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Herculaneum effort

September 28, 2013

The radio in the taxi was playing Pavarotti and Frank Sinatra’s version of “My Way”. It was as Frank intoned “and now, the end is nigh” that I knew were all going to die. The taxi, in which we were holding on for dear life, was sensibly fitted with sound sensors indicating when the taxi driver was too close to other cars. It was sounding off so much that I thought we might be listening to an Italian bleep mix of the track.

It was not just the driving, which involved the previously described game of chicken in which all Italian motorists appear required to take part, but at the advanced level also involves texting whilst driving at 50 miles an hour in heavy and weaving traffic. Oh no. The taxi driver also managed to have an argument on the phone in very loud Italian, presumably about whether the Pope was a Catholic, and also sorted out with his father how he was going to get hold of some pounds sterling for his trip to London this week to see Napoli play against Arsenal in the Champions League. Had I had the Currencies Direct account opening application forms to hand, then I reckon I may have had a new fat smelly Italian customer, but as I was hanging on for dear life with my fingertips and with my eyes mostly closed, I think I have lost a potential client. But no matter, I am alive and after the sensible application of some restorative medication, mainly in the form of red wine, I am still able to tell the tale.

Italian culture

Herculaneum was such an effort

We were on our way to Herculaneum, pictured above, for a dose of torture culture, which was fascinating for about 10 minutes, but the guided tour for which lasted an hour. I bailed out early and went on an unsuccessful search for a cold beer, but found only a grotty shack selling ice cream and e additive laden snacks.

Once the interested members of our party had hung on until the bitter end, We returned to the charming harbour at Santa Lucia, close to the centre of Naples where we had moored after setting off from Amalfi at 7am, and had a late lunch where I had to stock up on red wine to get enough Dutch courage to board the rickety boat to take us to where Sea Breezes was berthed.

Let me explain. We were parked on a pontoon which none of us realised had no contact with dry land. Thus to be able to go anywhere, and here I include bars and restaurants, one. had to take ones life in ones hands and board the oldest boat known to exist in Christendom, in the tender hands of a fat indolent Italian whose sole purpose in life seemed to be to scare tourists who were marooned on that pontoon. He was magnificent. Three times I had to board and then get off this vessel and each time I had to consume more alcohol in order to face it,

So let me recap; not only are Italian taxi drivers psychopathic lunatics, but they have some close and equally psychotic cousins who drive boats in harbours. If I could swim I think I would have jumped in of my own violation in order to reduce the risk. I think one always knows when one is scheduled to die.

After dinner Roly Bufton suggested cheese which I believe must be a god idea, but I refused on the grounds that to eat more would be like facing parmageddon. Cheese with attitude. Why is everything in Italy like a ticking time bomb?

Chris France


7 Comments leave one →
  1. howzaaat permalink
    September 28, 2013 10:07 am

    “Why is everything in Italy like a ticking time bomb?”

    (The Romans and Greeks have a lot in common)

    The time bomb is ticking ? Bad news !
    Frugal living the Italians won’t choose …
    While their markets are tumbling,
    Every stomach is rumbling –
    But vino will banish their blues !


  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    September 28, 2013 12:11 pm

    For culture he just doesn’t care’
    Trips to ruins he claims are not fair,
    Why waste drinking time
    (Can’t think of a rhyme…)
    Just look in the mirror…’re there !!


  3. Patrick permalink
    September 28, 2013 2:10 pm

    Good limericks, you two …

    Oi !! We’re missing a day — what happened to 27th September’s blog ? We’ve been done ! I shall convene a meeting of the readership (that shouldn’t be too difficult as there are only three of us !) and ballot them for a wildcat strike unless, that is, our just desserts are restored to us, in which event the planet will continue to revolve as normal. If not, our being short-changed like this will be met with devilish hot militant action on our part !


    • September 28, 2013 2:53 pm

      Every day U save for you my dear reader, never a day is missed, please look again…



    • September 28, 2013 2:53 pm

      aha, it see that some sort of US timing was involved and in fact there were two postings on 26th, god knows why, I am after all an old git battling new technology…



      • September 28, 2013 4:51 pm

        But a nice old git, i’m sure !

        May I interject and say, YOU may have had two postings on 26th, but that’s not what has emerged at our end ! September has seen a smooth, uninterrupted run from 1st to 26th, with one posting for each day, nothing on 27th and today’s is dated (possibly in error) 28th.

        We rest our case !


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