Ash and I are in the process of booking ourselves a summer holiday in Pula (in the Istria region of Croatia) for a bit of scuba diving, followed by a ferry across the Adriatic to Venice for a few nights of renaissance culture. We had the distinct misfortune to find that the cheapest flight from London to Pula was provided by Ryanair. “Fly for £19.99!” gibbered the website.

Lying bastards.

A few clicks later the total had risen to £55 each – sort of a carrot and very big stick approach. For the love of God, if “taxes, fees and charges” are compulsory, just put them in the quoted price! The justification behind each additional amount makes no difference to the way it waltzes out of my wallet. Your common or garden airline provides an end-to-end service: take me, and my stuff (for an extra £5 if you’re the money-grubbing spawn of Gordon Gecko. Oh, hello again, Ryanair) from here to there. I don’t care if airports charge you to land there. I don’t care what taxes the government makes you pay. And I care most especially little about how much jet fuel costs. Supply and demand, people – you sell more tickets, the price of fuel goes up. Welcome to capitalism!

Aaggaaarrgh. Where was I? Ah – summer holiday.

The name ‘Istria’ felt vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t place why. I racked my brains and eventually remembered: “Hot damn!”, I thought, “there’s a Rally of Istria in Gran Turismo 4.” Said road rally happens in a fortified town built on top of a hill, with narrow roads, vertiginous drops and louche Italians spectating from doorways opening directly onto the track. (Italians? A seed of doubt took hold in my mind.) Maybe we could take in a rally there, or perhaps hire a car to speed irresponsibly round the hills. Hell, perhaps they’d hand me the keys to a ’67 Alfa GTA with a pat on the back and send me haring off down the cobbled start/finish straight.

“Oh,” I realised. “Rally d’Umbria, not Istria.”

Still: Venice, eh?

I’ve been afflicted with a pleasant form of inertia since we got settled (“embedded” might be more apt) in to the new place, but we finally seem to be making an effort to socialize again. A friend of Ash’s was up from Oxford last weekend, the visit occasioning a trip to the Bailey for a few pints, and the other night Jeff and I took in Hot Fuzz. I didn’t know quite what to expect – that’s bollocks, actually; I expected to laugh until I shat – but something didn’t quite click. Spaced‘s quirky little flights of fancy were bang on the money and to take them to their logical conclusions, as in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, makes them seem a bit sterile in comparison. It’s easy to laugh along with Tim’s Resident Evil paranoia but not quite so funny when there actually are zombies involved.

Fortunately on an absolute scale Hot Fuzz is still almost infinitely funnier than My Super Ex-Girlfriend, which in turn is about as funny as colonic irrigation.