Slithering through a chance-open window to liberate my luggage when the concierge – normally, we thought, conscientious – had failed to show up to unlock the ‘safe room’ for us was a simple but seductively satisfying introduction to theft. The fact that we had simply failed to pick up on daylight saving hours, and that we were in fact an hour early for bag reclaiming, failed to substantially dampen my victory cries.

We are so hugely idiotic.

Rome was, unsurprisingly, wonderfulbeautifulbusynoisysmellygorgeous, and my poor camera sagged under the weight of forty thousand images of statuary and mosaics and the insides of churches. My favourite part of the trip was almost definately to the Musei Capitolini, which is among the oldest museums in the world. Founded in 1471, the museum itself is beautiful, covered in 16the century frescoes and some excellent chandeliers.
Buried round corners and in little forgotten rooms live some of my favourite objects ever:

Fine Horse

This wonderful horse is being restored. I rather wish he wasn't being. I like the hole in his back.

He is far, far scarier however when you are looking right up at him:

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Well, hello.

He sat there, having cantered through time since the fifth century BC, and had weathered endless small human cruelties and kindnesses with patience and only a little rust.
The museum is brimming with ancient nature, from the wolf, whose indignation at having two small children thrust underneath her at the beginning of the fifteenth century has not worn off.

There was also a set of four very patient dogs, sitting guarding a chest for literally thousands of years:
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In the Vatican, hiding on the ceiling where they think nobody looks, a girl in a dress is burning books:
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But possibly my favourite Rome moment (Roment?) was this angelic figure, basking in the evening sun, with his fabulous metal wings:
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On a lighter note, I stumbled into the funniest exhibition of my life – dedicated to the history of learning how to swim. Some Gems include:
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But now work, and heavy autumn with those cloud-wrapped moons which howl down at you through the cold, are coming at me from all angles.

xxx

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