Except that Simone is Italian, and I doubt that with one German grandmother and two other Scottish grandparents I count as much of an Englishman. Indeed the last remaining grandparent was no archetype Englishman either, well not the sort envisaged by Noel Coward. And despite the humour and mild satire of the lines there is no getting away from the fact that it is to modern ears a tad racist. But then it was written in 1931 as he drove from Hanoi to Saigon and the British Empire still seemed pretty invincible despite looking a little worn at the edges.
Much the same happens on the beach. As the sun reaches high into the sky most Italian families leave for a meal at home and a quiet rest in the cool before venturing out for an afternoon by the sea.
All of which is a prelude to some photographs of our walk in the old town at lunch time. Needless to say off the main piazza behind the fort and in the warren of little streets all is closed up. A few tourist shops and bars are open but nothing much else stirs.
So we wander the old town and are confronted with ranks of empty restaurant tables. I take a few pictures and make a note to return in the evening with the family which we do, and those tables are full, which all goes to show that only mad dogs and Englishman go out in the sun, or to be more accurate, only two old duffers away from the family on an adventure are daft enough to be out in that midday sun.
Pictures; from the collection of Andrew Simpson