Sunday, April 23, 2006

Back to My Roots

I’m just back from a few days spent in my ancestral village in Italy.

My mother is quite attached to the place. So attached in fact that she continues to work years past retirement age so that she can finish renovating her place there.

One of her most inspired ‘improvements’ was to construct an enormous white terrace/ driveway grand enough to grace a moderate-sized mansion in front of the family shack. It is very large. And very white.

So large and white that...

  • It literally blinds anyone standing on it on anything but overcast days. Sunglasses are mandatory
  • I suspected that, like the Great Wall of China and the Pentagon, it was visible from orbit

This is all very well but, so far, quite self indulgent. The reason why I mention this is that on my return I decided to confirm my visible from orbit suspicions by clicking on Google Earth and, fuck me, there it was …

Note that my mum's driveway/ terrace is so bright that it has overexposed a multimillion dollar digital satellite imaging system, even from the relative safety of several hundred miles away. Imagine its effect on unshielded human eyes in much closer proximity.

It is possible of course that the area around the village has been photographed in such detail precisely because the NSA suspect that my mum's terrace was deliberately constructed to destroy spy satellites. Maybe that really is her game. I'll be buggered if I can figure out any other reason for building the bloody thing.

The resolution is astonishing. I can even pick out individual fruit trees in the fields and gravestones in the local cemetery. It’s all a bit disconcerting really but I can’t quite put my finger on why.

Additional fun facts about the village where my mum’s family comes from

  • home to 17 families
  • all 17 families closely interrelated
  • hence higher than usual occurrence of 'specially gifted' people amongst those 17 families
  • the locals dont like strangers
  • or each other
  • 80% of cultivatable land given over to alcohol production since the dawn of time
  • winner of the coveted 'European Village most likely to be twinned with somewhere in Appalachia' award for 15 years running
  • half the population moved to Wolverhampton in the 1950s. Only God knows why

There is a book about this place somewhere if only I could just figure out what it is


Anonymous said...

nice change from the doom and gloom

Anonymous said...

Very witty but a little out of order stef. Maybe stick to jack-booted alien zionists from the labour party. No comments about your adventurous journey back by coach and your red wine shower??? love from little bro

Stef said...

a specially gifted person writes...

Anonymous said...

well, unbelievably we are of the same gene pool...