A fine piece of travel writing in today's Guardian Travel section by Hanif Kureishi. He's writing about being on holiday in the The Grand Hotel Gardone on Lake Garda in Italy. It's a piece that sometimes strains for melancholia :
"What to do? How to cope? I have no answers, but can only gape at the lake from an old hotel, which resembles a dissolving sugar lump, continuously reminded that western civilisation is in crisis. Indeed, as I tell the journalist, I consider it to be doomed, as cracks open up across its formerly firm surface, like the ping-pong ball the little boy and I use for table tennis."
But youth and optimism, like the face of his son mirroring his own youthful self, is what stays in my mind after finishing the piece.
I read it at a sunny suburban Dublin table while eating dinner. The piece, and the welcome sunburst during a wet Irish Summer makes me want to visit Italy again.