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

A NEW WAY OF SEEING - A PHOTOGRAPHY RETREAT FOR WOMEN, IN GENOA, ITALY, 2014

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.

Of all the things I wondered about on this land, I wondered the hardest about the seduction of certain geographies that feel like home - not by story or blood but merely by their forms and colours. How our perceptions are our only internal map of the world, how there are places that claim you and places that warn you. How you can fall in love with the light. Ellen Melloy, Writer
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the quick brown fox

Come travel with me to...

Rome from xx to xx December 2099

Wednesday
Oct292014

The New Plan ...

The new plan is the one where I seek out joy and beauty.  I seem to have misplaced them.  And I'm hoping the blog will reflect my success at a life well-lived and more considered in the weeks ahead.  Let's see it.

Meanwhile, a beginning ... a late flowering of the Cosmos out in the garden here.

Monday
Oct272014

Suspend all the doing ... 

2 // take a break from your carefully packaged & organised life; suspend all the doing, sit amongst the shambles of half-read books and empty cups, let blessed rest find you.

Leonie Wise, lifted from her beautiful blog.

Murray left yesterday and I collapsed into a small pile of crumple today.  I can do stuff ... I can but oh how I pay.  Just till the iron medication kicks in. 

I'm so impatient for it to work though.  And so I was always going to love Leonie's wise words, suspend all the doing.

Although, rather than suspend all, I'm doing slowly and carefully, then resting.  Multiple loads of laundry have been done today because ... it's 17 celsius here in Belgium.  Unusual perhaps, or simply an Indian summer.  It's good, as so many of my very best people are arriving on Friday.

Shannon and Erik are zooming over from Holland, Teresa and Kim from the UK, Jayne is coming and her Steve is flying back from Dubai, Ren and her lovely Norwegian are coming too.

Steven and Isabel, Martin and Gaby, Ellen and Anna, Marcia and her man ... I'm happy.

My photography exhibition has its official reception/opening on Friday night.  Saturday night is the night of the birthday party.  But honestly, it's mostly about my pleasure in catching up with these people I love. 

I'm scared I've forgotten to invite some people and they need to contact me because I am haphazard at the moment.  The anemia has surely caused problems with energy levels but also with concentration.  And I thought it was enough to take the medicine and move slowly but it's the 'not doing' that is making me most crazy.  It feels like someone has removed my larger station wagon motor and replaced it with the engine of a very small scooter.

Or that's the way I'm explaining this loss of forward motion. 

Slowly, slowly ... let's see how it goes.

Leonie, thank you for the music too.

Saturday
Oct252014

On Flanders Fields ...

Murray arrived Tuesday and we've been incredibly busy in the days since then.  Then yesterday, the Belgian bloke joined us and we headed for Flanders Fields.

First stop was in Mesen (Messines, in French) where we caught up with the remarkable Steven Reynaert, a treasured friend and highly respected historian, he was able to give Murray a sense of the history of WW1 in and around the area.

We were photographed with the NZ Soldier before leaving Mesen, as per the first image.  Steven and Murray are there in the third image. 

The middle photograph captures another favourite friend of mine out there in the Westhoek.  Freddy Declerck is a truly special man and we were so fortunate in catching up with him in The Memorial Museum Passchendaele.

We had an early dinner in our favourite restaurant in Ieper - het Klein Stadhuis, as photographed below before rolling out the door and into the light drizzle, heading for the Menin Gate and the Last Post Ceremony.  More to follow on that ...

It was a huge day.   It was a good day.

Thursday
Oct232014

Old Friends and Birthdays ...

An old friend from far-away flew in on Tuesday.  I knew Murray back in those days when I was an airforce officer's wife living on that base surrounded by wineries located at the top of New Zealand's South Island.

So, since Tuesday, we've had years of stories to catch up on ... his teenage children, my move out of New Zealand too but despite so many years passing, 'all that time ago' still feels like only a few months have passed since our last meeting.

And so we have been talking as I've introduced him to Antwerp and life here.  He's enjoyed Antwerp's incredible printing museum, the MAS ... the Red Star Line Museum too.  The photo above was all about me taking photographs using Murray's phone camera ... some laughter was involved, as I messed up more than a few images, adjusting to this new way of 'seeing'.

He arrived just in time for my birthday ... which was yesterday, and it turned out to be one of those lovely days where I just kind of birthday-ed the day away. Quietly.  Jess made me my mostabsolutelyfavourite cake in the world ... an orange cake, and I whipped up a big old dinner of Persian Chicken. 

I'm around but busy, just for a few days before he wanders on into Europe.  Stories shall surely follow.

Monday
Oct202014

Lunch with that View of Mont Blanc ...

 

Mont Blanc yet gleams on high: the power is there, The still and solemn power of many sights And many sounds, and much of life and death. In the long glare of day, the snows descend Upon that Mountain; none beholds them there, Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun, Or the sunbeams dart through them.

Percy Bysshe Shelly, Poet.

The excitement over breakfast these mornings is no longer about an espresso, toast and peach jam ... no.  These mornings it's all about my effervescent iron drink.  6 days into the 4 months before retesting and I can do the stairs a little more simply and the heart palpitations are almost gone.

I've stopped coffee for the moment and may not begin again until Genova, at the end of November.  Let's see it.

In the meantime, I've been torturing myself ... selecting, deselecting, and reselecting images for the exhibition that opens in 2 weeks.  Nothing is more guaranteed to leave my finding my photography lacking than imagining I can entertain a vast range of people with my images.

The only good news is that, while searching, I've found photographs of time spent in remarkable places ... like this table that offered a rather superb view of Mont Blanc.  At 4,810 m (15,781 ft) it is the highest mountain in the Alps.

Monday
Oct202014

Rewilding ...

Of all the world's creatures, perhaps those in greatest need of rewilding are our children. The collapse of children's engagement with nature has been even faster than the collapse of the natural world. In the turning of one generation, the outdoor life in which many of us were immersed has gone....So many fences are raised to shut us out that eventually they shut us in.

George Monbiot

I absolutely borrowed this from Terri Windling's blog, Myth & Moor.  I wanted to note it some place ...

 

Sunday
Oct192014

What We Actually Are ...

 

The main task in life is to give birth to our self to become what we actually are.

 Erich Fromm.

A shot taken from the Ligurian Sea.  I love that coastline.

Saturday
Oct182014

New Zealand Movies ...

I've been a bit tortured lately ... by what looks like some top quality movies.  New Zealand movies that I can't easily source out here in the world.

The first was The Pa Boys:

Then came Dark Horse.  Also seems remarkable:

Tonight, I noticed a new one titled, The Dead Lands.

I do believe I need to go home and see some movies ...

Saturday
Oct182014

Billie Marten, Musician

I read Leonie Wise's beautiful blog.  Lately, she's been sharing music.

 

Saturday
Oct182014

Noted for Another Time ...