Archive | June, 2014

THE REAL SIMONE

30 Jun

THE REAL SIMONE

girl tennis photo: Tennis Ladies96.jpg

What’s got into her?” asked David as he and Simone splashed along the street, going back the way they’d come. The rain might have stopped as suddenly as it had started, but the world was still very wet. Simone was dressed for tennis, her white skirt enticingly short, and he wore shorts, equally white but longer.

Maybe us holding hands?” sighed Simone. “It could be she didn’t like that very much. After all, I’ve lost count of the number of times she’s said she fancies you when us girls are having a private chin-wag!”

She never has!”

And some … quite personal things, too,” grinned Simone. “She’s smitten, all right. It’s embarrassing, really.”

So if you’re such close friends and you know the way she feels, why did you grab hold of my hand and keep hold it like you did?” asked David, shocked. “I thought it odd at the time, as if you might be nervous or something, maybe her dad’s an ogre or something like that.”

She said she was getting a car,” murmured Simone, pausing. “That her dad’s getting her one for her birthday. It’d be useful, that. A car to take the two of us … three of us … places. I’m fed up with buses and walking! I’m too old for it.”

She might not want to take me anywhere, not now that she’s seen us holding hands,” pointed out David. “Nor you, I shouldn’t wonder. After all, it was you holding my hand and if she thinks anything of me, not that I believe she does, she might hate you for it!”

Not Paula,” smiled Simone. “She’s a pussy cat! Not the sort of girl to hold a grudge. I remember when I nicked her homework a couple of years back and copied it out in my own handwriting before handing it in and she got the blame for plagiarising me while I got an ‘A’ for my brilliance … she’s a pussy cat all right!”

You did that? To a friend?”

Why not? All’s fair in love and course work, don’t you think?”

David stared at her “Is that what you are?” he asked, “a cheat and a fraud?”

Now don’t be all prissy! You’d have done it if you’d needed to.”

No I wouldn’t then!” declared David hotly. “And anyway, why would you need to rip your best friend off like that? It’s not what friends do.”

Oh, Mr Nice as Pie, are you?” she sneered. “Get into the real world, Dave. Why do you think she goes down the recreation ground dressed in the shortest tennis dress on the planet, like a whore? Not because she’s good at tennis, that’s for sure! No, it’s so that she can parade her big bottom and bigger boobs in front of all the lads and get a quick lay before her birthday!”

She’s said that?”

She doesn’t have to,” smirked Simone, “It’s in her eyes.”

That’s not very nice.”

So how about you and me beating her to it, Dave? I know a place, the hut down the recreation ground. Nobody goes there on Sundays and it’s never locked! We could beat her to her quick lay and still be home in time for lunch!”

You really mean that, Simone?”

Why not? It’s fun, you know. I’ve done it more than once, so I’m no virgin, and with looks like yours I’ll bet you’re not too!”

What do you mean, looks like mine?”

I’ve seen the way you look at us girls when we’re on the tennis court! I’ve almost blushed when I’ve noticed your – er – excitement! You know, when you’re wearing those thin tennis shorts…”

Waiting for my turn on the court!”

Whatever. But you do get … interested, don’t you, Dave. You know what I mean … I shouldn’t have to spell it out, not at our age, we’re just about adult, you know, and it’s perfectly legal.”

He took a step back. “I can’t believe I’m hearing this,” he muttered.

You mean you can’t believe your good luck, having it offered to you on a plate on a damp Sunday morning?”

He shook his head. “I thought you were okay,” he muttered. “I thought you and Paula were two decent girls who enjoyed a few strokes of her racquet on Sunday mornings.”

There’s no fun in decent,” she grinned. “Well, are you coming or aren’t you? I can always find someone else with trousers if you’re not up to it?”

It’s not that I’m not up to it,” he almost snarled, “I’m up to it all right! The one trouble is, I’m not up for it, not with a slapper like you and not in a sleazy hut with a leaking roof!”

I’m no slapper!” she almost shouted.

Really?” he said quietly, “well, if you go back over all you’ve said since we left Paula’s front door there’s only one word for you and that’s slapper. A self-confessed cheat and fraud as well as a nymphomaniac who’s not bothered who she goes with, or where? That’s being a slapper in any language I’ve heard of.”

Are you gay, Dave?” she asked, slyly. “Is it lads you fancy? Is that why you hang around on a Sunday mornings dressed in white shorts and with a load of other lads at the recreation ground?”

