A brief message from Madam and myself
If you missed the clue in the title of the song, the travel duds (that dress sees me sail through security every time, leatherman an all) should serve as a clue that yes, we're off again
Half term, and so to Firenze.
Not the former Divination teacher who turned into a centaur and saved the day when he carried Harry Potter away from Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest
Not the female lead in the Magic Roundabout who hung around with a dog on wheels and a spaced out rabbit (Kids, you may need to look this one up)
But the city of Florence, yes that's it, that's where we went, got back a few days ago, still a bit jetlagged and yes Mr Zebedee it may well be "time for bed"
It's a little different now.
It would warm the heart of Il Duce to see the number of people undertaking the old salute, for what now passes as the international jape of having your photo taken while pretending to hold the tower up.
After some fabulous pasta in the evening we climbed the sunshine mountain for some shuteye before boarding a two tier train to Firenze,
An hour on a train that hit speeds well over a hundred mile an hour, for the princely sum of eight euros.
Winchester to Waterloo, a similar journey, price £35,
For shame UK Rail Network, For shame!
During my previous visit to Florence I had ignored all that the Medici had put on for us, opting instead to watch a fishing match on the Arno. Our apartment was on the river so I was fairly confident that I could find the old girl's banks. Fifteen minutes later found us on the banks of the Arno, and a further five minutes on found us embedded, deep cover in our apartment just off the end of the Ponte Vecchio.
Fishing first, and I'm sorry Mr Medici you may work a good statue or church but I don't think you appreciated what you had on your hands here.
Sorry Madam, L'amore must wait, there's fish need bothering here.
A life-long angler, Oliver graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Literature but decided that Fishing was the future. Oliver sounded like my kind of guy and two hours before dawn the next day we met again with an armful of rods, for our morning on the river. I won't go into too many details because I have had to chuck up guff elsewhere, but highlights included:
I don't normally do commerce or adverts but if you wish to find out more about fly fishing in the centre of Florence please visit www.fishinginflorence.com
that's www.fishinginflorence.com folks
At which point we'll break off.
Bake Off do the same now and again, all that's missing is a Phnaar, Phnaar, Titter, Titter,
At Thorpe Park little guys aren't allowed on the big rides, there's a line drawn as a guide to minimum height, it's not discriminatory it's for safety. At the base of the campanile, and other such dangerous towers there should be a door that you have to walk through without touching the sides before you are allowed to ascend...It's just a thought.
The Duomo is enormous, and I'll say it again, too big to photograph effectively from the ground. Inside is cavernous if a little underwhelming as much of the decor, including all of Donatello's and Michaelangelo's, handiwork has been moved to the museum at the edge of the square.
but as ever in Italy the provender on offer is always a highlight.
I can confirm that I like Chianti, and Madam has a taste for mid range Prosecco. The best Pizza in town was taken at an establishment that offered just six different types. Cutlery and cups were all plastic, tables were shared and people from many nations joined us at our table, because yes, we eat slowly on holiday.
Oliver had provided us with a few Trattoria to visit, all on the other side of the river from the Duomo, where prices are generally 20 euro cheaper on a meal for two, and we ate at our favourite three nights during our stay, I'll not list what we had here but we didn't have a duff meal all week.
Our flight home was delayed by four hours due to fog, I only fell out with two people at the airport, both younger than me who had become frustrated at my addled bumblings. Several flights were cancelled, and in a Brian Hanrahabn moment, ours was the last out of Pisa and the last into Gatwick.
It's a magnificent city that no longer holds fishing matches, and we plan to return.
Not you Centaur