The Clock Tells the Time – the Bells tell the Century

Umbria, 2010

It seems like a timeless place. But in the old town in the hills, the bells count the hours and the quarter hours, as they have for generations -- for five or six centuries. The broad cobbled Corso winds through the town. The main drag we might say. It passes through the centuries old city gate, much older even than the bells, goes through the piazzas and past the market stalls and the sidewalk cafes. Past the worn and repurposed palazzos. The town folk enjoy their evening stroll. They meet old friends and relations and pause for a glass of wine, an espresso, or a grappa and share stories or the news of the day. There are those obligatory kisses, and near misses. Much of the business of the place passes in the evening hours on the Corso.

The old clock in the town hall sounds its bell -- a dull clanging sound. Not a sonorous or pleasant tone. It was meant for business: get up -- get out -- take alarm. The old city fathers were a most frugal lot and knew not to spend scarce city money on a large bell. A long minute later, after the clanging has died away, the great bell in the cathedral rings out its time. That is where the tithe money went, centuries ago, to call attention to the cathedral. Mostly to impress.

The clocks have been slightly off for generations. They just are, but don't have to be. They could be timed better and synchronized… or they could settle on one. But there is a purpose and an intent to the minor discrepancy. It is an ageless dialogue. A slight discord but the Church has the last word. This place was once part of the Papal States. The town hall may clang away at the precise and proper time, but the church bell responds and commands attention.  There is a certain stubbornness to this old rivalry that marks the quaint and timeless character of these hill towns. Such is Italy.



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Musical Dimensions

Johann Sebastian Bach


This is something called Watchathon week on cable here, where they give free access to various channels. One was a classical music channel and I listened to two Ascension Oratorios, one by CPE Bach and one by his father JS Bach.


CPE was first and was wonderful, a joyful musical experience. But when the first phrases of the JS rang out, you knew you knew you were listening to something more. I tried to classify the difference, since the instruments and singers were all the same. It's like JS gives you access to another musical plane, that few others have access to. He opens a door that others have no key to. You have musically ascended.

Have to ponder this more. 
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The faraway land of the house and two cows book RELEASED JULY

After the delays of Covid, The faraway land of the house and two cows book will finally be released in early July 2022.

And much to our delight, it will be launched in the old Cocoroc South School that once sat on the Metropolitan Sewerage Farm.

The school shut in 1963 when enrolments fell below the required number of eight. It was relocated from the sewerage farm into Werribee to become the Girl Guides Hall.

The old school is the oldest surviving building from the Metropolitan Sewerage Farm, apart from the heritage listed water tank that was once located in East Melbourne and moved to the Farm as a back up water supply. The water tank still sits on the sewerage farm, now known as the Western Treatment Plant.

It was far more than a school though. It was the focal point for the bottom-end township on the Farm, with many meetings, dances, parties and more in the school house. It was also a focus for the Education Department back in the day when it wanted to shut the school down because of odours.

You can read more about that in the book, which you can PRE ORDER NOW 

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Ride Free

Artist Name - Ride-Free-a-poem-by-Nicholas-Mackey-19-May-2022-1.m4a

Covid Memorial Wall London 24 July 2021 

Love always
Love you Mum
I love you Daddy
Love children
Love you till forever
To my diamond in the sky, I love you


Wear a mask Wash your hands
Care home residents Lewisham
To all the patients of Epsom & St Helier Hospital
NHS workers are 4 life not just 4 Covid
Thank you NHS Love you NHS
All affected by the virus
We love you miss you we lost our world


I love you to the moon and back
I love you 300,000,000 times
To All We Love To All Fighters!
Forever in my heart and always on my mind
Precious memories
Death takes a heart that no one can heal
Love makes memories that no one can steal


You were young, gifted and black
Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name
You are the light of my life
Shine on G man you crazy diamond
No matter what
Love always
For all those who died alone and for the families who never got to say goodbye


So many flashbacks not near enough wishes
For all the staff lost in the Chelsea and Westminster (Hospital) RIP
Vax 4 our kids No Vax 4 our kids
To all victims of Covid-19 worldwide we will remember you always with love
More than 1.1 million people still battling post-Covid Syndrome
Never forget
My heart is broken


