There’s a large-sized gap in my blog this month, since I went off on holiday. And for me holidaty is holiday - no emails, no nternet. It’s veryrestful - and a total joy to be missing out on Brexit - but there’s catching up to do when I come home. Portugal was gorgeous, for all kinds of reasons, but I wasn’t expecting the sonnet bit. I should have done, I suppose. When Elizabeth Barrett Browning announces her poems as “Sonnets from the Portuguese” she’s lying (they have no connection with any poems from that country) but nicely. Portugal does have a close link with sonnets. Camoes was writing them, and well, long before Shakespeare, and I bought a collection of “Five Lisbon Poets” four of whom were seriously involved in writing sonnets. So a good chucnk of my holiday was reading the English versions of their poems (parallel text, natch) and then writing sonnets about various doomed young intellectuals who wrote sonnets but were only appreciated after their death - Cesario Verde, for instance, who turned out to be a special favourite of our Portuguese guide. So I come back tanned and overweight - which was part of the plan - but also wiser.