The Space Between ...

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It's only just July and, already, it's been quite an unusual year ... full of exotic destinations, quiet happiness and quite some joy, disappointments, delightful people, family, and misunderstandings too.  

It's Life, isn't it.

Today I finally stopped, just for a couple of weeks.  

I have sorted, lifted, and shifted everything I own, getting rid of as much as I could, keeping in mind that I will have a place to 'furnish' in September.

I have lost, at least, 4kgs.  This is not a bad thing.  I am stronger, fitter, and browner than I've been in a while.  On the other hand, I'm exhausted.  The ankle I sprained a few weeks ago reminds me that I have been quite unfair with my demands on it, and it continues to puff up in protest.  But I can walk on it and I'm grateful for that.

I said goodbye to my little sister, and her husband, yesterday morning.  They're still flying today.  The first leg of the journey was about 8 hours.  The second is 17 hours.   I was left wiping away a few sneaky tears as I strode off to finish emptying my room in the palazzo.  I went via Douce, for a restorative espresso and a moment of calm before the lifting and shifting. 

I had the loveliest time with them.  Altogether, we got to spend 17 days catching up, talking, telling stories, eating and drinking when we could.

I saw the web in the photo above, when it was caught in the evening light.  I found it beautiful.

ADMIT by David Whyte

Admit, that once you have got up
from your chair and opened the door, 
once you have walked out into the clear air
toward that edge and taken the path up high
beyond the ordinary you have become
the privileged and the pilgrim,
the one who will tell the story
and the one, coming back from the mountain
who helped to make it.

David Whyte

From MAMEEN, River Flow: New and Selected Poem.

I would love to tell a story about this house.  It's the first I've fallen in love with, in years and years.

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EuroFlora, Italy

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Nervi, in Liguria, is hosting EuroFlora this year.   And as the small coastal town is only 9kms from Genoa, so it is that Genoa is celebrating the international event with a variety of EuroFlora-orientated actions.

The most startling, for me, has been the overnight appearance of 100s of brightly-coloured umbrellas, hanging above particular streets here in the city.

Walking to work recently, I discovered Via Aprile's sky-view had been completely filled with open umbrellas.  And over days, other streets and ceilings too, have been filled in the same way.

I wanted to capture the display in a different way, and actually ended up taking a series of images.  The photograph above was my favourite.

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Where The Magic Happens ...

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The magic happens, sometimes, in that space where you break all the rules ... or accidentally bump the Mode setting onto another, entirely inappropriate, setting.

I love this photograph, taken with my Canon 5D MkII.  It seems like a water colour and is, perhaps, the only way my daughter would allow me to publish a photograph of her.

She's crouching, photographing her exquisite Romanian rescue dog.  Sahara and Sander are there too.  As is the snow.  

I'm up in Scotland today.  -6 celsius this morning, and frozen feet.

In huge news, for me, I managed to light the fire but while applauding my own cleverness, the vent knob fell off.  I went from feeling like Pioneer Woman to Ms Bean - Mr Bean's twin sister, in a heartbeat.

I opted to leave my slippers out of my packing and so,  feet masquerading as blocks of ice, are my new normal here in the north of Scotland.  I'm also missing my external harddrive, my hiking boots ... and my flatmates loved the Italian Christmas cake I left behind. 

I have never forgotten having to throw away quite a bit of my stuff, at the airport, for the flight between the UK and Italy.

Photographically, I am loving Scotland.  But in other ways struggling with the cold.  It seems I have softened in Italy.  That long hot Spring, Summer and Autumn in no way prepared me for this but but but ... it is so good to see family, to catch up on their news, to eat English food :-)

All of that.


Starting over ...

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I think, like a creature that was domesticated for a while, I'm learning how to be alone and free again.  And to really treasure the freedoms I have.

I was wandering today.  All over this city I love.  And at sunset, I went to the coast and played a while, I took this.

My daughter gifted me the most beautiful leather camera strap for my birthday.  My beloved old camera bag died but I had another, brand-new but bigger.  I finally put everything together and went out ... feeling kind of new to this Canon 5D MK II camera thing. 

I've been pushing things with my phone camera.  Applying the rules of photography, playing but seriously. 

I'm pleased with this.