You’re a rather nasty person, aren’t you, Simone? If it matters to you, I’m not gay and neither are any of my tennis mates. Now excuse me. I need better company!”

He turned and walked quickly off, back in the direction the two of them had come from, towards Paula’s front door. Simone stared after him, and sneered. “Loser,” she called, quietly so he wouldn’t hear.

The bitch, he muttered to himself, the unprintable lousy no-good bitch! I’d do well if I never heard her name again, never saw her on the street, never watched her on the court… I can’t believe what a bitch she is!

He was so busy sending Simone, mentally, to every kind of hell he’d heard of, that he didn’t notice anyone else on the street, so it came as a surprise when a man’s voice said “Is that young David with his head in the clouds?”

He turned, and his heart leapt when he saw Paula with her father, she no longer in her tennis gear but wearing a much more modest denim skirt and blouse.

Please don’t get her a car…” was all he could say.

©Peter Rogerson 30.06.14

Advertisements

THE SPORTS PEOPLE

29 Jun

THE SPORTS PEOPLE

TENNIS PLAYER GIRL photo: Tennis Girl TennisGirl-1.jpg

Oh the misery of it!

Paula stared through her back room window at the rain as if seemed to be cast down from the heavens by a cruel deity.

Angel’s tears,” smirked her father.

Daft bastard!” she whispered under her breath.

He heard and smirked again before wandering into the front room to watch football on the huge plasma screen he’d bought for the purpose.

Paula was in her tennis gear because she had planned to go to the recreation ground with Simone and play … tennis.

It wasn’t that she was good at the game, though she did enjoy playing, but she and Simone were magnets to passing lads, and she enjoyed that. She revelled in being watched and admired more for her body than her racquet skills. She had a good body, and knew it. She’d spent long enough gazing in her bedroom mirror urging her breasts to grow that little bit bigger, and they’d responded with a vengeance.

Her little dress was white and so short her dad wouldn’t have let her wear it in public had it not been intended for tennis. He was particular about how much flesh she showed: he knew lads because he’d been one himself and could remember with almost painful clarity some of the things he’d thought of doing.

Only thought, mind you. He’d not been as bad as some, and it was that some that made his heart skip a beat when he thought of Paula wandering the streets dressed in nearly nothing.

She scowled.

The rain fell heavier.

Then there was a brilliant flash of lightning with the accompanying rumble of thunder hard on its heels

The rain beat down with such ferocity she feared for the windows that it crashed against.

She sat on the arm of the occasional chair, just out of range should the worst happen, and sighed.

David would be there, watching, and she rather liked David. He wasn’t one of the more popular boys among boys, but he had the kind of rugged look that appealed, and his short hair was always clean and tidy. She liked clean and tidy. Though, at a pinch, she would have accepted scruffy and dishevelled as long as it was on David. Greasy even. She wouldn’t have been too fussy, not if David was watching her, not if he was applauding her rubbishy shots and looking at her in that way he had about him.

Was the rain slowing down?

No! A vivid flash of lightning seared the neighbourhood, and the thunder was instant. It must be above, she thought, directly above…

And the roar from the front room confirmed it.

Bloody hell!” roared father, “the telly!”

He lumbered into the doorway from the front room.

It’s broken!” he raged, waving the remote control as if it was a broken toy.

What is?” she asked.

The bloody telly!”

It can’t be…” She forced her way past him and stared at the black glass face of their huge screen. It was dead. Deader than dead, by the look of what might have been a wisp of smoke still curling from somewhere behind it.

The lightning…” he groaned. “And they were about to score!”

Who were?” she asked almost absent mindedly as she peered behind the television set and, being practical, checked that it was plugged tightly in the wall socket.

I dunno. Whoever was playing. I”d only just switched it on.”

What are we going to do?” she asked.

I’ll watch it on the spare set, in my bedroom,” decided Dad. “It’s a bit smaller, though, and I’m not that keen on smaller.”

He stalked out of the room, and no sooner had she heard him clump into his bedroom than the big television set came on all on its own. She switched it off: she didn’t like football very much. David didn’t play football. At least she didn’t think he did.

Outside the storm raged to a standstill and, miracle of miracle, a finger of sunlight poked straight into their front room and lit up her heart.

It’s working!” she called upstairs, loud enough not to be heard.

The front doorbell rang and she opened it.

Simone was there. In her whites, terribly tiny skirt and revealing top. But that’s not what made Paula go suddenly pale and a monster start eating her brain from inside her skull.

