Something was up down at the rough ground along the Tiber where Mellie and I walk each morning. A couple of police cars and a crowd of cops, some plain clothes, some in uniform, sheltered from the drizzle under flimsy, collapsible umbrellas. There's a makeshift encampment all along the banks, hidden from the street by tall stands of "bamboo" and by the topography, and from time to time a drunk (more often than not) emerges and Mellie barks. It's a vaguely threatening place, not least because there's a sense of invading someone's space and being unable to explain that one means no harm.

So we went for our usual walk except that, unusually, we continued along right to the bridge, Ponte Marconi. We'd never been that far, but the council has been hacking back brambles and bulldozing mud and so now it is possible. I had been minded to shelter under the bridge to eat my orange, but when we got there, there was another shack, with a woman brewing up coffee. Nothing untoward, but that personal space thing made me turn around and eat my orange in the rain.

Back at the roadside, the cops and detectives came strolling down the hill under their girly umbrellas. I passed them. Mellie, bless her, didn't bark this once. Up at the top I asked the woman with the red setter what was going on. "Someone got murdered," she said. And stone me if I wasn't very surprised. The cops, meanwhile, walked off away from the main encampment and towards the bridge. But there's nothing there, I said, just a woman making coffee. "Oh, the cops are idiots," said the woman with the red setter. "They'll go to the right shack eventually."

I wonder what happened. I'll have to make a point of getting a local paper tomorrow morning.

P.s. 22 January 2016: I didn't find out.

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