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.

Milan 2015 - Marco's Flat


Adam found us a lovely flat on AirBnB. It was eighty five steps up to the front door (with no lift), so this sign was very Wilkommen indeed!


The owner, Marco, is a great collector, and the flat was full of amazing things, including this nun orchestra...


...monk orchestra...


...framed cartoon posters...


...antique bug sprayers...


...metal toys...


...and vintage packaging.

Wednesday, April 29

Milan April 2015 - Lucy v the Italian Post Office


Just back from a long weekend in Milan with the Beloved. We had a great time except for a trip to the Post Office. It took two people, twenty minutes and lots of panic to sell me six stamps!


The do have cute post vans though...

Thursday, March 19

February 2015 - Commagny Priory




It's been a while hasn't it? In February found me back in Moulins-Engilbert. The Boy was having a 'writer's retreat', while I had a retreat. Last summer I decided that I was going to take up a new hobby, visiting Cluny Abbey 'daughter houses'.  Given that there are 181 or so, this will take a while.

The Benedictine Saint- Hilaire Priory in Commagny, isn't a 'Sites Clunisien', as the community was probably attached directly to Rome. Although I couldn't add it to my 'I-SPY' list, hey it's a nice Romanesque church, so why not.


The church is XIIth century, and the priory house (which is a private residence nowadays) was built in 1336.


The day I visited was absolutely freezing, so I didn't linger inside for long.


The roof was absolutely beautiful, rather like an upside down Viking longboat.


The light was beautiful that day.


I adored the stairs. They look like an enormous pencil sharpening.


I must pop back again as apparently there's a holy well, mentioned in 'The Golden Bough' no less. I don't think The Weeping Cross would forgive me if I didn't track it down.

Thursday, October 16

'The Other Place' - October 2014


After the madness of the beginning of the academic year...


...I took myself off to Cambridge.


The irony of settling everyone into to Oxford...


....and then heading off to the Fens, didn't escape me.


Whisper it...but I think that Cambridge is prettier than Oxford.


That's partly because the river...


...flow through the middle of the city.


I was most taken with these lions outside the Fitzwilliam...


...this chemist's sign (above a shop that's still a chemist)...


...this chap's fangs...


...that the Cavendish Lab was so posh when it built, that it has it's own postbox...


....the 'Round Church'...


...and this little ruin.


Good thing that my Ma or Dr Bones didn't see it, as they'd want to move in!


When not wandering around the city I had a lovely garden to read in.