Yoo hoo I am back

I have been away from bloggoland for almost a month and I have to say I miss you guys. I enjoy writing about the crazy stuff that happens to me in Italy, but more importantly I love the comments and interaction between other bloggers. So, normal service has now resumed or as normal as it is ever likely to get.

Over the past month, we have had an assortment of Mrs Sensible’s family arrive and depart, I have eaten too much fine Italian food and gained nearly all the weight that I had earlier lost. I have also played countless games of Scoponi, see here for instructions. My Zia gave me a new nickname ‘Furbo’, I think it means ‘he who wins every game of Scoponi.’

Some of us are naturally lucky, and some of us have 2 gold sevens in our hand

Some of us are naturally lucky, and some of us have 2 gold sevens in our hand

 Last week I flew to the UK to watch my daughter’s passing out parade, we celebrated with copious quantities of beer as only an Englishman can. The following day I was Godparent to one of my nieces and once again we celebrated with gallons of beer at the local rugby club.

Proud, so very proud of her. She is holding a medal she was awarded for attaining the best fitness in the troop.

Proud, so very proud of her.
She is holding a medal she was awarded for attaining the best fitness in her troop.

Feeling slightly hung-over and very tired I arrived at East Midlands airport at 5.30 am Sunday morning. Still wearing the clothes I had partied in four hours earlier. I consider myself a seasoned traveller; I know not to wear boots with large metal eyelets. I understand that if you don’t remove your watch and belt before passing through security, the guards become upset and will give you a quick pat down to make sure you aren’t trying to smuggle a pen knife through security. Some people do you know, even innocent mother in laws.. see here.

I passed through the metal detector without a problem, as I started to rethread my belt and scoop up my loose change I noticed that there seemed to be a bit of excitement over someone’s hand luggage. Three security men were pointing at the monitor. It was at this point that my hand baggage emerged from the x ray machine. As I waited for it to trundle down to me, (I was still struggling to loop my belt through my pants,) a female security guard picked it up, turned it on its side and pushed it back into the machine.

Stranger and stranger I thought, as my case disappeared into the machine, the guards again started pointing at the monitor. This time I took a long stare at the monitor, they were pointing at a dark grey square that looked like a big block of plasticine. Ah ha I thought, my two kilos of hermetically sealed bacon does kind of resemble a slab of semtex, or maybe even, the better quality C4 much used by the professionals.

Plasticine, not to be mistaken for Semtex

Plasticine, not to be mistaken for Semtex

As my case exited the machine for the second time, the female security guard asked in a very loud and authoritarian voice. “Whose case is this?” I sheepishly held up my hand and frantically started to worry, if it was illegal to transport parts of dead pigs across European borders. “Did you pack it yourself… sir?” she asked.

Breathing a fair quantity of the previous evening’s alcohol in her general direction, I said I had packed it. “Can I look inside” she asked. Now, I have always, always wanted to say “No bog off”, but ever so politely I said of course.  As she started to rummage through my clothes, I tried to breathe the alcohol fumes out the side of my mouth, “it’s full of dirty clothes” I said, as a pair of boxers rose to the top of the case. Ah ha, mmm hum, she muttered. She moved my camera case, that contained my Semtex Plastacine C4  hermetically sealed middle back bacon and grabbed a box of Yorkshire T bags. “Erm” I said raising a finger in the air. “Two minutes” she said as she waltzed of down the conveyor with my precious cargo of T bags.

My two favourite drinks.

My two favourite drinks. Yorkshire tea and Barone di San Pietro

When she returned, she gave me back my T Bags and said “they looked strange on the monitor, but you can pack your bag and go” I nearly, ever so nearly said you made a mistake, what you saw on the monitor that looked like a block of Semtex was my bacon. It was only because I was trying to breathe out of the left hand side of my mouth, thereby not intoxicating her with alcohol fumes that I literally… kept my mouth shut.

So the moral of this story is, if you want to smuggle Semtex bacon in your hand luggage, hide it in your camera case and drink enough alcohol the night before, so you remember not to open your mouth and incriminate yourself.

56 thoughts on “Yoo hoo I am back

    • Many thanks, I enjoy the community and have missed the lot of you. 🙂
      She was very smart, I understand that she missed the marksman’s award by one point.. So she nearly got three awards instead of two..


  1. Glad you are back. You will have to catch up a lot of reading while chewing on your Semtex… Ehhh bacon if Mrs sensible didnt put you on a diet ;-). Congratulations to your daughter.