All for life and love


Lockdown 20.03.2020
Ar dhéis Dé go raibh a h-anam*
May Allah forgive your sins
Vladimir 16.08.86 – 30.11.20, aged 34 years
Connie 04.12.32 – 03.05.20, aged 87 years, Bye for now
Rest in peace for all those lost in care homes
Big Sis, Little Bruv misses you


Wicked sense of humour
All this fuss over me LOL Bloody rediculus
Gorgeous Grandmother I love you
What would Trevor do?
Biff taken in his prime
Mum fell asleep Valentines Day 2021
Naupani @


They say that time heals. But time has stood still. Love you lots. I got you Babe


Love you, you changed my life, I wouldn’t be where I am without you
Our amazing Superman
You’ll never be forgotten Our hardworking beautiful young Grandma we all love you and we miss you
Still the backbone of the family
our star
Sorry I couldn’t say goodbye
Thank you Whipps Cross nurses you saved my life


Sleep tight
Beloved rapper
Beautiful Soul
A true shaker
Not forgotten
Miss you everyday
Ride free



*Ar dhéis Dé go raibh a h-anam (Irish); translation: may her soul be at the right hand of God


Adapted from the writings on the National Covid Memorial Wall, London; seen Sunday morning, 24th July 2021.

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Cusco by Starlight

It was a golden evening and Barrio San Blas was charming.
We were well fed on the local version of Ají de Gallina
and a favorite local pilsener followed by Pisco Sours.
It was sunset when we arrived, but we lingered long,
sobremesa, talking and sipping our drinks.
What’s the rush?

We needed to walk, and it was dark as we left the café.
It was pleasant for the hour. At this elevation, Cusco
can be cool in the evening.  The stars were out.
There were others strolling along the calles leading
out from the plaza. Couples out enjoying the night
or heading back to hotels.

We strolled downhill, heading to the Plaza de Armas.
It’s not a long walk and the ancient cobblestones and
polished Inca stone walls glinted in the reflected light
showing us the way.  There were a few young people
laughing and hurrying toward the backpackers’ hostel.
Maybe late arrivals.

We heard music as we passed the Irish pub,
so out of place in the Incas’ capital city. We passed
the old archbishop’s place piled high atop its Inca
palace foundations. The ancient city and its footings
survived earthquakes but barely survived the Spanish.
We are wrapped in history.

We wandered out into the Plaza de Armas,
flooded with light and flanked by the massive Cathedral,
Jesuit churches and Spanish colonnades.  The lighted
fountain in the plaza dominates the scene, topped by a
larger-than-life gold fiberglass Inca Emperor.
He points toward the mountain heights.

It was at the fountain, today or yesterday - I forget now,
that we watched a wedding party come out of the
Cathedral to pose for photos in front of the Emperor.
The bride and groom, tied together with the traditional
lariat, seemed shy with all the attention. Children played
while the tourists snapped pictures.

But the night scene is etched in my memory. Cusco,
already at great height, is surrounded by even higher hills,
dark and almost invisible at night. The slopes are punctuated
by a thousand points of light marking the homes of people with
little more than a million-dollar view. The lights merge
with the sparkling stars…unforgettable.


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Umbria, 2010 It seems like a timeless place. But in the old town in the hills, the bells count the hours and the quarter hours, as they have for gener...
  This is something called Watchathon week on cable here, where they give free access to various channels. One was a classical music channel and...
It was a golden evening and Barrio San Blas was charming. We were well fed on the local version of Ají de Gallina and a favorite local pilsener follow...

Latest Comments

Nicholas Mackey Ride Free
20 May 2022
May you always be healthy, Rosy.I appreciate the facility of your website which enables audio record...
Rosy Cole Ride Free
19 May 2022
Thank you! "Onwards and upwards!" That's exactly what my surgeon kept saying, bless her. It was a co...
Nicholas Mackey Ride Free
19 May 2022
I'm really sorry to learn of your need for such vital medical care, Rosy. I sincerely hope you have ...
Rosy Cole Ride Free
18 May 2022
Thanks so much for the link, Nicholas. I'm a great advocate of the value of journaling for getting t...
Rosy Cole Musical Dimensions
18 May 2022
Ah, J S Bach, God's coder of harmony!