Lux Perpetua Luceat Eis

I have my own memories of that day – our worry and concern for our family – Sophie, Andrew, Neil – in New York City. The horror of watching it all happening, the numbness and the “dear god this is only a dream, please!” feeling of it all. But what we at a distance felt was nothing compared to what those on the ground witnessed or felt and feel to this day.

A right click on this powerful image will take you to a post that Joe Jarvis has shared with us for the past 6 years and I hope will continue to share as we remember, mourn and pray to what ever god we worship that this will never come to pass again – anywhere!

Requiéscant in pace.

11 settembre

Sights, Sounds and Shares of Christmas

I love the fact that the big tree at Piazza Venezia, in front of the Vittorio Emmanuel Monument, isn’t quite perfect. It leans slightly to one side which is just fine and being Italian it leans to the left or the right depending on how you want to look at it!

For some reason this year has seemed busier than past Christmas seasons here and I haven’t put up as many posts as I would have liked or even had planned to. Perhaps it wasn’t so much busy as I am getting lazy???? However I did take a whole raft of pictures and had a whole parcel (slightly smaller than a raft???) of paragraphs to do with the holiday season. But I thought I would still share some of the sights, sounds and posts from friends of the holidays – after all we do have 10 days of Christmas left.

I find the Piazza Navona Christmas Market too crowded during the day time but in the evening – or at least last week when it was cold and humid – it was almost deserted. We wandered around for a bit and then headed over for one of Signora Paola’s home cooked meals at Der Pallaro – including her signature potato chips.
  • Once again Joe of the fabled Joe My God posted one of my favorite Christmas stories: The Dance of the Sugar Plum Lesbians has become a Seasonal classic. Each year I read it anew with added delight and it brings a smile to my face each time.

This wonderful display of teddy bears graces the window of a very upscale toy store in one corner of Piazza Navona. I was particularly delighted by the three kings and their camel. I’m glad the store was closed for the night otherwise ……
  • From his new digs in Palm Springs Jeff recalls for us an earlier time when network television still had an identifiable style and, yes, even a certain class. As he says “this little gem embodies the spirit of the holidays.”

The Novona market has a cornucopia of Christmas goodies – things for your presepe, decorations for the tree, Befane for January 6th, sweets and consumables. Much of it is cheap merchandise made in China but Laurent and our friend Jackie did find a few things to add to the Christmas trees.
  • Over at Japonisme Lotus Green has a wonderful series of posts – aural and visual – on roses and the return of light as the days begin to grow longer. Every one of them has something of interest and as always she astounds me with her wealth of images.

Just before Christmas we met with our friends Joe, Peter, Pino and Claudio for another delicious meal at what is fast becoming our favorite eatery in Centro, Antica Enoteca. It was raining that evening and after dinner as we walked over to catch the last Metro we found the area of Piazza Spagna and the Spanish Steps blessedly empty. Every so often it happens here and you understand the magic of this city. And that would be Laurent, Pino and I voguing in the rain.

  • Laurent featured a wonderful Christmas story from the Canadian Press about Fred the dog and his trip across Canada. Thanks to the good will of the people at VIA Rail Fred made the 4801 km trip from Vancouver to Montreal and was reunited with his family.

As I’ve mentioned before there are presepi throughout the city – in piazzas, churches and of course private homes. This antique one is half way up the Spanish Steps and depicts an 18th century Roman street scene complete with cavalry officer.

  • She does not write as often as she once did but as always when Big Ass Belle does it is always going to arouse emotions and get you thinking. Sadly Christmas for her revives memories of a 40 year old mystery that will live with her the rest of her life.

The carousel at Parco della Musica is a beautiful antique one from a circus and is part of an amusement area with a skating rink and cafe. And of course my favorite presepe in Rome – Emanule Luzzati’s magical vision of the nativity fills the amphitheatre. I am hoping to get back to take some daylight photos of his characters when we get back from Madrid next week.

