Good evening all,

I’ve just returned from a brief holiday in Italy. Sometimes geographical and cultural distance provides a degree of perspective, regarding matters at home, and we may return refreshed, invigorated, energised and ready to look at things anew, as it were.IMAG0001022

I’ve had a wonderful time away. It was instructive in many ways. The Italians are a very “laid back” race in general. Trying to source a timetable for the various ferries, trains and buses involved was simply impossible. It was all sorted on the spot, at the time, in person.

I loved that.

In the same way that the new Guinness advertisement strikes me as the first really good one in a long time and genuinely makes me proud to be a Dub, the Italians are quietly proud of their culture, heritage and hospitality, but with a degree of humility.

There is no sense of hubris, superiority, supremacism or flag waving nonsense. Just quiet confidence in themselves.

I arrived back late last night and have been catching up on events here. We all know what MacMillan had to say regarding “Events”. I had more of a sense of the Churchillian “Dreary steeples”.

The, simply clueless, Theresa Villiers is doing something or other regarding parades, I’m not sure what. Slugger has appointed the “energetic” David (Fianna Fail) McCann as a “Deputy Editor”, God help us and my old mate Barton Creeth thinks it’s great setting up a food bank in South Belfast. Barton. We have memories of such things in Ireland, long memories. Food banks, though well intentioned, are an indictment of where we are in 2014.

While in Italy at a particularly beautiful setting over a few, post dinner, bottles of wine, we, Mrs Bangordub and myself, found ourselves in conversation with a lovely couple from Cheshire. We found common ground on many topics over a few hours.

Particularly when the Scottish Independence vote came up during the course of our chatter. They were of the opinion that we were “better together”. I, naturally, agreed.

I’m not sure they were expecting my perspective on the subject however. It never occurred to them, I suspect, that I was looking at things as an Irishman.