Monday 12 October 2020

La Scuola

This is a very happy day for me. I have accompanied Benedict Ambrose to his Italian language school, and now I look forward to many happy years of him correcting my Italian pronunciation. B.A. has a much better ear for the nuances of sound than I do. He will be taking classes every morning for the rest of the week, and if he's keen, he might sign up for another week. 

Meanwhile it is Thanksgiving Day in Canada, so happy Thanksgiving to any Canadian readers.  It will be a Thanksgiving Day unlike any other, as families sort out their comfort levels and who-is-in-what-bubble. Personally, I ate too much at Sunday Lunch yesterday, so I will not be eating a morsel until nightfall. 

It is the habit of some of our Rome friends to go to an all-you-can-eat sushi place for lunch after Sunday Mass. One of the true marks of long-term ex-pats in Rome is that they love go to foreign restaurants, having tired of Roman fare. I'm not sure I could ever tire of proper Italian food myself. 

But now I am going for a walk to the Via Condotti before my own, long-distance, Italian class. Since March, I have been quite literally phoning it in.  

The photograph is of the mantilla worn by St Therese the Little Flower when she met Pope Leo XIII. B.A. and I went on a walking pilgrimage to her church way out on the other side of the Borghese Gardens on Saturday.

I am much more relaxed that I was when we left Scotland, which is partly the point of our Rome sojourn. It may be of interest to women readers that, having lost all interest in wearing make-up and all of that, I have started to spruce up again. The resultant lift in my spirits is what I believe is now called "the Maybelline Effect." It is real, and I wonder why, and how it worked in the centuries or decades women did not wear cosmetics? 


  1. Was there an era where women did not wear cosmetics? Even the ancient Egyptians wore khol around the eyes. I think there's always been stuff. And of course there's always flowers to put in your hair, rich or poor ��
    I feel the same way whenever I can get out of the house sans babies. Finally I can wear stylish clothes I like, instead of old things I can nurse in and which I don't care about if they get full of spitup! I can pincurl my hair! I can wear MASCARA! And I'm putting lipstick on, whether my husband likes it or not!!!

    1. I think the 19th century had an anti-make-up-for-the-respectable moment. But yes there must have always been something: flowers, ribbons.

  2. I second Stellamaris that there is always fancy hair if a woman has no makeup, but there was ancient makeup. Perhaps the root of "the Maybelline effect" is that Eve was made to be pleasing to Adam, to be beautiful. Part of the work of Woman is to create beauty.
    In Need Of A Pseudonym