A Purdah with a View edition

So far so dry…

I have spurned alcohol as I get serious about my exams

I can report that life is OK………ish

Look, no matter what anybody tells you…….

Life is better with liquor…..

…at least meals are better with wine

And, of course, as Dorothy Parker quipped…..

‘Wine is fine…

But girls are quicker with liquor’

Of course, that’s not exactly what she said…..

But it’s what she meant !!!

Anyway, I thought Purdah was meant to be full of girls…..

‘Why are we (I) waiting ?’

I have mastered the slightly humiliating reply to the eternal question…

‘And what would you like to drink ?’

‘Sorry, I’m driving, would you bring me a jug of water, please’……….

……..this rolls straight off the tongue now…..

and in London I can make an attempt at humour………

‘Yes, would you bring me a bottle of Chateau Thames, please’

Some get it, some don’t

Roll on the 13th June when I will open a bottle of something special

In the meantime I had an odd experience today………

I came up to London for class on the Kent flyer…

and as the train pulled out of Whitstable I saw him……………………….

Sitting in his back garden reading what looked like a newspaper

Nothing unusual about that, I agree

But…….

He had one of his trouser legs rolled up to the knee

He was sunning one of his shins

Or was he ?

Because as we all know our grandfathers sat in the sun and rolled both

trouser legs up

I never understood what that was all about………

but they were our elders and we were brought up to believe they were always right

But only one leg rolled up ! ? ! ? ! ??????????????

Then it struck me !

This was a secret bloody club !!

Like the Masons

Body language / coded signs

He was trying to signal me

To contact me

I could join and be one

Oh well, I can dream

Just as I am struggling to find myself tripping over the girls in Purdah…..

That sun worshipper in Whistable is probably just a retiree…..

….one prawn short of a scampi

….and quietly not noticing the onset of early stage alzheimer’s

Have pity on me

G.

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A Cry from Purdah edition

I was asked yesterday if I was a writer…

Bless…..

Let me answer that this way…………………………..

My greatest talent is to annoy…..

followed by an intermittent ability to amuse…..

if only at my own expense !

However it did make me think about ‘the mystery of the disappearing book’…

As I travelled home last night the two people opposite me on the tube

…..were reading…..nothing unusual in that………….

One was reading a kindle-type device

The other was reading a real book…..

It was actually an orange and white penguin paperback of

Graham Greene’s ‘Stamboul Train’

This also coincided with the day I learnt that the second hand bookshop

in Lower Marsh Street, Waterloo is to close…..

…..and with a conversation recently with a mate who was wondering what

to do with his 4000 c.d. collection that he had transferred onto a single device

Is the end of the book in sight ?

Will it go the way of the LP and the cassette ?

Remember the days when folk would have a record collection proudly

sitting in full view (to be admired) on shelves

Then that carefully assembled reflection of you, your tastes and your personality

became an object gathering dust in the attic before…..

you were encouraged and then finally told to get rid of it !!!!!!!!!!!

Not me !

Not here !!

Not on my watch !!!

Let’s hear it for the book

I don’t want Hatchards to be the last remaining bookshop in London…..

…..and a mere tourist destination

I don’t want to go to people’s houses and not be able to look at their books

and as Winston Churchill famously said………….

‘We have books so we can take one down occasionally, read a few lines, give

it a pat and put it back on the shelf…..then the book knows that you know it’s there’

…..and who are you or I to argue with big Winnie ? ! ?

Save the book and buy one

While you still can

G.

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The Purdah edition

I hear Purdah is full of women…..

hence my interest

Meanwhile, the end of year exams are now looming

So it’s time to lock the cellar…

Cancel all engagements…

and start cramming

I had to hand in my Art Theories journal today (6pm deadline)

9216 words

9 2 1 6 WORDS   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And this mountain was climbed today one stab at a time…..

YES, as incredible as it seems…..

I am a FINGER TYPER…

and if you don’t believe me come and have a look at my index finger…

Left hand (I’m a left hooker)…..

and roughly 50% bigger than it was this time yesterday

New years resolution…..hold on…..

I don’t do them

Ah well, somethings got to give, I can’t do this again

I need a touch typist to teach me to touch type

Any change on the present would be a step forward

I currently poke the keys so hard it looks like I’m trying to knock nails through wood

I probably look like a gorilla trying to crack nuts !

Tomorrow I’m going to slip out to the library next door…..The Chelsea College of

Art and Design……

Where Mrs G. can’t find me and the distractions will be limited to the almost entirely

foreign and female student population…..mostly Asian for some unknown reason

But as a closet poodle-faker and secret Purdah-ist all will be well in the world of…

Groover

Complementi to Robin van Persie on scoring the goal of the season tonight…

Watch it on youtube and dream because that was poetry in motion

G. (from the land of Purdah)

Trust me, I’m not complaining

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The Whoosh edition (13)

Whoosh………………………..

1000 miles, through the Brenner Pass and then making a big arc across Germany…

Whoosh………………………..

Stopover in Wurzburg, beer, dinner, wine and dazzling Baroque art…..

Incredible…..Tiepolo (painting), Bossi (plaster work), Neumann (architecture)…..

and many more

Whoosh…………………………

When I got to Frankfurt the sun came and so did the Harbormasters

Picture the scene, me and three girls…..

Giulietta………………Whoosh

Aretha…………………316 songs on the iPod, she sang to me all the way to Calais

Elyse Lord…..20 paintings (bubble-wrapped) in the boot that I was repatriating to Blighty

Giulietta and Aretha you know, but Elyse is probably unfamiliar to you, so check her out

……….go to ‘google images’, type in ‘elyse lord’ and marvel !

