Saturday, February 25, 2012

What's HR?

On Thursday (one of my sick days) I popped over to see Julie in Hataitai. I told her that everything had kicked off at work and that I'd soon be having an HR meeting on Monday. She asked me what HR was. I wished I didn't know what HR was either. In her day it would have been called Personnel I suppose. I wasn't particularly chatty; all I wanted to do was fall asleep.

I went to work yesterday; the meeting (HR manager, head of department and myself) was brought forward to then, so I didn't get much chance to prepare or make a case for myself. I did mention the chronic depression but their reaction was more "so why did you apply for this job?" than "so that must be hard for you." I'll be moved out of my role pretty soon, maybe into something else, maybe into nothing else. They put out an advert for a replacement a fortnight ago. This feels like 2009 all over again but it's actually quite a bit worse.

I had dinner last night at my cousin's place. Friday is their takeaway night so it was Big Macs all round. It was ten years since my previous McDonald's (although I've had a fair few Burger Kings and Wendy's in that time) and now I know why I avoided it. Soggy bread and just not enough food - I'd feel hungrier after a McDonalds than before.

Tomorrow morning Wellington has its Round the Bays run. I put my name down as part of the work team - I thought I should participate in something at work - and I'll still do it tomorrow, even though I'm feeling like crap, but I'll probably just walk it.

I still haven't got over my cold. I've still got a sore throat and I'm coughing up thick chesty gunk in a variety of greens, yellows and browns. My skin complaint isn't going away in a hurry either. It feels like I'm falling apart.

I played my last complimentary games of Countdown today. I had an interesting chat during my game with an Irishman whose show(s) had just been filmed and who would be appearing on TV next month. My last game was against another previous TV contestant. In a mad scramble I got the final numbers game to take the lead for the only time but she then untangled PEAVERING in a very swift three seconds to beat me. Overall I had 15 wins and 10 losses. Two of my wins needed two tie-break rounds, although I did have my fair share of close losses.

Will see how the run/walk/ramble goes tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's all too much

Things have gone from bad to worse I'm afraid. The last few days have been pretty trying all round, and especially at work. My attempt to meet that work deadline last Thursday by putting in some extra hours was all in vain. I'd got work done alright, but it was all wrong. I'd based everything on the eighth version of a previous spreadsheet - the supercharged V8 - when there was a V9 I should have used that I hadn't even noticed. Then I'd updated the figures using a file with dodgy data in it. My boss asked me how confident I was of having everything correct by 3pm the next day; when I said fifty-fifty he promptly took the task off me.

On Thursday I picked up a cold which got worse during the night. I'm not sure if it was flu or just a bad cold, although I did have a slight fever. I hadn't slept much and the next morning I wasn't in any state to go to work. I listened to the eight o'clock news on the radio in bed. About the tenth news item was the horrific prison fire in Honduras that killed 359 people. Because they were prisoners that nobody cared about in a country that nobody cares about, the NZ media weren't going to care either. The Guardian however did that horrific event justice. I needed to call in sick but I didn't know any of my colleagues' desk phone numbers, couldn't get through on the big boss's mobile, and couldn't email (I had no internet). I found the reception number in the White Pages and got through to my boss (it is a bit crazy that I don't know any of those numbers but I never thought to write them down or commit them to memory).

I had a doctor's appointment booked (for my other problem) and somehow made my way over to Brooklyn. It felt swelteringly hot outside that day but it was probably only 20-odd degrees. I saw a woman doctor this time; from experience (small sample size) female doctors are more understanding of mental health issues. It perhaps helped that on Friday I also looked sick. After I rambled for a bit (I can't remember what I said), she increased my dose of Efexor from 300 mg to the maximum 375. I said I could probably take the whole packet and it wouldn't make any difference. She then wanted me to see a psychiatrist next month; she thought my bipolar diagnosis in 2009 was a load of tripe (I happen to agree). She also mentioned Asperger's without any prompting from me, although I must have given her a few clues.

