Thursday, September 06, 2012

Grumpy On The Amalfi Coast

Hmm. Not sure what happened but this column went missing in action. It was supposed to be up on the mag's website weeks ago. I was just tweaking my resume to send it off and suddenly remembered I had written this but not seen it. Funny little brain with its random way of thinking. Anyway, better late than never. Enjoy. I'm back to rubbing my face in the fact that I have not had a very sensible work life, and that it's nearly impossible to get any paid work as a writer. Oh joy.


With the magic of the internet it is possible to keep working while you are travelling. I go a bit stir crazy if I don’t write for a few days, so it’s brilliant to be able to sit here like I am now on my hotel balcony with a view of Mount Vesuvius across the Bay of Napoli and write this column. That's not what the photo is; that's me on the Amalfi Coast.

Last week, however, I got an email invitation to attend a theatre opening night for review. Unfortunately, the opening night was in Australia. My reply to the invitation was “I would love to come along but unfortunately (wrong word entirely) I am on the Amalfi Coast.”

I just fired it off without thinking. Then I sat back and said it out loud. How often in my life, I wondered, am I going to get the chance to say that? I can’t make it because I am on the Amalfi Coast. Possibly never again. Hmm.

I logged into Facebook where a few invitations to club nights were left idle. I had intended to just ignore them but decided to post replies now. “Sounds like a great night but I won’t be able to make it because I am on the Amalfi Coast.”

A friend was having a birthday drinks get together so I told them that I would love to come but I am on the Amalfi Coast.

Another friend was online, so I started a conversation.


“Hello, Grumpy. How’s the trip going?”

“Good, good. What are you up to this weekend?”

“Not much. Having the gang over for dinner tomorrow night, other than that, having a quiet one.”

“Dinner? That sounds lovely. You know, I’d love to join you but I’m on the Amalfi Coast.”

My friend went quiet for a while, so I said, “The Italian one.”


“The one in Italy.”

“Sorry - got a few conversations going. The Italian what?”

“The Italian Amalfi Coast. I’m on it, and that’s why I can’t make it to dinner tomorrow night.”

“I didn’t invite you because I know you’re away. Been following your adventures on FB. Why are you banging on about the Amalfi Coast?”

“Because I’m on the Amalfi Coast.”

The friend must have had a bad connection because they dropped out shortly after that.

I emailed friends at random to announce that if they had any parties/marriages/anniversaries/funerals etc, I couldn’t make it because I’m on the Amalfi Coast.

I wondered if I shouldn’t have been doing this two weeks ago when I was in Santorini.

“I can’t make it because I am in Santorini,” I said out loud.

The Dreaded One looked up from her book. “What did you just say?”

“I said I can’t make it because I’m in Santorini.”

“Why did you say you can’t make it because you’re in Santorini?”

“Because I wondered if it sounded better than I can’t make it because I’m on the Amalfi Coast.”

“What are you actually doing? I thought you were supposed to be writing your Grumpy column.”

“I am. Kind of. I just need to tell one or two people that I can’t make it to one or two things because I’m on the Amalfi Coast. It would be rude to simply not respond to an invitation.”

The Dreaded One’s gaze lingered for several long moments, as though she suspected me of being up to something rating extremely highly on The Stupidometer.

I got back to work. I got in touch with long lost relatives, old school friends, even one or two friends I’d had fallings out with, just to say we should forgive and forget and we should catch up for drinks sometime soon - just not right now because I’m on the Amalfi Coast.

Finally done, when I didn’t think there was another living soul who needed to know that I couldn’t make it because I’m on the Amalfi Coast, I decided to indulge in a long, lathery shave before getting ready to go out for dinner. I was feeling pretty good about this Amalfi Coast business. I felt like a pretty smooth mofo. Yeah baby, can’t make it to the thing because I’m on the Amalfi Coast.

Then I reached for the bidet towel to dry my face.

Oh yeah, I’m one smooth mofo.

Grumpy is freelance writer and smooth mofo Lee Bemrose ( If he can’t make it to your thing, it’s probably because he’s on the Amalfi Coast.


Y said...

Sooo.. not coming to my party then?

Lee Bemrose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.