Sitting in my new Venetian office, I watch an elderly Italian couple attend their pot plants. No one understands why I have moved here from London. I am currently staying in a bog ugly hotel until early November and sleep has become a luxury.
On boycotting takeaway pizza, I am witnessing my body metamorphosis into a leaner machine than before. Many evenings I have gone to bed hungry and longing for a continental breakfast.
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 gigantic rats appear once the tourists have gone to bed. The plague of a medieval Disneyland that nobody has paid to see.