Draped all over her best friend like he’d always been there was David. Her David! The one boy in the Universe for her! And he was holding Simone’s sweaty fingers as if he actually liked her!

Hello,” smiled Paula, as brightly as she could, which was amazingly brightly considering the red rage roaring around her brain.

Tennis,” smirked Simone. She knew, of course. She must. Paula had said times many that one day she’d be offered a glimpse inside David’s underpants and she’d take it! That was the way she and Simone talked, sometimes, when they were being secretive and daring, both at the same time. Not dirty, but definitely risqué.

I’m watching football,” said Paula. “With dad. It’s a special match.”

But you’re dressed for ten…” began Simone.

I was going to come out,” grinned Paula, “but it is a special match, and then Dad wants to take me to the pub to celebrate…”

To celebrate?” asked David in that gawkish, useless, cowardly voice of his, the one she’d always found so … depressing.

My car,” she smiled. “Yes. For my birthday. My car… Look, I’ll see you around, some time … promise I will…”

And she closed the door on them. She actually managed to close that door on David before the tears streamed down her face and she found herself burying her head in her teddy bear.

Crap match,” groaned her dad from the top of the stairs. “Like watching paint dry, watching those two teams. I’m off to the pub…”

Then he saw her face and the tears.

Come on, pretty Paula,” he said, “I’ll tell you what… get something decent on and you can come too… I’ve never taken you to the pub before and you’re just about old enough for the kind of drink that’ll put a light in those pretty eyes… Sport, eh? Who needs it…”

© Peter Rogerson 29.06.14

TAKE SEX, FOR INSTANCE…

28 Jun

TAKE SEX, FOR INSTANCE

 

punishment for sexual deviancy photo a418_homo_zps05805549.jpg

What follows will certainly touch on organised religion, and I don’t want anyone to think that I’m attacking their own personal faith. It would be offensive of me to do so. But organised religion and faith are two very different beasts with differing agendas. Organised religion has taken the route of weaving itself into the foundations of society. It has become so pervasive that it has been able to create its own moral structures, some of them identifiable as being contrary to the demands of evolution itself.

Organised religion has one objective in its existence and that is to control the twenty-four hours of every day that its believers live. And part of that control is replacing the more enjoyable aspects of life with elements of itself. Take sex, for instance.

I’ll bet some of you shuddered inside when you read that sentence: take sex, for instance. I blanched myself. It’s an uncomfortable topic – something in the head says so.

Sex, after all, is private, and that’s only right and proper. I, for one, don’t want personal behaviour becoming a matter for public consumption though I acknowledge that in a minor way it is. But that doesn’t mean it needs rules and regulations. Yet in the past, and much that is thought today has its birth in the last few hundred years, the church took that matter of when a loving couple could try for a family in hand. And when the forbidden times and days are removed from a year there’s not a deal left.

Throughout the Middle Ages you can find various religious laws and proclamations that tried to restrict when, how and with whom you could have sex. For example, people were not to have sex on Sundays, because that was the Lord’s Day, and also on Thursdays and Fridays, which were supposed to be days preparing for Communion. There were also three lengthy periods of abstinence – during Lent, which could last between 47 to 62 days; before Christmas, which could be at least 35 days; and around the Feast of Pentecost, which could range from between 40 to 60 days. Also, many Feast days for particular Saints would be considered no-sex days as well*. Add to those the natural rhythms of the human body and it’s a miracle the population grew at all.

There were punishments a-plenty for being caught in the act at the wrong time. Islam isn’t the only organised religion with a penchant for cruelty!

Things have changed since then, of course. There are now no days when your local Bishop will have you flogged for disobeying his sex-laws. But a taste of what lay behind those dire dictates persists, more in some societies than in others. Hence the assumption that some of you shuddered inside at the sex word.

It’s my belief that the most fundamental contribution of non-physical evolution to our species (and evolution took place over millions of years and not the mere centuries of church control) was to do with the protection of the young over a long childhood. If you’ve got a puppy it is old enough to leave its mother at a couple of months, but a human being needs above a decade, and the child is still a child. And, especially in a primitive pre-history society when nothing was easy, that child would need both of its parents, or at least two adults, to care for it. The hunter and the carer. It’s what helped us pass from the wild into civilisation.

