to my humble abode.

Ah. Imagine it empty, like some beach front haven, with peace and tranquiility, no further ‘guests’.

Then re-think this idea.

The old ladies follow and stare inquisitively as you turn the key to enter your place.

You’re hopeful it’s empty, your oasis of calm, then you look straight ahead and see three portly ladies.