To begin at the end.
We landed at Stansted in the early hours and finally tottered through our front door at about two thirty this morning.
I’m a very poor flier, as you know, and was in a horrible panic all the way out to Naples, despite my valiant attempts to ‘man up’. Coming home was much better, partly due to the application of a large glass of red wine just before embarkation, but mostly because, by keeping my eyes fixed on a book, I managed to fool myself into believing that I was actually on a train.
Every little bump was just a trip over the points; and definitely not a sign that the plane had suddenly realised it was defying the laws of gravity and was preparing to plummet. When the stewardess mentioned seeing the Eiffel Tower from the window, I persuaded myself that we were zipping past in the Eurostar, and added the Notre Dame and the Seine for good measure. About half an hour from home, I started running the journey from Liverpool Street in my head.
I really can be remarkably stupid sometimes.
The good folk of Naples, where we spent yesterday, are in a different class altogether when it comes to boldness in the travel department. Streets jammed with cars and buses are standard fare for us town-mice, but Neapolitan motor-scooters – Lord, they are a horse of a different colour! Scooters in the alleys, on the pavements, weaving full speed against the traffic down one-way streets. Scooters carrying an assortment of children, carrying texters, carrying talkers. Carrying live-stock, carrying instruments, carrying furniture. And prevented from collision, I presume, by a protective buffer of sound provided by obliging motor horns.
There couldn’t be more of a contrast to the rest of the week, walking in the hills around Sorrento in my first term-time holiday. About which, more anon.
And so to bed.