Last Saturday when we were doing the final bit of packing, hiding the laptops (burglars, don’t whatever you don’t lift the manhole cover above the drains and look for a sealed bag) and watering the plants (no point, they are all dead) Karen said “we must pack a fan”.

My immediate thought was how are we going to get an electric fan into the case, then I realised she meant a hand fan. Karen is a big fan of fans. I have spent many hours, if not days in fan shops across the world with Karen.

However not as many hours as I have spent looking for magnets for dad. If you are reading this dad, so far you are up to 4 magnets; Napoli; Pompeii, Sorrento and Vesuvius. Your daughter-in-law hasn’t even hit the shops of Sicily yet; but expect more. It might be worth getting that extra Ikea metal noticeboard up in the kitchen as I think Karen is planning on filling it. However we couldn’t get one of the SNAV Adriatico (the ferry we came across to Sicily on) so I just chipped a bit of paint off it for you. I doubt anyone will notice.

Back to fans. Karen has a lot of fans. A fan for every outfit even. One holiday I seem to remember she had Tibu pulling fans out of gift shops left right and centre and we ended up getting one from Carrefour. In fact I have a fan which I keep in my Bible case for when I am at church. I do tend to suffer from the heat (I’m not going through the menopause, I just get hot, really quickly). I may have this fan, but truth be told, have never used it. I feel that if I get it out people would look at me and think “we are not in a gospel church in the Deep South. This is Ormskirk”. For the record, it is a neutral colour so goes with most outfits. Its all about the accessories don’t you know. Actually, now I have fessed up about my fan I may start randomly using it when I speak at other meetings so people will say “oh…Andrew…yes, lousy preacher, but nice fan”.

Anyway, back to Karen’s fan. So after we had unplugged the toaster (burglars, whatever you do, do not dismantle the toaster in the hope that you will find my rare sovereign collection, or for that matter, climb on the roof and look in the third chimney pot from the left as you will not find it and I know there are some well dodgy tiles up there and you may fall to you death) we finished packing.

“Did you ever pack that fan?” I asked Karen.
“ Did I pack it? I thought you did. I was too busy wiring all the door handles into the mains” (burglars, do not touch anything metal in the house. You will die).

When we arrived in Napoli it was hot. I mean really hot. I mentioned the other day about the number of shirts that I was going through due to “excessive perspiration”. It was so hot that we required a fan.

So, there we were in Napoli, with the temperature in the low thirties, with no fan. Meanwhile, at home, in our electrified fortress, we had a dozen fans doing nowt. Luckily the Chinese Bazaar came to rescue. We passed one every day (on the down route) so we popped in and bought a high class €1 fan. Admittedly we had to cut a few rogue loose threads off it to make it serviceable, but so for we have certainly got our €1 worth out of it. I don’t feel that I will be taking it to church with me though. It certainly isn’t neutral.

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