THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE PECKISH

What is it with these Nardonese? They've had this town on lock down like high noon in a Spaghetti Western during lunchtimes. Worked through the morning and at 1pm simply could not continue without something sweet to go with my third, maybe fourth batch of espresso. Headed through an eerily quiet town for my usual pasticceria, Piemontese, on Via Francesco Rubichi. Il Chiuso. Went to my next favourite across the other side of the old bit. Dopio chiuso. The whole dustblown gaff was in fact fully chiuso. Funny how that changes a place. It became sinister. I had it to myself, almost.

Walking alone along the narrow back streets of Nardo in the midday sun with nothing but a pair of black Orlebar Browns shorts (click), some flip-flops, a marl tee shirt and some Persols 714s (click), can be, well, ominous frankly. It also gives one time to thing about important things. Was quite enjoying a black short. Considered the original cinematic style semiotics of black hat - bad guy, white hat- good guy. Wondered about the significance of black shorts.

The place was almost deserted. ironically as it was in fact some sort of dessert that was after. The sound of flip flops began to become intense, the sun more so. Church bells struck. Tension mounted, as did a desperate need for something Dolce.

Good bins, bad shot, ugly scene?

As I passed 'Fantasy Party', a beach-tat, party accessory and waste bin emporium, I noticed the door was not shuttered down. I opened it and sent a tentative enquiry into the darkened shop. An old woman was shuffling on her stool and watching TV in the gloom. She was nothing less than horrified by my attempted engagement in conversation and made it quite clear she found my presence most unsavoury. I detected high levels of disgust on her face. Or was that just being old/gnarled? She was quite mean on reflection, and continued the steady barrage of Puglian scolding until I was well clear of the place. Whether she was 'The Bad' or 'The Ugly' in this scenario was hard to tell. If she was il brutto, where did that leave me? Properly il cattivo I fear. This naturally led me to reinvestigate 'Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo' when I got home. I've always thought Clint/Blondie was the good, Eli Wallach/Tuco was the ugly and Lee Van Cleef/Sentenza/Angle Eyes was the bad. The trailer tells it differently. Confusing, as Van Cleef is almost as good looking as the young Eastwood in this.

Regardless of billing, this film is double stylish, with brilliant casting and art direction. In the best three Westerns ever, easy. It's mainly why I started smoking cigars too. More of this later in week.

By now, am certain you're wondering how this scene plays out, right? I shuffled-flapped, almost exhausted (go with me on this), to the Piazza Antonio Salandra. Almost empty. Gambrinus Pub was apparently not manned, appeared shut, but they had just taken a delivery. An old fella whom I recognised from my loitering and vino bothering at this place was packing up his miniature scooter/van. He recognised me from my sub-pigeon, nay rat-Italian attempts at banter at the bar. He was the cheese pasty delivery man. "Sono affamato di dolci.." I managed to rasp as if was about to tell him which grave the gold was buried under.

As I regarded my plate of custard pies (once he'd got them out, I had to take the lot off his hands), back at the homestead it was brutally apparent that this guy was the good. My role am less certain of, although as I left the square two self proclaimed German 'Cool Hunters' who'd managed to appear on the Gallipoli boat early this week were making their way in. Considering their job title, I felt a sleeveless 'I heart Italy' tee shirt, wet look crop shorts and straw pork pie hat were at odds with the vista. The bad, the ugly or both? Tricky.

Undaunted I shall be out again tomorrow. Stay locked on for A Fistful of Dolce.

TS.

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