One of the fundamental ways this has been achieved is in the way the biological parents stay together as a union. I know that in these days divorce is a fact of life, but pressures are very different from those in the jungle, and yet a huge number of couples do stay together. Ally this with the fact that the human female retains her breasts throughout her adult life (unlike most other species, who merely develop them during the period of feeding their young), and then add the fact that the human male has a disproportionately large penis compared to other primates, and you might get an inkling that mutual attraction has been a factor. I don’t want this to sound crude or vulgar (both of which were invented by the early church) but these physical toys are unique to our species because they go some way to ensuring a long protection for the young. They hold people together, bind them into a union, a parental union at that. Yet such fascination is something scowled at by church authorities down many ages. After all, being obsessed by the body of your partner is a sure distraction from the weekly sermon!

You see, I believe that evolution has more to do with us than merely governing our gradual physical change from a simple-minded hominid to the creature we’ve become. It has also favoured those with a robust mental attitude to each other and the future. Distant blokey-bloke ancestors with a penchant for going it alone won’t have added many of their genes to the future roll-call of humanity as a single parent struggled in her cave without him, and maybe failed.

Other proscribed activities fall into place when you examine the church’s dictates. The euphemistic self-abuse (you must know what I mean) among teenage boys is a fact of life, and harsh clerical words have been said about it – yet there is evidence that it is actually an aid to fertility and is consequently a natural phenomenon, and thus desirable. Again, men in frocks have taken to themselves the right to cast moral laws when those laws might fly in the face of what has evolved to be part of a complex process. The solitary activity might be a distraction from praying to…?

And what in the name of goodness sense is there in celibacy? What’s that got to do with the steady human march to a rosy future? I’ll write a book one day, My Father was a Priest… He wasn’t, but it could be fun!

My conclusion is that the organised church has done its damnedest to influence society away from sensible practices that have led human evolution to the point where we are now. After all, the alternative may well have been a much longer spell in the jungle! It has always been vital that for our species the young are protected during a long childhood by both parents, and nature has found a way that this can be achieved – and yet self-interested bodies like the various organised religions have battled against that nature, and continue to do so. You see, they have their own self-orientated agendas and they often even deny the existence of evolution.

*Italicised paragraph Taken from Sex in the Middle Ages by Medievalists.Net.

© Peter Rogerson 28.06.14

THAT POOR SUDANESE WOMAN…

25 Jun

THAT POOR SUDANESE WOMAN…

 

religion photo: BAD RELIGION HERESY.jpg

Fear.

Punishment. Stoning, flogging, hundreds of lashes, burning at stakes, mutilation, amputations, blinding, drowning. All methods legitimately used by religions over the centuries – and too often even today in countries where extreme interpretation of old texts is considered to be law – and let’s be honest, Islamic texts almost exclusively.

These are the tools of religion. These are the ways and means that those who have gathered a little power and wealth for themselves from often pauper masses retain that power and wealth.

Tithes. Ten percent of nearly nothing for the preacher. That’s in Catholic and Protestant churches in fairly recent times. Ten percent. Fair enough if you have a congregation of nine, I suppose, but with a congregation of hundreds?

That’s real wealth, that is. Better keep it.

Through fear.

Hell awaits those who don’t pay up!

Eternal damnation, sulphurous fires tormenting undead flesh for the kind of eternity it’s hard to comprehend.

When I was a schoolboy the religious instruction teacher tried to make us understand a piece of nonsense (I’ve forgotten what) that even then had been questioned critically, and he caned one boy for failing to parrot the tripe. Better, I suppose, than eternal damnation, but evil anyway.

Brainwashing.

The playing of ideas to the developing brain with such a determined regularity that it becomes imprinted permanently.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son… Prove it!

God? Prove any god’s existence.

In your mind, in your head, you can have a deity. It’s yours. You have every right to it. I’ve got mine. I need mine. But I’ll not foist it onto you. Not any of you. Not one word of it. Nor will I demand you contribute your wealth to it. No deity worth his salt needs money! The big one, the one that supposedly created the Earth and everything on it and put it at the centre of everything, does he need ten pence or ten pounds from me? What for?

They worked it out in the Middle East when they were devising their gods, way back when the height of technology was smelting bronze. They worked out how to grow rich by demanding tithes and generating fear a-plenty if you couldn’t afford to pay. Punishment, real physical punishment now and in the hereafter when you’ve succumbed to mortality. The Old Testament explains a few, mostly involving the painful deaths of women. And the Qur’an, though I’ve not read that catalogue of torture recently.

