|Crowd waiting for play to start in Venice|
1872 was the year that English cricket experimented for the first time with covering a cricket pitch before play. The relevance of this to Venice was not realised at the time. Covering the City would help - but not as much as lifting the whole place a few metres above the water line. Building a City on the marshes and islands may have seemed a good idea at one time, but it has created a bit of a headache to its doughty groundsmen responsible for preserving the unique location and its treasures. The jury is still out on whether it is still sinking into its muddy foundations and will at some point vanish forever into the lagoon.
Is it this risk to the heritage that explains why Mrs FB seems to have styled herself an honorary Venetian? Or is it the handbag shops? Not content with a visit a couple of years ago she has been working hard on a return trip next spring. FB has been advised that he is not wanted on this voyage. Mrs FB has pointed out that on FB's last trip to La Serenissima he constantly lamented that among the many splendid Titians, Tiepolos and Tintorettos he failed to find any representation of cricketing activity. Accordingly, in Mrs FB's opinion, which is definitive as far as these matters go, he will be much better off at net practice than sipping Bellinis in the Piazza San Marco.
Mrs FB has consulted to runes to ensure a time for her and her chums to visit when the Venetian wickets will be hard and unflooded. Given recent summers it is unlikely that that dry state will be reflected on Scottish cricket pitches and FB may find himself sipping Bellinis in Carlton's pavilion watching the puddles turn the ground into a fair imitation of Venice itself. A Tintoretto in the home dressing room may be beyond them, but it will be a disappointment if the authorities at Grange Loan do not ensure that Bellinis are available throughout next summer.
All that the club needs is a latter day Tintoretto to record their successes.
|Tintoretto's Paradise (even if it contains no cricket match)|