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Showing posts from September, 2011

Mafia in Syracusa and Tiddles gets stuck

It was the early hours of Wednesday morning on Ortigia, the island that is connected to the South East tip of Syracusa by a number of bridges. On Via Della Maestranza, one of the main thoroughfares of the island, all was quiet. Then a Fiat Panda detonated. It had been packed with explosive and parked directly in front of the main window of a shop that sold decorative metalwork. The window was blown in by the explosion and the stock redistributed around the interior of the store with some force. Lisette and I did not witness this. We arrived mid morning to see the remains of the incident. What presented itself was a blackened burned out husk of a car which looked like Mr Creosote post "wafer-thin mint". The street was coated with soot and the store was completely devastated. I tried to take a photo - Lisette pushed me on before I could. It made us re-evaluate though. Since we'd arrived we hadn't really given any thought to the organised crime that Sicily i

How not to climb Mount Etna

'Twas a fine morning in Taormina. The sun was shining, the world was happy; we were going up a volcano. Mount Etna was our planned destination having signed up with a tour the day before. We strolled down the main street looking for our tour and found a big jeep of jolly looking folk just waiting for the final people to join them before the ascent began. We liked the look of them, they liked the look of us; surely this was the start of several beautiful friendships. Alas tragedy struck, this was not our tour. And as we panned left we saw our future. An oversized double decker coach was before us, already full to bursting with people and still taking on more passengers; none of which looked particularly friendly. In fact they all seemed to be carrying expensive camera equipment and/or children and gave us the kind of looks that suggested that we had developed intricate plans to be away with both. We got on, feeling a touch wary and took our seats (just above the toilets).

Julian Assange is dead?

"That's right isn't it?" said Lisette pointing at the Wikileaks frontmans picture. "Wasn't he poisoned by the Russians?" It's possible that Lisette is confusing Mr Assange with Alexander Litvinenko... However, I do wonder if something might come out of this. I think that maybe Lisette has the beginnings of another "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier ... " inside her. Am planning to record her random thoughts and publish a spy novel of the collected works under a nom de plume. Perhaps Jeanette le Carre. A certain amount of filtering a reshaping may be necessary to turn this into a proper pot boiler. For instance I'm not entirely sure where the following utterance would fit in a book about spies and derring do: "maybe Italian woman have some kind of deal with the goddess of beauty - they front load their attractiveness in life so they look amazing up to the age of 40 and then it all goes to pot..." We don't normally travel