So Much Love ...

I took this photograph back in August 2016.  

something beautiful.jpg

Today, I saw them again.  I wanted to talk to them, so much.  I walked past them, looking for someone who might speak English and act as a translator.

I met the kindest man.  He agreed, and we asked if I might talk with them and tell a little of their story.

It wasn't possible but it was so beautiful to see them again, and see that same connection between them, as they walked along the street.

Grazie mille, to the guy who translated.  I appreciate it so much.

Richard-Ginori ... my most beautiful cup & saucer

The monthly Antiques Market was held, here in Genova, over the weekend and I had a truly lovely night-before-the-market experience that I wanted to remember.  So I'll note it down here.

It made me remember that when I was a very small child, Dad's workmates and friends occasionally arrived on a Friday night, with lobsters, or perhaps a sack of un-shelled oysters, and they'd settle in for the evening in our then, very small, kitchen. I remember the occasional live Lobster crossing the kitchen floor.  And there was laughter too, lots of it. 

Last night, I met friends of friends, here in Italy There were no lobsters, nor oysters, but there was a box, or two, full of small and beautiful items ... all up for sale at the Antiques market this weekend.
The friends work in the industry but knew my friends needed more china.

Who doesn't ...

As beautiful cups and saucers, teapots and silver spoons, were unpacked and admired, I couldn't resist getting my camera.

I think we finished around 2.30am, and as I wandered off to my bed, I remembered those times from my childhood, back when I was incredibly young. 

It was a really beautiful way to spend a few hours, here in Genova. 

Then Sunday came round, and we all went wandering in the Market.  And I found the beautiful cup and saucer that appear at the top of this post.  I couldn't resist.  

This morning, I discovered that drinking my espresso from it is like drinking from an egg shell. It is so delicate.  So beautiful

I had half-heartedly been searching for porcelain with Italy written on the base, not realising that Richard Ginori actually have Genova written there.

Like a child, gifted the perfect gift, I'm still smiling as I write this.

But a little about Richard Ginori ... The Doccia porcelain manufactorer, near Florence, was founded in 1735 by Marchese Carlo Ginori near his villa. Now known as Richard-Ginori, (following its merger with Società Richard of Milan).

Its early wares were of a “soft-paste” imitation porcelain, as were most European porcelains. Ginori established the kilns at the foot of forested Mount Morello, where the timber provided fuel.  They initiated experiments with local potting clays. He engaged J.K.W. Anreiter from Vienna to head the painting workshop and a local sculptor, Gaspero Bruschi, as the chief modeler. Production began in 1737.

By 1740 Ginori was confident enough of his products to send samples to Vienna and get a privilege for porcelain manufacture in the Austrian-ruled Grand Duchy of Tuscany, giving him the security of a monopoly.

Ginori obtained wax models and casts from the heirs of major Florentine baroque sculptors Giovanni Battista Foggini and Massimiliano Soldani, intended for casting in bronze, and produced boldly-scaled porcelain figure groups “of a grandeur which makes the figures of most other C18 factories look petite and trifling,” John Fleming and Hugh Honour observed. Some statuettes of famous Roman sculptures were also produced.

The early Doccia paste is gritty in texture and slightly grayish; its glaze less glossy than most contemporaneous European porcelains. Innovative decorating techniques from the 1740s were transfer-printing and the stampino, or stenciled decor, usually or blue on the white ground.  As these techniques could be used by inexperienced workers, decorated porcelain was brought within reach of the middle classes, and porcelain rapidly replaced traditional maiolica in common use.

Ginori's manufacture was continued by his three sons, who introduced a new, whiter body, with tin oxide added to the glaze for increased whiteness, but were less successful in adapting neoclassical forms to the wares. With the revival of rococo styles in the nineteenth century, the Doccia manufactory reverted to its eighteenth-century models.

The manufacture remained in the hands of the Ginori heirs until 1896, when it was incorporated with the Società Ceramica Richard of Milan, a larger manufacturer of ceramics, as Richard-Ginori. Gio Ponti served as artistic director of the manufacture from 1923 to 1930, producing many designs in the Art Deco manner, and was succeeded by Giovanni Gariboldi, 1930-1970.

Richard-Ginori maintains the Museo di Doccia in Sesto Fiorentino, which moved in 1965 from its original location, in the eighteenth-century factory building, to a new structure purposely designed to house the collection.

Information sourced from Wikipedia.

Surrey, and these amazing women ...

Tonight, thanks to Cathy, I found myself sitting in her lounge with a most marvelous group of women. 

We came from Macedonia, Sweden, America x2, England, France, Bulgaria and New Zealand. 

And I found myself adoring both them, and their stories. 

There was so much laughter.  I had met some of them last week, and enjoyed them already.  Tonight was just MORE.

I love that, that where ever I go in the world, I find these marvelous women.  Full of stories and laughter, and kindness and this incredible fellowship ... from the road perhaps but from being women too.

