Though things have been a little off kilter here the past week or two doesn’t mean I haven’t been following my favorite bloggers. Though in many cases I haven’t been commenting a great deal – imagine me keeping my mouth shut – I still found so much to enjoy out there.
The flock starts across

  • The doyenne – so young and she’s a doyenne already – of Opera here in Italy if not all of Europe, the beloved Opera Chic has been featured in Classical Singer magazine. Interviewer Amanada White, rightly IMHO, calls her the world’s foremost opera blogger.
  • My darling Auld Hat is back in full force after a brief sabbatical and is as wise, witty and talented as always.
  • Sageweb went on a trip and gets tripped up at Ikea. And then she goes and gives us the cutest damn puppy and puddy picture around. And you all know how I feel about puppy and puddy pics.
  • RG has totally ruined The Wizard of Oz for me, I’ll never look at getting back to Kansas the same way ever again.

Under the shepherd's eye

  • Once again Tater writes from the heart and reaches our hearts with a memory profile of his beloved Jimmy.
  • Lorraine is touched by grace at a time and place she least expected. And in the telling proves that grace can be in the written word.
  • And Elizabeth muses on the nature of friendships and the kinship of being an outsider.

An old sheep dog
And that just a random sampling of what I’ve been reading from my blog buddies – all of them more than worth a regular visit if they’re not on your list already.

These pictures where taken on a back road in the Reiti plain in November. That old dog was very concerned when we separated him from the flock. The shepherd had given us the all clear when there was a break – but that old boy kicked up quite a fuss.

25 gennaio – Conversione di San Paolo


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

More Sharing

Our friend Jack is arriving from Beijing tomorrow so I’ll be out and about for a few days showing him Rome; so I thought I’d do a bit of “stay at home” and blog read like crazy. Here’s a few more things that are definitely worth a peek:

  • Auld has a new porno site – well not really porno more like erotic cookery. The first post of Naughty Nibbles has a recipe to keep you heart (that’s heart okay) strong – Hoppin’ John.
  • Larry at AMOROMA has two posts about the Holiday season. Some great shots of their Christmas with Vincenzo’s family in Sicily; and a rather specialized Roman menu for the New Year.

And now for a few more totally unrelated and gratuitous photos from the back log of 2007. These were taken in late summer on Via Nomentana – the main street from our area into Centro – it was one of the great “roads that lead to Rome” and still is 2000 years later.
Aqua Marcia FountainA public fountain – part of the Aqua Marcia, the aquaduct system that supplied water to Ancient Rome and still does today.
A street side memorialIt appears that someone was killed at this intersection – probably a motorino driver – and friends have built a memorial at the site. This is common sight along highways, less so on city streets.
Shrine to the VirginShrines are found all over town and there are local societies or Schola that look after them. This one is in the wall surrounding the Russian Embassy – ironically an old convent.
An abndoned Villa on NomentanaNomentana was once lined with Villas, many like ours, have been turned into condominium parks. Owners of others, such as this one, have sold off the surrounding land and then abandoned what is probably designated as a historical building.

02 gennaio – San Bassilio

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

The Traditions of Christmas – Sharing II

Silver Snow FlakesSo many memories of Christmas – good and bad – are being posted on some of my favorite blogs this week that I once again must share them. If they aren’t on your regular blog visits here are some wonderful additions to your Christmas reading and listening:

Thank you all for sharing.

20 decembre – San Macario