One night in Pisa.

This short, true tale is taken from the blog Wild Geese – an Independent Travelers blog.

… One evening we booked a table at a restaurant, chosen from the many tourist guides. (I spent a good part of the late afternoon/early evening scouring the hotel’s leaflet and pamphlet collection), while my wife made use of the Jacuzzi.

The restaurant I selected was located in a very old area of the town.

We found the restaurant, eventually. After wandering down small, twisty, badly lit streets. (There were plenty of other people wandering around. At no time, did we feel uncomfortable, let alone threatened in any way).

The meal was excellent. The wine, which my wife chose from the locked selection of special reserves, you know the bottles, the ones vineyards and vintners number by hand… yes. The wine (per bottle), cost more than the entire three-course meal for two. BUT… I must say, it was bloody lovely wine.

However, during the meal, many of the other guests kept looking at us. One or two took a photograph openly and unabashedly. Other diners took snaps too, but a little more surreptitiously.

I was wondering if they mistook my wife or me for someone in the ‘public eye’. As if I were mistaken, for instance, for some male sex symbol or the latest James Bond? (I could, of course, understand if that were the case.)

My wife and I do not do hurried dining. When the night drew to a close and the time came to order a cab and settle the bill, we were the last, but one, table in the restaurant. We told the maître’d of our concern about people looking intently at us.

Capture

He laughed at us. “No, no,” he said, pointing to the table where we sat.

“Look,” he said, patting the thick stone column which our table was butted up against. “This is the oldest Roman pillar in all of Pisa“. He said this with a large proud smile plastered across his face.

We felt embarrassed as it slowly dawned in minds that no one, not a single person had been looking at us. No one thought I was James Bond, (shame). They were simply admiring and taking photographs of an ancient Roman stone column. 

Oh, how we laughed… Mmmmm… ha ha.

Update on Barns & Noble…

The May edition of Electric Press – Literary Insights magazine led with a feature on Waterstones, the UK bookstore.

This is the latest news.

The hedge fund (Elliott), owner of the UK’s largest book chain, Waterstones, has bought Barnes & Noble, the biggest chain in the US.

The UK arm of the $35bn Elliott Management hedge fund plans to install James Daunt, the Waterstones boss, in New York as chief executive of both chains, with the two brands retained and operated separately.

Barnes & Noble’s founder and chairman, Leonard Riggio, said Waterstones and Elliott were “uniquely suited to improve and grow our company for many years ahead” and promised to work with Daunt for a smooth transition.

Read the Electric Press magazine at; https://issuu.com/electricpress/docs/electric_pressmay2019pub

Read more about this article at; https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jun/07/waterstones-owner-buys-us-chain-barnes-noble