We are no longer in Tuscany but I shan’t quibble about the name; there is Peking Palace in Reading and dozens of Aberdeen Steakhouses in London.
I only have half a clock to analyse tonight as from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock there is a wall. So, apart from me, sophisticated and erudite blog writer come acting senior manager in a secondary school (the first bit sounds far more glamorous than the second bit) who is facing 11 o’clock we have…. Three old ladies and one of their carers. They are not speaking to each other at all. They have clearly said everything that needs to be said in the previous eighty years and have run out of conversation. The carer occasionally tries to encourage a bit of discussion but gets short shrift. I can’t hear what they say when the odd word does appear but they could be three old ladies of any nationality. They all have pearls so clearly did well in the marriage stakes dismissing their husbands to spend their pensions on nights out like this. Good luck to them.
At 9 o’clock is another table on some sort of sponsored silence. A middle-aged couple. She is rather large and rather inelegantly smoking a fag in a way that she thinks is the height of fashion. He has a bluetooth device in his ear and a few moments ago got very excited when someone called him. He engaged in an animated conversation the like of which he has never had with his wife. If anyone walks in without seeing the device in his ear they will no doubt come to the conclusion that she is deaf and that he is on day release from a secure institution.
The background noise to tonight’s events is being provided by the extended French family at 7 o’clock. They have every generation present, the oldest of which will require the bill translating into old French francs before he considers paying. One of the party thinks it’s appropriate to use the words “putain” and “con” in polite society (look them up in a dictionary). They are probably at a campsite down the road with a caravan, awning and picket fence to mark their territory. The rest of the campsite is having a quiet night in their absence.
New arrivals at 10 o’clock are a former rock star, his third wife and daughter from the second. A lead singer with Italy’s foremost heavy metal group in the 1970s, he spent all his money on women and alcohol. He wasted the rest. The daughter is mildly embarrassed by her father and keeps looking round to see if anyone one recognises him. However she secretly hopes that someone will but the only ones who had a chance of doing so are the three old ladies and they have now left.
The uncouth Frenchman is now, believe it or not (and this bit I’m not making up) is talking about, errr… sodomy. Time to eat my cheese.