Greetings from Rome
Now I am enjoying a quiet last day in Rome after meeting an ethnologist at the Palazzo Massime alle Terme, and giving a talk at Bioversity International headquarters in Maccarese.
I was hoping to find a beach at a lakeside or seaside to swim, but work is calling, and I must leave on a very early flight tomorrow to return to Japan -- and my acquaintances in Rome did not think the sea or lake water is clean enough for someone from the NZ shore of the Pacific Ocean.
Nevertheless, I've enjoyed my short stay in Rome very much. On the train yesterday I had a nice conversation with an artist/singer who was playing a piano accordion and not seeking donations. The previous day I wandered through the ruins at Ostia Antica and could make a couple of sketches.
The story of an old port town supplying Rome with food from Egypt, and then its decline and abandonment, is a good example for us. Nothing is permanent, even a city that lasted for more than a thousand years. Wild flowers and pine trees rise perfectly-formed over the site, as the human-made structures continue to decay.
Now back to work...
PJM, near Vittorio Emmanuel, Rome
5th Aug. 2014