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Back in Blighty

I'm back from Verona. Very tired, but I had a brilliant time. In theory, I've gone all the way back through LJ to where I left off before I flew out, but it meant going back to skip=260, so it was very much skim-reading.

I'll post a proper report tomorrow, but in essence, after the initial flight cancellation tedium, it was all good. Students fine, my opposite number in Verona a real sweet-heart and very enthusiastic host, Verona wonderful, hotel welcoming, food excellent, and I have been to Venice! Wow.

In all honesty, I'd rather still be there than back in Britannia. But the good news is that the weather there is exactly as horrid as it is here, so I do not need to feel I am missing the sunshine. Only the warm internal glow of Italy and its people. :-(

I have many pictures, but for now you just get my favourite two:

My little friend from the theatre in Verona

Have you hugged a tetrarch today?


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
"Back in Blighty"

I'm sure you already know this cos you are dead clever but in case you don't, I will share this interesting fact (which I only recently found)with you.

Blighty comes from the later days of the British Raj and is derived from the Hindu world "bilati" which means either foreign or homeland depending which source you look at.

Dec. 11th, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC)
Actually, I did not know that at all, so thanks for telling me! And in fact, in the context of my ambiguous feelings about getting back, the foreign / homeland uncertainty is very suitable.
Dec. 11th, 2007 12:14 am (UTC)
AWW! I love the fact that the ruins in Italy have their own cats. When I was in Milan a few years ago, I went to visit a castle and couldn't believe the amount of cats there. Most excellent indeed :)

I'm really glad you had such a great time whilst you were away, despite the problems with the flight.
Dec. 11th, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, it was all worth it in the end.

In Rome, one archaeological site has even become a dedicated cat sanctuary. It's kind of sad how beaten-up and neglected some of them obviously are when they arrive at the sanctuary - but good to see that they are looked after when they get there.
Dec. 11th, 2007 07:43 am (UTC)
Everybody needs a hug ;)
Dec. 11th, 2007 12:35 pm (UTC)
Hee, yes - even a grumpy old tetrarch! :-)
Dec. 11th, 2007 08:51 am (UTC)
Dec. 11th, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Tetrarchs...
Hmmm - if being two-faced is a bad thing, is being four-faced twice as bad, or does it cancel itself out?
Dec. 11th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Tetrarchs...
Botox is four times as expensive?
Dec. 11th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Tetrarchs...
Ah - that would explain why all four of them are clearly in such desperate need of nose-jobs. They can't afford it with all that botox to pay for as well.
Dec. 11th, 2007 08:55 am (UTC)
Ohhhh..how absolutely and completly fabulous! I wonder whether they would have really approved? I've seen the statue depicted in print soooo many times..and there it is..***breathless & very very jealous!***
Dec. 11th, 2007 12:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Tetrachi
I know! I was totally thrilled! Prof. Mastrocinque asked me what I wanted to see in Venice, and I said that my only absolute requirement was to see the tetrarchi - after that, anything else was good by me. After a while, I remembered about Vivaldi's Pietà, and added that to the list as well. But the really important thing was always the tetrarchs.

I don't think they would have approved of me bouncing up and hugging them, though. They look like a pretty severe bunch!
Dec. 11th, 2007 10:21 am (UTC)
I have been greatly enjoying the txt posts, but I refrained from commenting to that effect until you were back to read it :)
Dec. 11th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Isn't it amazing that nowadays we can share blow-by-blow accounts of our holidays directly with our friends like that?
Dec. 11th, 2007 11:28 am (UTC)
Fr some reason I imagined the tetrarchs were much smaller.
Dec. 11th, 2007 12:46 pm (UTC)
Weirdly, they were actually exactly the size I was expecting them to be. And it didn't even occur to me until later to wonder how on earth I knew that. I thought I had only ever seen them on their own in pictures, without a scale - but I suppose I must have seen something, some time, which gave it away.

Edited at 2007-12-11 01:31 pm (UTC)
Dec. 11th, 2007 01:41 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you were happy with your trip!
Dec. 11th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks - and I managed to avoid the acqua alta, too, although it was raining quite a lot by the time we left Venice.
Dec. 12th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
Regrettably, my tetrarchs went entirely unhugged, though I was rather tempted by a Piraean lion with slightly feral Varangian tendencies.

The Tetrarchs (http://www.flickr.com/photos/castrovalva/1566427471/)

The Piraeus Lion (http://www.flickr.com/photos/castrovalva/1930948074/)

I don't recall seeing many cats in Venice itself (unsurprisingly - they probably get eated by the pigeons), except one guard cat blocking access to one of the bridges.

- K
Dec. 12th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Ooh, your photos are lovely, though! I didn't get to see the Piraean lions - and nor, indeed, any real cats in Venice, either.
Dec. 12th, 2007 10:58 pm (UTC)
I did see one cat in Venice, happily sitting on a bridge support that was sticking out above one of the canals. It all looked rather uncomfortable to me but the cat seemed fairly sanguine.

The full set of Venice photos is at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/castrovalva/sets/72157602058338113/

Will get round to posting the Leeds pictures in the New Year.

- K
Dec. 12th, 2007 11:34 pm (UTC)
Aha! A lovely set of photos, and thanks to you I have just been able to identify a building I'd taken a photo of while I was there, but couldn't remember the name of - San Zaccaria. *rushes off to edit captions*
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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