How Not To Get A Date

I had a treat yesterday afternoon as I took the dog for a walk. I’d left the house shortly after dropping the children home and noticed, after about ten minutes of walking towards the bridges near the house, that a smartly dressed man was following me. When I stopped for a moment he swooped over:

(In Italian)
“Do you know by any chance where Largo Argentina is please?”

“Oh…” I started to point in the correct direction (he knew where it was).

“Sorry – ” he interrupted, “I only wanted to speak to you.”

Cue rolling the eyes moment. Ladies, it happens a lot. If you have two breasts and a face, it is more than likely these men will find cunning ways of intervening into your life in the most light-hearted and annoying ways.

He then asked where I lived, how long was I staying, clearly – from the moment I began to answer his pitiful question – he knew I wasn’t Italian.

Before leaving he said:

“Will I see you again?”

I wasn’t sure what I’d slipped in that would suggest this. I then noticed, as the fateful Gollum did upon meeting Frodo that he was wearing a ring. A WEDDING RING.

He must have thought I was born yesterday.

The Signorina rolls her eyes

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Jazz Go For It

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The only thing to do when confronted with long, gloomy faces bumping into you and the moping melancholy of late Jan/early Feb is to face the rainy cobbles and go to a fizzy Jazz Bar, where big hair and big bottoms rub up against you.
The only difference between a rainy London street and one in Rome, is that Romans are nonchalantly chic, immaculately dressed in moody, dark Gucci and Belstaff and – and that’s only the dogs and children.
On the other hand, in London wellies dabble about the pavements, frumpy, wobbly and out-of-place, (get a field people!) Anyway, that isn’t why I’m here.

“The only thing to do when confronted with gloomy, long faces bumping into you and the moping melancholy of late Jan…is to face the rainy cobbles and go to a fizzy Jazz Bar where big hair and big bottoms rub up against you”

A French friend, Anne-Sophie (you’ve met her before) and I went to an exceptionally sexy place called Gregory’s Jazz Club. If you are ever on Via Gregoriana 54, Rome – squeeze by shaking cleavages and shiny brogues of men and women lounging about like panthers around the doorway, find yourself a nimble stool balancing next to one of those tall mahogany tables. It is where Jessica Rabbit’s and bottle-necked politicians fight for bar space. I was wearing a simple, black dress, but my friend had this long, glossy number on, (it may have even been monogrammed if I remember correctly,) ridiculously exposing one long leg, (Angelina Jolie would have turned in her LA king-size bed.)

“Do you ‘fink tis too much?”

Think low, ambient lighting and by a mere, mute hand wave, order one of those transparent cocktails that look like liquified jellyfish with ice from a waiter with a twinkly eyes and slicked back hair. Once the tuba man bounds to his feet and the music starts, you will forget where and who you are and your troubles will pump out of your brain.

It was one of those Wednesday jam sessions, which is apparently the most buoyant night of the week. The atmosphere was built to be twinned with the wild, jazz encrusted bars that sprung up around New York towards the end of the forties. Think Ben Webster and Lester Young.

“Once the tuba man bounds to his feet, you will forget where and who you are and your troubles will pump out of your brain”

It is Rome’s own personal date with live jazz.

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La jam session del mercoledi’ è l’appuntamento storico con il jazz dal vivo al Gregory’s

Do we know who Gregory is, however? A sleepy, large man who looked like a black and white Battenberg bellowed over his gloupy, fish bowl of wine. Apparently,

“He’s an aspiring musician who spent years busking on the piazza’s of Rome whilst working in his father’s empty restaurant near the Jewish quarter. Forbidden from entering these sordid, smoky joints his saxophone saved his life, represented his destiny and guided him towards escape from the mundane: he ended up wooing and marrying a young woman from a powerful Roman family. A spark of rebellion spluttered to life between them, and she encouraged Gregory (Gregorio I imagine, no one like that is a ‘Gregory’) to set up a jazz bar in what was then an abandoned cinema.”

Did we want to be backing dancers, we were cornered and questioned later on in the night? Oh! You know what?

No thanks.

Is Gregorio’s story true? Brimming as it was of a Hollywood screenwriters dream, I am pretty sure the large man with his large glass and apparently large…curiosity was just trying to nab one of us for the evening, distracting our imaginations with vintage who-ha.

If this is even vaguely your thing – get down there now. A tip? Glide around like you’re there all the time and you’ll fit in immediately.

http://www.gregorysjazz.com/prossimamente-in-concerto.asp

“If this is even vaguely your thing – get down there now. A tip? Glide around like you’re there all the time and you’ll fit in immediately”

Unimpressed: Bridge Rendevous

“When I stopped for a moment, he swooped over like an uninvited pigeon, and said in an Italian dripping with old oil and stale, half-price men’s cologne…”       

What a treat I had yesterday afternoon as I took the dog for a walk. After about ten wintery minutes of walking towards the bridges near the house, I noticed a smartly dressed man walking rather close a few paces behind me. When I stopped for a moment, he swooped over like an uninvited pigeon, and said in an Italian dripping with old oil and stale, half-price men’s cologne: “Do you know by any chance where Largo Argentina is please?”

“Oh…” I said dryly and pointed bluntly in the correct direction, poker-faced and un-amused (practised expression.) He knew exactly where it was.

“Sorry-” he stopped me with a floppy hand: his pointy nose and parrot face, grinning stupidly: “I only wanted to speak to you.”

CUE A ROLLING THE EYES MOMENT.

 “Sorry-” he stopped me with a floppy hand: his pointy nose and parrot face, grinning stupidly: “I only wanted to speak to you.”

Ladies! If you have two breasts and a pair of eyes that blink: drifting, bored men will find cunning ways of intervening into your life, albeit in the most harmless, but nevertheless, intrusive ways.

He then asked where I live? Poking into my lovely walk, crossing his arms across his creased, baggy suit, that his mother had probably laid out on his bed a few hours earlier. Who was I? How long was I staying? (In a way that suggested, I bet you don’t know where I am going with this! What a score!)

After making several, unimaginative, but vaguely realistic excuses to leave, he questioned:

“Quando posso rivederti? When can I see you again?”

I wasn’t sure, in which millisecond of the conversation, I’d remotely hinted that I positively couldn’t go on, if I didn’t see him again – I then noticed, as the gnarled Gollum did once Frodo crossed his path, that he was wearing a ring. A wedding ring. God, he must have thought I was born yesterday. Or maybe he’d borrowed it from a dressing table at home and forgot to take it off, and his mother was frantically looking for it?

“He then asked where I live? Poking into my lovely walk, crossing his arms across his creased, baggy suit that his mother had probably laid out on his bed a few hours earlier.”