Saturday, 19 March 2011


Funny how the rumour mill works. I had an innocent facebook message this morning from my nephew who'd heard I was leaving for Italy because of the problems in Japan, he said his Mum might have heard someone mention it.

I went to Italy once when I was 15 with the school on a ski trip, thought it was OK I suppose, but never really thought about going back. Couldn't think where the story had started. Maybe it had spread from an "Interesting" comment I made on a friend's status update recently. Her friend had passed on the following update from the Italian Embassy in Tokyo:
  "a scientific team arrived yesterday from Italy and they measured the radiation level in Narita, along the way from the airport to the city and in Tokyo. They not only confirmed the official Japanese data that stated no significant radiation level in Tokyo, but they also affirmed that the radiation level in Rome is higher than in Tokyo at the moment."

The same friend also told me I'd said I was going to Italy, so I had to go back and check my profile as I'd had quite a few last night before crashing. 

Then it hit me. A week ago on March 12, the first night after the earthquake, I stayed up to watch The Six Nations rugby. Italy, the relative new boys and no-chance underdogs had finally beaten the mighty French. An unbelievable victory and their first ever over France in the tournament. No-one gave them a chance in hell before the match but they pulled it off. It's what sport is all about. Wales beat Ireland 19-13 later the same night, but Italy's 22-21 victory over France was a real landmark. I got on facebook and wrote, "ITALY!!!!! Just what I needed!!!"

Better be more careful.

Anyway, staying with the Italian theme, and to give more of an idea of what these places were really like, here are two pictures. One of them is from Southern Italy and the other is from the coast of Iwate, very close to where the terrifying black river footage was shot in Miyako City.

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