Monthly Archives: March 2009

Press freedom in a democracy. Lesson one.

Dario Franceschini, the new PD leader, though probably not for long, suggested  a couple of days ago that the unemployed should receive some kind of indemnity payment from the government. I thought they already did, or at least had the right … Continue reading

Posted in berlusconi, freedom of speech, italy | 2 Comments

Ave fellow thugs

The back in the middle of this picture belongs to someone called Don Giulio Tam. He defines himself as an ‘itinerant Jesuit’ but he’s actually one of the gang of break-away catholic traditionalists, headed by Lefebvre and recently re-admitted to … Continue reading

Posted in fascism, ratzinger, vatican | 2 Comments


These two sheep, plump and sloping out of the wind as they head over the brow of the hill, are a wonderful shorthand for a bucolic life the people who commissioned this painting – closed order nuns – had probably … Continue reading

Posted in naples | 2 Comments

A wheel within a wheel

This is a convent wheel, currently in the Santa Chiara museum in Naples. I’d never seen one before. It was used in the convents of closed orders, whenever communication with the rest of the world was required. The nun would … Continue reading

Posted in naples, religion | 2 Comments

Balancing on the Edge of the World

I first came across Elizabeth Baines through Fictionbitch, which struck me immediately as one of the liveliest and most thoughtful literary blogs around. Intrigued, I bought her collection, Balancing on the Edge of the World, and was moved and impressed … Continue reading

Posted in elizabeth baines | 9 Comments


This was seen on a lamp post near Piazza Bellini in Naples yesterday. I don’t think the last line is a joke. If it is, it’s missing a heartfelt need. 

Posted in italy, language, naples | Leave a comment