Thursday, 19 April 2012

"At that moment he spotted the Traffic Department car parked behind his and the overalled warden jotting down his registration number. Harry crossed the street and held up his ID card. "I'm on police business". "Makes no difference. No parking is no parking", overalls said without pausing in his writing, "send in a complaint" ". ("The Leopard", Jo Nesbo).

The Italian newspapers today report that the "vigili urbani" (traffic police/wardens) in Rome have run out of official parking tickets.  (A case of "cuts" cutting off the nose to spite the face?).  No problem, with sound Italian ingenuity the vigili have printed off, and are attempting to present transgressors with, photocopies.  The question is whether a photocopy constitutes a valid legal document.  The wardens are consequently having to summon up all their "charm" to convince the lawbreakers that their parking tickets are indeed valid and that the on-the-spot fine must be paid forthwith.  How resourceful can a traffic warden be?   Disarmed, must be disarming!  as one resourceful journalist put it.  (The alliteration translates well).

Due to a "technical" hitch the amount of  real space for the staircase in our house falls somewhat short of that allowed on the original plan.  We are aware (sort of).  Paolo has been trying to worry us with this for weeks:  "But, I have to recalculate every step to the millimetre!" ...  "I have to redesign the entire stairwell!"  We smile meekly, sympathise, place a reassuring hand on his shoulder,  rue that there isn't one on ours.   Whether out of self-preservation (this was a problem too far), or whether out of absolute faith in Paolo's ingenuity (I prefer this one) we didn't take the bait, refusing to be reined-in to this potential nightmare.

As it turns out, Paolo has won through.  We always knew.

The base of the staircase has just been concreted.  We have access to the first floor as such, as yet.

There will be a first floor... won't there, Paolo?

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