Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dear Pope Benedict,



Just a quick little note today, since I see you're quite busy. I noticed that Her Majesty was worried that you were too cold. It certainly is quite different in Scotland. Rome was very warm again today, though not so much as yesterday. Wasn't it dreadful! Like me, I know you are from a cooler climate, and I'm sure you appreciate a breath of fresh northern air as much as I did when I was in England in August.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, Auntie Gill asked me to say hello if I got the chance. I was there for two weeks and it was very strange to come back to Italy's burning heat after a fortnight in jackets again.

I do hope that you have packed something warm to wear. I completely forgot what Britain can be like, even in August, and had to buy warmer clothes when I was there. Though I'm sure your helpers have thought of that. Still, do be careful not to catch a chill or wear yourself out. Visiting can be very tiring, as I'm sure you know.

I noticed the lovely gift Her Majesty gave you of the folio of Holbein drawings. It just happens that I was discussing with my art teacher the other day which of the great masters were the best to copy for drawing, (not painting yet), and she said Holbein. What a coincidence then that you should receive such a lovely gift.

Of course, I wouldn't dream of asking for a Holbein, since that really is the sort of thing that is best kept in a museum (you haven't forgotten the rug, have you? I've not yet heard from Msgr. Ganswein about it. Still, I'm sure you are both very busy.) But I do hope that the Holbeins will be shown in the Vatican Museums soon.

A friend has just mentioned to me that the museums are open for free one day a month, though I must say that this really isn't quite enough. I understand that people used to be able to go in to sketch the important works in there, like the Belevedere Torso. I can't imagine being able to do such a thing now. It would take hours and hours and one can never get a moment of peace in there nowadays. A great pity.

I do hope you have a lovely time in Britain, and that everything goes swimmingly. But please, be careful. You just can't imagine the dreadful things some people over there have been saying.

Aren't people odd?!

Hope to see you soon,

Your friend,

Hilary



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