It's been busy, and beautiful, and challenging ... and sometimes almost more than I think I can stand.
Sometimes I've panicked a little about my future, thinking ... 'now what!!? How will I get through this moment?' And, just occasionally, there have been tears.
But mostly it's all good here in Genova, Italy. I'm finding my way, meeting truly superb people, making good friends, and having excellent adventures. There are still things I have to sort out and organise but one thing at a time.
This weekend has been the weekend of the Street Food Fest and I wandered along with my camera, quietly slipping through the event until being outed by Roberto Panizza, as a pesto world championship competitor from New Zealand. At which point, I was called up to the pesto demonstration, interviewed by Hira, and yes ... invited back up at the end to have that first taste of the pesto just made.
And so this photographer was there on the wrong side of the camera, torn between amusement and mortification...
Hira, the journalist who interviewed me, invited me back to work with her last night. So I wandered along and took even more photographs of the food people pedaling their delicious foods. It was fun. You can see it ... I adore the Genovese, and I guess that they know it. I was photo-bombed, while thinking myself kind of invisible photographing the food he was making ...
I have new sandals. It's been 30 celsius most days since moving here, and it's fine but I was walking a lot and had a massive blister, or two, on the soles of my feet. I finally accepted that I needed good walking sandals and last night I found them. I can go back to my hill-walking now.
I move into the city on Tuesday. I've been out in the 'burbs, in Quarto, cat-sitting but it's been a really nice way to arrive. And I've come to love Bus 17, my bus into the city, as I keep meeting marvelous people on the journey in.
There was the lovely woman who moved here, back when she was 9 years old ... she came from NYC in 1947, and never left. And the woman, with her dog. She has invited me to her Italian/English classes during the week.
Learning Italian, finally, has become my next big thing. Until then, I have the sweetest friends who speak English, or who are English-speaking. Paula and Paolo, and sweet baby Marc have become people I adore spending time with.
Silvia, my Genovese translator friend, makes me laugh like no other. Her humour is dry, and quite dangerous sometimes:-) Beautiful Alessandra, her partner Davide, Isabella, and Paola, picked me up and took me to the free Jack Savoretti concert in Portofino last week. That was surreal ... I've loved his music since first hearing his song, 'Home'. The concert was superb, he gifted us so many songs. And then walking back to the car, along the Ligurian coast after midnight, was quite the magical thing. It reminded me so much of when I lived at Broad Bay in Dunedin.
Outi, my Finnish friend living at Nervi, has become a writing partner and we spend a day together, as often as is possible, writing. And Millica, the lovely Californian, I'm just getting to know. She loaded me up with books before heading away on her summer holiday. Invited me out for a delicious lunch, patiently guided me when I got lost on the way there, and simply delights me with her take on the world.
Douce, that cafe in Piazza Matteotti, saves me some days ... it's that place where I go sit in the sun and watch the world pass by, drinking just one glass of cold white Ligurian wine. I'm quite happy alone but sometimes I miss having the swirl of a family around me, or that special bloke to share my days with. Then again, I've always wandered alone so nothing is really new there - as it's simpler to go to that place where I lose my self and find photographs if I'm alone.
And so I've had some magical days out in the city, finding light like this ...
Coco the cat has been good company although, she gets cross if I work here too long. The first warning I get is her raspy little cat tongue licking my bare leg. If I'm concentrating too hard and miss that, the next thing I know is her little cat teeth are nipping me.
Words most often heard, via my open balcony doors ... 'Coco! Don't bite me!' And then laughter because what can you do with a cuddly stroppy little bundle of cat that has decided she has the right to punish you for lack of attention ...
And so it goes ... I'm happy, more often than I'm sad. I know good people and, slowly but surely, life is coming together here in Liguria.
Ciao for now.