21 January 2012

mad dogs, italian men and pea soup

Forget about mad dogs, Englishmen and the mid-day sun. Yesterday and today have been what my mother would have called "pea-soupers". The fog rolled in, and out, up, and down... and then came to stay for a bit.

Yesterday I watched the fronds of fog licking their way up the village like whisps of smoke from a fire, and then they disappeared, returning in soft blankets from time to time. Mostly I am above the fog, and can see the cloak of dampness that hides the valley below.

I drove to Ceprano in the fog last night, 30 to 40 kilometres per hour all the way there and all the way back. There was no need to pull over to let locals fly past, the few locals out and about were also creeping along wondering where the edge of the road might be.

I usually enjoy the fact that there are no road markings here, but tonight as I came home from the town below I thought about driving in the fog on the Kaimais and remembered how useful centre markings are when you can't see more than a few feet in front of you.

There were a few mad dogs out there, but not many. Mine have opted for their houses, and now at 9.30pm I have remembered that I wanted to put the thicker mats in for them.

But Italian men and cold foggy days? It doesn't matter how cold, how wet, how little visibility there is, there will always be Italian men taking a "passaggiata", an evening walk. Two nights ago I recognised a friend dressed all in black as he exercised. I stopped and "told him off" for being invisible. I don't think he realised that motorists can't see him until they are almost upon him. I only walk where there are lights, he said. But you are all in black, I pointed out. Only your face is visible. I have a yellow jacket, he replied, but I don't like wearing it.

He thought it most odd that I had stopped just to mention it, surprised at my concern, although we enjoyed our chat through the car window. I told him that I wear my safety vest if I walk in the dark, and he agreed it was a good idea but I am sure he wont follow my example. Carry a torch, perhaps? I suggested. His face lit up. Yes, maybe he could do that.

Tonight it was particularly bad, cold, damp, and at a time when all good men should be at home demanding their dinner one was walking along in the dark. I stopped to offer him a lift. Thanks, but I'm just taking a walk, he said. A slow amble in the dark on a dangerous road on a miserable, damp foggy night? No thanks!

...mad dogs and Italian men go out in the damp night air.

Today I am grateful for safe journeys.


Anonymous said...

You make me laugh and you make me smile celeste

Jackerd said...

you can change dogs (sometimes) but Italian men?

Helen said...

I am surprised that you met no runners out on your foggy drive! That's the sort of thing that they do too i.e. become invisible but they remain assured that they can be clearly seen