Throwback Thursday

Occasionally I will go back over previous posts to see what I was doing around this time in other years. Earlier this week I looked back at this week in June 2009 and came across a post announcing the birth of a young man who has just turned 12 this past week. It’s hard to believe!

I also came across a visit we had made to what I called The Pope’s Tile Store in the heart of Vatican City. I made a short video, of dubious quality, at the time. I was new to playing around with that sort of thing so the narration and style do leave something to be desired but it does give a peek into a area of the Vatican that most people don’t know exists. To see the video just left click on View Original Post below and I suggested expanding the video to full screen.

Willy Or Won't He

Every so often I get a chance to visit something here in Roma that is not accessible to the populus generalus: the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel after hours with a small group; the Headquarters of the Knights of Malta; a long buried Mithraeum; the monastery garden at St Croece; the Scavi under St Peter’s; and just last week the Mosaic Factory in the Vatican City.

Not to make it sound too exclusive, these sort of special visits are available for everyone, it just takes some fore thought, some planning and a bit of knowing how to arrange it.

Next on the list – this coming Friday a visit to the Vatican Gardens with our friend Cathy.

Interesting note: One of the major tasks the Vatican Mosaic Factory faces on a monthly basis is replacing tiles in the dome of the Basilica. While up there many tourists have a…

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Throwback Thursday – Memories of Rome

Reading over several posts from our time in Rome I was surprised that in the four years I was there I was in hospital for three extended periods. When I say extended I mean four or five days. One episode was in the massive Policlinico near us and two in a small private hospital. Plus there were several sojourns to Pronto soccorso (ER) at both Policlinico and Geminelli. Though the medical end of things were not always pleasant often the sheer theatre that surrounded it  was always worth it.

On December 28, 2008 a visit to the Pronto soccorso at Ospidale Geminelli gave me a further look at the vitality and endearing quirks that made me fall in love with Italy and Italians.

Willy Or Won't He

Date: December 28, 2008
Time: Somewhere between 4 PM and 10 PM
Place: Pronto Soccorso (ER) Ospidale Geminelli

So we’re sitting in one of the waiting areas of the ER, me with a drip and IV stand attached – don’t get worried Dora, the outcome though inconclusive was okay – Laurent dozing. Neither of us had thought to bring a book – mental note always have a book at hand for Pronto Soccorso. Pronto by the way means Quick, Soccorso means Help or Aid .. hmmm.

But the lack of reading material didn’t mean a lack of entertainment – we are, after all, in Italy. Though much of the entertainment was amusing, if not downright funny, there were serious matters going on.

The young man (14 or 15 at the most) on the stretcher near us in obvious pain. His mother, a small woman with an expressive face and eyes…

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A Melancholy Memory of Rome

When we lived in Rome I made a trip twice a week from our house in Nomantana to my psychiatrist on the other side of the Tiber in Trastevere. It involved a journey that could vary anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on the buses and unpredictable Roman traffic. On January 7th 2010, a Thursday that year, as usual, I took the number 64 to Piazza Venezia changed to a number 10 to Largo di Torre Argentina. From there I walked through the Ghetto and crossed at Isola Tiberina. After almost a week of rain the Tiber was threatening to breach its banks and there was more rain in the air. This was my habitual route but that day it was different.

Willy Or Won't He

Thursday – January 7th, 2010.

I’m not sure if it is the season winding down or the gloomy, rainy weather – we had five days of rain in Madrid and Rome has been little better since our return – but my mood today (Thursday) was one of an almost desperate melancholy. Though it was a sunnier and milder day than it has been I found myself very aware of the ruins in this city as I made my way over to Trastevere. Not the Auralian Walls or Porta d’Ottavia – those have become almost commonplace – nor the decaying Renaissance palazzi hiding behind the chipped veneer of the Baroque. I was noticing the ruined people who were around me and seem to have become more numerous on the streets in the past few weeks.

There now seems to be more homeless people sleeping in doorways and sadly more lost souls…

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Armchair Travel – September 17, 2009

In the spirit of Throwback Thursday I took a look at my post for September 17 2009 and discovered that it was a Thursday that year. We had been in Rome for a year at that point. As I noted in the post the Sunday before we had headed out to the EUR district of Rome but the Fascist architecture and early closing hours made for a less than stimulating excursion. However a stop at San Paolo fuori le mura (St Paul’s Outside the Walls) revealed its many treasures including a rather unusual Holy Water stoop that caught my eye.

As with previous posts from the period this was a transfer from the old blog on BlogSpot and it wasn’t seamless.  However I thought a revisit would be in order.

Willy Or Won't He

Last Sunday was the second time I had stopped in at San Paolo fuori le Mura (St Paul Outside the Walls). It was an unscheduled visit because originally the plan had been to spend the afternoon at the Museo di Civita Romano in the EUR. The area was built with the intention of celebrating 30 years on fascism with a grand exposition but left incomplete because of the war. The buildings are Fascist architecture at its most grandiose – colonnades, broad flights of stairs and monumental decorations. The whole area is saved from sterility by the greenery and surrounding – unkempt – park lands. And we had plenty of time to wander around because as we discovered the Museo closes at 1330 on a Sunday and we arrived at 1300 – duh! name one other museum that closes on a Sunday afternoon?

Since it’s on the subway line back…

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Nick and Nora – The Early Years V

It looks like I may be coming to the end of the home videos from when the Hounds from Hell were mere Puppies from Purgatory. (And the world gives a collective sigh of relief.)

This is an early on that was buried deep in the archives. The deep growl is Nora that high pitched squealing is Nicky. He always did – and still does – instigate things and then play the wounded victim after the fact.

I know, I know – telling them they were “bad puppies” probably scared them for life and caused them to turn into the delinquents they are today. Well okay either that or the fact that they are dachshunds!

Nora has always been the investigative sort. It is that interest in the world around her that has led to vet bills that would put a kid through college.

The word for June 25th is:
Omnipotent /ɒmˈnɪpət(ə)nt/: [adjective]
1.1 Having unlimited power
1.2 Having great power or influence
Early 14c., “almighty, possessing infinite power,” from Old French omnipotent “almighty, all-powerful” (11c.) and directly from Latin omnipotentem “all-powerful, almighty.”
Or as Ernestine often stated of the unlimited power of the Phone Company: That’s ‘potent’ with an ‘omni’ in front of it.”