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Follow Di's board La Superba - An ancient Italian city on Pinterest.


Not only has Di changed my perception of the city I have called home for the past six years, she has also taken me beyond my own limits as a photographer. She has inspired me to stop living my entire life on the default settings I have grown so comfortable with. By pushing a camera to its limits and learning how to manipulate the manual settings, I, for the first time in my life, realized how much potential I was wasting by always deferring to my default auto setting.

Leah Armstrong, from Help! I live with my Italian mother-in-law, and her article about the workshop over at Holiday Mag.

Come join me on a journey of discovery in an exquisitely ancient Italian city.


'Visit' Genova via Stefano's RIGHICAM.

Next workshop

the quick brown fox

Come travel with me to...

Rome from xx to xx December 2099


And then Miss 10 Talked Me Into This ...

She dances ... acting exquisitely, making me laugh.


French Homework ...

Miss 10 and I have been studying French, via recordings, her books and my intention ... I never studied languages in New Zealand and so 'intention' is all I have to offer.

First up, there was much laughter as she tried to add Italian endings to words like 'ecole'.  Unashamed she told me, 'but i'd rather go to Italy.  France, not so much.'

My girl I think.

And so we laboured over the half hour of French study, and I may learn French as a result, before we broke open Sandi Thom and I Wish I Was A Punkrocker.  Then we moved on to the song that her mum and I used to sing along to, as we drove along the crazy winding road that was the peninsula road home, back in Dunedin. 

Blue by Eiffel 65.  It made those wicked tight corners, between hillside and harbour, 'interesting'. 

So yes, it's like that over here at the end of a long day here in Belgium.

Now this ... it had Jess and I in hysterics, one day back when we lived in Te Anau and waiting in the car for her Dad, this came on.  We almost died as the story unfolded ...


Home & Away - a photography exhibition.


Home & Away - a photography exhibition


Ran Ortner, Painter

... but then came to realise that art is not a cleverness contest. It is not one's capacity to be inventive.  It is really an honesty contest ... the capacity to truly be that thing that you are.

Ben Ortner.

Ran Ortner paints the most extraordinary paintings.

I would love to live in a room with his work there on the wall, reminding me of the sea that I love, the sea I'm so far from now.

Here's a documentary (in progress). 

Ran Ortner Trailer (documentary in process) from Todd Holland on Vimeo.


I wrote this on Facebook today ...

Antwerp ... it's grey and it's raining but coming home on the packed tram, complete with screaming child torturing her mum with a tantrum, I ended up chatting with the guy next to me. A musician, a circus performer, from Cuba originally. A friendly foreigner like me. He even does the high-wire stuff. And I had to smile, even on the grey days, these small sunshiny moments are possible.


Andrew Greig, Writer, Poet, Musician ...

I have 2 mountaineering authors I enjoy more than all others and one of them is Andrew Greig, author of the book titled Summit Fever.

Perhaps this write-up captures what I found so enjoyable about his book:  When poet Andrew Greig was asked by Scottish mountaineer Mal Duff to join his ascent of the Mustagh Tower in the Karakoram Himalayas, he had a poor head for heights and no climbing experience whatsoever. The result is this unique book.

Summit Fever has been loved by climbers and literary critics alike for its refreshing candour, wit, insight and the haunting beauty of its writing. Much more than a book about climbing, it celebrates the risk, joy and adventure of being alive.

But having 'discovered' Andrew today, beyond rereading his book and carrying it with me as I've moved towns and countries, I have truly enjoyed finding his poetry and everything else too.  He's a well-rounded artist it seems.

And I found Mal's Song (embedded below) ... beyond special.  I'm on page 38, rereading my paperback version yet again and Mal is currently introducing Andrew to the mountains ... in preparation for their adventure in the Himalayas.  Like in the song.

Mal Duff was an extraordinary man, a superb mountaineer, a good friend to many, and all kinds of other things that I can't possibly imagine, I'm sure.  He died at Everest's base camp back in 1997. 

Joe Simpson, who also had some epic times in the mountains with Mal, wrote of Mal's favourite quote in the introduction to Andrew's book, Summit Fever.  The quote:

He either fears his fate too much

or his deserts are small,

that dares no put it to the touch

to win or lose it all.

- the Duke of Montrose.

But of course.

And that would be Joe Simpson, that other writer/mountaineer whose books I love. 


I Loved These Words ... 

For a homebody surrounded by the familiar or a traveler exploring the strange, there can be no better guide to a place than the weight of its air, the behavior of its light, the shape of its water, the textures of rock and feather, leaf and fur, and the ways that humans bless, mark or obliterate them.

Each of us possesses five fundamental, enthralling maps to the natural world: sight, touch, taste, hearing, smell. As we unravel the threads that bind us to nature, as denizens of data and artifice, amid crowds and clutter, we become miserly with these loyal and exquisite guides, we numb our sensory intelligence. This failure of attention will make orphans of us all.

Ellen Meloy, Writer.


A Poppy Kind of Day ...

It's a grey day here in Antwerp.  Grey in so many ways, and so a splash of colour didn't seem out of order here on the blog. 

I'm reading an exquisite essay by Rebecca Solnit - The Far North of Experience, In Praise of Darkness (and Light), cooking the first of two pavlovas, and I'm back on everyday school-runs for 2 weeks as of today.

My photography exhibition is coming together and I have some workshops to plan.  There's a Passenger concert to attend soon too.

Wishing you a lovely weekend


Karoline's Work and Words About Working With Me in Norway

My lovely Norwegian clients were teenage sisters.  Their eye for composition and their ability to understand what I was showing them about photography, impressed me. 

They wrote of working with me and made me adore them even more :-)

Working with Di has been incredibly fun! At first, I thought it was going to be challenging learning everything in English, but it was surprisingly easy.

She is a really great teacher, and a really great person. I will definitely start taking a lot more pictures now that I know how to do it properly.

It has been an amazing experience that I will never forget!