O what a beautiful morning!

O what a beautiful morning! Finally, after days of persistent rain (where the Lima River reached the highest I’ve seen since moving here eight years ago) my bedroom window opened out onto….sunshine! The clouds were well and truly at our feet instead of being over our heads (or even within them).

Yesterday, after a morning’s work at the scuola media in San Concordio, there was a prize-giving for the Grapevine young writer’s competition at the Liceo Scientifico Vallisneri at Sant’Anna, Lucca. Antonio Vallisneri (1661–1730) was an Italian medical scientist, physician and naturalist born in Trassilico, a nearby village. Indeed, walking to the Aula Magna, where the ceremony took place, I passed several cases of stuffed animals and skeletons filling me with dismal woe that this too might be our fate at the hands of an alien civilization if we do not properly look after our planet.

Grapevine celebrates twenty years and is looking keenly forwards to a new generation to write for it. The convivial occasion was warmly applauded..

Photographs of the return of the sun this morning, the Parco della pace I pass to go to the school (with its poignant memorial to civilian victims of war), natural history cases at the liceo (including that containing a giant boa constrictor), yesterday’s prize-giving and a bedraggled view of the spectacular mediaeval Ponte della Maddalena on the train journey back  are here for you to view:

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