I picked up my extra pills from the pharmacy near the surgery; they had a set of scales which still measured stone and took two-cent coins which haven't been in circulation since the late eighties. I didn't happen to have any obsolete coinage handy but the scales weighed me anyway. I was twelve stone two; the scales agreed exactly with my digital ones at home. That's a perfectly fine weight for my height (nearly six foot) but it's where the weight is that I need to watch. I've now got a spare tyre which I didn't have before I came to Wellington. My new place has a gym and I need to start using it. Realising my food stocks - and petrol - were low, I went to Pak 'n' Save. After buying a few groceries I tried using their totally unmanned petrol station. It was bad as trying to figure out some of the spreadsheets at work. I felt completely washed out by the time I got home. That day I really just needed to rest. Then one of the new tenants at my old flat - she's Indian and eight months pregnant - came round to look at my fridge. I ended up with two fridges and she wanted to buy the older one off me.

I was able to recharge my batteries over the weekend. I worked on the PowerPoint presentation for the business idea my cousin has for me, read large chunks of Tony Attwood's book on Asperger's, but best of all didn't see or get phone calls from anybody. Not having the internet had its advantages too. The most strenuous thing I did all weekend was pick up some fruit and vege from the market. I still have a whole load of boxes that I've yet to unpack.

I felt far from 100% on Monday but went into work because after what had happened the previous week, and the whole Friday/Monday thing, I didn't want them to think I was skiving. I still didn't have a phone in my flat then - Dad rang me at work having returned from his not-exactly-a-holiday. I went to the Asperger's group that night. Nine of us were there. We decided to make a list of all the subjects covered in the meeting. I started off writing on the blackboard but I couldn't keep track of all the topics, such is my memory (or forgettory) at the moment. Tracy, who has an almost photographic memory, took over and put me out of my misery.

Tuesday was a bad day. I slept through my alarm and got up just before eight. I still got to work at an acceptable time but felt quite disoriented. I was functioning on 10% of capacity, knowing that I'd need to be at 200% to keep up with my boss. He got me to do what I thought was just a copy-and-paste job but ended up being a lot more. I was doing my absolute best to get it done but I couldn't remember where things were and it was like I was running uphill backwards through treacle. There seemed to be a lot more noise than usual and of course so much Mandarin. The incessant talk from the three women in Finance about the Big Four accountancy firms was becoming repulsive. I feel more and more isolated with each passing day in that place. I also feel exceptionally stupid the whole time I'm there. I had to come home at lunchtime to get my phone connected. In the afternoon I asked my boss something about the job I was trying to do. He asked me when I'd have it finished. I told him I really didn't know. "But you've already spent four hours on it!" "Look. Just coming to work is a success for me at the moment." "WHAT!" I spent the next few minutes in the toilet, then calmly said to him that I really wasn't that well and that I was going home. He just laughed at me. "What about work?" "I could be here all night. I won't make any difference. As I said, I'm not very well." Again he laughed. "If you don't understand that, you're obviously very ignorant." Then I went home. He gave me a sarcastic wave.

As soon as I got home my bloody mobile rang. It was an 09 number. Phew. It happened to be Vodafone, not my boss or anybody ghastly like that. Five minutes later it rang again. This time it was my boss, or rather the big boss. I ignored it. Then he rang again. I picked it up. He was a bit more sympathetic than my other boss. He told me to take two days off work and even asked if I had anyone in my apartment block I could talk to. I wish I did. After dinner my other phone rang and it was Julie, hoping that my number hadn't changed. She said she was in a bad way. I tried to listen and agreed to meet her on Thursday. I managed to end the conversation, then my mobile rang again. Who can this be? I'd totally forgotten about the people coming to pick up the fridge. Three blokes came round, gave me $170 (I think they got a good deal), and would somehow lug the fridge the 500-odd metres back to my old flat. They had only just hauled the fridge into the lift when Mum and Dad rang me. I didn't mention work.

