All around the sound of thunder and a big storm heading down the coast but we are free of rain as yet. I mentioned last week that the little jeep was in the garage with a water leak. Well it was the water pump and after much debating it was decided that rather than Danato at the garage I should go to Taranto to find the Suzuki spares garage and pick up the new part. Now Pasquale is never one to turn down un giro ( trip) so came with me. I stuck the address in the Tom Tom much to his obvious distain. He has little time for this modern stuff. Bars were invented for you to stop and ask the way and have a little something is his idea of navigation. So all the way down we had lots of humphs as I pointed out the features and counted off kilometres and turns etc. and did searches for hotels just to show off.
Wow that was a big clap of thunder it is getting nearer. Music time I think. Now I did promise I would not try to keep the days of the week theme but I was reading the other the day that T-Bone Walker had been dumped down to #67 in the top electric guitarists ever which annoyed me. Now his famous song is “Stormy Monday and Tuesday is just as bad” and the weather rather forced my hand. Sorry
T-Bone ( 1910-1975 ) started his career in 1929 but his most famous output came between 1946 and 1948 . This was recorded in 1947. Chuck Berry said he was the reason he picked up a guitar. B.B. King named him the person that most influenced him. Jimi Hendrex was happy to say he often imitated him and Keith Richard said he was the master. So in the words of Horace Rumpole I rest my case .
We got to Taranto and found the Suzuki showroom with Pasquale still telling me he could have found it standing on his head or the equivalent Italian saying. However the guy there said we were in the wrong place and started to laboriously give us complicated directions to the spares garage. Pasquale quickly brushed these aside. Senti ( listen) he said just give us the address you fool, we have a Tom Tom and can find it easily, don’t you understand technology ! I guess it just wasn’t a bar.
Now many people don’t like Taranto and it certainly isn’t on any tourist trip though the downtown area is quite well laid out with big streets and smart blocks of apartments and the centro storico ( old Town) is built on an island and is quite nice though rundown. However the real problem is to the west of the town. There lies an oil refinery, an huge cement plant, a large chemical plant and the mother of all steel works some 15 square kilometres of it. Now this steel work belches out 9% of all of the dioxins belched in the whole of Europe. Lung cancer rates in a 5 km circle around it are 30% higher than in the rest of Italy, the rate of tumors on people is ten times higher than the Italian average and no cattle grazing is allowed within 15 kms of the plant for fear of terrible contamination. So unsurprisingly in 2012 the place was ordered to be closed. However rather than relief the townspeople and all the unions took to the streets to protest the closure. Jobs above health was the rather strange rallying cry. Mario Monti, our unelected prime minister sided with the protesters and a fudge was agreed whereby the owners would implement some of the measures they were going to have done in 2002 and 2003 and the State would lob in a ton of public money at some unspecified time in the future to start trying to clear up the soil contamination in the hills of waste piled up at the plant. So not a place to buy a new build house maybe nor plan your two week vacation. Indeed strong westerlies are not good for our area up here but luckily our winds are mainly northerly and South Westerly.
The now late Margaret Thatcher who famously said that the Euro project was very bad for democracy in Europe, was today blamed for the World Crisis we are now in by Romano Prodi, ex Italian Prime Minister, ex Head of the European Commission and “the Father of the Euro” . He made his announcement from the steps of his house in Bologna while in Rome his own country’s totally unelected Italian Prime Minister who garnered less than 9% of the vote in the actual elections in February continues to rule. Excuse me democracy Romano means to most of us great unwashed an elected leader ,
I wonder who will be most remember by history ? I didn’t always agree with her ideas but at least she was of a single purpose and did what she thought was right. Not for her the morning meeting with the spin doctors and opinion poll experts. I loved these Spitting image skits as well.