Sitting in a Venetian office watching an elderly Italian couple attend their pot plants, I type into my laptop. Same tabs, same websites and streamed songs as before. No one understands why I am here. Sleep has become a luxury and I am staying in a bog ugly hotel until early November.
On boycotting the only affordable stable in Venice, I am witnessing my body metamorphosis into something leaner. Many evenings I have gone to bed hungry and longing for breakfast.
Although I must acknowledge that my diet in London was snack driven and quite frankly atrocious. Idly wandering down to Shoreditch High Street to buy a cheap Bánh Mì baguette for dinner, only to change your mind and have Jewish bagel instead is a big city luxury.
Come nightfall I go running along the quayside and this only accentuates my physical condition. Streaming past the tourist starlings at St Marks Square, I skip over ornate bridges and race passenger boats and cruise liners. It feels easier and necessary to run longer and harder over here.
Venice is like a spooky romantic ghost story after midnight, where you develop a heightened sensitivity to the elegant stroking of a Gondola’s oar. For sheer aesthetic beauty, I am simply not a gifted enough writer to handsomely describe what I see.
I have been forced to be more social than I am otherwise inclined. Ambivalent friendships have been sparked up with passing strangers and drinking Spritz cocktails is far cheaper than beer.
Venice meanwhile is virtually crime free and rats appear after dark once the selfies have gone to bed. The plague of a medieval Disneyland that nobody has paid to see.