Between Sydney and Newcastle my brain goes into strange places as I drive the F3. Somewhere around Mt White the dulcet tones of Classic FM becomes static that makes no sense. Pushing buttons I find my radio station and the coverage of the Jets and LA Galaxy football game. While jets can only make it into the statosphere galaxies are something else full of stars and heavenly bodies. So star and heavenly body from the LA Galaxy David Beckham is in town. He has been for the last three days causing chaos in female hearts everywhere from the 19 year olds at the local bar/cafe to the state political representativies.
The local newpaper is full of Beckham sightings and at the morning meeting we are forced to consider how to cover this on radio given that the man of the moment is probably tucked up in bed after night out with a Hunter wine or two. Simple answer just hit the streets and ask random people if they know who is in town. Experiment completed – everyone knows. Therefore the millions spent bringing this man (not the team) to town is probably vindicated.
Now I wouldn’t complain if, without any effort on my part, I was introduced to Mr Becks, but I haven’t been, and am probably one of the few Novocastrians who have not been photographed with the gracious man. I could possibly even hold a conversation with him, after all he is just an Essex boy. But, what, I contemplated as I rolled up the F3 would happen if I came face to face with the urbane, enthusiastic and generous Francesco da Mosto.
Francesco da Mosto is the man who is probably single handedly saving Venice (from the aqua alta) and Italy (from Berlusconi). A Venetian who is actually an hereditary Count, Francesco has through sheer personality become synonymous with the city that he loves, Venice. Francesco is a man with an enquiring, almost Renaissance, mind. Rather than just be content with one project at a time he had dozens of things happening around him from books and photography to carpentry and things that he makes with his hand. Here is a man who is in love with his family. He is proud of his wife who is also doing her bit to save Venice – she is an enviornmentalist who has been writing papers about the Mose and the affect that the gates will have on the litoral areas of the Venetian lagoon.
Since the screening of his three documentaries, Francesco’s Venice, Italy and Mediterranean, his insights and impish enthusiasm have taken the chair-bound travellers to the world that he knows so well.
I didn’t get to meet David, but I have talked to Francesco.