Monday, 14 September 2015

The right trousers


I'm counting down the hours left before we get on a plane to Pisa and from thence to Rome, like a kid on Christmas Eve. The only thing I am not looking forward to is the tedious rigmarole of security check-ins and outs. At least the route is not something like Southern Spain, so hopefully there won't be too many pissed Brits wearing straw hats, even though it is Easy Jet.

My self-styled 'son in law's' idea of the perfect holiday is drinking beer at breakfast. Since we stopped lying around on beaches, we usually go to cities, which means art and culture, etc. We've got more art and culture when we get back too, as Frank Auerbach has invited us to his retrospective preview at the Tate this October. It's good to see that H.I. is still on his mailing list after all these years. I love a bit of name-dropping, but whenever I drop his name amongst my drinking companions, they don't know who I am talking about. Philistines.

We're going to make a day of it, so I have booked a room in the Hotel Russell at Russell Square. It was in the Hotel Russell where I last saw Shawn before she flew back to the States for good. Remember S?

Choosing the right trousers is of paramount importance when going on holiday, and - like walking boots - it is best to break them in before trying them out for the first time in a foreign land. This is why I am not taking the brand-new Hacketts I bought the other day. I am opting for a great pair of dark blue, baggy linen ones which I have had for a while and which were made in Greece, by Greeks, for Greeks.

I have decided to only take one pair, so I must take extra care not to shit myself when in Rome. If the worst comes to the worst, then I will just have to hide in a toilet or the hotel and send H.I. out for a replacement. I know what would happen, though. She would ignore all the ordinary shops and go - by taxi - straight to the Armani headquarters, then become side-tracked in the women's section, returning after about 4 hours with a £500 pair for me, and a £3000 creation for herself.

When I was trying on the Hacketts in Bicester village (I never normally try on trousers, but she insisted), she waited until I was standing in my underpants with the old pair in my hands before drawing back the curtain and exposing me to all the other customers and staff who were waiting outside. Either her sense of timing is really good, or really bad, depending on your point of view.

Because - as I mentioned earlier - we no longer lie about on beaches, my legs haven't seen daylight for about 20 years, so they must have been a shocking sight to all the bystanders. Even I don't like looking at them these days.

Although I will be taking two phones to Rome, neither of them are particularly smart, so I need not worry about roaming charges. This does mean that you will not be hearing from me for quite a while, so make the most of this post. I may just squeeze in one more tomorrow, but I may not.

What are you going to do without me?


27 comments:

  1. Buon viaggio and beware of pickpockets in Rome. And unscrupulous taxi drivers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always let H.I. walk a few steps ahead of me in pickpocket areas so I can pounce on bag-snatchers. I saw one kid get a beating with an umbrella when he tried to grab a handbag when last in Rome.

      Delete
  2. I'm just off to the airport too. Lady M's back from shopping in London.

    Have fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did she get you a pair of trousers?

      Delete
    2. No. A pork pie, some stuffing mix, and some 'real' pork scratchings.

      Delete
    3. Who needs trousers with that lot?

      Delete
  3. Maria wishes you a happy holiday if you check my blog. And Elaine said she did not lead a sheltered life.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had a dirty weekend in the Russell Hotel in 1978. I don't remember much about the hotel. Have a good holiday, it will be quiet without you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Another image I can take away and cherish.

      Delete
  5. Have a great holiday…with or without trousers!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I wish I could travel like all of you bloggers that I follow! I am jealous. A trip to Rome sounds wonderful.

    Have fun, you lucky devil!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I do indeed remember a night with you at the Hotel Russell. I also remember when you didn't wear underpants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha - those were the days - the days when I used to have to worry about involuntary erections.

      Delete
  8. Ah the Eternal City Tom - what am I going to do - I am going to dream that I am there too; it is one of my favourite cities to just sit and drink capuccino and watch the world go by.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will think of you Weave, and that's a promise.

      Delete
  9. Before you go, you might enjoy this article about Roman food from a recent New York Times. I especially appreciate the writer's insistence that although Italian cooking looks simple, the simple ingredients must be prepared in a careful, almost precise, way to achieve the desired result. Buon appetito!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/travel/rome-italian-recipes.html?ribbon-ad-idx=3&src=me&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Most%20Emailed&pgtype=article

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha again. This is for everyone else's benefit:

      Once, here in Bath, Shawn was cooking me pasta - spaghetti I think. I said that the best way of testing whether or not spaghetti was cooked was to throw it against the wall, and if it stuck, then it was cooked.

      I must have been pissing her off, because she threw the whole pan against the wall, and although some of it stuck, most just slumped to the floor through sheer gravity.

      Little Sasha thought it was funny too, I seem to remember.

      Delete
  10. I'll miss you.....only got back myself today and was ready for a debate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure Heron will fill the gap. Welcome back - I've missed you too.

      Delete
  11. Have a good time in Rome - I am sure the charity shops in Bath will miss you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charity will miss me. So will Faith and Hope.

      Delete
  12. Enjoy your holiday! I'm not sure how long you'll be away, but I should think taking a second pair of trousers a wise move. Unless you are secretly hoping for a pair of Armani ones.

    When I was last in London, we stayed in Russell Square. It was delightful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I already have three pairs of Armani, none of which I have yet soiled...

      Yes, Russell Square is a good location.

      Delete
    2. My mothers two favourite hotels in town were the Cumberland, and the Russell. Just thought you'd like to know!

      Delete