Though not as grand as the one in Piazza Venezia our own tree holds memories for us. Ornaments given us by family and friends and that we have bought over the years in Chicago, Ottawa, Toronto, Hong Kong, Poland, Mexico, Egypt and Italy; the collectibles – the Wedgewood and Russian enamel medallions, the silver Christmas flower from Towle; and of course our sterling silver balls. Its eclectic and maybe even a bit gaudy but it says so much to and about us and the past 31 Christmases.
  • And finally our friend Wendy Holloway – who runs a wonderful bed and breakfast just outside Rome – included a traditional Central Italian Christmas recipe on her Flavor of Italy blog: Gobbo alla Parmigiana. I keep meaning to write a post on the great Sunday morning we spent at her cooking school a few weeks ago – an experience we intend to repeat at the end of January.

27 decembre – San Giovanni evangelista


Given that after the crappy weekend we had a glorious sunshiny day today – though it was a chilly 7c when Stephen and I went for a Capu and cornetto at 1100 this morning – I spent less time wandering around the net than I would normal do. However I did find some new things on old favorites and a new site that I’ve added to my regular list of reads. And there are several posts out there from the first part of the month that I just haven’t got around to mentioning and should have.

Entrance to Villa Ada

  • Though most people don’t need encouragement to read Joe, My God, he had a YouTube entry up yesterday that is weird but wonderful. Wait for the comment at the end – it glorious
  • Elizabeth proves time and time again that the world is full of strange things on Ridiculon but the Nun Pod has to be one of the best.

Egyptian Ambassador's Residence

  • In case you missed it last Friday EG told us one of his great Doris stories – that woman is going to become a book.
  • Also last week RG posted a hysterical story about his mother Justine and her sister Mary. Sadly the same day he posted a loving and lovely tribute to Mary who has just passed away.

The Boating Lake

  • And earlier in the month Japonisme did a beautiful post using one of my favorite Beatles songs: The Long and Winding Road.
  • Tater, with that incredible ability he has with words, looks at another type of road and traces Steps.

Enjoying a dip

  • And while looking for a review of the Fountain Restaurant at Fortnum and Mason’s – that’s were I’m taking Deb for lunch on Thursday before the Panto – I discovered Around Britain with a Paunch. I’m still working through who’s who but I gather Jonathan is the author and Cowie is his girlfriend/SO/wife but he/they are real serious foodies. The pictures are great and the reviews, comments and observations fun. Lunch at the Fountain sounds like it should be great for a London lunch.
  • Boy About Town had some real problems with Google and after a losing battle decided to open up at a new location as Boy About Town LB.

Wild blackberry bushes

  • Much like other communities, Blog communities see movement and change. New people arrive, neighbours move away, change homes or sometimes go on vacation. Two of my favorite bloggers have decided to take a vacation from their daily postings. Big Ass Belle is my blog-mama, one of my earliest commenters and a force in Blogdom but she’s also a person who, to my mind at least, has her priorities in the right order. As does Auld Hat over at The Voluputary. Auld has been a delight day in and day with her creativity, wit and wisdom but she wants, and deserves, some time to recharge. I’m going to miss them both but look forward to their return.

Steps into a grove
Of course I’ve been visiting all my regulars and leaving rude messages just to let them know I’ve been around.

These photos were taken the first weekend we were here in Rome – back at the beginning of August. We spent Sunday at Villa Ada, the former hunting park of the Royal Family a few blocks from us. It is now one of the largest (320,000 sq metres) public parks in Rome. Its a popular venue for rock concerts, boating, horse back riding and strolling.

15 gennaio – San Mauro abate

The Traditions of Christmas – Sharing III

Once again this year Joe – the blog father to many of us – retells The Dance of the Sugar Plum Lesbians. This wonderful New York vignette has become a blogdom classic and if you haven’t already read it please do. It always makes me smile and get a little misty eyed. Thanks Joe.

24 decembre – San Delfino