Valentine Love 17: Love Mix Vole Echoing Eco in the City of Love

If anybody who hasn’t already read XaW Files: Beyond Humanity read yesterday’s blog I’m sure they were shocked to read that Love the mixed-up vole had had a couple of love children… and were wondering what had happened. While some would consider Love a fallen vole, I thought of her no differently… apart from finally realising Love was a she… although in true mixed-up style, she’d set off in Venice as Casanova!

Here’s the two episodes where it all happened, starting in the city of love… continuing with lots of comedy wordplay… and roses… before ending with some philosophical parallels and a royal birth by probably the most famous north-easterner greenYgreying AAW…

Chapter 6 Episode 12

Arriving in Venice I was surprised how ordinary a lot of it is, with a mainland that is like an industrial port. It is only when you reach the coastal areas that you see the canals and seaways that have earned it a reputation for being one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

It is known as a romantic city, so Love felt at home. I felt a little out of sorts, what with little grass for my green. However, the canals sometimes look green, so they replaced grass as my ground level colour, contrasting nicely with grey walls. The sun is usually shining to provide yellow.

Image result for Venice Canals

Venturing Out in Venice

We agreed to split up for our Venice sightseeing, as we wanted to experience Venice through a couple of famous Venetians. I wanted to imagine myself Marco Polo (1254–1324), while Love got into the spirit of Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798). We planned to meet again at the main Lido beach at eleven.

I looked for a gondola, but didn’t see any I liked at first. Then I saw a greenYgreyer gondola, and hired that to see the sights. I thought of our gondola amongst many as a part of Polo’s junket fleet sailing the south China seas.

You might wonder why I needed to imagine myself in another time and place from fascinating Venice. I didn’t need to. I just did. Venice’s shape in the sea also reminded me of a fish.

Image result for Venice map

Return to Chukchi – Karaginsky

I sailed past China (as Polo did), returning to the Chukchi Sea of this ramble’s beginning, like looking over the edge of the XaW world. Venice’s fishy shape also carried me to the fish-shaped Karaginsky Island of the second episode.

Image result for karaginsky island map

Had I unconsciously landed on an even bigger snake than in the last episode? Are you ready to return with me right back to the beginning, and start again?

Don’t worry, I had only had a snap nap trip down memory lane, and was able to make it to the Lido by eleven. I had a nice surprise when I arrived, because not only was Love there, but so were Stella and Werewolfie.

Lido Lodi Love

I asked the latter two how they got here so fast from Milan. They said they had enjoyed Milan, as it was bravo for football and bellissimo for fashion, as they’d expected.

Image result for milan blonde italian

They both felt exhilarated and inspired when they returned to Lodi, full of new ideas and renewed energy. Upon seeing Lodi’s sign Stella remembered the wordplay travel we’d undertaken last chapter, and suggested they have a go themselves. So they moved Lodi’s ‘o’ to the back, and its i to the second letter, and the next thing they knew they were here on Venice’s Lido.


The opening paragraph is a real experience memory.

Chapter 6 Episode 13

Ferrara inspired me to shape-shift into a Ferrari, and I gave the other three a fast fun ride down to Bologna. We lunched on veggie Spaghetti Bolognese there, topped with Parmesan cheese from nearby Parma. We had snap naps afterwards, inspired by the snap nap of the previous episode, and I savoured memories of The Island of the Day Before.

Image result for The Island of the Day Before

The Name of the Rose

Lap, lap, lapping my ears
like several centuries’ tears
boomed a meaning memory echo
a semiotic book by Umberto Eco
set in a 14th century Bologna abbey
with monks accused of heresy
before seven deaths ups the ante
adapted into a movie starring Connery
its code more complex than Da Vinci
brought to life by authentic history.

Image result for the name of the rose

Florence for Floor Sense Reminisce

A reminder of semiotics inspired me to look it up, and I thought there must be a lot more of it in my story than I’d realised creating. For example, I had forgotten what a symbol I am, and maybe I have even become so established now that I am an icon?

In the greenYgrey world we of course turn conventional human icons upside down. So when we arrived in Florence I didn’t see a beautiful Italian city, I saw a Magic Roundabout character, Crimean War nurse Nightingale and the singer with a Machine backing group.

Image result for florence and the machine

Finally, trying to think of a funny section title, I remembered my original ramble across North America, and meeting the very sensible Ernie the floor rider snake in Florida.

Roaming to Rome

I’d wanted to see all Rome by nightfall, but we only just reached the city limits. I didn’t know why Love was slowing us down at the time; or if there was a fated reason for us splitting up in Venice; but slowing the pace down… and eventually stopping… allowed me to see things clearly.

On the morning that Princess Kate was reported to have gone into labour, Love was pregnant!

I had thought I’d seen love-bites on Love when we reunited in Venice, but there was no doubting the lump on its stomach now…. or should I now say her stomach.

Love’s Wild Lovechild x 2

I’m delighted to say that Love quickly gave birth to twin daughters. She named them Lovus and Lovulus. I was amazed to see Stella quickly clothe them in lovely vole baby clothes. Stella said she’d bought them in Milan, but never did tell me how she knew Love would be conceiving in one of the most romantic cities in the world while she shopped in the one of the premier for fashion.


In this greenYgrey up and down On The Road to nowhere tale I might have known that our good news wasn’t to last, because while I was still talking to Stella, Love’s squeaking alerted me to the alarming realisation that Lovus and Lovulus were missing!


The Island of the Day Before and The Name of the Rose are two Umberto Eco books. They contain similarities with this trilogy which weren’t realised or remembered until now.

Wikipedia: Eco’s fiction has enjoyed a wide audience around the world, with many translations. His novels are full of subtle, often multilingual, references to literature and history and his dense, intricate plots tend to take dizzying turns. Eco’s work illustrates the concept of intertextuality, or the inter-connectedness of all literary works. Eco cites James Joyce and Jorge Luis Borges as the two modern authors who have influenced his work the most.
Eco employed his education as a medievalist in his first novel The Name of the Rose (1980), a historical mystery set in a 14th-century monastery. The novel contains many direct or indirect metatextual references to other sources, requiring the detective work of the reader to ‘solve’. The title is unexplained in the book. As a symbol, the rose is ubiquitous enough to not confer any single meaning.
The Island of the Day Before (1994) was Eco’s third novel. The book, set in the seventeenth century, is about a man marooned on a ship within sight of an island which he believes is on the other side of the international date-line. The main character is trapped by his inability to swim and instead spends the bulk of the book reminiscing on his life and the adventures that brought him to be marooned.

The Da Vinci Code is a Dan Brown book.

Florence was a character in The Magic Roundabout; Nurse Florence Nightingale and Florence and the Machine band.

Princess Catherine, another great north-east greenYgreying AAW, had Princess Charlotte on May 2nd, 2015.

Available to buy or borrow on Amazon and some great big bookshops.

You Are The Boss of Your Own Happiness: 50 Ways to Change Your Life Today by Theo Kay. $3.99 from
50 Ideas for you to change your life today. You are the boss of your own HAPPINESS!


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