A Smaller, Quieter Life ...

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My days here, are so different from those beautiful days back in Genova.

I miss the bars, and the lovely people who worked there, making the best coffe in the world.

I miss the noise of the city, and the quiet of the medieval centre.

I miss the musicians, and the everyday presence of ancient places. I miss passing by people whose faces look like faces painted in 400 year old paintings. I miss good pasta and sauce, pizza and walking. 

I miss the Genovese.

BUT, I am learning to love hanging my laundry out on Dad's old clothes line, in the garden that smells of roses and all the other flowers he has there. And it makes me so happy to climb into my bed when thesheets smell of fresh air & sunshine. 

I love the sound of the birds ... one of the only sounds as I hung out my laundry at 7am this morning.

I was always passionate about driving ... about wandering, and so I am happy to be driving again. Even if I enjoyed the kilometres I walked on Genovese footpaths, and the buses and trains. And I'm not sure how to avoid weight gain, other than via that boring path called self-discipline.

Reading. I have just finished 3 books, one after another. Reading late into the night, just as I did as a child.

My espresso machine is making me happy, I just need to go find 'the' coffee. 

I love 32 celsius days (yesterday) and sitting here in the kitchen, back door open to the garden, and working. 

Mmmhmmm, I called the plumber today. The bathroom tap is broken and it has leaked for days now. 
Another thing to love, after a life lived in Europe, I phoned the plumber at 8.50am and he said, 'Okay, I'm doing a job just round the road, I'll come to you after it'. It was the same with the washing machine repair guy. That's quite marvelous really :-)

Here I am, just trying to find my balance again, in this smaller, quieter life that I'm living. 
Buona giornata ...

Foto: these chairs, were just there, in this ancient ruin in Genova. I had my photograph taken in one, and couldn't resist the beauty of this still-life moment, Genovese-style.

An Infinite Variety ...

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It seems as though there is an infinite variety of ways to explore Genoa.

I couldn't resist using those words.  Most easily, you can use your own two feet, alone or guided.  There is a hop on/hop off bus.  There are segway tours.  A miniature train tour.  And, of course, public transport.  There are boats, bikes, outdoor elevators, and a funicular too.

And this rickshaw guided tour ...  

Really.

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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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.

Family Portrait, Portofino

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After a bit of a break from portrait photography, I had a family session up on the top of the hill at Portofino.  My friend Leah has an agriturismo, under construction, up there in that beautiful place.

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I had the loveliest time with this beautiful family.  There was much laughter and sunshine, some Prosecco too.

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And so much love between the 4 of them.

It felt like an extraordinary privilege, both to photograph the family, and to work up at Leah's place.

Grazie mille to all involved  :-)

Where To Begin ...

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So much has happened since my previous post.  Then again, 'so much' is normal here.  The city is vibrantly alive, and offers up so many stories and secret places, that I could wander happily for a hundred years or more. 

I've been using my phone camera a lot.  Pushing it hard, to see what is possible. Applying the rules of photography to the little Samsung Galaxy.  I used it for this photograph, taken in Piazza De Ferrari. one dark and rainy night.

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The view from my bedroom makes me so happy.  After months of having the shutters closed by the scaffolding around the building, they finally took it all down and left me with this.  

It's 13 celsius, on this winters day in Liguria, and my windows are open.  

And yes, I'm still loving it here.  Even more, if that is possible