Stop this Nerk (one)

I’ve recently returned from a trip back to the UK to see family and friends and although it was great to catch up I couldn’t wait to return to Italy and be back home.

Now, whenever I’m travelling by aeroplane, I’m sure I have a sign that flashes above my head that reads, ‘can’t be trusted’ or ‘bloody liability’ or possibly, ‘stop this nerk and check his case’.

As we checked in at the airport in Pescara a man who had enjoyed a few drinks asked us if we’d carry his brothers’ case on for him, obviously we said no, and despite him slotting it in-between mine and my friends cases he didn’t succeed in getting an extra case past the security team. My hand-luggage went through the scanner and the machine beeped, the woman looking on the x-ray mentioned the word, coltello (blade/knife) to her colleague and my case was taken to another bench. I remembered then that in a gift box inside my luggage was a pizza cutter. A different man came over and opened my case, the first thing he found was my deodorant and as it was larger than 100ml, he confiscated it as he shook his head at me. He pointed to the gift box that was exquisitely wrapped in expensive wrapping paper: (for expensive wrapping paper, read, free newspaper of offers from supermarket) .


Photo by Becky Tickle.

“What’s this?” he asked, so I told him it was a gift of cups and saucers, he smiled and closed up my case and I went on my way with the pizza cutter still inside. Well after making such an effort with the wrapping paper it’d be a shame to have to remove it in the airport just because of a simple little circular blade, it’s not as if they were delivering pizza on board the 20.35 to Stansted.

Sign of the Day


Seppe’s Solution

All the best laid plans and so forth, often never come to fruition, and one of mine almost didn’t. In 2011, I searched everywhere for a tall metal gate, and the local Italian DIY stores shrugged their collective shoulders; the ironmongers’ were more helpful, as they offered me, metal bars, nuts and bolts so I could build my own. There’s only one flaw in this plan, I’m as handy with a saw and screwdriver as a blind plasterer. So I did the next best thing and ordered the gate and posts from a UK store and had them delivered.

And they’ve lain here un-erected until today. The problem is I want the gate at the top of the concrete steps down the side of our house. In April, the first person to look at the job was our previous builder, who shook his head and pointed out that we’d have to excavate the concrete to set the posts, and that the stairs are not suitable enough to set a post into. I asked him again in June if he could bolt the posts onto the house and steps, this facilitated lots of teeth sucking and head shaking. “Not possible,” he said, “forget about your gate.”

We’ve had people wander down the side steps, which go past our bedroom window so I want the security of a gate. In September another builder had a look at the gate and tried to fix it to the outside wall, but as it’s stone it was like trying to drill into steel with a cotton bud. Giuseppe called over a few days later and looked at the problem, “it can be fixed,” he said, “but with compromise. Leave it with me.”


Regular readers will be aware of Seppe’s celebrity status on this blog.

So off went Seppe with some measurements and the following day he arrived with homemade brackets, I understood that the gate would look very little how it would look in the UK, and would be more rustic. Looks are of no interest to me, it’s the security I want. So with a spot of recycling, at the end of the day, thanks to Seppe, we have a gate, now all I have to do is find that padlock I put in a safe place.


It turned out that I had put the padlock in such a safe place, I couldn’t find it, so went out to buy another one. The following day the safe place turned out to be the back of my sock drawer, so now I have an extra padlock. Looks like I’ll have to buy another gate.