Sunday, November 30, 2008


Today, November 30, is Saint Andrew’s Day. He’s the patron Saint of Scotland. Supposedly he was crucified on an X shaped cross, hence the flag of Scotland is a white diagonal cross on a blue field, which is implied on the British Union Jack. There’s a graphic painting of his martyrdom at San Andrea della Valle around the corner from Piazza Navona in Rome. It’s the location of the first scene in Puccini’s Tosca and is across the street from the convent Falconieri, where Dennis and I stayed several times.


Last night was the annual St. Andrew’s Day Dinner and Ball celebrated by the St. Andrew’s Society of San Francisco. I didn’t go this year, but for many years Dennis and I did. I have a wonderful photo of Dennis and me and our nephew Matt Collins with our dear friend Lyle Richardson – all of us in our kilts. Matt was wearing my Dad’s Gunn tartan and I, the Bell Family tartan kilt Dennis had made for me in Edinburgh.


Matt was visiting us for Thanksgiving in 2004. We had dinner at our friend Deb’s as usual. The Friday afterwards Matt went with Dennis to Santa Rosa when he bought his beloved Fiat Spyder. Dennis drove the rental car, and Matt the convertible back to San Francisco. After Dennis died I gave the Spyder to Matt, who now has it in New York (though I think he keeps it at his Dad’s place in New Jersey).




Today is the first Sunday of Advent. I’m subbing at Grace Cathedral choir again for John Kelley, who is just returning from a European holiday, which included a few days in Istanbul. He may or may not make the Advent Procession of Lessons and Carols, since he’s scheduled to arrive only last night. So I’ll either join him or sing in his stead.

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Titian in the Frari (Venezia)