Sbriga…..The Final Touches

Mr Wilson has finished.  He’s now enjoying the warm sun somewhere in far north Queensland, leaving his brother to finesse the job.  It’s finally coming together and reality is slowly sinking in.  It’s certainly daunting but we really haven’t had much time to really think about it because we are so focussed on opening over the next few days.

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Over the weekend, we experienced the post renovation cleaning dilemma.  Those of you who have renovated will certainly be familiar with the filmy layer of dust that settles in the tiniest nooks and crannies when the tradies have departed.

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I arrived with Nonna and Yiayia in tow — they were both talking at me at the same time (one in English, the other in Greek) all the way to the cafe and I had to listen really carefully so I could respond to them both — it’s quite a skill. They hadn’t seen the cafe yet so we were pretty excited about them seeing it for the first time.  Not a word from Nonna.  She just wanted to start cleaning.  After all, she was on a mission and she had to leave in a couple of hours so she could get home to lock up the chooks before it got dark (we don’t want the foxes getting to them because these ones are really good egg layers).  Mum was full of praise, “Lovely, darli, beautiful.  Your father would have been very proud of you.”

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As many of you know, when any mothers of ethnic origin are pulled in to lend a hand, there is a bit of theatre involved.  Our very dear friends Chris and Johnny also dropped in to help out.  They didn’t say much but when I spoke to Chris this morning, she confessed that she continued to clean quietly at the back of the cafe, at the same time having a quiet giggle because she could certainly relate to the ‘theatre’ she was witnessing.

Our kids were left with Renes and Randall for the day where they experienced trips into town to see the Hollywood Costume exhibition which they are still talking about, a game of footy and all  you can eat pizza.  Kids have got it pretty good these days.

Before we could start cleaning, everything in the cafe had to be taken out.  Gradually all the contents — mixers, cookers and storage units filled the street. With everything outside, someone had to stand guard and Yiayia kindly volunteered.  It wasn’t long however, before she was directing me on what I should be doing from outside the cafe.  Because I was some distance in the cafe, she felt she had to be audible and in ethnic terms, this is equivalent to shouting at me.  People stopped and stared. She really did have good intentions.

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On the other side, Nonna, in fine form, could clean better than anybody else (in her eyes).  She’s exceptional at the cleaning thing because she’s very quick and thorough.  However, we knew she was taking pain killers for her hip so we flinched each time she attempted to lift anything (against our wishes of course) despite us attempting to discourage her.  She’s a trooper and all she wants to do is help her kids.   Unfortunately it wasn’t long before she was driving Mario nuts with her Nonna advice.  All good intentions of course — her heart is as big as the world.

Chris and Johnny’s help was gold.  I don’t think we could have done as much as we did without them.  It’s now looking like a real cafe.  Randall also dropped in late last night to fine tune the musak factor and all other things IT — clever man.  There are still hundreds of little things to address but were on the home stretch now so we’re close to opening.

Oh and Nonna did get home in time to lock up the chooks and we heard from Sev (via the far east) that she was extremely impressed with what she saw…….