Meriam Ibrahim. Delivered of her baby whilst chained to a prison cell for worshipping the wrong god. Freed, then recaptured for allegedly forging her documents. They’ll find a way of punishing, maybe even killing, her. They’re almost bound to. It’s the way they keep control of their people. It’s in their good books. It’s part of faith.

Their faith, not mine.

If there’s ever to be a better world then their organised faith, Islam, and the others – Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, all the hangers-on, really must be disbanded. Let me keep my personal faith, and you keep yours. But all the stuff that depends on fear and control, that’s just got to be swept away. It really has.

We’re not ants in an ants-nest with God as the queen ant, are we?

Look at the fortune tied up in ecclesiastical buildings. Then look at the starving poor.

Do the sums. Decide what’s right.

But, in your head, keep your own faith.

©Peter Rogerson 25.06.14

THE DREAM IN THE AIR TONIGHT…

25 Jun

THE DREAM IN THE AIR TONIGHT…

 

dream photo: fantezie brookewhiteback1.jpg

There’s a dream in the air tonight, a promising dream, a dream that tastes of the sweetness of forever… a dream that echoes a life lived, a child hugged, a youth cuddled, a man beset with doubts, a pensioner nodding off in the afternoon over a cup of Mable’s tea, and she’s there like she always was…

She’s the heroine of the dream that’s in the air tonight. Can you see her with your faded eyes, the sweetness of her young smile, smell the fragrance from her perfumed hair, taste the balm of her lips…?

That was Mable in the mini-dress in the when-it-could-be years, frilly knickers, gasps of running across golden beaches or sighs of ambling down lanes past hedgerows sparkling with jewelled dew or – hoping, just lying beneath a living sun, smiling at the words you might have said, either did or didn’t, giggling at the way you teased…

And you know what she’s going to do, Mable of the golden smile, the pert breasts, the lovely young skin…

The smile will do it. Lascivious. Tempting. Beckoning. Like in the tempestuous years of heaving, sweating, joyous flesh. It will do it in the dream that’s in the air tonight.

Shout!

Of course you shout!

Shout achingly loud for the orgasm that might have been.

For the weakest echo…

…weaker than ever in the dream in the air tonight…

Sod old age, sod remnant life, sod … memories.

And you sigh “Mable, please…”

As you carefully place the little bouquet on the ground above where her head might sleeping lie.

And the years that tears can’t dry.

The dream in the air tonight.

© Peter Rogerson 25.06.14

 

DOWN TO THE DEPTHS

23 Jun

DOWN TO THE DEPTHS

hell photo: now im in ynus.jpg

The smell was atrocious.

Immodeus crept along the winding path, a sheer drop on one side and a mountain wall rising vertically on the other, on his way home.

The stench that drifted up to him from the settlement below made his eyes water and his lungs choke. But he didn’t mind. It was familiar.

Immodeus had lived down in the depths for all of his long life. Only once, this single time, had he ventured out. Only this one time had he wound his way up the narrow mountain path, leading out of the abyss to the heady air above. It had been a challenge, one he made himself to himself on his five hundredth birthday. It was a brave challenge but he wasn’t exactly famed for his bravery. Back home, nobody was.

So he had climbed up, leaving the acrid smokes and toxic poison of home behind him, rising above the monstrous fumes he knew so well. The air, when he got there, had been clean and clear. Revoltingly so.

It had made him vomit until he thought he might be going to puke the entire contents of his body into that wretched perfumed place. It had wafted round him in many a breeze that had reeked of flowers and grasses, scented by the dreadful tincture of purity and the innocent world of light.

Who are you, mister?” a pretty child had asked, then – “are you all right?” as he had collapsed onto the fragrant earth.

But he had been so sickened by the offensive cleanliness given off by her breath that he knew he had almost died there and then, choking at its foulness. And he knew what death was like, all right: he’d done it once before, in that other life he had forgotten.

The child ran away, screaming.

Home,” he had gasped to himself, “home while I still can…”

Now Immodeus was descending back to that home.

He could smell the hag Agatha as he struggled down that near-vertical winding path. Her stench was comforting. It was a vileness of bitter and foetid excrement. And he loved its very familiarity.

Other hideous fragrances rose to greet him, all welcome as he identified them, all familiar, all resonant of home.

Then, when he started feeling the euphoria that comes from familiarity, he detected, on the still air, the odour of his own cess pit.

