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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 carrying pictures of controversial organisations. It's just I'm currently reading a book called "Inside Wikileaks" which unsurprisingly features a picture of JA on the back cover. This purchase was a result of carrying out the "69 test" on a number of possible airport book possibilities. The idea is you read the 69th page of a book by which point the author should have got properly going. So you judge a book not by the cover but by how it seems to be panning out when underway. Not sure if it holds water but the Wikileaks book is properly interesting. Certainly more so than another book on the shelves called "How to make money from property" which features a serious looking man on the cover who may well have hemorrhoids (looking at the expression in his eyes). Performing the 69 test on said book netted the following sentence:

"You can increase the square footage of...."

Not something I wanted to study in depth in Sicily I felt.

This morning Lisette and I went to an English church in Taormina, Sicily where we are staying. There was a Scottish couple there who were renewing their wedding vows having been married for 40 years. Lisette wept tears of joy. Fantastic stuff.

Afterwards we sat outside and drank wine and fanta with the (generally elderly) congregation who were an assortment of English, Scottish and New Yorkers (whose family came from Sicily).

It's interesting how different cultures approach belief differently. The previous night we'd seen the other end of the spectrum in the form of a very ornate church procession through the centre of Taormina. The focus of which was a statue of Mary which had been more decorated in earrings and jewels than you would have thought plausible.

Left us thinking: Holy Mary Mother of God... you look a little like B.A. Baracus....

"Lately I've been seeing things... Belly button piercings" - Black Treacle, Arctic Monkeys

I can't remember if someone told me to first do this or whether I worked it for myself. Either way I've now established a useful tradition when going away. Before I leave I buy an album on which I've never heard any of the tracks but which I have high hopes of liking. I take it with me and only allow myself to listen to it when I've reached wherever we're travelling to. That way whenever I subsequently listen to the music it always takes me back to where I first heard it.

So the first Arctic Monkeys album reminds me of buses in Equador, the final Streets album reminds me of Chiang Mai in Thailand. The second Arctic Monkeys album reminds me of Venice and the third Arctic Monkeys album reminds me of Sri Lanka.

My latest fix is the latest Arctic Monkeys album. (they've given me good memories in the past so I'll trust them again)

love John and Lisette

PS Lisette is loving being the only natural blonde on this citrus isle :-)


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