Back from Rome last night to be faced with a Friday night traffic snarl up of gargantuan proportions. The orbital motorway had tailbacks of 7 kilometers and the main north-south autroute was closed for forty five minutes due to an accident. What usually takes under two hours took four and a half. It was daft of me to book a return flight on a Friday - the pre-weekend en masse exodus from Rome being one of those immutable laws of nature.
Thankfully, rather than drive myself I had arranged to be met at the airport by young Simone with his Mercedes saloon of indeterminate age. He's a good driver, knows cars come equiped with indicators ( which in a most un-Italian way he sometimes uses ) and displays a relatively strict attitude to lane discipline. Most importantly his vehicle lacks the 3 inch high Padre Pio statue that sits proudly in the middle of the dashboard of the taxi firms other car.I don't wish to appear irreligious but this plastic representation deeply unnerves me. With its glowing, battery illuminated eyes it seems to look at me reproachfully whenever I travel under its stern and unwavering gaze. Its as if it can look deep into my innermost thoughts and see that I think that its not a real, Italian sourced, Padre Pio but a recycled, Guangzhu produced model of the hooded figure played by Sir Alec Guinness in the early Star War movies. Quite, quite alarming.
Late at night I found Wilf sitting at the front door looking very sorry for himself. He had trodden on a wasp. Much love was called for and a protracted washing of his foot with bicarbonate of soda in solution - ( a handy household tip of the 'fonts'). It seemed to do the trick. This morning he is fine although again quite nervous over the presence of the hunters who are wandering around the front of the house.