We board another train to carfree and carefree Venice, where we have four wonderful days. We are staying—virtually alone—at the splendid hostel on the tranquil Isola San Giorgio, home of the majestic Cini Foundation, gazing across the water at San Marco. In the evening we take the vaporetto for our first meal at the excellent trattoria Il Giardinetto. This sure beats doing a Messiah in Scunthorpe for a jolly good tea, as we London musos say.
In the spirit of the sinological footnote, the precise version goes like this:
A fixer calls us up and goes, “Hi—can you come and do a Messiah next Monday night in Scunthorpe? There’s no fee, but there’ll be a jolly good tea.”
(Cf. the more tempting message I received in a Shanxi village in 1991.) For more on Venice, see here. Oh, and here. Not forgetting Monty Python’s sublime guide. For unlikely place-names to find in the index of a book on Daoist ritual, see here. And here I surmise that the wisdom of Nadia Boulanger might not have been in quite such demand had she been based in Scunthorpe.