Friday, January 19, 2018


I’ve left the last instalment of my Palermo adventure untold. It went smoothly. EasyJet turns around on a dime, as I may already have said – so a delay in London means a delay in Palermo. But that didn’t happen, that day. We got back on time. I was re-admitted to the UK without fuss (there’s a frisson of anxiety there, these days). Rachel met us and drove us to James’ and Cathy’s house, a great blessing.

The next day we Uber’d to Kings Cross. Cathy phoned half way through our journey to tell us that I had left my iPad behind. We had departed in good time, and public transport Sydenham-Kings Cross is very swift. She got there in time to give it to me, a truly heroic deed.

Our southward journey on January 1 had been very austere, despite First Class. This time things went better. Archie had declined to drink anything more exciting than Coca Cola the whole time in Palermo, but on that homeward journey he allowed Richard Branson to ply him with gin and tonic.

When I got home, Paradox came bounding to meet me, all enthusiastic purr. I walked about the house looking for Perdita and calling her. Niente. Ten minutes later she came strolling into the kitchen, and Paradox flew at her, fists flying, like a jealous toddler.

Perdita had worried her feeders during my absence, by not being there. She worried me again last night. She couldn’t have left the house – but she could be shut in a room, or cupboard, or drawer. I slept badly and got up early. There she was waiting – never too early for pussy cat’s breakfast.

I wasted some time today by watching part of Visconti’s “Gattopardo” on my iPad. Burt Lancaster is perfect, for the Prince, and Claudia Cardinale, for Angelica. But Alain Delon won’t do at all, for Tancred. Feeble. Although I can’t think of an actor, French or Italian or American or British, whom I would suggest to Visconti instead.

This is a picture of Gioacchino Lanza (the “real” Tancred) in 1955.

This is a picture of me (in my “Relax”) sitting next to him at lunch, 63 years later. Better late than never.


  1. You look wonderful, almost regal. What a great adventure you had. And, it's good to have you back.

    I haven't seen "Gattopardo" but I must say though that I cannot imagine Alain Delon being described as "feeble". Huh.

    I hope Perdita can get over being jealous, or maybe it's Paradox who's jealous. However, my cats are brother and sister and both of them are always jealous when one of them has my lap, so maybe it lasts forever.

  2. Yes, I see what you mean. He still looks rather fetching after all these years.

  3. Anonymous1:16 AM

    Thanks so much for the lovely photo.
    That was definitely a luncheon to remember.

  4. Ah, that is something, isn't it? Did you know they dubbed Claudia Cardinale for the film? Something about the quality of her voice.

  5. I don't know who better to share this with; I've just discovered (via a non-knitting blog I follow) pictures of Shetland ponies wearing fair isle cardigans.... Yes, I had to read that twice too. They are on the visitscotland website.... I'm rushing back there now to investigate properly!

  6. =Tamar6:46 PM

    My friend the cat lady says that even after close to ten years in her townhouse, her cats are still pushing each other's boundaries with regard to dominance, but they are slowly calming down with age. It isn't a serious problem.