December 13, 2008
Thwarted escapism and street performances
Hello everyone, and a special greeting to everyone in England. This is just me being nice, trying in my small way to counter the endless doom and gloom put out by the British TV news channels. From what I see, the country is about to sink into the North Atlantic under the weight of bad economic news and disappear without trace (parts of the West Country appear to be getting off to a head start), so I advise the purchase of life rafts and paddles. If you can still afford them, that is, with the pound now almost at parity with the Euro. Would now be a good time to join?
Of course it may be that things aren’t as bad as painted by the media. The upside of watching British TV here is that we don’t get to see the local equivalents, particularly the dire offerings here on the Italian side of the border. Therefore we don’t get to hear any bad news, so (to paraphrase Douglas Adams) we have no option but to be desperately happy.
Which leads me neatly to the evening of Friday, the first completely sunny day for what seems like weeks. To round it off properly we went over to Monaco to see the James Bond “Quantum Of Solace” film and get our fix of good, healthy escapism.
I use that wording with care. “We went”. But don’t ask me what I thought of the film, because we didn’t actually get to see it. We arrived at the cinema in Casino Square with fifteen minutes to spare, only to be told at the box office that the film had arrived with the wrong soundtrack – in French. Since the whole point had been to see it in English this was something of a disappointment, especially as the local media had been announcing it as late as that afternoon.
But it was a beautiful evening with a full moon hanging in the sky, just right for a stroll around the harbour before returning home. Casino Square had its decorations going, as can be seen in this short video clip. All I need now is to know what the ducks think of their home. The fountain seems to me rather lacking in the kind of things one normally expects to find in a duck pond, like mud and weeds.
Today, Saturday the 13th (unlucky for some) the weather returned to what of late is sadly normal, with heavy clouds and intermittent rain. In the afternoon we popped into Ventimiglia for a couple of items of shopping, and on the way back heard drumming from a small piazza just next to the covered market. Until a year ago this was just another side street but the town authorities had the vision to pedestrianise it and now it’s a pleasant place to stop for a coffee and sit outside surrounded by some of Ventimiglia’s best shops.
The drumming was coming from a group of half a dozen performers; three African drummers, a stilt walker, a fire artist (is that the phrase?) and a limbo dancer. Something of a mixed bag but they gave a lively and enthusiastic performance, as you can see in this clip, notwithstanding the over-ambitious nature of the final stunt.