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Out and About

We were ‘out and about’ recently, enjoying a music festival called The Long Sunset. A major advantage was its open-air location not even ten minutes’ drive from our house in the beautiful Scenic Rim, Queensland. Of course, that was slightly risky given the temperamental weather conditions we’ve been experiencing these last five months with La Ninja.

Nevertheless, we got lucky, and what a beautiful evening it turned out to be. Being out and about is something to celebrate in and of itself, not just because of the weather, but due to the removal of many pandemic restrictions. It was a relief to just get out and about and have a great time!

Part of the enjoyment was the laidback atmosphere of the ‘folksy’ country environment. Young and old mixed to embrace the convivial atmosphere and cool tunes. People brought their own chairs, picnic blankets, and even, carts to pull around a younger brother or visiting cousin (see photo).

For the most part, though, I’m finding it is just easier these days to stay at home. There are so many different online viewing platforms that entertainment is at our fingertips without the bother of having to get into a car and get stuck in traffic.

Out and About
Out and About

Yet, there is an unexpected pleasure in being out and about. When everyone is having an enjoyable time and an event is well organised, good vibes can soak into pores, producing a sense of well-being that is very pleasant indeed. I can highly recommend the therapeutic value of an out and ‘abouter’; sometimes a brief change of scenery can be truly invigorating … #outandabout #thelongsunset #ciaowereinafrica

Of course, my parents enjoyed their ‘out and about’ occasions back in the fifties. In fact, it was almost a prerequisite to promote their boutique fashion business. My father knew, even then, that selling anything is enhanced by that in-person contact. If you meet people and they like you, then they are more likely to buy from you; it is an innate selling technique that nearly always works.

The excerpt below from, Ciao! We’re in Africa, recounts when my Italian parents attended a ‘high society’ event at the National Art Gallery, in Salisbury, Rhodesia. I think that it exemplifies the way that many people think. Being ‘out and about’ and coming into contact with ‘famous’ people can be thrilling, and if they are charismatic and seem genuine, well, that is a bonus!

“Eugenio? I can’t remember the name of that man who is bringing me back a drink.” I smile at the bespectacled elderly gentleman who is approaching. But Eugenio hasn’t heard me, as once again he’s involved in a separate conversation.

Then, over the hum of conversation, a strongly accented South African male voice broadcasts, “So, you’re the beautiful people!”

Eugenio and I both turn around to see what the fuss is about.

“You are the Piergiovannis, aren’t you?”

I gaze curiously at the stylishly dressed, young couple standing in front of us. They introduce themselves as the Commercial Attaché from the South African Embassy. “The Piergiovannis dress those who are beautiful and therefore, you are the ‘beautiful people’.”

“You flatter us.” Eugenio lifts the lady’s hand to his lips in a traditional, brief kiss. “But since you wish to do so, we will graciously accept any compliments you want to hand out!”

“Oh, you’re charming!” the blond-haired woman flutters her eyelashes.

Oh, per l’amor del cielo. Oh, for heaven’s sake, I think to myself.

As Eugenio starts a conversation with the man, I’m left to chat with this same woman. Thankfully, we manage to find a common topic, that of the latest fashions in Europe. She’s certainly knowledgeable, and I think that my initial reaction might have been a bit uncalled for.

The next day, the event is reported in the newspapers. The guest list includes our names, stating that we are an exciting addition to Salisbury’s entrepreneurs.


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