Many organisations offer an external counselling service; I was advised to make an appointment which I had at 12:30 today. My cousin rang me at about 11:15 to talk about the business idea but I couldn't take in half of what she said. It was quite a long phone call which meant I was running late for my meeting. I did make it on time but must have looked quite dishevelled. It was a useful meeting if only to get one or two things off my chest. He did say I need to learn to say a particular two-letter word. This afternoon was a bit of a write-off although I did send a useful email to my cousin saying that we need to back off from the business thing because I'm clinically depressed and struggling to cope. Tonight I went to the tramping club. I met Danielle and signed up to a day trip next month but there were hordes of people there and it was good to get home.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The clock is ticking

I haven't written much about my job lately. It's been a real struggle since November - when my new boss arrived on the scene - and like most unpleasant things I chose to deal with it by blocking it out of my mind, let alone writing about it. In the last three months my presence at work has added no value, has perhaps even subtracted some, and yesterday the house of cards finally came down when both the head of department and the Aitch Arr manager had a word with me. I could see it coming a mile off to be honest. I stayed until after seven last night and started an hour early this morning to meet a deadline but the work I produced was total crap. Two days after moving into my flat, the timing isn't great. There were no written warnings or anything like that yesterday, but the clock is definitely ticking and I'm now trying to buy some time.

I did tell both managers that I was unwell but I didn't elaborate. I've got a doctor's appointment at 1pm tomorrow - my medication needs to be seriously looked at. To add insult to injury I've picked up a cold, probably from one of my work colleagues.

I saw this interesting piece in today's Dom Post about talented people (like Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston) who throw it all away, including eventually their lives. The last two paragraphs about the author's grandmother were particularly good to read.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A new start?

I'm in the new place (well I'm not physically in the new place as I write this because I haven't got phone or internet there yet, but you know what I mean). Mum orchestrated the move while I was at work yesterday. It was inexpensive and (according to Mum) fairly painless. Mum was a great help; I just hope that her help stops there, and that she doesn't decide to fly into Wellington every other week and gradually convert my flat into hers.

I got an email from Dad this morning. It's bitterly cold there; the bad weather hasn't helped his mood. He'd just met up with some old friends in a pub; if I was him I'd want to spend all day there. Dad touches down in Christchurch on Saturday.

I really do need to see the doctor and get my pills looked at.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

One sleep to go

Things have been pretty busy the last few days but I've now got an hour or so to myself on this sunny Sunday morning. Mum and my aunt have just been to the Catholic church opposite my flat. They said there was a large (in more ways than one) Tongan presence in the congregation of 400. The Pacific Island community does add a lot of vibrance to the southern part of Wellington. Mum and her big sister have now gone to Te Papa to see an exhibition of wedding dresses on loan from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. If instead it was an exhibition of beer bottle tops I might have been more interested in going. A four-day domestic cricket match has started at the Basin; the crowd is very sparse. I can't see much of the ground from here but the scoreboard man regularly pokes his head through a hole in the board to change it.

I wasn't in the best of mental states when Mum arrived on Wednesday. When I got home from work I rang Vodafone to get my phone and internet sorted for my new place. All the options were expensive; I said I would think about it. At 7:30 I met Danielle at the tramping club. Hordes of people unexpectedly filed in to see a presentation. Danielle, who didn't stay for the talk, said she'd never seen so many people there - I half-jokingly said that someone had probably been to the Himalayas. Which they had. A woman of about Mum's age - and without a full set of fingers - proceeded to give a talk about her intrepid Himalayan adventures in the seventies and eighties. She lost her boyfriend on one trek in the mid-eighties and she was badly frostbitten. Later she married a like-minded chap and they started up a school in Kangchenjunga region of Nepal (which includes the world's third-highest peak), bringing education, medicine and contraception to the area. Unfortunately they now face the task of rebuilding the school after a major earthquake last September.

Late on Wednesday evening I rang Vodafone again. I spoke to somebody (probably based in India) who was very knowledgeable about the phone network but who talked too quickly and didn't speak up. He was just doing his job, but he bombarded me with seemingly dozens of options that would all set me back hundreds. "Slow down a bit man, you're giving me too many options." The big mistake I made was phoning at almost 11pm; I was too tired (and depressed) to take anything in. Eventually I lost the plot and threw the cordless phone across the room. I felt terrible that I completely lost it like that in front of Mum. The front of the handset had come off but I snapped it back into place. He was still on the end of the phone! "Sorry but I'll have to ring off." The next two days I visited a Vodafone store in town. Those shops aren't much use because they really just want to sell you stuff. The one on Lambton Quay has a bank of five funky-looking world clocks which work but are surely just for show - the hour and minute hands are identical. I couldn't tell whether it was supposed to be 3:25 or 5:15 in London although I knew that in reality it was neither. I don't know when I'll get my phone connected.

