At least my resulting state of misery should have helped me to recapture my traditional tone of voice in my weekly newspaper column, which focused on the EU Data Retention Directive (which takes effect today, apparently) as a further symptom of the tightening tentacles of the surveillance state. How can we have stumbled into this mad parallel universe where innocent trainspotters are being bundled out of stations for daring to use a camera, at the same time as Google are cheerfully and legally constructing a door-by-door illustrated burglars’ handbook of the whole country? (Memo to British Transport Police: if he smells a bit odd, wears glasses held together with Sellotape, has a huge Tupperware box full of sandwiches and a copy of the Railway Magazine sticking out of his anorak pocket, he almost certainly isn’t a terrorist).
Having filed my column and walked the dog, the only thing to do to alleviate my misery was clearly to plod across the Old Dee Bridge and have a slap-up lunch in my favourite pub, which has raised its game still further since my last visit by embracing the sale of pork scratchings. But even these did not bring a smile to my face, and the fish and chips seemed to be distinctly below the usual standard as they turned to dust and ashes in my mouth. So clearly it is time to look back to much happier times. Particularly as this will also permit me to satisfy the curiosity of those correspondents who have asked why I have posted no honeymoon pictures to complement those of my wedding.
The good news for you, sleazeballs, is that Mrs H spent much of our week in Venice staring at the ceiling. The less good is that they were the richly decorated ones of the city’s magnificent Baroque churches, rather than the one in our bedroom. Here is a summary of what we did on our holiday:
Monday: foggy. I managed to leave my wedding ring behind in our Heathrow hotel, and spent much of the day writing a slide presentation for a client. I could sense Mrs H thinking “some honeymoon, this”.
Tuesday: foggy and damp. Still knackered after the wedding and the shock of actually having to do some work yesterday. After a preliminary orientation tour we plodded to a hard-to-find but highly recommended tratorria on Giudecca that proved to be closed on Tuesdays, and consoled ourselves with a bargain lunch in our five star hotel that proved to be anything but.
Mrs H “being British” outside S Giorgio Maggiore
Mrs H looking demure on her way out for an expensive (but worth it) dinner
The palazzo with the tenor with a difference
Making something absolutely hideous on Murano