The Monoblog archive


the 18th year has begun

The annual escape took us to Italy this year, not India, and we left in time to celebrate the New Year at our destination. Often we have been hanging around at airports, or in mid flight and not sure where we were, when it was time for the bells. But this year we were in Florence, and had organised ourselves so well that we hit the streets in time to join in with the celebrations. And boy do those Italians know how to celebrate. Innocently, and without having thought much about it at all, we had thought we would stand by one of the bridges on the Arno and hear the New Year being rung in from the wonderful churches all around. It was nothing like that.

First of all we had to learn about the Italian love of fireworks. By that we mean a deep, personal love of the things, of being up close to them, of having lots and lots of them - and being especially fond of the ones which make LOUD noises. There were indeed the big rockets that have become so popular here now, and they were let off within a few feet of passersby with nary any injury. But the passion is for firecrackers, the louder and the more the merrier. It was as if the artillery were in town, and the ambition to blow historic, fantastic Florence to kingdom come, and then do it again as often as possible. The booming and banging echoed in the narrow streets between the tall buildings and all around the cathedral until all hearing was lost and the orchestra bravely playing The Rite of Spring in the freezing cold did not have a chance.

So many firecrackers were there that long after New Year, long after Epiphany, the occasional Boom raised the heart rate of the uninitiated.

It was controlled chaos, but great fun. And, as I have said, no one got hurt, no one panicked, young children and those with grey hair all joined in with impunity.

And we had a lovely holiday. Lots of walking, lots of standing still and just looking. Of course we went to the churches and museums, of course we visited the markets and the shops. But above all we did exactly what we wanted as and when we decided to do it. How often can we say that?

So - welcome to The Line Monoblog for 2012. This is the start of the 18th year of The Line Gallery and we have every intention that it will be as full and as interesting as each of the previous 17 have been.






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