Talking of phones, yesterday Mum's mobile rang while we were in the flat but she couldn't find it. I then rang her phone to locate it, but as I moved around the flat the ring never really got any louder. We did find her phone in the end. It was in the fridge.

The wedding. The main event. I didn't go to the wedding, just to the reception, but that was more than enough for me. The food was good and while the speeches dragged they did have a couple of moments of real poignancy. I ate too much and drank more than I normally do (which still wasn't that much). The tables weren't numbered but were given "meaningful" names - ours was called Castle Island after the town in Ireland from where Mum's great-grandfather emigrated in the 1870s (our family visited the town when I was ten). Despite Mum's efforts she couldn't persuade me to dance. It was good for the family to get together, even though the whole idea of travelling hundreds of miles and taking time off work to attend a wedding of someone who you share a few strands of DNA with but hardly know seems a bit ridiculous to me. I saw my aunt and uncle from Auckland for the first time in years (I worked in the same company as him from 2004 to '06). At around half-nine all that hip-hop crap started blaring out and I wished I could have changed the station.

Yesterday lunchtime they put on another wedding party at some friend's million-dollar-plus waterfront bach (bach!) but Mum and I didn't go. We were able to use all the packing (for my move) as an excuse. The two things I wanted to avoid, above all, were drinking and talking. Last night though we did have a much smaller non-wedding-related dinner at my cousin's place.

Tonight will be the last time I sleep in this flat. The block looks a bit grotty from the outside but I get a lot of sun here. The extra vitamin D has given me a boost I'm sure. The next place won't quite have that. Tomorrow at 9:30am, three men are coming to shift my big items the quarter-mile or so into the new flat. Mum has been very helpful with a mixture of organising all my bits and pieces and motivating me to organise myself. This weekend only three people have used the word "exciting" to describe my move. Mum flies back tomorrow afternoon.

Yesterday morning I found the time to play three games of Countdown when Mum was here, winning two of them. I won the first game - at the time I didn't seem to play very well but looking back I did better than I thought with some tricky selections of letters. In the second I finished strongly but was still fortunate to win. With four rounds to play I was 14 points down but I found SAINTLY to halve the arrears. We both then got ATTEMPTS for eight and a difficult numbers game ensued. I got three away and expected to be beaten but my opponent blanked so we were tied going into the conundrum. PRROTESTS seemed to leave us both stumped but only having two vowels and knowing that conundrums are never plurals ending in S, at least I had something to go on. I saw SPORT and then buzzed in with SPORTSTER (which I wasn't sure was even a word) with under three seconds to go. Apparently it is a word, so I won the game and avoided a tie-breaker. In the third game I faced a better player; my first-ever nine-letter word (SHARPENED) gave me 18 points and a slightly flattering (for me) 11-point loss.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Feeling flat

I'm now officially the owner of my... what do you actually call it? It's not a house, I know that much. One word I see far too much of is unit, which sounds so cold, industrial, lifeless, certainly not somewhere I'd want to live. Everything these days seems to be called a unit, as if people are too lazy to think of the proper word. Apartment might be the proper term for what I've bought, but even that sounds a bit American - why use one syllable when three will do? - so from now on I'll stick to flat.

If I had a dollar for every time someone used the word "exciting" to describe the purchase of my flat, I could buy... a damn good bottle of wine. I stopped getting excited some time in 2008 I think. I mentioned this to my dad over Christmas; he said "you're not an old man you know." I know, and my inability to get excited any more is a problem. Not only that, but there never seems to be anything on the horizon to look forward to, even when there logically should be. The only thing I really enjoy these days is food. My medication needs to be seriously looked at.

Mum is coming to visit tomorrow. She'll be helping with my moving and packing (and getting my A into G, instead of E flat or wherever it's been of late) although that wasn't why she came up. My cousin is getting married on Friday; Mum and Dad were invited but of course Dad is still in the UK. This isn't my female cousin who lives in Wadestown (she's been married since 1998 I think) but a male cousin who lives in Hataitai. He and I have a lot in common. For a start, two of his grandparents were exactly the same people as two of mine. We also both have a chubby face. And we were born less than a month apart - I was born on 20th April '80, which is an interesting birthday because 20 × 4 = 80; his birthday is 16th May '80 (16 × 5 = 80).

