Big fan of Tim Dowling in the Weekend Guardian. Always turn to him first, even though I know I ought to be getting started on something more useful like the Review section. And I also know that this sort of self depreciating thirty-blah diary-journalism is all very Sunday Supplement. Still. He makes me smile and doesn't try too hard. He creates something out of nothing much at all and I like his cadence. Saturdays episode was typically about nothing much at all, hung on a readers observation that efforts the previous week had been 'pathetic, boring and very banal' (I for one was still chuckling at the admonishment to his children shrieking in the street: "This is not Naples") he follows Mr Crow's advice that he should Try again, though. Two thirds in, beautifully timed: "As I put my plate into the dishwasher, I spy the letter again, my eyes resting on the words pathetic, boring and banal. I think: I wonder what your life is like, Mr Crow. One boat chase after another, I'll bet."
The elegant Riva motor-boat is a rare and stylish object of desire. An extravagant trophy from the post war jet-set only 4,000 were made and no-one is really sure how many survive. They are quite splendid. I've seen beautifully polished scale models in smart french boutiques de cadeaux which cost more than my car.
I was on one once. In Venice though, not dissimilar to this specimen in Monte Carlo. The Bloke had the ex-navy boys appreciation for the finer things in life, pomp and rank. In his head I feel sure he lives his entire life in mess kit. He also had a sailors gift for excess. It was a hot sticky day on the grand canal, the streets were hoarded. Instead of an insufferable P&O queue we hired a private water taxi on a whim. And for ten minutes and €150 we were Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.