Tomorrow would have been the end of the week, and no blog from me. Went to Rome. Y'know, as you do.
I'd been to Rome before, as part of my study abroad year in Salzburg, and it was just as good as I remember it being. It's a pleasure to wander down the streets, sometimes squeezing past the tables out front of the cafes, sometimes randomly discovering an ornate building that you weren't even looking for. The feeling of age I get when I wander round there is so much more pronounced than when I walk around London, or Salisbury, and maybe that's familiarity with the latter? Or maybe it's because in general the stuff you see in Rome is older than most everything that remains in Salisbury or London. You be the judge. But it definitely deserves the moniker 'The eternal city.'
And one thing that will probably never change is the people selling you crap on the streets. I remember them from last time, selling souvenirs, cheap plastic trinkets, and all manner of shit nobody needs. One difference, however, is the guys selling selfie sticks. Those didn't exist last time I was in Rome. Selfies weren't a thing, last time I was in Rome, and I kinda wish they still weren't a thing. Sightseeing is a much more tedious affair now that people have a simple and easy way to record their narcissism. Simple and easy, but not quick. It's a bloody selfie, it's going to look at the very least mildly crap no matter how you angle it or pose, so don't obscure the thing you're trying to show you stood in front of, and especially don't take ten shots of you, then four of your friend, then another five of the two of you when other people are trying to take a look at whatever ancient bloody artefact is being obscured by your head.
Rant over. I'm sure I was annoying at some points with my camera, but you know what I don't need? A selfie stick for the DSLR that is held in my hand, thank you very much Mr. street briq-a-brac seller....
So much for the cons of digital photography. I wish I'd have had a digital camera all those years ago on my first trip through Italy. We took a day trip down to Pompeii as well, and while I was there one of the thoughts I had about the place is that it's one of the clearest memories I have of Greg while we were over there. (I wrote about Greg March 2012). And part of the memory is one of the few undamaged photos I have of my time over there is of him, stood hands in his jacket pockets, looking into the camera wit some columns behind him. At least I think it is. Because the nice thing about digital, is that once the photos are taken and saved on your computer (and backed up somewhere), they can't get scratched or torn. And you don't have to go through a stack of pictures that are wrapped in a paper bag inside a plastic container somewhere at your parents house while you work out where you're going to set up your life next.
So this time around I took the photos, and at some point I'll go through them, and in the back of my mind are the memories of the last time I was there, and thoughts of the people I was there with, most of whom I don't see nearly as often enough as I'd like, and I'm glad I went back to a place, and was able to go with someone special.
Even if she does take bloody selfies with me in them.....