Sunday, 20 October 2013

That reminds me

Seeing that phone box in Pouancé (I mentioned it yesterday) reminded me of a holiday we had once in Malta.  Or should that be on Malta?  Anyway, we were staying in Valletta and fancied a country walk.  So, we caught the bus to a small village down the coast and set off, following footpaths in the general direction of a tourist attraction known as the Blue Grotto.  We had remarked on how quiet it seemed with not a single bird to be seen or heard when it dawned on us that all the birds had left to avoid being shot, shooting being one of the main sports on the island.  Not that the absence of birds has any bearing on anything at all, really.  I just threw the comment in as a sort of make-weight.

Now, Malta - as you probably know - is quite a small island in the Mediterranean Sea between Italy and the north coast of Africa.  It was for many years a British colony or dependency or some such so it would not have surprised me to see a telephone box.  What did surprise me was to spot, seemingly abandoned in a field, a dustcart painted in the Brighton Council livery.

It was during that holiday that I had one of those "wow" moments.  We had taken a ferry across from Malta to the smaller island of Gozo and walked up to the main town, Victoria.  As we strolled through the apparently deserted narrow streets of the town, we heard a snatch of music.  Children, young children, were singing a song from The Sound of Music, "Doh, a deer, a female deer".  We walked on, attempting to track down the source.  Eventually, we found ourselves outside the open window of the local primary school where the children were having a singing lesson.  To hear that sound in those narrow streets, otherwise silent, was almost magical.

On the bus back from the ferry to Valletta, we were near a group of German tourists, one of whom was sitting at the front and showing much interest in the bus and the driver.  At the terminus, he explained that he was a bus driver in Germany.  He said that he noticed the speedometer wasn't working.  The driver explained that he didn't need one as there are no motorways on Malta!


At the Kingston roundabout on the A27 dual carriageway stands a burger van.  The owner uses an old toll booth as a store.

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