Ah,” he croaked as he passed the sign, “home…”

And the sign said welcome to Hell. And he knew it well.

Home is where the heart is,” he sighed, “and my heart is buried here…”

©Peter Rogerson 23.06.14

Aside 21 Jun

 

A TALE OF TWO MOUNTAIN RANGES…

This isn’t going to be a travelogue exactly because Dorothy and I have travelled to both Landeck and its Austrian Tyrol mountains and Fai Della Paganella with its Dolomite mountains several times before, and I’ve mentioned them in some detail on those occasions.

This, differently, is a tale of two hotels.

When you’ve stayed at one of the big hotel chains (say, the Ibis) you get to dread the next hotel. They’re all right as far as they go and they provide a bed for the night, but that’s really all they have to offer. We stayed overnight in the Ibis in Strasbourg (France) and overnight was quite long enough. Note for the Ibises everywhere: if you must hang shower curtains don’t make them a foot (30 centimetres) too long, especially if the shower cubicle was manufactured for dwarves.

But this isn’t about any Ibis anywhere.

Let’s travel into Austria and the lovely little town of Landeck. Surrounded by beautiful mountains all clad in coats of green pine and with a blue sky covering the vaulted heavens on a good day, on a high point is the Sonne hotel run by Karl and a small staff of dedicated employees.

The Sonne Hotel, Landeck photo IMG_0447_zpsdcd33b67.jpg

The Sonne, Landeck

It is filled with old charm, and to make the point huge pieces of ancient wooden furniture are scattered bout the place. Charming.

An ornate old cupboard/wardrobe photo DSC01260_zpsb8f52cd7.jpg

A delightful and heavy ancient cupboard/wardrobe.

In the cellars of the Sonne... photo IMG_1104_zps8c3fb672.jpg

There seems to be a mangle in the cellar!

The food, served in a dining room that looks over the town, is good and includes some of particular local interest, especially on the night when guests get treated to a Tyrolean dinner. Much of the menu is pork-based, but that’s normal in the region.

Underneath the building are cellars, converted into a bar that I’ve never seen in use and a bowling alley that I have. Nine-pin bowling is fiendishly difficult, and in competitions Karl adds a touch of danger with his award of schnapps for those who miss and those who do rather well.

The bowling alley photo DSC01311.jpg

The bowling alley in the cellar

Karl refereeing the bolwing photo DSC01313.jpg

Kark at the controls of his bowling alley

He’s a generous man, and that much is evident from the wide range of (liquid) prizes he sprinkles on his guests. When he discovered that Dorothy and I had been there five times (we told him that, but memory subsequently produced a sixth) he awarded us with a prize, liquid in a bottle!

Travel further south and you leave Austria and arrive in Italy – and the Dolomites. Motor up a winding road replete with hair-pin bends and you arrive at Fai Della Paganella (Paganella being the name of the gigantic mountain in whose skirts it’s cradled).

A delightful Dolomite village, one of the hotels is the Paganella run by Fausto. And this hotel is magnificent though relatively small. Fausto seems to be a wine buff. He has a small vineyard lower down and wine is produced with the help of his ninety year-old expert. I won’t try to type his name because spelling it inaccurately might offend!

Wine appears on the dinner table, in copious quantities. In fact, it’s not just poor quality table wine but something that is a joy to drink, and drink it I did, in satisfying measures.

Fausto explaining the story of Fai Della Paganella photo IMG_1192_zps9466b981.jpg

Fausto telling our party about his village

Fausto loves his village – that much is obvious. His family has lived there for several generations, and he likes nothing more than taking guests around the place, explaining some of its history. Then, suddenly, almost unexpectedly, the guest arrives at a viewpoint. It’s like looking down from an aircraft. The Trento valley is laid out below, buildings, communities, fields, vineyards… postage stamp places with a ribbon river and even narrower road weaving through them. Beautiful.

A view into the Trento valley from a viewpoint in Fai Della Paganella photo IMG_1208_zpsae9f1fca.jpg

Then, as a final shocker, he’s arranged pizza and wine (of course) in the local park afterwards!What a walk! What a treat!

Food at the Paganella can only be described by one word: excellent. The menu is varied and the chef skilled beyond belief.

What binds these two hotels in my mind is, despite many differences, they are family-run places held together by pride and love. And in different ways they both offer what we all sometimes crave: that odd mixture of calm, exploration and adventure that is the hallmark of human existence.

© Peter Rogerson 21.06.14