"Towering above the countryside, with vines growing on its lower slopes, was the ominous shape of Vesuvius, like me it smoked heavily. At night, from my bed, I could see the purple-red glow from its throat, it looked magnificent. At one time it had looked so to those doomed people, the Pompeians, but I wasn't a Pompeian, I was Irish, how could Vesuvius wipe out Dublin? No, I was perfectly safe, but Vesuvius wasn't. I discovered that Pompeii was but three miles as the crow flies. This incredible relic of a Roman city free of camera-clicking tourists was a situation I had to thank Hitler for. Thank you, Hitler!" - Spike Milligan, 'Mussolini: My Part In His Downfall.'