My cousin and I are quite different. He exudes confidence and enthusiasm; I don't exude much at all. Because my dad couldn't make it I got a last-minute invite. I'd have been more than happy to miss it. I said as much to Mum. "But there will lots of family there and everyone will be dancing..." Exactly. "And the food..." Well there is that I suppose. I won't be going to the wedding itself, just the reception.

The autism group, which took quite a long break while a new facilitator was recruited - went well last night. We've got a new host - she's from Holland but (unsurprisingly) speaks very good English.

I had a few more games of Countdown over the long weekend. I've now had ten wins and eight losses, avoiding the walking dictionaries and calculators who have appeared on TV (you can tell who they are) but all bar one of my opponents seemed decent enough. In one game I was pretty happy to find ADROIT for six but I my opponent found ROOIKAT (huh?) for seven. Funnily enough I didn't win that game.

Friday, February 3, 2012


In the UK Countdown is a TV game show where contestants display their lexical and numerical skills. It has run for almost thirty years, racking up more than 5000 episodes. I enjoyed it when I lived in the UK, not that I got to watch it that often due to its daytime slot (and we didn't have a video recorder when I was growing up). In each episode, two contestants battle it out over a series of letters games (where the goal is to make the longest word from nine randomly-selected letters), numbers games (where you have the reach a three-digit target using six smaller numbers) and finally a conundrum (a nine-letter anagram which you have to unscramble as quickly as possible). Click here to see an impressively swift conundrum solve from a contestant who has Asperger's syndrome. Unsurprisingly perhaps, a number of Aspies have appeared on Countdown over the years - here is some interesting opinion on the subject from 2008 and '09 (unlike most of the stuff on that forum, the thread I linked to is actually worth reading).

At its most popular (the nineties?), viewing figures reached an incredible (for the time of day) four million. The low-tech nature of the programme and the lack of valuable prizes only served to add to the show's appeal. The avuncular Richard Whiteley presented the show, along with maths whiz Carol Vorderman. Celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Tim Rice made regular appearances. In 2001 the show was extended from 30 minutes to 45 (I wasn't a big fan of that) and for some reason it no longer seemed quite as friendly. Then in 2005 (when my dad was having major heart surgery in the UK), Whiteley died suddenly. Due to his huge part in the programme's success I imagined Countdown would die with him, but it has survived to this day and is now on its fifth presenter.

Despite (or maybe because of) the lack of financial rewards, there has always been a certain cachet to doing well on the show. The winner of an episode comes back next time (up to a maximum of eight appearances), with the best eight performers of the series competing in a knockout competition to decide the series champion.

Countdown is (or at least was) more inclusive than most game shows - being short or fat or ugly was no barrier. Neither was age - plenty of kids have appeared, some of them making the finals. I gather health and safety requirements have unfortunately made child prodigies a thing of the past. There is a rule preventing people who lose in the first round from reappearing even decades later, except in rare circumstances. This I find rather unfair - whether you win on your first appearance is hugely dependent on who your opponent happens to be; many a contestant would have gone a long way if they hadn't bumped into a walking dictionary on day one. Plus you'd probably be less nervous, and perform better as a result, the second time.

I'm on the wrong side of the planet to ever go on myself (although Australia now have their own version) and I'd don't know if I'd be good enough anyway. Frankly my two-second TV appearance in November was plenty. But, I wondered, can you play Countdown online? The answer is yes, on a site called Apterous. You can play 30 games for free, after which they charge you £15. Most of the players on the site are pretty good, as you'd expect when they've paid to play. A fair few have appeared on screen or are using the site to prepare for their 45 minutes of fame.

I plan to play my 30 free games and quit. It could become addictive, and paying to feed an addiction isn't really that sensible. I've so far played five games, winning just one. My first game ended in a draw after the scheduled 15 rounds. I'd have been happy with that, but an extra conundrum was used to break the tie. Only it didn't because neither of us got it. On to a third conundrum then, and I got SUCCESSOR in five seconds to win the game. That was my only win, although a couple of my losses were very close. I realised one thing: I'm terrible at the numbers! Or maybe my opponents were just really good from hours of practice. My main problem was that I didn't quite figure out how to type in the numbers solutions, but even taking that into account I still wasn't that flash. My mental arithmetic is good - I don't have any problems working out 6 × 78 = 468, but with the Countdown numbers games you start with 468 and have to recognise that it's 6 × 78. That's a slightly different skill I think.

