Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Aunt Anne abroad IV (further South, and back again)

In Florence, the party made friends with some slightly overenthusiastic young ciceroni, who naturally brought them to see the Duomo (over Anne’s shoulder), the Campanile farther distant, and the Baptistery in the background, as well as other famous sights. “Unfortunately my friend Lauro wasn’t with us. He looks even worse. This is Guido and Ferdinando.”

The weather improved, however, and again we find André, Nipper, and Anne at the Piazzale Michelangelo. David took this one.

The mood becomes ever more playful. “André and me having Good Clean Fun when the car boiled outside Ravenna. David looking on. Just after this I got the whole contents of the jug. Very Funny for all.”

“Cynthia, Liz and me having lunch [on the Via Appia Antica] near the Catacombs of S. Sebastian.”

Capri must have been relatively unspoiled, even then. Here is Anne, or, as she put it, “Me in a cart, Capri.”

All tourists went swimming in the famous Blue Grotto. “Cynthia, Me, Liz, Margot, taken by Umberto the boatman at Capri.”

And here is Umberto himself.

On the way back to England by way of the Riviera, the party went on another boat trip to see the Calanques at Cassis, not far from Marseilles. Left to right, André, Margaret Cilento [the artist; daughter of Sir Raphael and Lady Cilento, and older sister of the actress Diane Cilento], Boatman, and Nipper.

They continued up through Provence, visiting Avignon, Orange, the Pont de Gard near Remoulins, Le Castellet in the Var, and on to Paris. At a certain point there is a newcomer to the party. Here he is, on the far left, with an unidentified companion; Anne in the center; David, looking as usual slightly lugubrious; and Nipper on the far right. Tucked behind this photo, effectively hidden from view, was another one that slipped out when I turned the page:

It is the same, handsome young man, sitting on a window-sill, sunning himself, and reading a book. He looks up, turns his head slightly, but Anne wrote nothing at all on the back. Who was he?

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