Back Ache? Neck Ache? Any Ache? We have the answer…

photo from this is NOT the actual machine that Doc Holliday was promoting but it looked pretty similar

A couple of weeks ago I was cajoled into attending a demonstration by a man selling some medical equipment. It was a magnetic pain relief machine for use in your own home.

I had to go alone because The Man had made other arrangements, as they do, but I felt I couldn’t let the organisers down because often no-one turns up at these events and they had gone to a lot of trouble making nibbles etc., It was held in a basement room attached to a local bar.

It was due to begin at 20.45 but I know from experience that anything Italian never starts on time and I guessed it wouldn’t start until about 21.15

They took your name as you went in and asked, ‘who and where is your husband/wife?’ This was apparently a company regulation, because if you decided to sign up and buy one of these machines then both parties must agree.

Well, the punters were up in arms about this, a selection of comments follow:-

‘What if you are a widow? ‘What if you don’t want to come with your husband?’ ‘What if you are single’ ‘What if you’re gay?’ ‘What if you are widower?’ ‘You are discriminating against all these people, it isn’t right!’

The poor man demonstrating tried to argue his point but in the end gave up. Especially as it was obvious that some people were just saying they were married to each other to be annoying when in fact they were neighbours or had only just met – imagine that, a romance starting at a demonstration for a medical machine.


I was beginning to feel a pain in my butt from sitting and waiting for so long in a hard chair for the demonstration to begin. People were still wandering in at 21.30. Eventually, he began. At a quarter to ten! He started to hold forth on the glories of his magnificent machine. I was immediately reminded of a Wild West Medicine Show.


There was NOTHING this machine could not cure.

Doc Holliday, (I rename the demonstrator) was having a bit of trouble getting the crowd to shut up and listen while he told us the benefits of this wondrous apparatus.

‘Please,’ he said,’ I’m trying to talk to you but you are very noisy, please listen to what I have to say.’

‘Hey, you’re in Petritoli now! We’re Petritolesi and we’re a noisy bunch! You’re not in Senigallia now with them posh lot!’ A woman shouted from the back. I thought things were warming up and the evening was getting very interesting.

‘How much does it cost?’ shouted a chap from the back.

‘I’ll tell you that later, first I must explain the workings and benefits.’

Doc Holliday handed out a laminated flyer, which listed at least 100 ailments that could be cured, including impotency. This caused an absolute uproar.

‘Where do you have to put the magnetic pads to cure impotency then?’ said the man on my row. ‘I wouldn’t want to put them anywhere near my coglioni (I’ll leave you to guess the translation). A cry of laughter from the audience went up and Doc Holliday flapped about wringing his hands. He decided the next best course of action was to give up talking and give a demonstration of the ‘cure all machine’.

An audience member was duly chosen. She qualified because she suffered pain everywhere and was willing to give it a go. She sat at the front and he plugged her in.

I don’t know if it was the lateness of the evening, the workings of the contraption or boredom but within ten minutes she was falling asleep as was I so I made my excuses and left.

I never did find out how much the machine cost.

Photo to Follow…..

I went to the gym yesterday and told Matteo that I wanted to take a photo of him for my blog.
‘You have WattsApp?’ he asked.
‘I send photo, now!’
He quickly rushed to his smart phone and after adding my number said,
‘I send it.’

Matteo (publicity shot I think)

You like it?’ he enquired, a big grin on his face.

I’ll let my readers be the judge. It is a great photo, posed of course and imagine having ‘one you prepared earlier’ ready for any request that might pop up.

He didn’t look quite like this at 10 am on Monday morning I have to say!

If you’ve not read the previous post you might wonder what this is all about. You can check it out on the link below.
Photo To Follow

Gym…Grimace…Go for Gold!

I chose these because they went with my outfit!
I chose these because they went with my outfit!
Rejected these because they didn't match my outfit.
Rejected these because they didn’t match my outfit.

I bought the new shoes! I have all the gear including the water bottle and I am now a keen member of the gym or palestra as it’s called in Italian; well I’m a member anyway.

I told my daughter I was going to the gym…’but you hate the gym’ she quipped. I still hate it but needs must. I managed to cajole a friend into going with me – or was it the other way round? We decided that if we committed together we’d be less likely to pull out. She does have about 20 years on me so I’m trying very hard not to be competitive because obviously she’s going to be able to do more than me, more quickly than me and will be fitter than me in a shorter time. Maybe I should stick to being artistic? Too late now…I’ve signed on the dotted.

My Friend's arms, she didn't want her photo taken
My Friend’s arms, she didn’t want her photo can see she’s younger than me though!

It’s not a bad little set up in Valmir, Petritoli’s valley town and the closest gym to home. Payment was attractive, €25 registration and a special offer of €140 for five months.

Matteo (photo to follow if he allows it) helped us with the registration form, or should I say we helped him interpret the English and Scottish names and places of birth. In Italy it is a standard question to ask not just for your date of birth but also place of birth and they don’t just want England they want the place, ‘Ux-bri-dge’ I repeat for the fifth time, they’ve never heard of it, can’t pronounce it and I cannot imagine why it is so important. You often have to include your Codice Fiscale in any form filling. It’s like your National Insurance number, how many people in England carry that information around with them I wonder? You must carry documents with you in Italy, your ID card and your Tessara Sanitaria (health card with your CF on it). If you don’t have a card then you have to have on your person the tatty piece of paper with your number on it given to you by the local council office. It’s tatty because bits of paper do get tatty when carried constantly in a wallet or handbag.

Anyway, back to the gym. Matteo (photo to follow) showed us around all the equipment, which looked to me a bit like medieval torture apparatus or sci-fi dentist chairs or even birthing beds. I think he felt sorry for us because he took us under his wing and gave us the personal trainer bit for the first two sessions making sure we didn’t hurt ourselves on the machines or kindly giving us some horrendously horrible floor exercises for toning up parts of me that frankly I had forgotten I had!

Thighs and Bums....
Thighs and Bums….

There are only two running machines and these are very popular. We discovered after only one session that there is a rush to grab one of theses as soon as the doors of the gym are open for business. It’s bit like the sun beds on the beach; you notice there is a towel thrown over the handle, bagging the machine while the owner pops off to do something else.

Dentist Chair...
Dentist or Birthing Chair…

Having shown us the ropes, Matteo (photo to follow) is there to guide us and keep an eye on what we’re doing, I’ve manage to watch him prowling the gym and when I think he’s coming close to me I quickly switch up the resistance on what ever machine I’m working on so he thinks I’m being good. I know, I know….only cheating myself but this WAS just the first week after all!

Weights…obviously..oh and my foot.just to prove I’m there.