So last night we went out for dinner to the Luna Caprese, in North Parade, which, Oxford being Oxford, is of course a couple of miles South of South Parade. It's an Italian restaurant, near Pam's college, where we've been going for years; not least, for celebrations. I remember going there with family after my deaconing; and how pleased I felt to have got through the ordeal. That was the in corrupt, unreformed days when deacons were 'done' before the Gospel, and one of the ordinati sang the Gospel. That chore had fallen to me; I still remember how relieved I was to have got without melodic mishap down to the final phrasing " ... and find them so-ho, blessed are those ser-ervants".
The Luna hasn't changed. Most of the Italian community has now lapsed into Pizzeriarity, and Nouvelle is only just passing its high point; but at the Luna the menu has the same dishes in the same copperplate hand as it did in the '60s. You get old style classical Italian dishes, which naturally means several ways with vitello. You sit there over your starter listening to them bashing the meat in the kitchen. Neither has the decor changed; it's still the same as it was in the decade when ARCIC with its high hopes was setting sail and Rome and Canterbury had agreed to solve the old problems and, meanwhile, not to put in place any new differences.
I find some of those menus of the 1960s very satisfying. After all, if a man wants to, why shouldn't he settle down to Saltimbocca alla Romana?