It’s not often you hear the singular of graffiti which is graffito. Perhaps that’s because one graffito attracts another. Graffiti actually means scratched, from the Italian word graffiato. Very little of it is scratched now we have aerosols. Personally, I think people who tag buildings are complete aerosols.

I was enjoying a cappuccino and a cornetto at my favourite dodgy bar amongst the local characters when I saw this man appear with a pen. I say I was enjoying a cappuccino, I wasn’t enjoying a brown-hooded Capuchin monk, but a coffee named after the monk’s habits. I say I was enjoying a cornetto. I wasn’t enjoying an ice cream, but a less buttery version of a croissant in Italy, whose name means ‘little horn’. Here, a cappuccino is €0,90 and a cornetto €1,70. What a bargain for city centre Rome. It’s good to balance my Catholic-monk coffee with a little horn.

It was hardly raining, but such is the fear of getting wet or catching a chill he was wearing a scarf and carrying an umbrella. He spent an age composing his message with a flat-nibbed marker pen as Monica and I watched and I took his photograph with my film camera.

Rome - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I enjoyed taking in the atmosphere, watching people reading their newspapers and exchanging pleasantries. Then I wandered off. I didn’t read what he had written.

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