Here I am, almost overwhelmed by the joy I feel on returning to Genova.
The photograph possibly captures some of that ... mmmhmm, and in my hands ... that's the bowl of pesto I learned how to make last night.
The journey here was a story in itself but once I arrived in Genova, life became so very busy and full of good people.
I caught up with Davide, Alessandra, Federico and Isabella, at Villa Migone ... that exquisite 15th century house here in the city. I had my pesto lesson out on the balcony, 17 celsius, generous people and beautiful food.
We ate at the grand dining table, and the pesto ... truly superb. 'John Lennon' played 'Let it be' and it went home with that in my head.
There is so many more stories but I need to return and compete soon. I have the recipe firmly fixed in my mind, I hope. I have learned about the soul of garlic, I have learned quantities, and how to beat and grind those ingredients into the sublime sauce known as Genovese Pesto.
I have met old friends, made new friends and, as always, Genova city has made me feel like I have come home ... to the home of a favourite family member, a best friend. It's a city that, for me, seems like a powerful entity in its own right. A city I'm so glad I am coming to know.
And the scent of Paola's apartment wrapped itself around me when I arrived, the streets smelt of favourite things, like good coffee and pizza, focaccia and all kinds of other scents that I've missed.
And last night I fell into bed, hands covered in the perfume that is basil and garlic.
It was a good day. Wish me well. I'm competing, with 100 others from around the world ... in one hour.