|Used by permission: Boston Public Library, Print Department|
|The New Yorker can still, on occasion, come up with a witty observation of world events - and for me this week's cover by Barry Blitt pretty much sums it all up.|
|I think, like the ceremony itself, I'll give this John Paul II Beatification souvenir T-shirt a pass.|
And being in Siena also means we will be missing the Beatification of John Paul II this weekend here in Roma. Posters have been appearing all over town, I spotted a group of giddy nuns putting one up on a wall in our neighbourhood yesterday. It is expected that several hundred thousand people will be crowded into Piazza San Pietro for the Mass on Sunday. There have been some rumbling about the rather unseemly haste in process in making J2P2 a saint but that would appear to be a minority opinion at both the Vatican and in Roma. The hotels are full, the restaurants are doing a thriving business and the souvenir sellers are smile beatifically. Again one would almost think that it was a popularity infusion for a troubled institution or a jolt of prosperity for a slightly flagging tourist industry.
Or perhaps I am just turning into a cynical old curmudgeon who finds little joy in another Royal Wedding or the smells, bells and dreadful singing in the big church in the country across the river. I'll leave these events to those who do find joy in them with all my best wishes. But this weekend I think I'll just make my way through Castelnuovo Berardenga, Sinalungo and other equally exotic sounding towns, climb the Tour di Mangia, gaze in awe at the frescoes of The Good and The Bad Government and drink some of the remarkable local wines. That will be enough excitement for me.
27 aprile - Santa Zita