Back to “Civilization”….

Time for a quick post this evening now that I’m back in Blighty. I’ve spent the last week in Passo del Tornale in the Italian Alps giving some lectures at the 2012 Transregio Winter School in Cosmology, of which (perhaps) more anon. I was in fact a day late getting home because British Airways decided to cancel the flight on which I was booked (from Verona to London Gatwick) yesterday. I’m not sure whether it was to do with the fact that it was snowing pretty heavily, or that the flight was under-booked and they couldn’t be bothered. Anyway, BA at least sent a text message while I was still on the train from Trento to Verona and I was able to re-book to 10.30am today straight away by phone. Rather than get grumpy about being delayed for a day I decided to make the best of it, there being many worse places in the world than Verona to be stranded after all. So, having found a nice hotel, I went off with two others from the meeting who had been similarly inconvenienced for a stroll around the city, which looked very atmospheric in the slush that was developing as the snow turned to rain. Here is the famous Arena di Verona as I snapped it with my Blackberry:

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And here is the even more famous, at least for people who’ve heard of Shakespeare, but somewhat less impressive Casa di Giulietta.

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What light from yonder window breaks? Actually it’s a floodlamp.

After that we had a warming glass of vin brulé (mulled wine) in the Piazza delle Erbe before finding a rather posh Trattoria and having a sumptuous meal, accompanied by a bottle of excellent (and rather expensive) Amarone. What the hell, it’s Christmas, and anyway when in Rome….

Anyway, a good night’s sleep followed and the second attempt to get home worked out very well: flight on time, train connections fine, no problems with the house when I got home (apart from the fact that my cable TV seems to have packed in), and it’s a lot warmer here than it was where I’ve been for the past week. Buying today’s Independent at Reading station, in between trains, I discovered that I’ve won the crossword prize again. Dictionary No. 10 should be here before Xmas.

It’s nice to be home.

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