Italians getting wheel over important issues
YOU may be pondering who to vote for in the forthcoming general election, but I recently heard something that would definitely have swayed me in the polling booth.
Authorities in Venice were said to be actually, seriously considering banning wheelie suitcases from their historic, watery realm. The Italians appeared to be saying they were too noisy and damaged the paving stones.
When Mr F worked in central London, he cursed them almost as much as the rucksacks that clogged up the underground trains. I was irritated by the lack of awareness in travellers who trip people up.
But we are turncoats – or turn-cases – and, having converted to the cult of ‘wheelieness’, we revel in avoiding pulled muscles or strained backs on the way to the airport or station.
We do keep an eye on our cases and give the odd hand signal or verbal warning, but in the event of an unexpected ankle-bashing, we find it is best to mutter an apology and move swiftly on. OK, it all turned out to be a misunderstanding – apparently things got a bit lost in translation – but on such measures do governments stand or fall (or roll away?), as far as I’m concerned.
Another news item that caught my eye was the British couple who were wrongly accused of starting a forest fire in Greece.
The man was a tutor of Ancient Greek who loved the country. After being arrested, he was kept in a cell with a hole-in-the-floor lavatory, three smelly blankets and no pillows or mattress. He was at first refused food and legal help.
It reminded me of Uxbridge plane spotter Peter Norris, who had been (wrongly again) arrested in Greece along with several others for being a spy in 2001 and was treated equally badly. But never mind about Greece deciding people are guilty until proved innocent or whether we should stay in the EU, keep your eye on the wheelie cases issue, because we may need a referendum. Would you be in or out?
A curb on immigration? Pah! It’s cases on kerbs I’m worried about.
Anyone who promises never to touch the wheelies gets my vote.
■ So good to hear that film director Mike Leigh of Mr Turner fame is a fan of the Gazette and this column. However we mustn’t get carried away. I don’t think that Bm@il:The Movie will be appearing at Uxbridge Odeon any time soon...
Email me at bmailbarbara@gmail. com or catch up at www.getwest london.co.uk/authors/barbara-fisher/.