I remember the beginning of the sermon well; firstly, because it was the day after we got married on April 1, secondly because the preacher was very fat. Low Sunday 1967; High Mass in S Mary's Bourne Street; and the homilist began by remarking that, a generation ago, one could have found the entire Anglican Bench of Bishops on the shores of the Italian Lakes on Low Sunday. I suppose we should all rejoice, we of the Ordinariate, that the English Catholic bishops are planning their ten-day break, so richly deserved, lakeside at Palazzola from April 17: a very Patrimonial thing to do!!
Patrimonial, the Italian Lakes, but Trollopian as well! All I knew about them until last year was that Dr Vesey Stanhope spent the emoluments of his Barchester canonry living there and adding to the collection of butterflies for which he was so famous, until the menaces of a new Bishop ... or his Chaplain ... or rather, the Bishop's wife ... induced him to return to the Close. But last year I did get, finally, to Lake Garda; and the wonders of the place swept me off my feet. The "Roman Forum", run by Dr John Rao, is what took me there. Beneath is what I wrote on my blog shortly after I returned: