Stories and People ...

Maybe we refuse to acknowledge our common origins because racism causes amnesia, or because we find it unbelievable that in those days long past the entire world was our kingdom, an immense map without borders, and our legs were the only passport required.

Eduardo Galeano, Mirrors - Stories of Almost Everyone.

Re-entry is always difficult.  My life in Genova is so different to the life I live here in Antwerp.  And being house-keeper in this quirky little Belgian house means settling back into that domestic life of cleaning and cooking and taking care of people.

It's also about me creating a space that I like to spend time in and so there are peonies in the big vase downstairs ... my laundry is done, the floors have been cleaned, bread was baked, meals cooked.  The transition  is complete, I am a housewife and all kinds of other things too, again.

I've done a couple of school-runs with Miss 9 (almost Miss 10), we're on a countdown to her fourth of July birthday.  And one of those school-runs involved a much-needed detour to my place of worship and peace ... De Slegte.  I found treasure, of course.

Eduardo Galeano's book, Mirrors - Stories of Almost Everyone, was my tram-companion today.  I love that  man's humour.  His intelligence more than anything but the way that he writes is rather exquisite.  I heard him interviewed a while back and thought, 'Hmmmm'. 

I have a copy of his Children of the Days too. 

In other news, in news from Genova ... Giovanni is a friend I met long-ago via the internet.  Raised in Milan, he moved to New Zealand some years ago with his wife, and it is from there that he too writes the most marvelous things.

You can imagine, it's rare that we find ourselves in the same country at the same time.  Until this last visit he was always in Italy when I wasn't however we did catch up back in 2010, when I was at home in New Zealand.  And this time the gods of travel allowed us a small meeting.

He arrived in Genova last Sunday and we met in Piazza De Ferrari.  The antiques market was still on and it was fun to wander with him, hearing his stories of this thing and that. 

I was obviously beyond temptation having purchased the beautiful shawl.  (Actually I reached home with about 2euro in change in my pocket.  This is my traveling life, the common story of Di wandering... New Zealand to Istanbul being the most disturbingly close-call of all).

Giovanni and I lunched, we caught up on stories and then, that evening we were able to join Barbara, Donatella, Luciano, and friends of theirs, for aperitivo out in the city.  It was so much fun.  But that's Genova to me ... aka La Superba.

My airline had contacted me that afternoon and so there was the scramble as I worked to get ready to leave a day earlier than I had planned.  Gert has since expressed bemused surprise that he made that mistake while booking for me.  We never make these mistakes and, while it was a situation that made me laugh, there was so much I was leaving until that last day in the city. 

Mmmm, children, don't leave everything until the last moment.

Anyway, I left Giovanni in the city on the Monday, as he wandered there before he headed off along the exquisite Ligurian coastline.  And I gifted my wine and Monday-food to Barbara, then left.  It was over again.

And below ... a photograph I took of Giovanni as we said our goodbyes until next time we find ourselves in the same country again.