Saturday, 30 November, 2013
We are now in Milan, and at the tail end of our trip. While in Milan, we went to see the famous sculptor the Pietà Rondanini, once again the work of Italy’s top boy, Michelangelo. He died before he could finish this one, so lost the time required to carve out Christ’s arms and todger.
Throughout Italy, you are made to absorb all these facts about Michelangelo – he completed projects for nine different popes or he was the first Western artist to have a biography whilst still alive, for instance. However, nobody ever mentions the fact that he was always sculpting widgers, and that he clearly saves the privates until the end as a little treat.
Three blogs in a row now, I’ve mentioned seeing work of Michelangelo, and as stated, his skills are sensational. But, facts are facts, each major painting or sculptor I’ve seen by him has included a bloke with his knob out.
Otherwise, we haven’t done too much in Milan. My personal highlight was getting a free drink simply for being a Leeds United fan, I can’t remember the last time being a Leeds fan has worked in my favour. Thus, it was a very pleasant surprise.
In the UK you need to show a bit of cleavage to get a free drink. However, in Italy an old British footy shirt seems to be the best way to a man’s heart.
Amy wanted to go shopping, because we are in Milan, a city famed for the activity. However, I enjoy shopping about as much as I enjoy a mosquito bite, and not just any mosquito bite, a nibble from one of them arsehole mosquitoes that go for the unreachable part of your back. Therefore, I told her to get stuck in and come find me in the pub when she was done.
The older man, who I would guess to be in his sixties, timed his arrival perfectly, showing up when my beer bottle was close to hollow. He proceeded to wander over to the table and said, “Is that a Leeds United shirt? I must buy you a drink.” He then went to the bar, before returning with two bottles. He placed himself on the stool opposite me, and started telling me all sorts of football stories, mostly regarding the Italian league.
After about twenty minutes, we got back onto my t-shirt. He told me that he remembered the club playing a whole host of Italian teams in European tournaments with a smile, and then questioned the current state of the club. Oh no, he didn’t know about our ridiculous decline.
Leeds United suddenly became the kid that didn’t reach the heights everybody hoped, and a question that required a huge gulp before answering. You know what I mean;
“So, Liz. What are the kids up to these days?”
“Well. Jamie is studying chemistry in York, while Rebecca is a nurse at the LGI.”
“Wow, that’s great. And, how about Richard?”
“Oh, well, you know. He’s, well, he’s in prison for taking his clothes off in the park and shouting at the fat birds for eating too much bread. He seems to be doing much better though.”
Although, it was more like, “You know how you remember us playing AC Milan and Roma, yes, well, it’s now a lot more Yeovil Town and Doncaster Rovers.” God, it was tough to get out. It would have probably been easier to have a naked son who shouts at birds in the park to be honest. Still, he seemed interested and we went back and forth with football stories up until the point Amy got back.
Let’s hope that he one day gets to see the dream clash between Leeds United and AC Milan once again.
Prior to Milan we spent a few days in Naples, mostly to allow a visit to the incredible archeological ruins of Pompeii. Based on the lack of carved men’s widgers, I’m going to assume that Michelangelo had little involvement in this project.
To all the historians I now have pulling their hair out; relax, guys. I’m just small potatoes. There are people around that believe the world was only created 6,000 years ago. I’m just saying, if anything is going to bother you, at least start with that.
Frankly, the history of the city has me extremely fascinating. Pompeii was completely buried, abandoned and forgotten about for thousands of years after the impact of an exploding volcano. I bet the digger blokes couldn’t believe their eyes when they tapped into that discovery.
“Rob, I appear to have found something.”
“Great, what? A bone? A fossil?”
“Well, I may be wrong, but I think it’s an entire frigging city.”
“Right. You might want to check again, it’ll be a bone or fossil. It’s always a bone or fossil.”
“I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but you’re a smug, cynical twat, Rob.”
The eruption occurred in 79 AD, that’s only a few years after Jesus popped his clogs, and yet, somehow so much of the city was preserved. Therefore, a visit to Pompeii allows a person to fully immerse into a part of the world as it was two thousand years ago – well, you know, as they drink their bottle of coke and play on their phone.
Wandering around the broken city was highly captivating, we spent the best part of a day there. History has never been my strongest subject, but the knowledge of what we were seeing blew my mind. We had been offered the golden opportunity to glimpse through a window and into the Roman Empire at the peak of its power!
I bet school outings are great for kids in Italy – today we’re going to see a huge amphitheatre where they used to host gladiator fights, while next month we’ll be going to a city that was buried under volcanic ash for a few thousand years. Do you know where they took us to in my first primary school? A bloody drycleaners.
The weather was pretty grim during the majority of our time in Naples. However, if this trip has taught us anything, it is that being trapped indoors in Italy is rarely a bad thing. The pizza here is devastatingly good. Not to mention the pasta, ice cream, coffee, wine and beer. How are these people not fat? If I lived here, I’d soon have a potbelly bigger than the moon and an arse that shakes more than a cocktail maker or a lonely man.
That’s it for this set off blogs – next stop, home. Fortunately, I have my sights set on teaching abroad again with a likely move occurring in January. So, you’ll have a whole new host of blogs to feast your eyes on next year. I feel like I’ve just given you your birthday, Christmas and wedding day all in one with that announcement. I guess I’m just the gift that keeps on giving!