Saving the date(s)

Whichever day it was designated last week for the celebration of 150 years since The Unification, I’ve already forgotten, so damp a squib it sputtered. A few plasticky tricolori hanging limply from the odd balcony, northern separatists going about with long wotz-to-celebrate faces, horrid cocktails. As it happens, the Veneto didn’t tag along with the Brave New Kingdom for another five years anyway, so let’s wait till 2016 and see wotz-to-shoutabout then, eh? Now there’s a much more important anniversary dawning this very day – 25th March 421 (memorable date that, like running down the stairs): the Foundation of Venice, yes, and on a Friday, at midday bang-on, and WHAT IS MORE, 1,555 years later, at a very similar hour, the first of many marriages for our own John-F – to a Venetian! Coincidence or wot? Spooky!

Of course, as you know, Lucy’s not tied the knot herself . . . yet, but she has an eye out (one hears young Clooney may be free after all: no more beach photographs please, George), a cold, appraising, unanxious eye. Stand up straight, chaps – and wave those lion flags.