My First Music Video - Nickel & Dime, The Last Wolf on Earth

I have Canon 5D MkII, with a video function I've never used

The band, Nickel & Dime, with Ivo Sposaro - singer, guitarist and song writer , Antonio Capelli on violin, and Massi Di Fraia, as drummer, came over one evening.  To the terrace.

It was really hot but we had a whole lot of fun.  A practice run.  I plan on improving my skills over the summer so I'm ready for a new series of attempts in the autumn.

Rita, Ivo's lovely wife, filmed me filming them play another song ...  

Genovese Light ...


I have been chasing the light here in the caruggi ... the medieval alleyways this city is famous for.  In the caruggi, and on the grander streets too, the ones filled with ancient palaces.

And with every movement of the sun, new light is discovered.

A familiar building is bathed in light in a way that makes it new.

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Here I am ...

It's been a while ... 

Because it's summer, perhaps.  And the temperature hasn't dipped below 25 celsius for a couple of months, not even at night.  So it's hot, and it has been humid too.  

And me, I have a lot on my mind and it seems to kill off my writing.

But photography ... every day that I can. The city, most particularly the caruggi, can be viewed on my Love Notes to Genoa FB page.

Miss 12 turned 13 in July.  That beautiful, much-loved,  little girl who was Miss 3 ... just yesterday. 

I have met new people and found new music, here in Genova.  

I'm alive  :-)

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Impermanence ...

These days, I am more aware of the impermanence of things.  

I develop routines, find a place to live, have particular friends but always aware that these things are not forever. 

Mr One went traveling for a couple of months and when he returned, he had grown and changed so many of his habits and routines.  

I arrived in Italy and moved into the apartment I had been returning to since 2008 but then I had to leave.  And I love where I live now, so much more but I had to let go and trust that things would be okay, even though it seemed impossible. 

Winter was cold and I was  ill but now it's summer, and it's so hot, and I'm loving that.  It hasn't dropped below 23 celsius for weeks, not even at night but we have these occasional storms and so, unlike much of Italy, we're not experiencing drought.  I love Genova's Fiordland-like deluges.  I leave the windows open and listen to the rain crashing down.

I had a few weeks of wandering alone here in the city. Of days without shape or appointments. I was unmoored from life, quite completely.  There was nothing and no one to hold me but I knew, that too would pass. And so, I very quietly, enjoyed that time of photography, writing and wandering.

I have found places, here in Genova, where the music is good.  And musicians who are some of the kindest, most amusing, people I know.  Spending time with them is so much fun.  I hope to post video here soon.  But that's a long story for later ...

And today, a woman told me she liked my writing, and that meant the world to me.  Grazie mille for your kindness.

It's very difficult to take my work seriously.  I'm a photographer who writes.  It feels more like a kind of rebellion in this world where value is measured via income and social position ... this desire to seek out, and try to capture, beauty.  

So it's another strange space I inhabit.  I'm not anything respectable, like an accountant or a doctor.  I don't work in an office or a shop.  I only make art ... 

But I love my life.  And sometimes, when I go wandering, I turn at the right time and photograph a small boy gently touching a chandelier that is for sale in an antiques market, here in Italy.  And that makes everything perfectly okay.

That First Time ...

I once had a day surgery.  And at the pre-surgery meeting, with the anesthesiologist, he talked to me about how many painkillers I had to take before going in ... he called it a 'loading dose'.

Being me, I may have quietly refused to take that many painkillers.

He convinced me, eventually.

I survived. 

But these days, 'loading dose' has taken on a whole new meaning for me.  It applies to my espresso-intake these mornings.  They are part of my preparation for writing ... mmmhmmm.

I walk in the city, my camera and I, senses often overwhelmed by all that I see and experience. I stop for one espresso, en route.  It seems to help on the hills . This might be my imagination ...    Then, close to home, I find that second coffee and voila, I am ready to write.

I knew I was doing it, at some level, but today I remembered how the loading dose thing worked and thought, yes.  That's what I'm doing.

Unrelated but something else that happened today.  When I moved from Belgium, to Portsmouth, to Farnham, to London, to Oxshott to Genova ... somehow, I managed to hold on to my relatively large collection of journals.  

Today I went back to the journal where I had recorded my first visit to Genova - 17 October, 2008.  It was fascinating (for me anyway) to read over those first impressions.

I had made notes about famous locals, like Fabrizio De Andre, Gilberto Govi, Giuseppe Mazzini and Bruno Lauzi.  Interviewed and photographed a few of the business people I was meeting in those early days ...  at Trattoria Da Maria, Romeo Viganotti and the bakery on Via Ravecca.

But most tellingly ... I had done a family portrait session, for friends of a Brussels-based Genovese friend, and I had written of the shoot location ... 'Seeing the sea brought tears to my eyes.  It's beautiful here.  So beautiful!  It's like the best of everything I've known so far - New Zealand, Istanbul, Salamanca, Antwerp.  

Genova seems to combine everything, in the best possible way.

And then, my first entry, in that journal I had bought to begin in this beautiful city, not knowing I would be living here 8 years later ... Via Ravecca, Porta Soprana, Piazza De Ferarri, Piazza San Matteo. 

All these names are weaving themselves into the fabric of my life ... here in this Genovese world.

And now, here I am, living inside ... a part of the tapestry I so admired.

A recent photograph, for family and friends who haven't seen anything of me in a while  :-)  Taken in one of the truly ancient ruins, here in Genova.

Photo credit.  M. Civiero.