Just a note to thank everyone for their kind welcome.
STEFANO - Regrettably I have no italian heritage to boast about, although my parents are holidaying in Tuscanny as we speak. My mother was thrilled at successfully ordering six slices of cooked ham in the village delicatessen, but was later devestated when she got potato salad instead of extra tomato in her salad at a restaurant in Florence. My father thinks he has died and gone to heaven in terms of the traffic - he loves the way Italians drive and park (comes from being a Sydneysider I think). I appreciate your comments on my Italian, but can assure you it is pretty rudimentary. My specialties are French and German, which were double major in my BA. Perhaps NICOLAKI from Montreal would get more sense out of me. Anyway, thanks for your post, and thanks also NIKOLAKI.
ADAM - Thanks for your sweet invitation to be Newies together. It sounds like fun, but I'll have to check with the other half first, now that NIKOLAKI has spread the word that you're a bit hot there could be jealousy!
ILYUSHIN96M - Thanks for your words, and yes MX5-Boy is very much a handful. Best tip for dealing with him if he gets a bit feisty? Throw him a bottle of Cinzano and a packet of smokes and leave him to his own devices for a bit.
So thanks everyone - now I feel welcome I might start to contribute here and there (toe in the water stuff).