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.