And one of the other marvelous things I'm enjoying about England, are the charity shops.  It's how I met Cathy.  She runs one of them but ... it's also how I met this exquisite Italian L Medici handbag, Italian leather, built to last forever ...  that I so very much couldn't afford in real life but couldn't resist in the world that is secondhand here in Surrey. 

It was beyond reasonable and, just by way, it fits 3 bottles of red wine inside of itself, so very easily.

Don't You Love It When ...

Don't you love it when your bowl of pasta arrives and it looks too small to fill you, then you begin to feel warm and satisfied, and realise ... the bowl is still 2/3's full!

Don't you love it when you stop to listen to a really good musician and you discover his name is Scott McMahon, he's Scottish, and you talk awhile.  And he tells you the most marvelous story ever ... in his (something like) Billy Connelly accent, confusing you a little because he's serious and the story is true.  He let's you photograph him as he sings.  You buy his cd.

And don't you love it when you order a small glass of the house red wine and discover it's quite a full glass, and that the wine is good.

Don't you love it when you find a million bookshops, secondhand too, just as you decide that the directions you so laboriously noted down, are too difficult to follow.

... when you find the perfect book for Miss 11.  So good that you begin reading it as you eat your pasta at the lovely restaurant that, while out of your price range really, is a great place to cheer yourself up on a grey and rainy autumn day in London.  And knowing, simply knowing, that you and Miss 11 have many many hours of skype reading pleasure ahead ... 500+ pages, no less.

Note: she talked me into reading her 3 chapters last night.  I couldn't resist.

Don't you love it when you work out how to reach the place you'd like to head to for those weekly meetings with New Zealanders.  Although, in the end, that knowledge is for future reference, on a day when you haven't walked your feet into a constant throbbing ache like you just did now, here in the unfamiliar heart of London town.

Don't you love it when you manage to navigate the London Underground, weaving in and out and all over the place, alone.

...  and when you find the National Portrait Gallery near Trafalgar Square, realise it's free, and walk the last of your feet off, exploring exquisite portraits of old heroes and heroines, and people you'd never heard of. 

And the deep pleasure in realising you can afford that bottle of water in the Gallery restaurant, after discovering a thirst that makes you feel you have just spent 2 days walking in a desert.

Don't you love it, really love it, when you realise you are free to take photographs in the National Gallery.

And there was that other golden moment too, when I understood that no one would miss me at the Ngati Ranana meeting, and so I found a train heading my way and got a seat, despite it being rush hour.

Don't you love it, when everything is new and kind of scary sometimes, but you end up finding Sublime out here in this city where you never imagined you might live. 

And arriving 'home', to a warm house, where your truly kind host has cooked up a big feed for dinner, with dessert.  It's warm there and the company is good.

Don't you love it when you realise, sometimes, that day ... it was good one.

The images ... Scott McMahon, and the London Eye.

Beautiful Things Found In These Days Of Searching For My Voice ... (it's coming)

A friend shared this article with me ... Why Some People Are Interesting And Engaging Storytellers.

And this, The Wanderlust Gene and Why Some People Are Born To Travel.

I watched Pane e Tulipa ... again, last night.  I love that Italian movie.

I thought this was interesting, How One Woman's Body Was Photoshopped To Meet 18 Different 'Ideal' Beauty Standards.

This may have made me giggle a little, as I shared it on Facebook.

My beautiful friend, Lisa Chiodo, shared some of her Italy.  I cannot recommend staying with her and Sam enough.  They are truly wonderful people living in Italy and opening their home to the world.

Moana Maniapoto wrote of the traditional Maori funeral here, and I loved how she captured it - Tangihanga - a dying tradition.

And this - Karanga Ra.  Sometimes I just play it up loud because somehow it takes me home. 

It's there on my playlist, between Tim Finn's, Parihaka - a song about the non-violent action preached and practiced by Māori prophets Te Whiti and Tohu at Parihaka in Taranaki forms one of the most compelling episodes in NZ’s 19th century history, as they resisted Pākehā confiscation of their land and home. Tim Finn was inspired to write this paean to the pair, after reading Dick Scott’s influential book Ask That Mountain. Band Herbs provide the accompaniment. Fane Flaws and cinematographer Alun Bollinger’s video was shot over a night at Auckland Art Gallery and takes Colin McCahon’s striking Parihaka triptych as its centrepiece.

Source: NZ on Screen.

And Little Bushman singing Peaceful Man.  Performed with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, it's the story of the peaceful Maori resistance leader, Te Whiti o Rongomai.

And then there was the poem!  Written by my exquisite friend butI need permission to share. I'll get back to you.  It's all about those days after my first divorce, when she was my soulmate and confidant.  There were beaches and long conversations, red wine and laughter.  And so much kindness. 

But that poem about those days ... I'll ask her.