One of the signs of creeping age – not that senescence and Lucy’s untarnished creamy skin-tints are concepts that readily share a tandem – is the way Grandpa Time fast-forwards on you. It seems but yesterday we were airborne and Ireland-bound (the excellent Hampton Books, hard by Donnybrook Fair, by the way, is now the Dublin stockist of Abandoned Islands), and already we’re in the viscous grip of Carnevale, late this year what is more.
Now I know the television would have you believe that all of us here have capsuled back to the 18th century for the durance and are day and night performing regrettable acts in full costume behind the pillars of the Palazzo Ducale, but the truth is a mite tackier – every second trattoria on the main drag licking boots and picking pockets simultaneously, indigent art students painting faces, fat children hilariously spraying one with pink gunk, and, just occasionally, a couple kitted out by a Nîmes couturier photographing each other by a misty canal. Not that one’s bitter and cynical – just a little, just a tad.. jaded. New Orleans this is not, nor Rio, thank the Lord: Lucy’s expensive education tends not to public abandonment; unbuttoning is for the boudoir, in her view. Roll on Lent!