This picture of a garden on the side of the Grand Canal in Venice hangs in my sittingroom. It was painted by my first husband, Malcolm Rivron, and reminds me of our many holidays in Venice over the years.
Venice, one of my favourite places in the World, with an atmosphere and a beauty like nowhere else on earth. And yet a place which always feels precarious, as though it will disappear under the sea without warning.
One of our first visits there was in the early eighties when our half term happened to coincide with a visit to La Fenice in Venice of the Shanghai Opera Company and after queueing all morning we managed to get tickets to sit on very hard forms in the pit of this very grand theatre to see the performance. It was breath-taking although we couldn't understand a word of it. In 1996 the theatre, almost completely made of wood, burned down and so I remember that visit with great affection. Now, sadly the city is under five feet of water. I cannot help wondering how many years the city will be there before it sinks into the sea and disappears for ever.