It would be nice to show one of my games here (the one I lost by two points was interesting I thought) but doing so seems to be in the too-hard basket for me.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Quick update from the UK

They took the unusual (?) decision not to have a funeral for my grandma. Getting everybody together at short notice wouldn't have been easy I suppose. Being the middle of winter didn't help either. Instead she'll have a memorial service in May, when Mum and Dad will be over there.

There was considerable panic (mostly from my aunt) over the will: finding it the first place and then what was in it when they found it. It's amazing how much animosity wills can cause in families.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Yes I know it's officially been 2012 for a whole month now, but this is New Zealand which operates on an eleven-month calendar starting in February. Businesses shut down during the off-calendar period, news programmes are off the air, and people's lives generally go on hold (or on holiday). Back when I really enjoyed tennis, I used to despair when club days and interclub competitions took a break over January, and often a good chunk of December and February too. Apparently it was for the school holidays. Well for me, the only significance of school holidays was the amount of traffic on the roads. And anyway, does everybody really go away for the whole six-week period? I somehow doubt it. In the UK, closing down tennis clubs for six weeks in midsummer would be laughable - there wouldn't be any summer left!

Last night I met up with Julie, who has recently moved to Wellington and is renting in Hataitai after going through a very tough patch. It was great to catch up actually. My real estate agent rang me while I was there (more on that to come), then at 9:30 I did quite a big shop at Pak 'n' Save - it's quite relaxing to go at that time and I should do so more often. I felt like I'd had a productive evening.

But then I couldn't sleep. I slept through my radio alarm yet again, and woke up at five to eight. In my rush to leave for work I left my mobile at home. Normally this would just be a minor annoyance but I needed to email the leaseholding tenant at my flat and she'd texted me her email address. So I had no choice but to walk home mid-morning in the pouring rain to pick up my phone. I also had to visit the bank and my lawyer. Due to all that farting around, as well as my tiredness and lack of motivation, I got absolutely no work done today.

I take over ownership of the flat tomorrow but I won't be moving in then. I did ask to take vacant possession but after some negotiation the tenants agreed to move out on the 12th and pay me rent for those ten extra days. The tenancy on my current flat expires on the 18th. I had to sign a bunch of stuff today. I decided to put just over half my loan on revolving credit. I'd asked to fix the rest but the bank put me on floating instead. I signed it anyway - I can choose to fix at any time if I want - and I suppose there's a certain irony to that mistake given the title of this blog. Buying a property is so damn complicated - imagine if I had to sell one as well.

I read (or skimmed, rather) in the sports section today that a certain amount of hatred now exists between Djokovic and Nadal. If that wasn't the case, so the article said, they wouldn't have slugged it out for nearly six hours on Sunday night. I'm not sure how true that is. What is interesting is that successful tennis players often do develop a hatred of the guy (or girl) on the other side of the net. Even at my club in Auckland, those who made the finals of the club championships tended to have a higher-than-average AQ (that's arse quotient by the way), and in the tournaments I played in as a kid, the nice people I played against were usually the ones I could beat. I suspect that a high AQ, an inflated ego, and utter contempt for one's opponent go hand-in-hand.

Not totally leaving the subject of big egos, Fred Goodwin, former CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland which collapsed in 2008, has been de-knighted. All I can say to that is good.

Continuing vaguely along the same lines, there was interesting article on the Guardian website two weeks ago about Francesco Schettino, captain of the Costa Concordia, the huge cruise ship that ran aground and then sank, with the loss of up to 33 lives. I thought this was an interesting and insightful comment about Italian society:
The issue of being prone to panicking or not has nothing to do with this story. Instead, this story has to do with the consequences of the complete lack of meritocratic selection on Italian society. Italy is full of "Schettinos" holding prestigious professional roles without having the necessary educational qualifications and skills, and stealing those roles from all the higly qualified but not "well-connected" Italian young people who are forced to emigrate. This story is a great metaphor of what is leading Italy into its grave, and this is the interpretation that the healthy part of Italian public opinion is giving to what happened.