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2005-06-17 19:13

J'ai fait un swimming !

It was vair nice.

Lord Byron, whose hotel I am staying at, once swam from Lrici, where I am, to Portovenere, which is over there, across the so-called Gulf of Poets.

Yesterday at dinner, I chatted with a person who devises operational models for search and rescue operations off the Norwegish coast.

Today, therefore, I have been wondering exactly what the typical windage coefficient of a Romantique poet might be, with or without lace trimmings.

2005-06-16 15:36


The sun has come out,
the sky has gone blue
And later this evening
There's swimmning to do...

And the Posh Din-Dins, also as well. I've missed breakfast everyday this week, I'll have you know, and twice on Sunday, but I have more than made up with it at other meals and anyway they don't have wine with breakfast so who cares?

2005-06-15 22:55


At the Cinque Terre scenic touriste comedy village experience, the German and Swiss touristes were all wearing shorts or Serious Cargo Pants and using Serious Walking Poles; the 'Strayans were wearing flip-flops ("thongs", hilariously, in the local idiom).

(Polyglott earwigging is a deep deep joy, incidentally, and we cannot recommend it with a highness of sufficiency.)

2005-06-14 18:27

Bureaucracy, cosmopolitan style


My internation mobile is refusing to add credit. They have an instant, automated system for taking your money, but not one for providing goods or services, although there is manifestly no technical reason why they couldn't.

So I'm going to have to phone my boss from my UK cell-phone (and put up with its spendiness) to ask if he's definitely going to Madrid at the end of the month, and if I'm supposed to be on the trip too, so that my Spanish colleague can send an email from here to book facilities at her institute, which needs to be done yesterday if not sooner.

My Italian is holding up well, though - yesterday we where loitering natively in a bar, and the staff weren't going offer the bill without being asked so I was all "Scusi, il conto per favore". Funny chaps the Italians - even in expensive restaurants serving fish and touristes to each other the woman what comes out to harangue you about the foolishness of your choice of dinner no speakee the Engleesh. (It was seasonal, it turned out, and not this one.) But we had a proper Italian speaker so we even got the vair drinkable jugs of house plonk instead of the silly-money options on the wine list.

Tomorrow is our Day of Slack, and we're off to Cinque Terre, weathergods permitting, for some scenic.

Oh, and it's all true what they say about Italian ice-cream, it really is. Don't bother with restaurantdessert, just nip to the nearest of the many gelateria for instant conic bliss, yum yum.

2005-06-14 13:13

Very drole, weathergods, well done

We are, of course, on the Ligurian riviera in mid-June.

It is, of course, raining.

2005-06-12 19:30


I am in Italia!

I arrived in Genoa (with no hotel bookning) on the glorious day that Genoa foopball team secured promotion to Seria A, so there's (a) no question which Italian foopball team I support, hoorah! and (b) there was a great deal of hooting and tooting and walking up and down with foopballclubflags stopping me sleeping at the otherwise excellent 20 Hotel Major.

I'm now at the 90+ Hotel Byron, and I'm damn glad I'm not paying the difference because a complimentary toothbrush and shiny bath are a poor substitute for having space for more than a bed in the bedroom (which there isn't), or working lights and TV, (which there aren't either, although I'll have a word about that).

My phrasebook has (just this afternoon) gone missing, but they sell Foreign papers down Lerici sea front so I somehow think I'll be OK.

My first ambition has been long since achieved - I used the 50 note I brought back from Barcelona to pay for last night's hotel. And so has my second - I spent some of the time on the road reading about the jolly adventures of Paperinik (AKA Staal-Kalle, AKA, presumably, Superduck), Paperino (AKA Kalle Anka, AKA Donald Duck's) superhero alter ego.

My third ambition - stuffing myself until I can barely waddle with excellente Italian din-dins and a bockle or two of the local vino - hasn't yet, but I remain cautiously optimistic.

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