February 24, 2016 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette February 18th.
LAST year I was very much into television’s Nordic-noir, Walander, Beck and The Bridge and I even picked up a smattering of the Scandanavian lingo, but this year not so much. My interests have travelled somewhat, to Sicily to be exact, the land of Montalbano, a short, shaven headed cop who at times in appearance reminds me of Mussolini. I am happy to have moved on from the cold darkness of Scandinavia with its dour, dark Danish cops and the borderline racist population, as most of the villains appear to be portrayed. Of course inspector M has his share of problems but he works in a warmer, prettier more cheerful environment with an easier to learn language and where even the local Mafioso are elderly and respectful and, although I love Littlehampton to bits, I hear the siren’s song and Sicily calling. Sicily, always sunny, few pedestrians, and even fewer cars and fewer car chases. People live in lovely villas with very high doors and elegant women abound in a country where they drink Chianti and consume loads of pasta. Ah, pasta I now have a taste for the stuff. Never much cared for it before watching this DVD box set but now I happily experiment over a hot stove, so far with very little success. Okay, the macaroni cheese was just about edible, not anything like as good as that served up at 47 Mussel Row but, with added ketchup and bacon bits it was ok. In general though most of the pasta I cooked tasted like wallpaper paste – not sure how I know what wallpaper paste tastes like but it is how I imagine it to be. And my spaghetti? Well that would make very good boot lacings. However, I will persevere as I cannot imagine watching the show with a plate of Littlehampton’s cod and chips on my lap.
GOOD or bad, sound is so all enveloping from the background chatter of a television in a cafe bar, youngsters laughing on the beach or even the raucous crow croaking birds along the prom, all expected. But some sounds take you by surprise. Have you ever loitered quietly in the wine aisle at Littlehampton’s Sainsbury’s store and listened to the singing bottles? Try it, really weird….