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Sacuidic: Medieval Pets

If you loved the Sacuidic: Medieval characters post from yesterday, here’s another snippet of Medieval life: Medieval Pets!

Forget cute kittens, what you need is a cute owl or falcon, am I right?

Also featuring a musical dog.


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Cute cats, just because…

I saw them, sleeping cats, curled up in their furry cuteness dozing off on the churchyard warm stones at the beginning of another North-eastern clear summer evening. It was the end of a long drive after an even longer day at work and when I saw those cats it was just an almost-satori moment, a Zen koan waiting to happen. I see the cat curled up sleeping whilst I drive by, but aren’t I the cat as well? Or something like that.

I was going to write about them, about cats and koans and about a string of poems that should be written about all the forgotten towns sliced through by the infamous SS14… but then I didn’t write anything and that moment passed.

I saw migrants rejoyce at hearing another migrant with the same accent at the vending machine in the staff canteen and launch in endless comparisons on how to bake that dish, no that other dish, and how many boiled eggs do you add in that one instead?

I was going to write about them too, on how they fled wars and misery and poverty and crime and rubbish on the streets and rubbish under the soil where their crops are grown and more rubbish in the sea where their kids are swimming. Migrants from the South… of Italy, yes, but migrants nonetheless. Young men and women from Calabria, Naples, Basilicata, who hang on to their accent like it is a badge of honour adding lots of double consonants where there are none, men and women not so young anymore that remember the day they moved ‘up’ the peninsula like the day a part of them died.

“It’s going to be 17 years since I moved” they say, and the way they say it makes you feel like replying “I’m so sorry about your loss”…

But then I didn’t write about them either and that moment passed as well.

We live poetically. But we hardly ever write about it. We get stuck tidying up chess pieces from the kitchen floor or sorting through the lower shelf of the fridge finding yet another half-eaten stracchino piece with a worrying shade of yellow and we check our e-mails before going to bed thinking that tomorrow we’ll reply and we never do…

We live poetically and we should write poetically too, even if only about cute cats and koans and migrants and stracchino.


The joy of commuting

It’s been a month already since I started working again and I barely had time to catch my breath, what with finding a last-minute place to send my MiniCanarian to summer camp as I now work on a very erratic shift pattern, driving to the recruitment agency to get the contract signed, struggling with burocracy and more paperwork to request something misteriously labelled as ‘family cheques’ which required passport copies, signed statements and so on and so forth… but the joy of commuting is something that I am very glad to have rediscovered.

Sunset on the cornfields.

Angsty college rock on the radio.

Alps gloriously glittering in the distance.

Now, if I could do all this by bike, it would be perfect! Will work on that… till then, I’ll crank up the volume and glide on the next roundabout.

Short post, more to come, hopefully, once things have settled down a bit.


Alice & Pedro in domo Foscari

We made it to Venice, finally! What better way to kick off the holidays than a trip to The Most Beautiful City In The World (got to say it because a certain someone failed to be impressed by the profusion of picturesque bridges and campielli and was boasting that Las Palma was better (tsk tsk).

Anyway, it was kind of an impromptu decision, now that we’re all here for Xmas, the kid granny and grandad took care of Irene and I dragged Pedro along on this trip down memory lane. Our main reason was to attend a conference in Ca’ Dolfin, where a Limes journalist together with a prof from the department of Mediterranean Africa & Asia studies plus an historian of naval history and war expert were going to disentangle and explain from their three very different approaches and points of view what’s happening in Syria.

Here I am, hooded icicle version & happy indoors version, so glad to be once again in the mirrored ballroom where I discussed my thesis 10 years ago!

I would post a link but I’m typing on my mobile at 4 am (hello insomnia my old friend!) so if you’re interested in the subject just find it on the YouTube channel of Ca’ Foscari university (in differita, as the caretaker said, borrowing from the very modern concept of football matches being broadcasted later).

Anyway, I couldn’t be in Venice and not pay homage to Ca’ Cappello, although I feared to find it shut or converted into a boutique hotel. It was not, we entered, we spied thru the windows if classroom one as an Arabic language class was taking place, we even used the bathroom! (never underestimate the precious knowledge of where the nearest accessible loo is in a city like Venice) we climbed up and down both stairwells and git a bit lost in the Hogwarts-like labyrinth of teachers’ offices, libraries and broomstick cupboards. But Lo and Behold! Modernity has come to Ca’ Cappello!


WP_20151215_001 Cool, right?… Ehem, not in my opinion, what was wrong with the old style timetable on a low maintenance, recyclable piece of paper on the caretaker’s office telling students in which room their classes was going to be? Eh? OK I admit I had a genuine “in my times, things were different&better” moment but it soon passed.

We also had time for some food…


WP_20151215_004And for some Xmas light spotting… And now I will try to sleep.