- Giacomo, would you like to come swimming with Luca and me?
- Are you a good swimmer?
- Do you swim in the sea?
- It's colder here, you know, will you be ok swimming in the cold sea?
- Where do you swim in the sea?
Once I was satisfied that Giacomo had answered coorectly all the safety questions, I deemed him fit for a splash at the Vico. Mrs Raheny begged to differ. She immediately went into panic mode and imagined his lifeless body floating six feet under the surface. Or him bleeding to death after having had a limb torn off by a shark or a killer whale.
She did warn me about the risks of death by cold water shock. And told us about the article she read today in the Indo about the boy who was attacked by a jelly fish, and how its tentacles were burrowing into his abdomen, according to his mum.
We were ready for the now almost daily Post-Mistake-Factory trip to the Vico (pronounced voyko).
- Giacomo, do you have swimming togs?
- Or do you prefer to wear a wet suit?
- Which do you prefer, to swim in the cold sea, the togs or the wet suit?
- Are you sure you are a good swimmer?
- It is quite deep you know, and quite cold. Will you be able?
So off we went to the Vico Road, and Giacomo seemed to be appreciative of the scenery, and yes he knows U2, and yes he knows Bono, and when I pointed out to him where Bono lives, he said "yes".
When we got to the Vico, Giacomo was more in favour of the togs ("yes") than the wet suit ("yes").
I watched him like a hawk, knowing full well that back home Mrs Raheny had imagined drowned in 12 different manners.
Luca and I jumped in the water ahead of him. And he started walking down the steps into the water.
And immediately realised that Irish-Sea-cold is not quite the same as Mediterranean-cold.
I asked him if he wanted to wear the wet suit after all. "Yes", he definitely did.
And when he finally immersed himself in the water, a miracle happened.
He said: "Oh my God!"
His parents will be absolutely thrilled when he comes back from his two week linguistic trip.