So it ends, at last, this strangest of years, this near dystopia with the world turned on its head, and the plague, and the fear, and the measures of containment, and the uncanny parallels with Shakespeare’s London and Manzoni’s Milan… Continue reading
There isn’t much that is merry about this Christmas – but still… One can wish light, and warmth, and hope…
I don’t know about your corners of the world – but hereabouts these are days for trimming the Christmas Tree.
As a matter of fact, most people in Italy seem to do it on the 8th of December, a Marian holiday and, usually, a first taste of Christmas vacations. Others do it on the 1st of the month, and I have a friend who used to hold that a Christmas tree should, by definition, be trimmed of Christmas Eve, and taken down the day after the Epiphany. Now he has two young daughters, though – and the tree goes up as early as the girls can wear down their parents’s patience. In my family, for some old reason no one quite remembers anymore, we keep a tradition of trimming our trees on the Eve of Saint Lucia, on the 12th – the day after tomorrow. Continue reading
Oh dear… it’s that time of the year again! July is almost gone, and August right around the corner, and, and, and…
And of course, family and friends are beginning to ask: when are you going to take a few days off? Where are you going? Shouldn’t you be booking somewhere nice for your days off? Why don’t you go to the seaside? Why don’t you go to the mountains? … and so on. Continue reading
Am I very wrong in thinking that make-believe must be the most universal of all childhood games? We all traveled to far-away worlds, didn’t we? And made-believe to be this or that in castles, jungles, and star-ships? With or without dolls, toy soldiers or plush animals, alone or with other children, recreating stories heard, or making it up, rehearsing work, motherhood, war, fear, society – always halfway between a technical test of life and unbridled What If… Continue reading
The Bard, you know – and the present times, and all this uncertainty… it brought back to mind an old post, about something that happened a few years ago, when times felt uncertain as well – although in a very different manner.
Anyway, it’s a small story about the power of words in dark times – and you can find it here: Reciting Poetry in the Dark.
Apart from or the Erasmus Year in Cardiff, my University years were spent in one of the smaller colleges in Pavia, the good old Gandini, housed in a wonderful 15th century palace right in the town centre. It was a pleasant place to stay, and I made a number of good friends there – and I played cards more than I ever had before or have since.
Now please don’t go imagining things: we didn’t gamble or anything… the place was, after all, run by nuns. The College’s game of choice was, for some reason, Pinochle, and we could spend whole evenings at it, playing in two, three or two pairs… Continue reading
Giorgio was our Lighting Man. Ah well, he was much more than that. He was a pillar of the Company – had been for five decades. Head Electrician, administrator, Council member, computer wizard, box-office man, prop supervisor… there was little in the day-to-day running of the Company and the Tiny Theatre where Giorgio didn’t have a hand… Continue reading