“The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things; Of shoes and ships and sealing wax; of cabbages and kings…” So wrote Lewis Carroll in The Walrus and the Carpenter, one of the very few poems in which the humble cabbage gets a mention. Can anybody actually think of another notable cabbage […]
Everyone who has seen the spellbinding film Amadeus must at some time have pondered thisquestion: how do you know which cultural artefacts from your time will survive for centuries to come, and which will sink into the mists of obscurity? In the film, we see the parallel stories of approximate contemporaries Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus […]
When you have lived in London for a few years, it’s easy to become blasé about the old place. You get so frustrated on the days when your train is delayed by 10 minutes that you forget what a total miracle our extensive, complicated, largely safe and mostly on-time public transport system is to […]
When I was a little girl, I often asked my mom why I had brown eyes when she had bright blue eyes. Surely if I was her daughter, I would also have the blue eyes that I so hankered after? She would always smile and patiently explain to me that things like the colour of your eyes or hair; or the shape of your hands and feet are things that you inherited from your parents, and that there was no way of telling which bit you’d get from which parent.
Up until a few weeks ago, my principal experience of Bologna was rushing through the airport en route to the tiny village of Zibello where my sister-in-law is from. Little did I know that Bologna is a city of many faces and many names: “the fat one” (la grassa) in reference to its meat and cheese-heavy cuisine; “the learned one” (la dotta) in reference to its famous university; or “the red one” (la rossa), originally referring to the colour of the roofs in the historic centre, but later also connected to the city’s status as a bastion of socialism and communism after World War II.