There's a wood burner softening the air, creating that blur where my New Zealand memories exist ...the smoke, the big cosy lounge, and the gathering of good people, reminds me of home, of times past.
I arrived here on Friday night and have been quietly delighting in my good fortune ever since. Marco is both a superb musician and excellent teacher, and the workshop has been a joy to attempt to capture ... both in photographs and on video.
As I write this, 5 fiddlers are playing 'Murphy's', led by Marco's foot tapping out the beat. Paola's B&B is in her home and it's a beautiful home, with unlimited early-morning coffee, which is so important to me these days. And there's this bed I'm going to struggle to leave, as it's the best I've slept in since leaving New Zealand so many years ago.
Yesterday's lunch was at a local bar and last night's dinner was in my favourite pizzeria down in the city. 'In the city' because after dinner we made our way into the heart of the caruggi where Marco and fellow Roman. Gabriele Caporuscio, played their beautiful Irish music. Afterwards they were joined by a few local musicians and had a 'session'.
The big challenge was the lighting, down there in the medieval basement, where light was limited to candlelight. Not the best for photography but interesting, with the ISO cranked up to 6000+ ... as above.
1am, we 4 dragged ourselves back to the car and made the 30 minute journey, back up into the hills, where we only had the strength to say a series of 'Buona nottte's,' before disappearing to our rooms.
Sunday morning, and it's been more than 24 hours of Irish music, eating, some laughing and a little drinking too ... I don't want to leave but isn't that how the best workshops go.
But I wanted to write this while the woodsmoke was still in the air, and while the workshop was still happening, and while I was full of the peace that comes from living out a most excellent experience.
And I was lucky to get here, much has been happening and I was exhausted when the invitation arrived. I almost said no to this but suspected it would be to good to miss. It has been so much better than I could have imagined. The people have been kind, and there has been the delight of other musicians swirling in and out of the group.
I'll go back to work on the photographs but ciao from this beautiful slice of Ireland, up here in the hills above Genova.