9 August: drink enough wine + everything suddenly starts to look okay.

This day in 1173 the construction of the campanile of the cathedral of Pisa began. You probably think that you’ve never heard of it but, rest assured you have – it’s just that the whole world knows it by the far catchier name of The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

(This site now has a theme tune. It’s HERE. Click it and read. It adds a majesty to the crap I write.)

It took two centuries to complete and now gives an iconic reminder to the world that – sometimes – stuff that doesn’t go as you planned, stuff that suddenly seems to slip away from your intended direction – is actually okay. In fact – just sometimes – it’s a whole lot better than what you had in mind anyway. Pisa would be a meaningless backwater had it’s erection stayed erect. But as it is – it’s full of happy tourists standing on the grass in ridiculous poses all pretending to push the tower back up as wandering tradesmen hang around on the edges selling knock off Rolexs whilst little stalls sell pasta shaped like penises in it’s glorious slipping shadow. I ask you – what’s not to like?

My daughter got accosted there by a bunch of giddy Japanese girls who signed that they wanted their photo taken with her to show they had seen – not an iconic European monument – but a real life Teenage Western Girl and had actually stood next to one and smiled, almost touching her whilst saying things like “denim” and “crop top.” Living the dream. And all because nobody bothered to check the foundations. It’s fantastic how things work out.

So use today as an excuse to recreate that pleasant lopsided buzz that being drunk can give you – usually just before everything starts to spin and get slightly out of control. That’s the point to stop because this is the zone where suddenly nothing appears as rigid or as set in stone as it did when sober; the point where you can see through mistakes and unlock the genius within. Suddenly there’s a magicalness to the world again. Oh the glorious wonder of booze.

So let’s celebrate the whole wonder of stuff that’s not quite right: if you’re lucky enough to live in Pisa you can grab a bottle of Italian wine and sit on the grass beneath the tower and live the dream. (Watch out for Japanese teens.) And if you don’t, simply boil up the penis pasta in a rich tomato sauce, pull on your cheap Rolex, open some bottles of Chianti and dream away.

Wine: making wonky great since at least 1173.

And a quote:

I intend to die in a tavern; let the wine be placed near my dying mouth, so that when the choirs of angels come, they may say, “God be merciful to this drinker!”

Walter Map. 1140 – 1210
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