Sunday, 1 April 2012

Home thoughts from abroad (really this time)

I am in Rome. Really, no kidding.

Wee Mo and I, thanks to the Scottish Legal Aid Board having relaxed a little their usual parsimony, are here for a long weekend, in the company of our niece, who, in exchange for her food and accomodation, deigns to wash the occasional dish.

I would like to console my readers with the sentiment that we are having a miserable time but I cannot tell a lie. It is 22 degrees during the day; the Churches are not just as magnificent as ever but by their sheer ubiquity guarantee that there is always something new to see; the food, while I am assured is still no comparison to that available north of Florence, is nonetheless somewhat superior to that on offer in Kilsyth.

And the Caravaggios....................well, my keyboard could never hope to them justice. And that's before, tomorrow, we have the Vatican Museums: The School of Athens by the greatest of all the renaissance masters and a ceiling  some people at least get very excited about.

So, I would surely have every excuse just to sit back and enjoy the whole experience. And not to be bothering my happy band of followers with a blog.

But, in the end, that's what I do on a Sunday night. And anyway, my legs have rather seized up after all the day's walking.

Oddly, in terms of my domestic affairs, now that I am "home", I could be home.

Instead of booking a hotel, we have secured, I was going to say a small, but actually as it has turned out a rather grand apartment on the third floor of a palazzo at the top end of the Via Giulia. For those so inclined to look it up, it is next to the (very Tuscan) Church of San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini.

That is not however its most remarkable feature. As we were being shown round on arrival, after an stern lecture on the importance of observing the correct bins for our rubbish (these Greens have got a lot to answer for), suddenly, as almost an afterthought, our host announced that we would, of course, want to know how to correct to the wi-fi router.

And so, as the portalone closes for the night, we could be back in Scotland. Not only am I able to exchange my usual good-humoured insults with the Tory Hoose crew over twitter, I can read Scotland on Sunday as surely as if I was in the breakfast room of the North British Hotel and indeed rant and rave as normal over some of the more ignorant callers to 606. The only real difference is that here it's at 706.

And my niece, being more familiar with the technology in the way that young(er) people so irritatingly are, can not only converse by keyboard with her friends back in Scotland but can somehow, thanks to features on my netbook of which I was wholly ignorant, give them a video tour of our accomodation.

When Mo and I first went to Italy more than 20 (cough) years ago, you were in a very real sense, away. News from home might be occasionally gleaned from a two day old copy of the Daily Telegraph purchased at enormous expense from a newsagent in one of the larger cities but keeping in touch with the business required the accumulation of a colossal quantity of change to be fed at rapid pace into a phone box while desperate advice was sought about some case or other in which there had been unforseen developments. If the money ran out the client was left to sink or swim.

Since then, the world of communication has changed beyond the imaginings of that time.

Tomorrow morning not only will I wake up to Nicky Campbell as usual but even as I go about the day, my office will not only be able to contact me me but by phone (phone!) even send me documents to review and revise. If I could afford it, I could probably live here permanently.

Now, at this point I was going to go on and make a series of wider points about how we haven't appreciated how this has changed the wider economy and, indeed, the political game. It is not however just the temptation to venture out for a last digestivo that pulls me up short in that task. For we all realise that in one respect. But in our day to day lives we all still cling to how things are currently done for fear of  perceiving only that they will need to be done differently in future. The reason, and the problem, is that we don't yet understand how that might be.

Buona notte a tutti

No comments:

Post a Comment