Platonic Diversions

Greetings from Mondovì: Tutto andrà bene

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LESLIE MCBRIDE WILE 16 March By now many of you will have seen online video of Italians singing on their balconies; playing violins, guitars, accordions, electric pianos; banging pans; anything to express their solidarity, defiance and hope and determination to…

Greetings from Mondovì: A New Normal

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LESLIE MCBRIDE WILE 12 March 2020 I’m wondering whether to go to my regular massage appointment this afternoon, whether to cancel having my teeth cleaned tomorrow morning.  I can easily print the proper permit to show the carabinieri when I…

Greetings from Mondovì: Zona Rossa

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LESLIE MCBRIDE WILE Suddenly we’re all in la zona rossa—the red zone—together.  The Italian government has taken the extraordinary measure of restricting movement of people throughout the country.  Permits to travel between towns are available online, from law enforcement, and (so…

Writing Together and Seeing It Differently

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VIV LONGLEY Agbrigg Writers, a creative writing group in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK, has held together for nearly a decade now with six of the initial core membership still attending most of the time.  It is defined by several characteristics…

Heart Sick

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LESLIE MCBRIDE WILE Now we must think the unthinkable. The good people of America have elected one bad hombre as their president. But surely bad men before held the office without crushing it entirely in greedy hands; Rutherford B Hayes…

Greetings from Mondovì: All Saints’ Day

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LESLIE MCBRIDE WILE Tuesday was Tutti i Santi, All Saints’ Day.  Schools, shops, and offices close for this annual day of solemn remembrance, families visit the graves of their forebears to leave fresh flowers, florists do big business in chrysanthemums,…

Greetings from Mondovì: Fireworks

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LESLIE MCBRIDE WILE Siamo in Italia!  It means We are in Italy!, and people here often say this to us when they cannot explain some bureaucratic tangle or incomprehensible administrative regulation.  With a characteristic gesture that is half-shrug, half-surrender, they let…