26 November 2021

My father, coming from Rome in 1931 settled to teach Italian and write poetry. Immediately interned at the outbreak of war then later conscripted to serve with other arty types in The Pioneer Corps.

Romualdo loved to conduct tours around his adopted city and on one such Sunday as we walked up Exhibition Road he explained the craters in the stone walls left by German planes strafing the doorway of the building. Telling how back then if you heard the drone of a ‘doodlebug’ overhead that suddenly fell silent you had less than 2 minutes to run for cover in the nearest basement before it destroyed everything wherever it fell.