italian tv

I wrote a bit about the wonder that is Italian TV when we were last her. I’m delighted to say that in the intervening year it hasn’t improved uno jotto. They’ve now discovered X Factor. The good news is that Simon big pants Cowell doesn’t feature on it. He’s probably earning a grande wedge all the same but it is a relief to be spared his criticisms of the no-hope half-wits, who instead get to present the programme over here. There’s the mumsy Sharon equivalent who looks like one of the check-out ladies at Tesco’s and the camp guy with very strange hair and the vocal trainer who look like he shouldn’t be allowed near children’s playgrounds. Check out a couple of them :


Continue reading


sibillini mountains

Yesterday was such a glorious day we went out for a drive up to the Sibillini mountains which dominate the views in this region. They are  pretty big too – the largest just shy of 2500m and remain snow-capped at this time of year. We headed for the spa town of Sarnano – we’d read about it several times but hadn’t visited before yesterday. We headed off across country to avoid the larger roads but quickly found ourselves down some very rural white roads. C suggested that we return to some decent roads before I took the exhaust off. It was good advice knowing my current luck record.

Continue reading



What were your impressions of the visit to the UK of President Sarkozy and his stunning new wife Carla Bruni? I listened to the end of visit statements from the Emirates stadium (unusual venue for a summit?) but there seemed little of substance to me. A new ‘entente formidable’ and a vision of a ‘global europe’ whatever that means. New task forces to be created and sharing of thinking etc but that seemed about it to me. Did I miss the really substantial bits?

Continue reading

bloody technology

Well our run of good luck continues. I was describing recently how pleased we were with Telecom Italia for getting our broadband up and running so quickly. I’ve had clients and fellow Directors on at me to get some work flowing again and we were beginning to catch up. Then last night I went and picked up my laptop slightly awkwardly by the frame of the screen and I went and cracked the screen itself. It wasn’t too bad for a while but the crack’s widenned rendering it completely useless now. For frig’s sake. Is it just me? Continue reading

heathrow? – heath robinson more like.


It’s been interesting to watch the coverage given here to the problems at Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 and the huge PR embarrassment caused to British Airways. Dozens of flights cancelled (54 more today!), a baggage handling disaster zone and massive queues. Not a great first week at the new place. I think the Italians are having a schadenfreude kind of moment because the state airline Alitalia is going bust and its fate is the subject of hot political debate during the current elections. With some sense of national shame it looks likely to be bought out by an Air France-KLM collaboration. At least BA’s Terminal 5 shenanigans are taking some of the spotlight at the moment.

Continue reading

blackpool v the stones

I heard a quirky little news item on the radio (online) tonight which made me a little nostalgic for the UK. The leader of Blackpool Town council, Christopher Thistlethwaite (actually that wasn’t his name, it was the name of a class friend at school but it sounds very Lancastrian), has just issued a civic decree renouncing the 44-year ban placed by the Town Fathers on the Rolling Stones preventing them from performing in the town. Eh?

Continue reading

beckham gets his 100th cap

This is just a short posting about last night’s England game v France. I didn’t see the match over here in Italy, unsurprisingly they were focused on the international against Spain. So I can’t comment as an eye-witness. But I have read a lot of online reports and been listening to UK radio all day so I can get a picture of how it went.

Continue reading

cap’n rio

What do you make of the appointment of Rio Ferdinand as England’s captain for tonight’s match against France? For one thing it shows yet again that Capello is his own boss. I admire the fact he’s dropped Terry from the role because he didn’t think his recent haranguing of the referee was appropriate behaviour for an England captain. It doesn’t necessarily mean Terry’s forever out of favour; as with Beckham’s re-selection for this squad (and after being dropped at Real) he’s prepared to be forgiving and pragmatic once the players have learned their lesson. It’s a bit schoolmasterish but hey, after the indulgence by Sven GE and the faux mateyness of Quiff McClaren, it’s exactly what these over-paid, self-absorbed and irresponsible footballers need. I don’t think anyone’s going to cross this guy lightly.

Continue reading