Tinsel, Tongue and Groove



A quiet cappuccino and croissant in Bar Italia, Frith Street.

Featured on the wide-screen is Sky News live from Westminster with Gordon. Later that day in Lisbon he is to be reported as a naughty schoolboy who didn’t get to class on time – his European-urchin classmates tut-tutting as if he had missed the register.

A shout goes up and I sense a commotion near the entrance. In fact, we punters have been invaded by members of Sky News in the flesh who have claimed this sanctuary of ours in the name of current affairs, having established News Camp Four on Everest’s South Col. As if in tribute to Shackleton’s mum, the sound lady has her earphones clamped to her bobble hat and the team’s producer appears to have a coiled USB cable wound around her face, so lathered up is she before air-time. She and her baby-faced reporter are desperately recruiting anyone close-by resembling an archetypal Latin-type whose ancestors might have once roamed one of the Seven Hills. Oh, and who know anything remotely interesting about the Three Lions.

Any Italians here speak English?” yells the reporter across the café, half in panic and boredom. I could scrape in with the first condition and we did visit Ostia Antica last year but I looked up from my froth with a slow shake of the head. More from pity than the exclusion itself.

(I read that book once, the one by Edward Behr, when I wanted to back-pack round the world in search of adventure, love and photography – though not necessarily in that order).

Blah-blah-Little-Italy-blah-blah-Fabio-Capello-blah-blah-what-do-you-think? .. blah,” urged the nodding reporter, nervously looking around for someone else to lasso.

Good-news-blah!,” offered the rotund gentleman who just wanted this nonsense to cease and get back to running his business next door.

Meanwhile, on the back wall Gordon sulked in the Commons Select Committee like Clement Freud’s Bloodhound. Surrounded by tinsel, tongue and groove.


One Response to “Tinsel, Tongue and Groove”

  1. 1 SLB Ericson

    It appears to me that Three Lions will be coached by a foreigner…what a scary thought. The interesting thing is that all the Greatest British football supporters can now openly support Italy, due to lack of British Isles participation in Euro 2008…

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