Wednesday, May 6

All Change!


After sixteen very happy years in Eynsham, the Boy and I have decided to move to pastures new...watch this space!

Milan 2015 - Out and About


OK - this isn't Milan. This is Adam in the pod transport at Heathrow. He's happy because I'm excited.


I wonder if these are culinary herbs?


I do like looking up and seeing little details...a nice balcony...


...snarling beasts...


...a dancing bishop...


...an interesting looking cafe...


...a great t-shirt...


...a decoration on a block of flats, which would have caused Howard Roark to go bonkers.


We also came across a massive apple...


...a snooty lion...


...a nearly invisible gift shop...


...and a HUGE sewing machine.

Milan 2015 - Castello Sforzesco


Despite the Serbian barman telling us that the castle was "nothing special, you need to go to Serbia"...


...we popped up to the Castello Sforzeco...


...built in the 15thC for Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, who according to Machiavelli:

"With the right policies and great courage, Sforza, a commoner, became Duke of Milan and, having won power with enormous effort, held on to it easily enough".



Here is his coat of arms, which pretty much shows you what to expect...


...if you were dragged through the gateway...


...into the outer courtyard.


Now the moat is home to a gang of feral cats.

Saturday, May 2

Milan 2015 - The Duomo


Milan cathedral...


...has a very strict dress code...


...and a beautiful floor.


At the moment it's home to an exhibition by the sculptor Tony Cragg


This is St Bartholomew who was flayed alive. A number of people were taking selfies in front of him...each to their own I guess.


Up on the roof we were able to see this lady...


...this beast and his pal.



The boy fits in quite well!


The stone work is absolutely lovely...


...so delicate...


...and clearly takes a lot of upkeep.


I found these steps rather scary.


The majority of the exhibition was up on the cathedral terraces.


Watching them being installed must be quite something!


It really is quite magical up there.

Friday, May 1

Milan 2015 - Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio


The Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio was first built between 379-386. It's undergone various rebuilds and restorations...


...and the current structure is 12thC.


Even the anti-burgler devices are stylish.


As ever, I was drawn to the stone carvings. This friar...


...a centaur...


...a green man...


...weird creatures...


...weird creatures with big teeth.


This is the 'devil's column'. The legend is that the holes were made by the devil when he got stuck by the horns when fighting St Ambrose. It's said that if you put your ear to it, you can hear the sounds of hell. I did, and I didn't.

Milan 2015 - Santa Maria delle Grazie


Santa Maria delle Grazie is the home of the Dominican Friars in Milan, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The community's former refectory is the home to Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper.


The interior is absolutely lovely...


with stunning colours...


...a friar here and there...


...and a couple of cherubs.


Sadly, the magnolias had finished flowering in the cloister.


I think a froggy fountain would be a great addition to the quad at Blackfriars in Oxford.