126. Nervous? Yes. First time? No, I’ve been nervous lots of times…

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.

IMAG0745

The back streets of Naples

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.

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