These two didn't know each other before this meeting but still, they became such beautiful friends.
My brand new, recently-fell-from-a-tree-nearby, Kindle stand.
Joey the Wondercar, Leah's valiant little Cinquecento, (Fiat 500) took us on a delicious road-trip yesterday. We wandered, really meandered, from Genova to Portofino and back again, with many stops along the way ... lunch, coffee, aperitivo.
That would be Leah, the Canadian blogger writing over at, Help I Live With My Italian Mother In Law.
The one who laughingly told me, that my camera gear was the only thing that saved me from a soaking yesterday.
This water came that close, as seen below ...
The Ligurian coastline is completely underrated, almost a secret, but I kind of like the peace of that.
And as you can see, if you know New Zealand ... it reminds me of home.
Everything was beautiful out there. Divine even, without exaggeration.
There was this confused feral cat, who stretched and smooched nearby but hissed if we reached out to stroke her. She was a beautiful creature.
And we met up with Leah's little dog soul-mate, and I whispered to him as I clicked the shutter.
Well, we found these hammocks, up in the olive grove, above Leah's house.
I have wanted a hammock my whole entire life. I had spent a few hours in one as a child and loved it. I thought I had died and gone heaven yesterday, up there on the top of the hill at Portofino, in the hammock hanging between two olive trees, as the sun started its slide into sunset.
And on the way home, walking back through the city, people called out and greeted me. And that's gold when you live in a country not your own.
It was a good day ...
Grazie mille, Leah.
I woke slowly this morning, enjoying the sensation of being in a bed fitted with beautifully heavy white sheets that had belonged to a friend's grandmother, and thinking about how it is to wake up here in Genova. The city I have loved for so long now.
On this quiet Sunday morning it felt a little like Christmas morning ...
I had my window open to the world outside and the church bells began ringing in the Sunday morning silence. I wanted to sleep again but I couldn't. I have too much I want to write ... of these past days and nights, and of my photography workshops for 2017. I know i can share this city and my photography in ways I have never been able to offer them before. They are my passions ...
I was out last night (Thursday and Friday night too) but last night, listening to a band called Nickel & Dime at the agriturismo called E Reixe. E Reixe (Genovese for Roots) where we were served the most delicious food before the dining room became the concert venue.
I was out until 1 am, like the previous two nights ... different friends, different music.
The people I've met these last few days ...it's been remarkable. But last night, the most striking thing was the love I saw there in the room. The band members are all friends, and they were having a really good time, as were those who joined the band and played or sang for a song or two. And then there was the love between husbands and wives ... it shone, even managing to warm those like me, out there on the edge of it all.
Perhaps it's because I'm a photographer who loves to write, or perhaps it's simply my way of being but I enjoy quietly studying the people I meet. It's like exploring a new country, although just as a tourist. I only get to see what is there on the outside but last night seemed special, as people let this curious New Zealander question them, and tell her stories too.
Those stories that feel like they get more surreal as the curve of my life expands and is lived in different countries ... as I live different lives.
I have fallen into bad ways. I've been using my phone camera to take photographs, enjoying the freedom and lightness of it but it's just not good enough. I just went through the photographs I've taken these last few nights but low light remains a problem. It turns out ... phone cameras aren't magic wands and one must still observe the rules of photography and light. Mmmhmm but it was a great night, with music that made me smile so hard, and good people. I wandered off to youtube and found Nickel and Dime playing in another bar that I love - da Ostaia da U-Neo, over in Sestri Ponente. I was there Thursday night.
But it's Sunday. Let's see how it unfolds.
10.15am, and the church bells are ringing again, louder ... and my bed is calling me back. Just for a little bit.
I've finally done it. I finally gave up on the phone I left Belgium with and, when replacing its little dead body, I inquired about phones with decent cameras ... not including iPhones.
And I think I've done well. I'm entirely in love with this new machine so very necessary to my life, as people need to be able to contact me and that wasn't a given for a more than a year. But more than that, I have this lovely little machine that lets me take decent snapshots as I wander.
The series of photographs that begin this post ... Piazza De Ferrari's fountain lit up for the evening. Then, Palazzo Ducale in yesterday's 7.30am sunrise light. And the last, taken this morning around the same time, looking forward along Piazza Garibaldi.
I love my morning walk and I'm rapt to be able to share a little of this city I love so well.
I share these photographs on Facebook. Sometimes on my page, other times on my Genova page - Love Notes to Genoa.
I had to smile ... the most feedback came for the leather shop photograph below. People wanted to know the shop's location, and the price of the bags.
They're exquisite, aren't they.
The church in the second set is surely my favourite church exterior here in the city. I love seeing it in the morning ... the beautiful wash of colour, lit up by the sun, and so many of my favourite colours.
And last but not least, my current favourite cafe for aperitivo. Il Fileo's is committed to both quality and quantity. All that you see cost me, in total, the lovely wine included ... 8 euro. It works as dinner :-)
Life goes on here. I'm fighting a little anemia because I'm not mad-keen on the cure however the elevator in my building is under repair and I am hating the 8 flights of marble stairs. 'Porca miseria!' is about all I can say on reaching my door. I will take the medicine ... as I love the home I have found here.
Another of the things I really enjoy about Genova, is its vibrant music scene. I've been fortunate and heard more than a few bands lately. But that's probably a whole other post.
In other news, I'm just about ready to launch a series of behind-the-scenes photography workshops, now that I actually live here. I'm really excited about them and know I'm offering a quality experience. I will share as soon as it's up.
Just a small catch-up, with photographs. I'm good and life is mostly beautiful.
Yesterday ... M.U.R.A was happening, here in the centro storico, in Genova.
It was fantastic! I kid you not. They promised 2 days, 16 hours, 30 locations and 40 events.
I don't know if they kept their promises but I can only presume they did because ... the quality of the artists performing was so high that there was no way to see and hear everyone. I wanted to linger and listen everywhere I went.
I heard Raffaele Kohler, play trumpet at a concert a few years ago, here in Genova. I never forgot being completely stunned by his performance then and had looked for his CD. I didn't find one. I have one this time. Grazie mille.
And the delicious thing is that he's not just musician but he's an entertainer too. He's hilarious, if the audience response to his stories was anything to go by. Then there were scenes like the one above ...
It felt like he gave us his all during the two hours of free concert out in Piazza Lavagna...
But wait, he was part of a trio and honestly, the other two were truly superb musicians too ... it's only that I wanted, so much, to hear him perform again that I am so focused on the delight I felt in catching his performance.
Grazie mille to M.U.R.A for organising this beautiful 16 hours, and for finding so many talented artists. It was a magical night, one where I wandered alone until midnight.
And, finally, I got to hear Raffaele Kohler play again.