As I mentioned, I'm currently in the Italian Alps for a few days, giving some lectures, and today, I went horseback riding. It is bitterly cold, and I have a bitter cold, but I did not want to miss the opportunity. Now, riding a horse is not one of my skills (I’ve spent more time riding elephants), and the horse that I was given was a huge and feisty stallion who seemed as though he was auditioning for Tolkien’s Riders of Rohan; I was the only person in my group who was given a switch in order to impose discipline if necessary. However, he didn’t throw me off and he was obedient, at least for most of time. We made our way through the tiny, narrow streets of a rustic village, then up the hills through snow-encrusted countryside, with the gigantic white Alps looming around us. It was incredible.