  2. aahahahahahah LOL glad you’re back so we can have a good laugh…. semtex and all …. I see you haven’t forgotten your Red Cross supplies… that Yorkshire tea is not any good, is it? I’m a PG tips lady (and earl grey when I feel having a posh high-tea here in fashionable Kensington & Chelsea)… 😉


    • The past month has been difficult and I didn’t want to put up any whiny posts, but problems solved and so I am back again.

      P G Tips.. nah, you should try Yorkshire Tea. Its the best. We can get Earl Grey here, but I think it is different from the stuff in the UK, it just tastes bland.


  3. Missed you. Congratulations to your daughter, she looks very proud as she should be. I am so glad I avoid traveling by plane listening to your experiences. So a box of tea could be a threat? At least you were able to get both the tea and bacon safely home. I recently decided to travel, short trip, by bus. It was so funny because not a thing was checked. Not our persons, our luggage or our carry-ons. What a crazy world we live in.


    • I am sure that will change, scanners and metal detectors at all bus stops.

      If I had been carrying semtex, the woman that checked my bag would have missed it and let it through, which is very scary. I suppose if I had been wearing sandals and had a big bushy beard they might have looked more carefully. But as I was in a business suit and smelling of alcohol they didn’t perceive me as the typical bomber. Again scary.

      Maybe I should pen a note to G4S the security company or East Midlands Airport.


    • I love travelling, I prefer Alitalia to Ryanair, but heyho they all get me to the UK. The difference is Alitalia cost me 170 Eurines to reach the UK and Ryanair cost 20 eurines to fly home. Less than the cost of a round of beer.


    • Oh thank you, It is amazing the change in her. Just 14 weeks in the Army and she is a different person.

      While we were partying, her older sister wore Sarah’s army boots to the disco (under her long summer dress , Mad) During the night I noticed she had removed the boots and was dancing bare foot. Now, normally there would follow a cat fight between the two sisters; The older sister took one look at Sarah stern face and said ok ok , I will find them, and scampered off into the dance hall.

      When she had gone Sarah gave me a little smile… Priceless


    • Foil wrapped tea bags!!! Posh very posh. Yorkshire Tea bags are just in a box with a bit of cellophane covering them.. but they make a nice strong cup of tea. If I use Italian T Bags, it takes 3 bags to make a wishy washy cup of brown water.


  4. They pick out the strangest things to do at customs. My 84 year old father complete with walking stick always gets thoroughly searched while the rest of us waltz through. He now refuses to fly. Though that may just be an excuse not to visit! Lovely pic of your daughter.


    • Ahh but the walking sticks could contain the parts of a rifle, just as my T bags might self destruct.

      I always feel guilty as I go through customs, or through the ‘ nothing to declare gate’

      I suppose it is because I normally have several kilo’s of bacon stashed somewhere.

      I need to check on the legality of travelling with meat.


  5. Glad you made it back safely to your lovely adopted country, and congratulations to your daughter, maybe she can help you get some of the weight back off again, on getting the award for the best fitness in her troop??


  6. So good to have you back! Congratulations to your daughter; you must be (obviously are) so proud. I’m glad you made through the security checkpoint, but I’m starting to wonder if some of this happens you like to have security checkpoint stories 😉


  7. He’s baaaacccck ! And he’s got bacon and T bagsssssss!!!! Glad to see you’re back. Thanks for the chuckle – you may remember my story about being accused of trying to blow up a Ryanair plane with a tin of Golden Syrup. The T-bag Terrorists are the worst ones, that’s what I say 🙂


    • Thanks MM, I remember the Golden Syrup bomb.

      I was down to my last rasher of bacon and we had resorted to 3 bags of Italian tea in a cup, so I was due a trip to Good o’l Blighty.


    • I have never seen her so happy, she was not one for crying or laughing out loud. Every photo she has sent me, she is grinning, apart from the photo taken of her in her camouflage kit holding her gun… she looks scary


  8. Funny story. That happens to me all the time am travelling through Heathrow! When the immigration officers ask “Anything to declare? Any meat, fish, Madam?” in that scary voice. I just have to make sure that next time, I drink enough alcohol to shut me up 🙂


  9. Great to see you back PN 🙂 I’ve been a bit sporadic myself so have lots of catching up to do too! Congratulations to your daughter, she looks great in her uniform and fantastic that she won a medal for best fitness in her troop… wow! Scoponi looks a lot of fun! Totally understand you risking all to smuggle some bacon back to Italia… gotta have those bacon sarnies/butties! 😀


  10. I would have invited you and Mrs Sensible to fly over to Vienna, but between you, pen knives and smuggling of bacon I think you would cause the x-ray at your airport to just shut down :0]
    PS/.. I am just catching up on your old posts


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