They’re bringing on the sheep amidst a scene of pastoral spectacle and creating a cricket match. It’s going to rain from fake clouds. And then Boris is going to appear, fresh from his newly-minted role as the constant voiceover artist on London’s transport network telling us to plan ahead, dressed as an 18th century gallant Tory grandee and lead us all in a round of “Land of Hope and Glory”. Or not. Or maybe there will be turkeys from Norfolk (another rumour) or pigs from Lincolnshire. Either way, if the Stratford stadium isn’t covered in 23 different kinds of animal excrement by 9.30pm I’ll eat my 2012 sunhat.
I am bereft to announce that, despite my role as city observer, chronicler and writer, I will be absent from Britain for the opening ceremony. I have to go to Italy and see what Mother Bluebird has purchased in way of an apartment in a hillside town. I am being asked to do the driving, which will be interesting because the last time I did any driving I smashed up my car on the A1 during a disagreement with a bollard. I will be sipping regional vino rosso in the hateful, hateful, horrid pink-skied evening sun. I will be travelling to and from Perugia’s answer to IKEA in thirty seven degree heat. I will be forced to eat proscuitto, formaggio, great hunks of rustic bread dipped in local olive oil. It’s going to be hell, darlings. Mr Bluebird is under instruction to record the opening ceremony for my dramatic criticism and for posterity. I don’t doubt that it will be impossible to find a television that works in rural Italy and even if it did work I would have to gaze at Blighty whilst being sandwiched between a short, fat, grandmother and a hairy armpit of a construction worker with flatulence problems in a tinny bar last painted in the 1950s.
We are delighted about the kitchen. There wasn’t one in the Italian apartment until yesterday but there is one today. This is progress. What isn’t progress is the fact that I haven’t managed to book liposuction to prepare for my first performance in a bikini in three years, but I’m hoping the locals will feel generous and resist the temptation to point at my cellulite. My plan this week is to update regularly (if I can find Wifi) and tell you all about the region and our experiences within it, if that is, I recover from the 6am wake up call to fly Horrid Air from London Stansted. Sorry to be missing London’s party this week – I depend on my spies and my readers to tell me how it is. I’m off to Bar Italia to brush up on my future tense with the waiters. Meanwhile, I shall be telephoning Danny Boyle to oversee the delivery of livestock to E15 first thing tomorrow morning.
For those of you who read the last entries in “The Italian Job” (see topic list opposite) you’ll know what to expect : I list all the foodstuffs I eat, explain my attempts to speak Italian to the locals, tell you about the sites I see and attempt to post ice cream home. I usually get lost down dark, winding city streets and drink enough Montepulciano to see me through for the next year. I usually drive haphazardly through Umbrian plains in manual cinquecentos. There is always fun to be had. Please stay tuned for updates throughout the week.
Please return to The London Bluebird if you enjoyed this. This blog is usually updated every Thursday but due to travels this week I will be updating regularly, if, that is I can locate Wifi in the Ancona region. Thank you!