Today I woke up and contemplated the quiet day I was going to have. I would get up, feed the chickens, have a look at my olive grove and maybe read a book by the pool if I was feeling really adventurous. Oh what a naive fool I was.

Halfway through an inner debate I was having about what to have for breakfast, my friend M called me and decided that my day plan sounded decidedly dull and in need of livening up. You may remember M, from a previous blog post about drinking and debates. As well as having lots of opinions he is also a fan of making grand plans for days out that never seem to quite work out. Luckily, on this occasion things seemed to be unusually smooth running for a day out planned by M.

The stretch of sea between Porto Venere and Palmaria Island was closed off from marine traffic for the day and M decided it was a prime opportunity to gather up a group of friends and go swimming in the sea. As someone who usually sticks to swimming in a pool I had my reservations but it turned out to be good fun.

We drove down to the temporary beach, already filled with families and groups of friends and spent a few hours swimming in the sea and vying for some space on the beach with a few wily back packers. Afterwards we walked to the nearby Piazza Bastreri where load of food stalls had been set up and ate some fresh seafood.

M seemed to think that this successful trip meant that the rest of us were no longer allowed to make fun of him for his previously disastrous trip planning (including, but not limited to, getting kicked out of an art gallery in Florence and getting chased through a field by an enraged cow, but more of those incidents later). We disagreed.