Friday, 25 August 2017

When in Rome


Welcome to Rome which, according to local legend, was built by the Romans. I don't believe a word of it.

We arrived yesterday morning and, after a quick game of paper, scissors, stone, one lucky man won the right to drive Vanessa to her city centre hotel. 


Luckily, she allowed us to tag along too.

And before we knew it, we were off looking at some ancient stuff.

It included this.


And also this.


They were built by the Emperor or the Pope or one of those types. Free free to check the guide books. All very magnifico, I'm sure you'll agree.

This morning we found an Italian restaurant apparently aimed at visitors from the North of England.


Sadly it was closed.

Then it was off to the Colosseum, which even impressed me.


If you wanted to be hyper-critical you could argue that it has seen better days (albeit the guts of 2,000 years ago when Jesus and John the Baptist jointly cut the ribbon). But a breathtaking feat of construction nonetheless.

After that, it was pizza.


And ice cream.


Tonight we'll head out for pizza and ice cream. 

Tomorrow we're leaving the capital but staying in Italy for an entirely new type of adventure (for us).  It was Vanessa's idea so, in truth, it'll probably be a disaster. I'll fill you in when I can (WiFi availability permitting).


Before I go, I want to briefly pay tribute to my friend Sean O'Callaghan whose tragic death was announced yesterday.

If you're familiar with the Troubles in Northern Ireland, you'll almost certainly know about the many lives he saved whilst risking his. If not, you might want to Google him.

Like so many others, I was sceptical and possibly hostile towards him when our paths first crossed - in my case, it was June 1997 in London. But I quickly grew to trust him, we became firm friends and kept in regular touch ever since. 

In fact, we spoke a number of times in recent weeks and planned to put our heads together on a couple of things after the holidays.

I received my last email from Sean exactly a month ago yesterday.

He signed it off as follows:

"Call anytime. You do a great line in Ulster Prod bullshit. Brightens up my lonely retirement. Xxxxxxxx."

I'll miss the old gobshite.


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