It seems like a lifetime ago that I got back from my minibreak with Marmaloid but actually it’s only been four measly nights. Oh to be back on the strip wandering up and down aimlessly looking for somewhere to buy wine and sustenance and fend off amorous Italian men in interseason. I swear it is impossible to come back from Italy without feeling like one seriously hot mama. At the end of our three night break I had a proper strut on and paired with the obligatory ‘hot girl pout’ I must have looked reminiscent of Mick Jagger but with slightly wider hips.
Rimini itself is a bit of an odd one and being interseason the place was pretty much deserted so our hotel right on the beach was a little bit wasted on us as the beachfront area was like skegness in winter i.e) empty, windswept and a bit trashy looking. It was really saying something that Marmaloid pointed out how much classier it looked when one of the hotels up the road turned on its illuminated palm tree when darkness fell. After a false start involving ‘un litro vini frizzante’ over lunch (yes ladies and gents, we spanked a litre of fizzy wine upon arrival) and an unplanned (drunken) siesta we settled into the swing of things and due to an exceptionally kind hotelier who armed us with maps and local knowledge we escaped the beachfront ghetto and made it to the historical centre where, to make up for our earlier drunken misdemeanours we went and got some culture innit. Actually the culture was a particular highlight, it’s not often you get to see some of the most incredible paintings in the World done by the most famous artists in such a stunning setting as the Castel Sismondo.
Naturally to redress the balance we then sought out the local Irish bar (oh they get everywhere don’t they) before necking too many glasses of €2 sweet white wine and putting the world to rights. Keeping Marmaloid happy is very easy, she needs regular feeding and watering and sleep whenever possible so as we were weaving our way along the strip back to the hotel and she started muttering about chowing down on a big fat greasy burger I knew I would be in strife if I couldn’t rustle up some grub. Due to aforementioned interseason status of the resort, no bloody takeaways were open and so I was left with no choice but to stage a highly dangerous assault on the dining room to forage for food to feed the beast in Marmaloid’s belly. Saying it was a dangerous assault has probably given you a mental image of me scaling the wall of the hotel dressed in black before picking the lock and doing commando rolls across the floor. Actually I just opened the door to the dining room and walked in before gathering whatever I could (melba toast, three boiled eggs, a pat of jam and a knife) and beating a hasty retreat.
Sunday saw us up and about to catch the bus to San Marino – a little bit worse for wear after our sweet white wine fest of the previous night but vertical and capable of putting one foot in front of the other. San Marino was put in jeopardy by a skanky little titwitch Russian woman who literally came up to my elbow and so decided in a moment of Russian hilarity (I couldn’t understand them but am convinced they were radiating hilariousness from every pore) to take a picture to commemorate the fact. Cue lots of jovial Russians fnar fnar fnar-ing their way through a torturous ten minutes where I (the jolly green giant) wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole. Marmaloid later pointed out that she took a picture because of her own insecurities about being short but of course my mental head went a bit well, mental and was convinced she was snapping away at the heifer in the gilet. I couldn’t convince myself that she was taking my photo because I am tall and graceful like a gazelle – in my head she was taking a souvenir snap of the fat lady in the freakshow.
My inner child wanted to stamp my feet and strop off back to the hotel at this point however I knew that Marmaloid would kill me as we’d just spent €14 on bus tickets and I really wanted to go and see San Marino and pretend to be a princess inside the castle walls so I stopped trying to trip over my bottom lip and got on the coach. Little Miss Russki was yet another reminder that I still feel different and awkward and oh yes, FAT. I think I feel more fat now than I did when I was at my biggest. I know that sounds mental but when I was the size of a house the weight problem seemed so insurmountable that aside from the health concerns of carrying so much excess, I didn’t really think about the fact I was the size of a house. I took no pride in my appearance and was reduced to wearing caftans and mumus so fashion passed me by entirely. In short I was stagnant in my fat girl world. Fast forward to now where I am starting to get slinkier, taking more of an interest in fashion and my appearance and generally exploring the World as a non super morbidly obese woman and I feel bigger than I ever was. I think because ‘normality’ (in this example a healthy BMI) is almost within my grasp I just feel that I stick out more to people. Crazy huh? As if a woman of nearly 32stone is going to attract less attention than a woman of just over 19 stone…….
Our last night in Italy was fabulous, spending time with Marmaloid made me feel so lucky to have her in my life because we can be so honest with each other – a prime example, sacking off going to some greasy salsa club to go back to the hotel and curl up in bed with our books… We had dinner at a lovely restaurant and I survived the attention of two Italian men throughout dinner who couldn’t take their eyes off us. I say *I* survived as if they were only interested in me but in actual fact Marms had sat with her back to the telly so she wouldn’t get suckered into watching Italian ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ again. Once they left my fat girl head was trying to convince me that I was (as usual) reading too much into it and that they were probably staring because I had something smeared round my chops when a couple who had been sat near Romeo and Casanova stopped on their way out of the restaurant to tell me how smitten they had been with me! I didn’t know what to say I was embarrassed, chuffed, scared, excited, and wondering whether to chase after them down the strip.
I didn’t think things could get better until I got on the plane to fly home, chose a seat in the emergency exit row, did the belt up (without the need for an extender) and wasn’t asked to vacate the seat for being too fat! I had forgotten that you’re not allowed to sit in the emergency seats if you’re obese as funnily enough it wouldn’t be very safe in an emergency but, I’m very very pleased to say that this doesn’t appear to apply to me any more! If that isn’t an indicator of my burgeoning normality then frankly I don’t know what is.