Sunday, August 06, 2006


I do like to stroll along the prom' prom' prom'

It’s been a good while since I last posted. I now have a son – of whom more at OurSprogSpot

In the meantime I have been collecting a lot of material that I am not sure what to do with – loads of photos I have taken that I could not bear to leave out. So I think that I will continue diaristically, but give occasional retrospectives, grouped thematically of my favourite photos from the silent period.

For the moment though, the main thing in my head is the joy of the holidays. I have finished my job for the summer, and Flora and I headed straight to the beach to stay at a holiday home provided to us by super-generous parents of Flora’s Uni chum.

On the train to Castiglioncello, near Livorno, a pair of very sweaty men were sitting opposite us:

When we entered the carriage, we found the sweatier of the two (to the left, wearing a woollen jacket) alone wedged into his seat by an enourmous suitcase. When he saw us coming he looked at us with dismay, but stood up and yanked at his suitcase. He muttered some broken Italian with a northern Irish accent, indicating that he wanted help with his luggage, and I said clearly in English, “yes of course”. All the same, when we had stowed his case away in the rack above us, he kept on saying “Grazi, Grazi Signor”, and attempting Italian despite the fact that I was speaking English to him.

A little later he said “Do you speak English?” I said
“Yes, we are English”.
He said,
“Yes, I am English”,
and then muttered to himself
“sort of”.

He then asked how much further to Pisa, explaining he wanted to get a plane there, and we told him what he wanted to know.

When he left he seemed to have forgotten about or discounted my ability to speak English, and I helped him with his suitcase. All the while speaking limpid English in response to his broken Italian.

Castiglioncello is a lovely little resort. We each ate about a kilo of icecream whilst we were there (except for jacob who prefers his milk at blood temperature) and exposed our whitish skins amidst the mahogany locals.

After a week, Flora’s folks came out to join us and we all bundled into the car together, but not before taking some snaps…

Sun sea and sand:

No sun, no sand, only sea and wind:

Jacob’s first holiday:

Mouth-watering menu:

Robin resembles a pom-pom:

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