Monthly Archives: May 2016

Object of the Month: May

This month’s object (coming in just under the wire again – I blame (paradoxically) both my holiday and my new, blissful, part-time job!) may well look familiar. This is because it is one of the ‘Marlay Cuttings’ in the Fitzwilliam … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: May

At the beginning of May last year, wisteria was flowering its head off in Venice. This year, at the same time, it was almost over, except for some plants on very shadowed or north-facing walls. And back at home, it … Continue reading

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The Mystery of Sant’ Eufemia

Of the 118 churches in Venice (that is, the surviving ones, as opposed to the demolished/decayed/collapsed, of which there are about fifty), many are never (in my experience) open. There is a uniform notice on each one, telling you what … Continue reading

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The Venice Test!

‘It’s very naughty of me, but I would like to set an examination paper at Dover, and turn back every tourist who couldn’t pass it.’ Thus Miss Eleanor Lavish, the self-described Radical and New Woman, and one of E.M. Forster’s … Continue reading

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O Venusta Sirmio

… as Catullus remarked on returning thankfully from a period of diplomatic activity in the Middle East. (Nothing changes much after more than two millennia, alas.) I’m not sure when it was that airports began to (re)name themselves after people … Continue reading

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My Own Private Robin

A sadly long time ago, my aunt and uncle had their own robin, who would turn up most days at teatime and flit around the veranda, looking increasingly impatient and peremptory, until he was served with either crumbled digestive biscuits … Continue reading

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