I must tell you something that happened last night.*
I’m in Puglia, Italy, on our family holiday, destination chosen – as previously discussed – by me and my daughter after we watched the marvellously cheesy film Walking On Sunshine (about 25 times on a loop…).
We’re in the very south, the heel of Italy’s boot (pleasing in itself) in an area called the Salento.
Unlike the long empty strands in the film, the sandy beaches are covered in hideous car parks of sun loungers ($15 a day), even the rock beaches are packed, it’s very touristy in parts and the food’s heinous, but I bloody love it.
More of that another time, right now I want to tell you what I saw last night.
We were in the snack bar in the park where my husband has been running an impromptu soccer camp every late afternoon for all the kids in our gorgeous hotel. He loves children and just can’t help himself. As a result they follow him round like imprinted ducklings, it’s all very adorable.
While he puts them through their paces, I sit with the parents – and I’ve never stayed anywhere with so many lovely like-minded people – and watch, with a nice cold Perroni. Or two.
I popped back in from the park entrance to order another round and noticed that the normally charming barman was rather distracted, making drinks for two fellows sitting on stools at the inside bar.
The barman got out two of those extra large Duralex glasses – the kind we use for water at home – popped in a couple of ice cubes and then filled them halfway to the top with Aperol.
My eyebrows went up to the first floor.
Then he hesitated, looking down at the bottle of prosecco he had picked up, already open, with one of those champagne stoppers in it, before clearly making a decision and getting a fresh bottle out of the fridge.
He filled the glasses to the very brim with it then, working fast, popped a straw each one and turned on his heel to put them in front of the waiting men.
They each stirred the drinks vigorously, then without picking the glasses up, slurped the contents up through the straws in one go.
My eyebrows shot up to the roof.
When they’d finished, they smiled and wiped their mouths on the back of their hands, then slid off the bar stools and left. They didn’t say another word to the barman and no money changed hands while I was watching.
By then my drinks were ready, so I headed back out to my friends with them just in time to see the prosecco slurpers get into a car and drive off. At speed.
My jaw went down to the basement.
What was that all about? Who were they? I’ll never know, but I’ve had a lot of fun imagining.
* This is now a couple of days ago, but a blog malfunction held this posting up, but I prefer to keep it fresh as first minted.