It poured with rain this morning and when I announced that I was going to the supermarket - all of two doors away from the school - at lunchtime I was met with a chorus of, "You can't go out!" "Of course I can - I'm British", said I.
Now, usually you can't get near the meat counter on a Friday as Sicilians, and Italians in general, buy an awful lot of meat for the weekend. Unlike the British, they do not buy a large joint and that is that - oh, no: it's a goodly amount of this, another kilo of that, "better take a mezzo kilo of that as well" and, just when you think the person in front of you has finished, they will think of something else that the butcher has to go into his workroom to cut. After that every one of them will want "un po' di salsiccia" - and who can blame them? - before they enquire after the butcher's wife, children, uncles in America, neighbours and plans for the weekend. If you can manage the wait, it will be worth it but sometimes I just can't.
Today, however, was different, for the rain had kept even the most earnest shoppers away; I was served in double-quick time and it was smiles all round.
As a bonus, later the Christmas lights came on in via Sacro Cuore [ which is more than happened last year] but I don't think many of the people who ventured out in the late afternoon saw them, as most were walking around with heads bowed and umbrellas up even though it had stopped raining hours before. I was reminded of football's favourite naughty boy, Mario Balotelli, who in this interview told Time that he "never goes out" in Britain because of the rain.