Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Take the cable car from Varallo up to the Sanctuary and you come to a Franciscan shrine to the suffering of Christ. There is a basilica surrounded by a little village of 'chapels' (around 40) each of which is home to a display of life-size painted terracotta figures depicting said suffering. And I have to say, the Catholics do good suffering. Christ in the Wilderness? There He is next to a lion which has a lamb in its jaws so that its intestines are spilling out all over the sand. Christ before Pontius Pilate? There He is, bleeding already. Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane? There He is racked by countless evil demons. Christ scourged? Christ before the crucifixion (thrice, lots of blood 'n' thorns), Christ during the crucifixion, Christ off the cross...Oh! The unrestrained joy of the Catholic church! How my heart leaps up in happiness! Fortunately there was a charming 1920s hotel with a conservatory restaurant where one could forget for a moment all the suffering and indulge in some don't-mess-with-me reds made mostly from nebbiolo (the barolo grape) which in this part of Piedmont produces wines with mouth-stripping tannins and not much subtlety, but which did the business nonetheless. After this particular pilgrimage, I must renew my membership to the Anglican Communion, despite the Welsh theologian.
Monday, 21 April 2008
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
digestivo. If you see one in Waitrose, give it a tug and wait for the overwhelming urge to strip naked and leg it through the nearest allotment.
Saturday, 12 April 2008
*I think I'm OK because I am not differently pigmented, I only have one wife and I'm a crap hod carrier.
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Tuesday, 1 April 2008
I'd sodding forgotten that the men were due to arrive to empty our septic tank. The lorry above cost €300,000 new they proudly informed me. This job was going to cost, I knew straightaway. Down they came, the two of them, and went straight to the tank situated below the house. Whipping the two covers off there was a lot of head shaking and chin stroking. "Boss" one said, "come here can you?" My head was pounding and my stomach was reeling. Down I went. "This is not good, not good at all. Look at this, solid, and in the second chamber. Nasty. Very nasty indeed" I felt a strange whirling sensation as 'though I were about to die as I gazed uncomprehendingly at the contents of the tank and noted the concomitant stink of raw sewage. Please Lord, I thought, if you want to take me, take me now. Four hours later and €600 lighter they were gone, as were the contents of the tank. I'd paid the price alright.