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text 2017-03-17 23:31
Milanese Adventures

I'm back home with a sodding cold so I wanted to post this before retiring with a hot beverage.


The work part of the trip went better than expected and we ended up with a little bit of time to go exploring and indulge in some of that lovely, lovely Italian food. I won't torture you guys with pictures of the food, but thought I'd share some of the snaps I took when visiting the Duomo. It is such a magnificent building. The masonry on the outside alone is just astounding - none of the images seem to be the same, some tell a story, some are cautionary (as befits the use in a church), and some were actually funny.



Impressive, isn't it? No wonder it took about 600 years for the church to be completed.


And when, after some queuing, we finally got to look inside, it just took my breath away...





Check out that organ! It's the second biggest in Europe (after the one in Passau). It has two parts - one of each side of the altar. I can only imagine the sound this would create.



The weirdest thing was that there did not seem to be any point from where you could take in the whole of the interior. Whenever you moved, a new section of the interior would be revealed. For example, you can't really see the magnificent windows from the entrance. You have to go all the way to the back, and as you move forward, you discover sculptures and other parts like the entrances to the crypts below. 



It was such an awesome place. Literally.

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text 2016-10-23 20:44
The Sunday Post



First off, I'm sorry but there is no Sunday Soup post today. I just came home from the airport and it's too late here to make soup.


Second, I had a great couple of days away. My work commitments finished at lunchtime on Friday, which meant I had an early start to the weekend and as I was in Italy anyway, I just tried to make the most of it by taking the train from Milan to Como.


Unfortunately, one of the charms of Italy is that people tend to go on strike a lot. While Italians are kinda used to it, visitors tend not to find out until the last minute. For me this meant a complete change of plans because there were no trains from Milan to Como on Friday. There was no public transport on Friday, and although the strike was supposed to finish at 5pm, I really didn't want to rely on the Italian train service being up and running again from 5 onwards. So, there was only one thing for it..... Hire a car and drive. Amazingly, I didn't panic or crash. Yay! Also, I am now convinced that having driving in Italy - which, if you have not experienced it, is CRAZY - I'm ok driving anywhere, because lanes and signs are really recommendations only......


Anyway, I did make it up to the Italian Lakes without much hassle and managed to spend a couple of days relaxing and being a tourist.



The weather wasn't too great, but hey, it was warmer than at home and the autumnal colours were magnificent!



I only had a day and a half but I tried to do a little bit of everything. The main thing for me was the lake, however. I've wanted to visit Lake Como for years, and even though I have seen many other parts of Italy, I had never managed to add this region to the itinerary.



Happy (non-Soup) Sunday!



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text 2016-10-19 01:24
Heads up....

Buona sera,


Just as a heads up, I will be out of town for a few days. In case I'm not responding to messages and posts, I haven't left BL or anything, I'm just trying to burn the candle at both ends and make the most of this work trip.

Should be back on Sunday night unless I get lost, which is always a possibility as I am going to try and add some adventure to the whole thing.


BT :)


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video 2016-09-16 23:34



This is not book related. I'm out adventuring again. I use these breaks to keep some hold on sanity. For various reasons, I have a need for frequent breaks like this at the moment. Anyway, ...


Tonight's adventure took me back to Edinburgh, to see Jane Siberry perform at The Queen's Hall, a very small venue, which is absolutely perfect for Jane's performance.


If you haven't heard of Jane Siberry, she's a beautiful person making art that is hard to describe. The best I can come up with is to say she's a musician and poet, who combines different genres and media. Music, poetry, performance, anecdotes, etc. 


It was a moving, thought-provoking evening, full of darkness and light. Mostly light. There is really something special when you don't just connect with the artist and the material but also with the other members of the audience. It was pretty amazing,  but random strangers started hanging out with each other. No pretense, just people connecting. Maybe it was just for an evening, but it was pretty cool nonetheless.


Sanity restored. 

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text 2016-09-10 22:41

So, I really wanted to post about this last night but, as we know, BL was down.


I was in Stirling today to attend a few events at the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival. I have never been before, so I thought I'd go and see what it's like. I mean, I am not a huge fan of general crime writing/thrillers but there are a few authors that interest me - and there was an event on spy thrillers which sounded rather good (and was actually!). The main reason I went, tho, was something else.


As you may have gathered, I have been on a little Val McDermid binge read over the last few weeks. I thoroughly enjoy her books (other than the Tony Hill series). However, that wasn't the only reason I was so keen to read a few more. A couple of the events I went to today included Val, and I needed to figure out which book I wanted signed.



In the end, I went for the only non-fiction one. (Yes, I just couldn't make up my mind on any of the fiction ones....)




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