Going away and not doing too much at all

Thank you for the kind, thoughtful, beautiful comments on the last post; there’s no doubt whatsoever that the thoughts and prayers of friends – and of those who read the blog, or who have left messages over on instagram – really do make a difference.

We were back in Venice this weekend, staying with our friends Skye and Anthony. We arrived on Friday. Storm clouds scudded across the city as we came in, but blue sky was breaking through, and the last of the torrential rainstorm that had hit the night before blew away.  We were lucky.

There is such a thrill every time the water taxi turns into the canal from the lagoon…

And then on to the Grand Canal…

We arrived at Skye’s in time for a tour of their amazing new flat, followed by lunch and a long lazy sleep.

That afternoon, we ventured out for a stroll.  Strong font action, as always:

Strong marble screen action, too, at the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista…

And even stronger brick rustication…

We popped into the Frari, which I have never visited before…. Canova’s extraordinary, massive tomb, in the shape of a pyramid, contains his heart. 

The lettering was outstanding, 

Although the mournful lion to the left of the open tomb door did slightly remind me of Mavis’s face if we are not taking her out for a walk. 

The monument next door is to the Doge Giovanni Pesaro. The lettering is superb, and skeletal…

With grim figures holding up banners in between beautifully carved giants holding up the monument. All rather heavy in symbolism. 

My stacking chair fetish took on new directions in Venice. 

This wall is clearly where Bridie has got her inspiration for her new collection of marbled papers, coming soon…. 

more folding chairs… 

We left, and went to Pasticceria Tonolo to buy a Colomba – an Easter Cake.

Snapped on the way back… a strong Doric facade on the State Archive. My sort of building.

More typeface action, just to prove that we are back to business as usual on the blog.

Home for supper. My sister in law Laura and our niece Daisy were in Venice and came over. We chatted long into the evening and we rolled in to bed as tired as mice.

Saturday was bright and blue-skied.
The air was perfectly still.  An empty Venice glowed in the morning light. 

I couldn’t help snapping this, to add to my extensive collection of buildings that look like faces….

Or, indeed, this door bell, which is in a separate drawer of that filing cabinet, “building details that look like robots”.  

Just in case you are wondering what the Signum Foundation is all about… here you are.

our destination was the Rialto market, buying langoustine for lunch.

I thought to myself, can you imagine any single city in England where the original market buildings are still in use, not converted into some inane tourist attraction that is a hollow echo of the real thing?  Look at this beautiful water tap, still in use as it has been for, I guess, a couple of hundred years.  The buildings themselves of course much older. 

Coffee on the way back. That’s Skye’s shopping trolley FYI.

All this before breakfast.  Eggs and pastries. 

The amazing, magical breakfast room in the flat.  Don’t we all need a breakfast room?!?! LIKE THIS?!?!? 

And then I needed another sleep. The sun streamed in as the morning stretched on.  And here is lunch, laid in the dining room…. honestly, the dreamiest room I’ve ever been in, in Venice, both grand and intimate all at once, watched over the by Doges who once occupied this building. 

It is no surprise that you eat like princes when staying with Skye.  Here was lunch. 

(shameless plug for her beautiful cookbook, to be ordered here now!).

Here is the view across the garden. 

Heading out for a walk….

Pretty much dream garden situation….

And here is one of the boatyards where gondolas are made…

Sawn wood seasoning: 

Insane light and reflections. 

Anthony and Aeneas:

Saturday night at Trattoria Alla Madonna. We slept deeply that night.

On Sunday morning we woke to find Skye and Anthony had already been out for pastries from Tonolo.

Another beautiful breakfast….

A lingering morning at home, reading Harry Potter to Aeneas…

And then to lunch, via the briefest zoom in to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. It is always reassuring to see fluorescent strip lighting on the barrel vault of a 16th century Italian staircase…

Outside, a quiet aquamarine corner…

Look at the gap between the buildings…

Dream palazzo garden situation…

The beautiful fire station….

And then, after a last lunch, to the Ca’ Rezzonico, where we zoomed around the entire building in about 5 minutes. But really it’s all about the staircase, after all. 

We were just back in home to pack our bags and leap in the taxi back to the airport. 

A last glimpse of that beautiful watery Prussian blue door on the grand canal… 

And we were off.

Time away with friends and doing nothing in particular at all… is perfect at any time, but no more so than right now.  Looking at the photos, it looks like we’d done masses, but it’s not really true.  It’s just that a trip to the market is slightly more photogenic than going to Tesco on a Saturday morning.

Skye & Anthony, thank you for a perfect weekend! We’ll be back (if we may).

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