I am very sorry about the shaky camera work, I am in fear of international gangsters and on the run from a murder rap.
The Uffizi Gallery is an unending tsunami of humanity, moving just one step at a time and listening with earphones to very cool radiocomms devices which hang around their necks in standard neon colours. The group leader or art guide has a small mike hanging under her chin and speaks into it discreetly, sometimes waving aloft a pennant with a teddy bear or some such tourist group mascot, that the followers can follow.
There is a delightful roof terrace café, in the open air among other roofs and towers. Stupidly, I started a new war in the Caucasus because I wanted to get a good shot of the Duomo roof from this angle. This required that I stand briefly on one of the few rest benches around the edge of the cafeteria, in order to get a clear shot over the parapet of the terrace. But all the benches were fully occupied by exhausted tourists who would not relinquish their rest place.
I chose the best located bench and waited blatantly for someone to move. They were four Russian ladies, who were having a fag and had no intention of being good Samaritans. In fact they brought in a fifth associate with a quick feint to right & left while the gap was covered. To get my own back, I stood stubbornly in their group photos and looked at the camera. Once shots were fired, there was no going back, and I found my reflexes took over – with a lightning-fast combined ninja kick & chop, as used by the SBS, I had tossed two Russian babas to a sudden & certain death in the Uffizi quad, before you could say Caravaggio. I got the pic I was after and called in the CIA clean-up squad. From then on, no one got in my way as we admired the Botticellis and the Corregios on the 1st floor.
Rosemary had a rendez-vous with an officer from Southwark Council & lecturer wife and they agreed a new strategy for some failing schools in Bermondsey.
We want to visit San Gimignano, but it is very difficult to access in the hills, due to being occupied by little green men, and our travel agent, Citalia, have a policy of not dealing with them.
You really must send those children on an educational semester trip to Firenze as soon as possible or we will be totally overtaken in the culture wars by the Russians, the Koreans, Japanese, Americans and Italians who are squeezing us out. Already you can hardly find baked beans or fish fingers on offer in the Piazzas and Trattorias. Preferably book your kids on an art course or a cookery course, so they come back home, more refined, and with new skills.
The women I eliminated at the Uffizi were part of the Capoeira/Zumba gang because we overheard them plotting when we reached the smelly back-street gym in Pescia. They were aiming to smuggle the David statue to Smirnovsk, and then they intended to ransom him for $10m, with the threat of some serious anatomical harm. It was they who stuffed the receptionist in the minibar, because she was trying to shop them to George & Connie in the CIA. And her boyfriend, the pizza chef, was done in simply because he knew too much.
There is nothing left to do now, except to find the ring-leader and round up the remaining oppos. The only doubt nagging at me, is which side is Janet on? The weather is warm – approx. 20C, if a bit overcast and humidity a bit high around 62%.