Happy ending, happy beginning 2018


My new blue-ribbon lion. Evidently some Byzantine sculptor decided he needed glasses. And the tongue?  Did he just swallow aspirin without water?

It doesn’t matter that New Year’s is my most unfavorite event in the year — it occurs every 365 days anyway.  But I couldn’t let the year get packed away in the back of the closet along with everything else without showing I’m still very much alive, and looking forward to unpredictable wonders in 2018.

Anchored out in the lagoon between the Giudecca and the mainland is the Fireworks Barge (or platform, or pontoon, whatever the technical term might be). The day will have been spent arraying all the explosives on this surface for the big show at midnight.

The New Improved Plan for tonight is to shift the thousands who will be in Venice to accept delivery of 2018 from the Piazza San Marco to a larger, less constricted space. Translation: The Riva degli Schiavoni down to the bridge of the Veneta Marina (church of San Biagio). Temporary fencing has been positioned to help prevent the celebratory drunken mob from falling in the water.  It does not appear to be unbreachable, but one can hope.

This system of helpful signs was inaugurated last year and evidently it worked well. Placing huge EXIT signs at the entrance to every tiny street and alley egressing from the zone of maximum crowdmass is obviously an intelligent security measure, considering that 98 percent of the partyers will not be Venetians and will not know where they are or how to get to somewhere else if some stressful urgency should arise.

Your last chance to flee before via Garibaldi, around the Naval Museum.

And in conclusion, Lino and I wish everyone a resounding “Saldi in pope!” A very profound and Venetian wish which means to stay firmly planted on the stern of your boat regardless of motondoso, gusts of wind, other boats cutting across your bow without warning in the dark, and whatever else may befall the hardy navigator.  I could go on, but I think you have grasped my point.

A slightly shipwrecked poinsettia did not follow my instructions.


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Categories : Venetian-ness


  1. Dearest Erla (and Lino)

    … and a hugely happy 2018 to you, two, too. (OK, you can be more than two…good wishes stretch…)

    More power to your wonderful pen (or keyboard); pls don’t give up, you have your loyal fan base!

    warm, warm wishes on this rather gloomy first day of the year (it just goes up from here, right?)

  2. Diana Wright says:

    Stylistically , your lion looks very much like several of the lions carved for Venetian Negroponte which can be found in the museum of Halkis in Greece. I would attach pictures, but there seems to be no way to do that.

  3. Caterina B says:

    Yes, please don’t give up, Erla. Was there some talk of doing that? I don’t know. Anyway, Happy New Year to you and Lino from Colorado. I really enjoy reading your rambling and informative posts!

    • Erla Zwingle says:

      Not GIVING UP, but struggling to find things to write that interest me, and also you. After nine years of blogging, it’s hard not to repeat myself. Thanks for encouragement!

  4. Andreas says:

    Happy new year, Erla and Lino!

    We wish you all the best for 2018 and I hope to see you again come summer! 🍾
    Here in Stockholm all is calm. My darling wife is making futile attempts to coax my daughter to sleep and I am just relaxing on the sofa, watching the rain on the terrace preparing for going back to the office tomorrow.
    The day before yesterday was actually a day full of reminders of Venice; starting with the coach at the gym going on about rowing to the salesperson at Systembolaget recommending Venetian wines and culminating in almost bumping in to a gentleman that had a strong resemblance of Lino! Hopefully you will let me know if you ever decide to come to my part of the world so I won’t accidentally crash into your on my way to the supermarket. 😜
    Saldi in pope to you too, even if I’m barely capable of rowing a la prua! 😃

    All the best!
    Andreas, Jin and Sophia

  5. Gayle Sawtelle says:

    Happy New Year—your scintillating posts and pics lighten the darkness here in New England, where it is all of one degree F outside. No New Years Eve routine now that I’ve been divorced for a few months after 35 years…but we used to stay in and watch Fred and Ginger movies. Very handsome look to your blogsite at the moment. Let the Unpredictable Wonders begin! G

    • Erla Zwingle says:

      Gracious — scintillating is more than I expected to be. Thanks! And thanks for the New Year’s wishes. I’m sorry to hear that you have experienced a drastic plot twist, but I hope that this will be a great year for you.

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