22 March 2020

hunker down? go on a cruise? tell stories in an Italian country villa?

At the end of my morning walk, Drew and Mary were walking down the other side of the street. Drew asked if I was hunkering down or on a cruise. He explained the latter by describing the student houses around town that seem to have taken on new life, at least on a warm day. Folks on the porch, laughing, carrying on. I'd noticed the increased activity around the houses too. There were nine cars parked at the house and a half just before the AU campus. The university is closing the dorms today so residents have been here to clear out their stuff, after spring break. I feel especially bad, in this regard, for the students that come from busy urban areas and live in perhaps small family apartments. I wish the university could have figured out a way to provide for social-distant housing for the rest of the term for students if they wanted to hunker down here in the country. Yes, I realize that dorms involve more than providing a bed, e.g., supervision, food, potential medical care and deeper isolation.

Decameron, by Giovanni Boccaccio
MS. Holkham misc. 49, fol. 5r
Miniature by Taddeo Crivelli, circa 1467
Bodleian Library, Oxford

Now, if an Italian villa seems a bit difficult at the moment, you might consider a visit to Holkham Hall, perhaps my favorite Palladian house in England. Better make that a virtual visit for the foreseeable future.

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