The journey was sweet as a nut, 7 hours to Wurzburg, 6 hours to Calais

Compare this with the disaster known as the outward journey with Mrs G. and

the No 3 G-ette……

……at one point I woke up and asked where we were (Mrs G. driving, the G-ette

navigating)

My face appearing in the rear of Giulietta was not welcome……

…..it turned out we were in downtown Munich

The trip is a straight 1000 miles of motorway driving, not one city or town features

This is the same as diverting from the M25 and driving to Hyde Park Corner

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

There should be no surprise when I point out that all the great explorers in history

have been men……Marco Polo, Captain James Cook, David Livingstone etc etc etc etc

Women are probably smarter than men but they didn’t get the navigational gene

Whoosh………………………….

Food heaven……

I had a wonderful meal in the Burgerspital in Wurzburg………….

Goulash soup (to die for) followed by a plate of white asparagus served with hollandaise sauce, ham

and boiled potatoes…..

Washed down with a glass of Muller-Thurgau from their own estates……

The waitress recommended the wine so I ordered a bottle…

A bottle, she gasped

Yes, please, I replied

But we only sell it by the glass, she explained

Fine

Would you like some water, Sir, she asked

No, but I bet that comes in a bottle, I answered

She didn’t see the funny side

Two world wars and one world cup !

Hee Hee

Whoosh……………………

G.

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The Sexual Advantage edition (12)

It’s my last night in Paradiso, leaving early in the morning

So I was enjoying an aperitivo in the little square (Piazzotto Montevecchio) and a thought crossed my mind…

…as I glanced at the pillar beside me in the portici (arches)…

The Italians post ‘notices of deaths’ when people pass away including a photograph

of the loved one and stick them at strategic sites round town (normally on these pillars)

These notices attract constant attention from the residents as they stroll around

There is unquestionably a fascination / superstition surrounding death here

And the older you are the stronger the pull…..which I suppose is obvious…..

Less obvious is the reaction of Italians when an ambulance passes with its

sirens blaring…

The Italian male, of all ages, grabs at his, err, wedding gear, with his left hand…

…Michael Jackson style, he gives it a sharp tug  !

Picture a 70 year old man doing this…

…then picture a 5 year old boy !!

This is the Latin equivalent of Anglo-Saxons saying ‘Touch wood’

and thinking ‘There for the grace of God go I’

Only funnier !

Even stranger is the female equivalent…..

No, that would be disgusting !!!

They grab their left breast with their right hand !

You could have some real fun with this one…

Rent an ambulance for a day and drive up and down a busy street…sirens wailing

…while an accomplice secretly films everybody

Anyway, the one statistic that shows up is the age difference between the dead men and women

…..and it’s dramatic

The women outlive the men by between 10 and 20 years

Also women in Italy aged 60 and 70 plus can look fabulous

The men just look like they have had it

The women sail serenely on while the men worry about……….

Lo squadra (their football team)

Whether they can still sock it to them (if the chance arose)

If they really are Lord and Master of their domain or if it’s just an illusion the women grant them

I know that if there is another ‘go-around’ I’m coming back as una donna Italiana…..

…..and I would have a lot of everything

and die happy

and old

G.

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The 200 Metre Rule edition (11)

This rule is the simplest one in the world…..

Put very simply, if I can’t get what I want within 200 metres of my front door

I either don’t want it or it’s not worth having

So let’s make a little list…

A view of the mountains, the Valsugana Pass, snow-capped Cima Grappa……..0 meters (from casa mia)

La Bottega del Pane…..115 metres………………baker (there are 6 that qualify under the rule)

La Casa della Pasta……125 metres……………..fresh pasta

Bar Leon………………….80 metres……………..coffee in the square (23 qualify under the rule)

Pizzeria al Vesuvio……..15 metres………………err… Pizza (7 qualifiers)

A funny kind of Love……90 metres……………..actually the brothel was closed down last year but the memory lingers and like Arnie says……. ‘They will be back’

Museo Civico……………..150 metres……………for sculptures by Canova and paintings by Gentileschi, Bassano, Tiepolo, Guariento, Longhi and many more (Go on the culture vulture !!!)

Favero…………………….50 metres………………jeweler (more correctly described as a wallet destruction venue)

Ristorante Trevisani……200 metres…………….right on the limit of the rule but thank God because this is the best eaterie in town serving la cucina veneta (and the best tagliata in the world)

Libreria Palazzo Roberti………………………….150 metres……………probably the best book shop in Italy

La Fontana Piazza Garibaldi…..130 metres……only for the sentimental or when you want to lose a pocketful of shrapnel

Grapperia Nardini………..190 metres……………for the perfect aperitivo (Rosso) drunk on the bridge built in 1569

Macelleria……………….175 metres……….butcher ‘Il Macellaio’ (there are 2 more that come under the rule)

Moreno…………………..85 metres…………Frutta e Verdura (fruit and veg to you, mate)

La Chiesa San Francisco………100 metres……….church completed in 1192 and taking confessions now for 821 years (suitable for those who want to get it off their chest and stay out of the slammer)

Polizia…………………….140 metres……….The rozzers (suitable for those who want to get it off their chest and pay the price in full to society)

La Fonderia………………200 metres………The best ice cream joint in town and just on the limit of the rule

Everything on your doorstep…

Everything at your fingertips…

Usain Bolt could get to every spot in 19.19 seconds or less

I can do the same trick in 19.19 too…

…just change the seconds to minutes !

G.

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