Oh yes. The Scudder Road Circus has been back in Italy for a sunny, wintry break. What were we doing there? Maybe it was a bit of a buying trip:
I can't say anything more than that. These days I have internet stalkers, apparently, who monitor this blog to track my movements and - perhaps - assemble a case (or two) against me. Why? I guess when you have a circus, a lot of people want in. My advice: start your own circus.
For Tikileaks operatives, here is some potentially useful evidence of my ongoing commitment to eating and drinking while in a foreign land:
The two restaurants pictured are both in Montepulciano - the splendid Caffe Poliziano, and Acquacheta - with its handwritten "completa" sign hanging in the window. After four tries, we managed to squeeze in to an early seating there. It was absolutely worth the wait.The very first picture was taken at Panella in Rome, where we ate outside, coats off, in the sunshine, while the soft Romans around us huddled under blankets and gas heaters. They wouldn't last two minutes in Glasgow, though their commitment to smoking at all times while outdoors would be admired.
By the way, we called into a motorway Autostop on our way down to Rome, and I saw a giant jar of Nutella for sale. 'Who would ever buy such a thing?' I wondered. Now we know: vendors of giant donuts and toffee apples in Piazza Navona. This is why it's important to travel to foreign places. It broadens the mind.
Other things I learned in Italy:
1. If you're not wearing a quilted jacket/coat and long leather boots, Italians will look at you a little strangely, as though you are a sad case, or probably a gypsy.
2. There is no limit to the number of bookmarks I will buy if they reproduce a bit of fresco.
3. When there is no way of lighting the stove in your rented apartment to boil water for tea, then drinking wine instead is the only solution.
4. We really need to get a family crest. (We can only agree on two panels so far - a circus tent and a snake.)
5. During carnival time in Italy, even the cats dress as harlequins.
That's enough Italy. I have other news to report, like a German-language rights sale for RANGATIRA (to the very nice people at Walde+Graf), but that can wait for another post and a web site update. First: a book to finish work on by the end of this month ...
* The title of this post is a reference, of course, to THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN. If you are unfamiliar with this song, or (even worse) the movie, please remedy your cultural ignorance right away.