Category Archives: History

The Stepney Meeting

A stone’s throw away from the back of Stepney’s enormous churchyard, where the parakeets and pigeons own the sky, and even closer to Lady Mico’s almshouses, is a much smaller cemetery, its gravestones broken, eroded or obscured by the black, … Continue reading

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The Blackbird

Has there ever been a spring/summer like this for blackbird song? (Except, obviously, the year in which, in late June, Edward Thomas’s train stopped unexpectedly at Adlestrop?) I’m especially fortunate in that I have two competing to outdo each other … Continue reading

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In Deepest Limehouse

I imagine that ‘Play it again, Sam’ is the most famous line from a film which was not actually spoken in the film, but ‘We don’t like strangers in these parts, Mr ‘Olmes’ may run it close among aficionados of … Continue reading

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The Loss of the ‘Royal George’

Was Proust the first or merely the best to describe the extraordinary moment when a completely forgotten incident in your life rises fully formed in your memory? In my most recent incident, it was a phone call at work about … Continue reading

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Allegorical Tombs

… are apparently a Thing, and one which I have come across twice in as many days in Venice, though they seem to owe their origin to one Owen Swiny (MacSwiny, McSweeny, MacSwiney, McSwiny, and other variants), of Enniscorthy in … Continue reading

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Sant’ Eufemia Revealed!

Nearly two years ago, I wrote about the church of Santa Eufemia on Giudecca, noting my frustration that it never seemed to be open. But yesterday, strolling down the fondamenta after lunch for a quick look, we were riveted to … Continue reading

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Rome In Three Days

I am sitting in an apartment in Venice with a glorious view which encompasses the towers of San Stefano (looking worrisomely more lop-sided then usual), San Marco, San Francesco della Vigna, and even, in the most extreme distance, the three … Continue reading

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