Monthly Archives: February 2009

Italy, il bel paese

Just in case you can’t see. the first knob provides condoms, the second a throw-away lighter and the third those generously large cigarette papers for people who like a long, cool smoke. The dispensing machine is outside my local newsagents … Continue reading

Posted in italy | 3 Comments

Homesick for everywhere but here

Norman Geras asked me to write about a book that has influenced me in some way for his Writer’s Choice series on normblog, according to the Sunday Times one of Britain’s finest 100 blogs. I chose Christopher Isherwood’s second novel, … Continue reading

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When reporters asked Berlusconi yesterday whether he’d seen Roberto Benigni rip him to shreds at the Sanremo Song Festival last Tuesday, before an audience of 15 million, our Leader Minimus said, with his habitual smugness, that he was one of … Continue reading

Posted in berlusconi, italy, rai, sanremo | Leave a comment


Posted in photography, travelling | Leave a comment

One picture…

Posted in ratzinger | 4 Comments

In the bin

I’ve just found out that Little Monsters was shortlisted by the Waterstones Book Circle as one of its February choices. It didn’t win – Chris Cleave did – but it does mean that some branches will pop an extra sticker … Continue reading

Posted in little monsters | 4 Comments

Après Walter… Who?

If you live in Italy, or care two pins about it (these categories aren’t necessarily coterminous), you may want to express your opinion on who should replace Veltroni as head of the Partito Democratico. Well, La Repubblica has set up an … Continue reading

Posted in italy, PD, politics | Leave a comment

Sardinia shafted

If you’d like to enjoy what’s left of the natural beauty of Sardinia (see right) before the entire island is converted into a ‘fitness centre’ you’d better get a move on. That’s right. Berlusconi’s glove puppet just became governor. New … Continue reading

Posted in berlusconi, italy, putin, russia | 3 Comments

Sticks, stones, names

I’m linking to a post I started some days ago but only published today, which you might not otherwise notice. It’s about the new security laws in Italy. Here it is. This is a subject I’ll be returning to, I … Continue reading

Posted in englaro, fascism, italy, racism | 2 Comments

First official sighting

Not quite the first sighting of Little Monsters with its 3for2 sticker proudly displayed in the bottom right-hand corner, but the first to be substantiated by a photograph. Here I am, snuggling up to David Leavitt, with Jeffrey Eugenides obliquely … Continue reading

Posted in charlie bulbeck, little monsters | 6 Comments