Palm Sunday Yesterday

A big festival in Italy as you can imagine , very much a family day with families gathering for lunch together. I remember getting a straw palm at Sunday School but that’s about it.

My Palm sunday didn’t start too well. I decided to give the small soft-top jeep it’s first airing after being in the garage all winter as it was a pleasant spring day 15C .  Unfortunately the battery was flat and I was meeting a couple of people for coffee at Galante where the fresh Sunday bread comes from ( see last weeks post). So it being 8.30 on a Sunday I awoke my wife and asked for a push out of the garage. Not one of my better decisions but I did get the push and set off down the sloping drive  engaging the gear down to the bottom of the hill but the engine wouldn’t go. So now I had blocked the drive.

Down the drive and after much pushing ( me this time ) we position the jeep in a small corner so I could get by it with the other car. All that pushing up and down for some reason reminded me of Gerard Hoffnung’s story of the bricklayer repairing a tall tower

Anyway I got to the bar for the bread and a cup of coffee and one of the guys had jump leads so problem solved. Jump start in Italian is avviamento a spinta or start up push. The one I love is Italian for a puncture. After I had one I wondered how to say it to the garage and then found it was gomma a terra quite literally tyre on the ground. Fabulous isn’t it.

Promised you a couple of photos from the saturday lunch:

Orata BBQ


These fish were the third course and were caught by Pepe’s brother. They are called Orata and taste quite like mackeral. Then the wine ran out and couldn’t resist taking this one when we realised it !

Wine Runs Out


Enlarge by clicking on it to see Pepe’s expression.

Oh I see that Harry Reems died at the weekend aged 65. Who you say, well let me tell you a story.

In 1973 I was working for British Airway in terminal 3 LHR. My job was to ensure when other airlines had delays they placed their stranded passengers with BA and not a competitor. To help the decision process I had carte blanche to hand out free tickets on  BA to check-in agents and all others in that airline to  help ( bribe) them to make the right decision. This was I hasten to add before privatisation . It, of course, made me amazingly popular ! Anyway one afternoon I was sitting at my desk behind the check in when the phone rang and a guy from Pan Am asked if I could meet him and a few others from other airlines. Now normally this was to go to a business lounge to a have a few free snorts on said airline but this time he said meet at the coaching gate airside. I got there and we were piled onto a crew bus and set off across the airport. Now in those days Pan Am had a huge network of European routes and so the big newly introduced 747s ( yes that long ago) came into LHR and then the waited for the european flights to go out and back before picking up connecting passengers and leaving to go back Stateside.  The most famous Clipper service was PA1 and PA2 and the aircraft for PA2 was sat in Pan Am engineering waiting for 6.30 p.m.

It was to those steps we went and up into first class we trotted. There on each set of two seats sat two bottles of vintage champagne and a pound weight pot of finest Beluga caviare as served in First Class then. We sat down and started on the supplies as the guy from engineering set up the in- flight movie system.

Now this was rudimentary in those days, a home type projector came down from the ceiling and a white screen came down at the front of First Class and had to be assembled. Once done the lights dimmed and the film started to roll. What were we to watch we wondered. It was I remember a film of the rose gardens of England.  still the champers was great and the caviare to die for . However about 5 mins into this boring film it suddenly changed to the film Deep Throat with Linda Lovelace !  A semi porn film that had gained notoriety in the States and indeed went on general release there netting almost $1B in takings.  I cannot think that many people saw the film sitting in First Class on a deserted Pan Am 747 with a pot of caviare and vintage champers but readers, I DID !

Anyway the lighting director on the film had actually starred in a couple of other films and when the leading man didn’t turn up he was asked to step into the err breach as it were . His name was Harry Reems.


About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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