Heather's Boutique, picture from Getty Images

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Venice v Birmingham

As I was purchasing some pink lipgloss, chocolate and other travelling essentials at Gatwick airport. I remembered a friend once told me that Venice was very similar to the city of Birmingham. "Why?", I asked. "Is it because of it's Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance architectural influences? Or perhaps the collection of masterpieces by Titian, Bellini and Giorgione?". "No, it isn't", my friend retorted. "It is because Birmingham has more canals than Venice".

How interesting.... I agree that Birmingham is a lovely city, I've passed through it many times on the train. However, I can wholeheartedly confirm that Venice is more beautiful than Birmingham. In fact I haven't seen so much beauty in one place, since the Christmas sale at Selfridges.

Here's some of the football news, Italy won! Well done Italy. Then the bit about Materazzi, think you will only be able to read the headline, as the image is too small. Can anyone translate it for me?

How sweet of the Italians to put hearts on their cappuccinos.

In St Mark's Square, like Byron, Dickens and Proust had done before me, there I sat in the historic Cafe Florian, along with 900 other tourists, and a pigeon with a manky leg. Whilst I was quietly pondering my life and the price of a cappuccino, with a carafe of water. A man appeared in front of me dressed in orange. Not a look most people can carry off, but somehow he managed it in a bohemium kind of way.

He was brandishing a large camera, pointing it in my direction and started taking photos. Quelle horreur! I looked behind me to see if Tom Cruise had popped in for a glass of water? Or perhaps some glamour puss super model?

There was nobody.

He carried on taking photos, now gesturing for me to start smiling. Was this the Cafe Florian in house photographer? Was I going to be awarded "The Best dressed tourist for 2006?" My hat after all was fabulous.

The clinking of the camera and his gestures were starting to attract a lot of attention from the other customers by now. Then he put his hand in his pocket...... he was pulling something out, was it a tripod? his business card? a gun?

No, much to my huge embarrassment, and amusement to the large audience, it was a paper cup for money. He wanted me to pay up, and judging by his very expensive looking camera many people did just that. So I did what any other self repecting city girl would do. I mumbled something about not having any change, became fascinated with the Italian tiled floor, and went my favourite shade of pink. Perfectly co-ordinating myself with my new lipgloss.

No word from the Ramblers Association yet. More posts coming soon, including Sports to enjoy after the World Cup II, H' Scopes and Falmouth Sailing Week in Cornwall. Heather x


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