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They Say It's a Tall Man's World

I have felt personally victimised by tall people my entire life. In primary school, I was the shortest boy in the classroom. This meant that when we did earthquake emergency training (seismic-country problems, you wouldn’t get it) I was always forced to be in the front of the queue as I was deemed most likely to perish in a stampede. Then the miracle of puberty hit and almost immediately brought me up to a very respectable 5’8ft (5’9ft if my hair is cooperating and I’m wearing Docs). I thought my days as a short man were over, as I prepared myself to observe the world from new, once unreachable heights.  A young me, short and temperamental Then I moved to the UK, the place where dreams go to die. According to very reliable data found on the internet® the average height of men in Italy is 174cm, which makes me above average (by a meagre 1cm, sure, but still… hips don’t lie, and neither do weird internet surveys that don’t disclose their research methodology). In the UK, however, the ave

Valerio's Press Review: "GQ Magazine, April 2021"

Welcome to Valerio's Press Review, the series in which I read a magazine or newspaper (okay... look at the pictures) and write mean things about the people in them. It's fun! 1) A revitalising afternoon of clam-digging on Southend beach? A day of snorkelling by the port of Dover? Make sure you pack Rolex’s newest submarine watch! You don’t want the fish to think you’re poor.  2) Dolce & Gabbana’s latest collection. The question on everybody’s lips is: do you really want to look like your rich friend’s beach house bathroom? The answer is, and always will be, yes. 3) Sam Claflin for Barbour. A GQ insider told me that his puzzled expression is due to the fact that, for the whole duration of the photo shoot, Sam couldn’t help but wonder if he’d remembered to feed the cat before he left his flat. Models... they’re just like us <3 4) GQ’s Staycation must-have items. If you were stranded on a desert island and you could only bring one item with you, what would it be? Duh! A £32

People-watching Diary - Vol 1

10:03 Happy couple jogging in the park. They’re drunk on a cocktail of oxytocin and protein shakes. They share a penchant for leisurewear. I bet they have a joint Instagram account, where they post pictures with caption such as: “Couples who run together, stay together”. I hope they keep running. Away from me, if possible. 10:09 Man who is shorter than me (this doesn’t happen often). He is dressed in black from head to toe. He is sporting a suspiciously fresh haircut and he’s clearly feeling himself. That makes one of us. 10:15 Man walking three French pugs (they’re all identical). He has a face tattoo (who did you kill while in jail?), tracksuit bottoms tucked into ankle-length sponge socks and a rolled-up beanie hat. I am sure there’s an interesting backstory somewhere there. 10:21 Mother of two accompanied by her ageing single friend. She is forced to push a buggy and engage in a conversation about poo-stained nappies. Her eyes are soulless, a permanently sorrowful grim is stamped o

On Flopping

Is there anything more pathetic than an aging child prodigy? If I had to pinpoint the exact moment when the seeds of self-delusion were planted, I would probably have to go back to 2002, to a musty reception room in a small town elementary school on the outskirts of Naples, where a well-meaning teacher solemnly announced to my mother: “I have no doubt that he will become someone.” I didn’t know what that meant but my mother ecstatically repeated it to my dad that night at dinner, who in turn reported it to my grandmother - next thing I knew, I was unofficially elected “most likely to succeed” in my family (which also translates to ‘’most likely to have a nervous breakdown in his early 20s when the realities of adult life will inevitably dismantle the castle of expectations cemented with years of groundless predictions on the future success of a child whose only interest at present is Pokemons and Mars bars).   Eighteen years later, I can confidently tell you that the level of self-delu