Memories of Places I Have Been

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Memories of Places I Have Been

St Peter's Basilica, Rome, from the Library of Congress

I will never return to Saint Peter's basilica or the Hermitage, or even my parents' dining room for Sunday evening supper (my parents have left this mortal coil, and the house belongs to someone else now).

And yet, my memories linger on. Powerful memories that I can't lose, nor do I want to. Maybe readers will find them interesting. Here are a few of them:

  • The trip to Quebec with a friend in 1985. We went by bus (no millionaires we). I remember being besotted by the loveliness of the old part of Quebec. I remember some scrumptious cake, and helped myself to it, not realizing that I was supposed to ask a waiter to get it for me. I remember being in a crowded shopping mall, and seeing Queen Elizabeth giving an address on a television monitor. Everyone else around me was speaking French. Quite a contrast!
  • The interior of Saint Peter's, which advertises its vastness by indicating where the boundaries of other huge churches would end. There's an enormous number of chapels, many of which were in use on the day I was there. I went there on a concert tour in 2007 with a choral society I belong to. We sang some pieces at appropriate times (I think one was by Liszt). I am not a Roman Catholic, so although I was allowed to sing, the Communion was off-limits for me.
  • The same choral society went to Latvia, Estonia, and Saint Petersburg in 2013. I remember being led through the Hermitage. In one room, I reflected that to my right were priceless art treasures, and to my left was an open window through which I could see the canals and buildings of the city. Maybe the city itself was a museum.
  • There was the H2G2 get-together in late 2019 in London. Superfrenchie documented the arrangements A87931290. I was thrilled that my favorite cafe (Caffe Nero) had a location across the street from the place we were meeting. I left my umbrella behind on the airplene (I make a habit of losing umbrellas on trips).
  • I remember an amazing concert tour of Taiwan in 1989. I remember tasting some of the best Chinese food I will ever have eaten (steamed dumplings, Monglian barbecue), as well as some of the worst. (Pig's brain soup? Chunk of pork fat in gravy? Yuck.)

I'm only scratching the surface here. Some other memories have been fictionalized into the Crepuscular Meadows saga.

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