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Who said there were no gnomes in Italy?

July 9, 2013

Who, when on holiday, idly googles Ikea? I will tell you who, That Nice Lady Decorator. So I was told, after packing up the camper, as we set off towards La Spetzia on The Italian Riviera, that we would be stopping off on the way at the Scandy furniture horror, for her to engage in some retail therapy. Genova is the worst place on the whole coast, a massive snarled up conurbation that I would have avoided like the plague had I had my way, but that was where Ikea was situated so there was no avoiding it. I was however a gentleman about it, and no time did I consider making a joke about the gentleman of Verona (Ok, I accept that the last reference was very obscure)

With the horror trip over, my having spent an hour in the Ikea cafe nursing a cappuccino, instead of with a beer over whilst looking out over the Mediterranean, we continued the drive down the Ligurian coast, which, by contrast, was very pretty and appealing with its steep wooded hills and occasional terraces of vines, and by late afternoon Bluebell the camper was settled in her new billet for the night at a campsite in the well named village (for a rock and roll impresario) of Diva Marina.

Before setting off from Finale Ligure in the morning we went for a walk around the village of Giuele, and during that perambulation I came across this setting for today’s photograph. Garden gnomes in Italy. Not just garden gnomes, but gnome like impersonations of Snow White and the seven dwarfs. That they were set against a magnificent backdrop is impossible to argue, But the fact remains there are garden gnomes in Giuele. Peachy Butterfield will be distressed, it was one of his proudest boasts that the best garden gnome displays were in the north of England.

dwarves or gnomes, you decide

dwarves or gnomes, you decide

Did I mention trains? As driver of Bluebell, it being a little too much “seat of the pants” driving for That Nice Lady Decorator, I am not involved in either the map reading or the choice of campsite. These decisions are entirely outside my executive responsibility. At first I was pleased with her decision, but having endured an over active church bell close by on the night before, this time it was the TGV. Until last night I had been unaware of what these three initials stood for. I can tell you now that it must be for Trains of Great Volume. Had I not been tied to the bed as usual ( old habits die hard – can I say that?) I would have been catapulted against the sides of Bluebell each time an express train passed. It was also particularly rewarding to find that, as the trains were about to enter tunnels ground out of the surrounding mountains, the train drivers felt it necessary to wake up all the campers every hour by hooting their horns. What a wonderful addition to the sounds of silence and cicadas. In between times, when no trains were approaching, everything was calm and peaceful.

Bleary eyed then this morning, we are about to commence the big push to Lucca in Italy. I do hope it is clean when I get there as I would hate to be making jokes about filthy lucre, as this kind of humour would be beneath the kind of material you have come to expect in this daily column (dedicated as it is to the services of Currencies Direct) from a doubly successful author. No, I shall be gathering my senses for an evening of rich entertainment in the company of Leonard Cohen, his band and some 15,000 Italians, none of whom will probably not understand a word.

Chris France
@Valbonne_News

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    July 9, 2013 1:24 pm

    Yes that Leopard Cohen is one cool cat……

    Like

  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    July 9, 2013 1:26 pm

    Hmmm so I take it that 15000 Italians WILL understand every word…..or am I just being negative….?

    Like

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