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Tuesday, September 30 2003

It's bigger than a Mooseheads game.

Baci di dama, Montréal, September 2003

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Norman Walsh : xmlchars.el

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There was a picture of Mussolini greeting veterans from the First World War.

When it, hanging by the inside of the door to the shop owner's private museum , was mentioned afterwards the shapes I had noticed in my peripheral vision on my way out started to make sense.

It was the first and last shop we went to in Deruta. All the others that we saw, save for one that was selling garish Picasso -esque splatter comedies, continue to produce the same ornate and intricate decorative pieces that the town is famous for.


Most of it was bland and unexciting, in both its colouring and execution. There were a few places where you could really enjoy the craftmanship except that I start to get a bit sea-sick if I look at too much swirly stuff for too long. But the little shop, with day's fascist newspaper used to wrap your purchases, had at least had a range of work. Which really means there were a few pieces that weren't drenched in a blizzard of activity let alone any glaze at all.

So I bought a pair of squat bowls with pointy covers and that must have been the price of admission to see everything the shop owner had collected for himself over the years. It was, not surprisingly, a lot of 18th and 19th century swirly-gigs and giant handles and pouty spouts. But there were two flower bowls, one small and one large, baked in a dusty, unglazed clay. The shell was made of layered petals , maybe an eighth of an inch think, that clustered at the peak. To open it, you held the sides and gently lifted the top.

There was other stuff (wasn't there a ceramic penis? there's always a ceramic penis, isn't there?) but I didn't really notice any of it after the flowers. And the bowls I bought, they turn out to be lousy vessels for storing cookies. I discovered this the morning after when all the cookies had suddenly taken on enough moisture that they were no longer crisp to the bite and crumbled with all the intensity of a damp sponge.

Damn fascists.


Monday, September 29 2003 ←  → Wednesday, October 01 2003