Like a Gold Ring in a Sow's Nose

Experience life through the eyes of two star ladies - tat, clothes, tatty clothes...and Goblin beefburgers in a tin washed down with a pint of warm flat Panda Cola.




This is an actual Pompei Dog (see below)

It's Sorrento '06 Matey Boy

Firstly a trip down the M54,6,5,42,40,25,23
with only the windscreen cracking up so far. And so to the Sofiel, a hotel so close to Gatwick North Terminal you are more or less kipping on the runway. A night spent there drinking at lounge prices and taking the piss out of our fellow overnight travellers sets the tone for the rest of the trip.

Day of outbound flight sees
much fannying around at security and the need to throw away my little tin of
vaseline - I have fond memories of that tin in Paris with Churchill rummaging around in my make up bag for it. A man in a suit with a lap top gets the sharp end of my tongue as he was pushing his way up the queue to be X-rayed - "just exactly where do you have be quicker than me then?" which alerted Dan to step in with his arm and a "hold on a minute mate there's a queue here" to which the said tosser spluttered a bit but kept his place behind us. So, as you can see, we're already making friends on our trip. After we clear security with me being searched (as usual) I decide that I cannot live without my vaseline and go and buy another tin from Boots. And some Clinique eyeliner. And a Starbucks. And then it was time to board the plane along with some annoying Irish woman who wound Dan up a treat.

The outbound flight passes without incident and the usual sandwich thrown at you by a miserable and over made up trolley dolly - the likes of which you only get on BA. There is the usual scrum to get off with people thinking that as soon as the aircraft puts the brakes on (about in the area of Naples Airport you see on the left there) it's OK to stand up and adopt that curious half standing and half sitting pose, arse sticking out and neck bent at a painful angle whilst gripping the seat back in front for them for what usually amounts to about five to ten minutes. All this when there's a perfectly good seat they've paid a fortune for right behind them. There they wait like coiled springs, all looking for a small space to appear in the aisle for them to squeeze themselves into in order to take what appears to be their worldly goods out of the overhead lockers. Once they have their mits rummaging around in the lockers they take an age to retrieve their bag(s) and coats. If only I had a gun.

Francisco, a native of Sorrento, meets us at Arrivals and rolls my case what seems to be a mile to where he has parked his car.
The weather is great, blue skies and warm sun. We have a nice drive to Sorrento and he advises us of a restaurant in the main square we can get a good meal in (probably his brother's) and we glide down a private drive to the hotel, lined with orange and lime trees and just stunning, very romantic. Once in the room, sitting over-looking the bay of Naples with a bottle of white wine, plans are afoot for how to spend our time. After a few glasses of wine it seems only right and proper that the drinking continues and so it's up the Piazza Tasso for a few more scoops.

Bar Fauno
The Bar Fauno, with it's collection of stray dogs looking in from the doorstep, was our next port of call for another wine and a beer. And very nice it was too, served with giant green olives, nuts and snacks. Expensive yes, but we were calmed by the appearance of a large brown hound (probably stray despite having a name tag) who padded down the side of the table and looked at Dan who gave him a stroke. He then promptly lay down and went to sleep next to the table, even the waiters just walk over these dogs and they are all over the place. His name was Massimo ('great') and he was snoring down there at one point. We saw him often walking around the square. But, onwards and upwards, we had drunken gift shopping to do...

Now Nick (of Nick and Auds fame) went to Sorrento on honeymoon. And he asked Dan to bring him back a bottle of Crema de Limoncello which apparently is all over the place in Sorrento, you can't go a few hundred yards without seeing it in the shops. Could we find it? Could we f**k. We eventually found a supermarket and bought what we thought was it after a drunken call to Nick telling him it was nowhere to be found. Later on, after a trip to the other side of town we came across the tourist shops - and yes it was everywhere. Nick must have thought we were taking the piss. And we'd bought the wrong thing. So it was back to hotel to bolt down a cannoli and get ready for dinner.

First Night Dinner
This is the Pizzeria Aurora (Francisco's recommendation)
And it was like a family restaurant, and I reckon I was in with one of the waiters as well. Mosquitoes were found in the wine (bottled at source) and  even though we'd had the best part of the bottle, we were given another bottle as well so we were really pissed by the time we left there. Dan was convinced that the Pizza maker looked like Ronnie O'Sullivan and I wasn't which led to heated debate. Then it was back to the hotel for more really expensive drink, including mingling with a large party and getting some free champagne out of them, and a game of six degrees of separation that went on for hours. Drunk? I should say so.

Breakfast - the usual crap and I have decided that I'm never bothering with it in a hotel again. I am too much of a drinker to subject myself to it, as well as everybody else.

Next Day - Capri
Saturday  saw a trip to Capri on the ferry, with just a livener at 11.30 beforehand. When on the ferry, whilst engrossed in Saturday morning TV Italian style (remind me to tell you about the trampoline, Prince Charles and the eggs, not to mention a man with an octopus taped to his head) we were hijacked by Giuseppe or Zippy as we called him. He ripped us off for tickets from Capri Town to Anacapri which is on the top of the Island. Whilst up there we finally got Nick his Limoncello and we took our hangovers on the Capri chair lift (on the right, and that's not me). This takes you up to the very top of the Island and is a great way to snoop into people's gardens. There is a fantastic view from the top but not too good if you're a little shaky from the drink. Once back down in the town and finding the Cemetery closed we were forced to start drinking again. Once Zippy had taken us back down to the port we fell out with him when he tried to get us in a shop to by some Limoncello, "already got it, mate" was greeted with some indistinct Italian which didn't sound too friendly and so was followed by some non too friendly English as well. Then it was back to base for a very expensive meal in the hotel. Very very expensive.

Sunday was spent in Sorrento doing a bit of exploring and a lot of drinking. We crawled in and out of many a bar and restaurant, our fave was the Bar Ercolano in the main square which was outdoors and afforded us a great view of Luigi putting up the Christmas tree.  We were served by an old waiter who could open your bottle of beer and toss the tops onto his tray in one seemless movement. Here there were many visits by the mother of all police forces in Italy (for there seem to be loads) the Carabineri (see right).
They would park anywhere they liked and stand at the bar having free drinks. And the ones with the hats are the top brass. Whenever they arrived it would bring forth a "hello boys" from me and Dan would put his head in his hands...
We also had an encounter with a right old miserable git in a wine bar called The Garden. Despite asking for two glasses of very expensive Barolo in Italian and sitting down nice and quietly, we were given the cold shoulder and the dead eye by the wench serving. We were the only people in there until two Brits barged in and without so much as a 'hello' or a 'ciao' said "do you sell white wine in 'ere?". And she was as nice as f**ing pie to them! Speaking in English, laughing, friendly, cleared her shit off a table for them and invited them to sit down. So I was incensed and didn't speak another word of Italian for the rest of the trip.

Dinner at il Canonico -  A very drunken affair and a very expensive one again. Seated in the table on the far right of the photo below, we drew the despair of the Maitre D' when we selected our wine before our dinner. Despite trying to pass off a bottle of 65 Euro Barolo, the Maitre D' did manage to get a 44 Euro bottle on the bill. We were the only ones in there at the start and Dan had to go and get some more cash from the hotel just for the tip!. This made the Maitre D' (let's call him Mario) suspect he was being lumbered with a very drunk English woman until Dan came back and replied to Mario's comment that had he not returned he would have asked me out with a "you can have her if you want her". All joking aside I then preceded to demonstrate my lady like charms by spilling my 'free' champers all over the table. Once dinner was underway two American couples came in, deftly refusing Mario's attempts at foisting a bottle of molto caro wine on them. Mario gave them their free champers saying it was "to welcome you to our restaurant, and to celebrate my birthday" to which the gullible ones replied by congratulating him and I said loudly across the restaurant "he's having you on!". Mario then told them I was his new girlfriend to which they looked at him and me with a mixture of pity, disgust and bemusement. Our bottle of Barolo was almost full the first time I heard Funiculi Funicula and the second time it came around I was berating Dan for having had more of it than me, the resident red wine drinker, with a "I hope you're enjoying that expensive wine as you have had more than me, Matey Boy". Shortly after this Mario bought us yet more free drink, a liqueur which Dan left but I got it down the hole, Sweep! It was a relief to get back to the room without arrest.

Monday - Hungover in Pompei.
Don't get me wrong, it was a very impressive place. Massive. On a scale that I could never have imagined and strangely atmosphere-less despite it's tragic history. The paintings that have survived make you wonder if we have evolved at all when all we can do now is slap up a bit of emulsion. However, I was so hungover and without a guide book that the best I could come up with was a comment about Vesuvius - "it must have fuckin' well gone up". And no I didn't see the brothel but I did see lots of Pompei Dogs, which is now going to be the name of my tourist agency. After this we got lost looking for the train station and nearly got savaged by a Pompei dog in someone's back yard. Then it was back to Sorrento and some more bottle top tossing from Bar Ercolano and a hunt for a pizza. Everywhere was shut except for the Sorrento Inn, a strange place but nice pizza. By the time we happened upon it Dan was getting annoyed and caught the waiters attention by saying "Oi! Batman!". This was after calling a pair of English speaking tourists (nationality unknown) "a pair of wankers" as they were leaving one restaurant and not acknowledging Dan holding the door open for them.  It was time to pack up and get an early night, prepare for home.

Tuesday, Naples Airport and The Royal Bleedin' Philharmonic Orchestra
After having stopped Dan from starting on a group of pushers-in at check-in (as I said to him, not here, they can refuse to check you in for the flight if you start now, wait 'til later) I was stopped for an extremely thorough body search with hands and a wand and had my shoes put on an explosive testing machine (!). I forgot about the fluids and had put a bottle of water in my handbag as I went through the metal detector and  I then had to endure the third degree about that when the bag X-Ray showed the water up. I had to drink some of it before witnesses before they would take it off me as well. Then the man at passport control, who looked like a right bastard, wasn't too happy with my passport and glanced up at me several times before saying "what is your name?" I managed to utter a reply to which he said again "please repeat your name Miss". I was shaking! I reckon that photo has to go!
On the bus we had to take for the 50 yard trip to the plane, I noticed the majority of passengers all had long suitcase style bags on their backs. This elicited the comment "what's all this f**king long bag bollocks then? What are they? Musical f**king instruments?" And indeed they were and the rest of us normal passengers who actually work for a living had to endure the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra fannying around and completely monopolising the overhead lockers with them. This went on for ages and they made the plane late for take off - then some of them were moaning about being a few minutes late landing! Again, I wish I had a gun. Arrogant they were too, and one near me was bemoaning the pound shops near his house as being "rank"  It was a relief to get back to my punctured tyre! But I did enjoy the holiday, by the way!

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