Rock Follies

Some months ago I wrote a piece about Studley Royal water gardens, and how they were created by John Aislabie when he retired from government in disgrace at the end of the South Sea Bubble Affair.  As Chancellor of the Exchequer he was greatly responsible for the scheme which was intended to refinance public debt … Continue reading Rock Follies

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Kephaloídion

Before I began my rudimentary Italian lessons online I'd never heard of Cefalù, yet it is one of the most popular holiday resorts in Sicily.  Perhaps my apathy towards beach holidays is at fault.  In any event when I arrived there in late March, the island was still at the mercy of "The Beast from … Continue reading Kephaloídion

Levels of Recognition

Perhaps the young amphibian martial artists of New York's sewers are to blame, but when it comes to the artists of the Italian Renaissance and beyond, some getter a better deal than others in the public eye.  Perhaps Caravaggio was just a syllable too many to be a catchy name for a super hero, but … Continue reading Levels of Recognition

For a Few Shoulders More (Enna III)

The church of Santissimo Salvatore can trace its origins to 1261 (though it's been rebuilt since then) and so its lack of size is compensated for by being one of the town's oldest and most important churches, and in so far as many christians see the church as being the people who attend rather than … Continue reading For a Few Shoulders More (Enna III)

A Fistful of Colours (Enna II)

The reason for so many to be here became apparent only gradually.  The carriage of garment bags and trundling of cases laid a trail that many would follow; though most were deterred by iron gates and returned to the duomo for easier prey. The patient, and the knowledgable knew better. Soon creatures of varying plumage … Continue reading A Fistful of Colours (Enna II)

The Good, The Bad, and The Not So Ugly (Enna I)

It's shortly after lunchtime in a Sicilian hill town when the predators begin to gather in the otherwise empty streets. A stiff breeze blows eddies of dust and detritus into neat circular deposits.  A soundtrack by Morricone is required. The common lizard that hurries in and out of the cracks in the pock-marked wall of … Continue reading The Good, The Bad, and The Not So Ugly (Enna I)

Let’s Talk

When I was driving in Sicily I opted for listening to podcasts rather than music as I found them less distracting at those times when the challenges of navigating an unfamiliar vehicle, on the opposite side of the road to the UK and with handbrake and gears similarly on the right rather than the left. … Continue reading Let’s Talk