Tuesday, February 27, 2007


As we all await the Prodi vote of confidence tomorrow, it is another news story which has caught my eye today:

In Love and War...
In 1999 a Salerno man read his wife's diary and realised that she was having an affair with her brother-in-law. He then planned and carried out a prolonged campaign to "shame" her, threatening her and sending letters to her teaching colleagues. In 2005, he received an eight-month sentence for defamation, threatening behaviour and abuse and was ordered to pay damages to his wife, the judges having decided that too much time had elapsed since the man discovered the affair for a plea of "acting in extreme anger" to be accepted. Later, on appeal, the sentence was reduced to one for defamation only. Today, however, the Cassazione, Italy's Supreme Court of Appeal, has declared that no time limit can be put on a betrayed spouse's anger and hurt; if your wife cheats on you, you have the right to "shame" her. La Repubblica assures us that the decision would have been the same had the wronged partner been a woman!
La Regina Mirren
Martin Scorsese's Oscar has headlined here but there has also been plenty of coverage of La Regina Mirren, as Dame Helen is being called. Yesterday I used part of her acceptance speech in a lesson: analysed grammatically, there is a lot that a teacher can use in that sentence thanking Her Majesty: use of present perfect + for, negative subjunctive in a conditional phrase, and then the idiomatic use of the verb "give" to mean "toast". The students liked the quip about the royal hairstyle and the fact that it was OK to make it!
La Beckett
The story of the British Foreign Secretary having been taken in by Rory Bremner phoning her and pretending to be Gordon Brown got a three-quarter-page spread in Corriere yesterday: the story was reported with amusement and some incredulity that the impressionist was that good and that the Scottish accent is so pronounced!


GP said...

Nice to see the Bremner-Beckett phone call getting such wide coverage. It's almost as good as that time a DJ managed to get a call put through to Tony Blair by doing an impression of William Hague.

James Higham said...

Is this the new politico-social Welshcakes? Liked the story on the 'shaming'. Do you think women forgive more quickly than men?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful reports from your Italian press, please give us more. I wonder if the adulteress wife has grounds to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights over the last judgement against her.

Liz Hinds said...

Do you know, I realise that I couldn't even have told you who the Foreign Secretary is?! What's happened to Jack Straw?! Or was he Home Secretary? They all blend into one after a while.

Thinking about betrayed spouses, I saw a poster in a shop window a year or so ago, advertising a public lecture. As I was reading through it, I realised it was, in fact, a betrayed husband getting revenge on his wife by naming and shaming. It was done very effectively.

Newmania said...

Do you know, I realise that I couldn't even have told you who the Foreign Secretary is?!

Liz .....you are a woman ..its expected.

Like the "Shaming story" quite right to. We have to keep you frisky wenches in order you know

Lee said...

I adore Helen Mirren...always have. She is a spirited woman. And one that should be held in high regard and admired...she's not succumbed to the 'knives of Hollywood'...she is proud of her aging. Good for her!

Aha...the written word can get you in to trouble...as that wife has discovered! Silly woman! Fancy recording her affair in her diary. I think people like that want to be caught out.

CityUnslicker said...

Can you see Etna form where you are?

Any chance of any pics?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, upm. Yes, good, isn't it? James, no, I think "hell hath no fury.... " Ellee, I never thought of that. Haven't read any further updates on it but will keep a lookout. Ciao, Liz. Where was the shop? Was the poster well written?
newmania, are you trying to get us all going?! You do make me laugh - thank you. Lee, I agree. H Mirren looks wonderful. Also agree about the wife in that case - fancy diarising it all and then leaving it where hubby could find it! - Mad! C/u, no, we are 2 hours from Catania. But next time I'm up there, I'll try to take some decent pics. Meanwhile, if you go into "Anne in Oxfordshire" on my "Limoncello List" in the sidebar, she does have some good Etna photos.

Ballpoint Wren said...

I'm with Lee. How foolish it is to write down your illicit doings in a diary where Hubby can find it.

I'm not sure about the ethics of shaming a spouse who cheats, but I sure as heck would be first in line to shame any spouse who cheated on me!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Totally agree. Bonnie!


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