The bones of you (Venezia 108)

I didn’t feel I’d been fair to San Geremia yesterday so here it is without having to compete with Palazzo Labia.  Its pristine white marble belies some of the grisly content of its interior.  In common with so many catholic churches it contains religious relics; body parts of the saints.

The original church on this site was consecrated in the 11th Century to hold the arm of St Bartholomew (which is still there), but there’s also a rib of Mary Magdalene, and some of the bones of St Thomas (though not the finger he inserted into Christ’s side because that is in Rome).  The star “attraction” is St Lucy, whose eyeless visage was displayed for many years until a papal decree that she should be provided with a silver mask to keep the dust out.

She was kidnapped by gunmen in 1981, but she lost her head in the process.  Her body was found in a hunting lodge a few weeks later and she was “re-united”.

It all looks so innocuous from outside.




Fancy a little secluded slice of paradise?

For just £2.4 million you could buy your own Greek island in the Ionian Sea.

Too pricey?

Well then only £1.7m will get you 12 acres of beach-front in St Lucia.

Still a little rich for your pocket?

Half an acre of virgin land on Mayreu in the Grenadines will set you back a far more modest £103,000.

Or you could go to Marsden Beach on a cold and grey November lunchtime for free.

Not as appealing?  Maybe not if you’re a devout sun-worshipper, but for the crash of waves on a sloping beach, swirling foam,  towering cliffs, and sculpted rocks its hard to beat, and for half an hour today it was all mine.  Not a soul to be seen and even the prints from the morning’s dogs were being erased by the advancing tide.

Even on the greyest of days there was colour as the russet sands were swirled into the gunmetal waters, yellow limestone shone in its coat of salt water and the sky managed to inject a little glaucous hue into the deeper waters.

Here nature plays out a battle between the sea and the land and there will only be one winner, for though the cliffs stand tall and the rocks hold fast the sea has time on its side.  Imperceptibly scouring the surface of the stones that emerge from the sand, sucking at the feet of the great limestone walls above, grinding pebbles back and forth along the shore.  The plentiful grains of sand indicate the fate awaiting those seemingly stout defences.

After a while I decided it was time to beat a retreat before my escape route was cut off and as I began my ascent back to the cliff tops met Scott bringing his two dogs for a little exercise.  I felt I was handing over custodianship of a piece of treasure.  For a little while at least.