Wednesday, June 25, 2008

In front of me is an ad in The Daily Mail for a charity called Smiletrain. It includes six photographs of children with deformed mouths. According to the charity each of these children could receive life-enhancing surgery at a cost of £150. Then I think of the Wayne Rooney wedding at a cost of what £3000000? £5000000? I’ve seen both figures mentioned, this razzamatazz becomes in my opinion nothing short of obscene. Next time Colleen thinks of stumping up £10000 or so for a handbag, maybe she could do with one for £1000 and give the other £9000 to charity. Isn’t it amazing that one can become a celebrity merely by starting off as the girl friend, now the wife, of a footballer? Fame! Celebrity! Greed! Get it the easy way if poss. And don’t these celebs ever pay any tax? Enough of that.

When I first applied in Vamos more than ten years ago for a resident’s permit, the first question asked was father’s name. ‘Llewellyn Idris,’ I said. ‘How do you spell it?’ ‘El – el –‘ ‘Two els?’ ‘Yes, two els.’ ‘Why two els?’ ‘That’s just the way it’s spelt.’ ‘Okay, write it down.’ Second question, ‘Mother’s name?’ ‘Rosa Angela.’ There was a long pause as the policeman looked up at me, pen suspended in mid-air and then he softly breathed, ‘Rosa Angela … Rosa Angela … ROSA Angela … Rosa ANGELA …’ The name obviously got right to his heart and he issued a permit for five years instead of the normal one first time round.

We were sitting in the courtyard having drinks with our friends, the Greek actor Stelios Mainas and his wife Katia and I was telling them all about the Italian connection, obviously with such fervour, Douglas suddenly said, ‘You really want to go don’t you?’ ‘Of course I do.’ ‘All right, then, let’s go.’ ‘Just like that?’ If you don’t do it now you never will.’ He said, went ahead to arrange everything and within a week we were on our way to Italy.

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