Just a Small Note from December in Genova, Italy

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I found this new toy recently  ... 

I told myself all the reasons I shouldn't buy it, wandered the beautiful store for a while longer, then bought it.   I see hours of experimentation ahead of me.  

I was in bed early last night.  Tired, fighting the ongoing cold that seems always to hit me anytime from October on.  This year I was good until December.  This is round 2.  I'm over it in my head.  My nose, it's telling a different story.

I went to bed early last night, I woke at 5.18am.  I gave in and breakfasted.  My alarm goes at 6.31 am. 

To survive this 6 hour habit of mine, I have finally learned in this most marvelous trick for the weekends.  I get up when I wake, have breakfast, then go back to bed and sleep awhile.

It's a fairly serious ta-dah! moment for me.

Eating breakfast this morning, I started to research the distance between those destinations I'm traveling to in the months ahead.  By the time I return to Genova, I will have covered 36,000kms, at very least.  These were 'as the crow flies' numbers.

And so ... I'm bogged down in winter and having a cold, trying to pack for very different climates, and yes ... just trying to think of 'everything' that must be done before flying.  Oh, and in love with the music of Paolo Nutini.  This version of Candy, in particular.

I'll miss this city and its people.  I fell in love with Genova, Italy, way back in 2008.  The love has only deepened and, for the first time ever, I'm struggling to leave however, once I'm moving I'll be fine.  And friends have assured me that the city will be there when I return.

I bought this hat last year.  It's time.  More than time as I layer up on these colder mornings. 

Here I am, reflected in one of the ancient mirrors, in this place where I live.

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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 ...


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

Marco Fabbri & the Irish Fiddle Workshop, Genova

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I'm sitting here, on the second-last step of the marble stairs at Kokopelli B&B, listening to a small group of Italians studying traditional Irish music, played on the fiddle, with Marco Fabbri.

There's a wood burner softening the air, creating that blur where my New Zealand memories exist ...the smoke, the big cosy lounge, and the gathering of good people, reminds me of home, of times past.

I arrived here on Friday night and have been quietly delighting in my good fortune ever since.  Marco is both a superb musician and excellent teacher, and the workshop has been a joy to attempt to capture ... both in photographs and on video. 

As I write this, 5 fiddlers are playing 'Murphy's', led by Marco's foot tapping out the beat.  Paola's B&B is in her home and it's a beautiful home, with unlimited early-morning coffee, which is so important to me these days.  And there's this bed I'm going to struggle to leave, as it's the best I've slept in since leaving New Zealand so many years ago.

Yesterday's lunch was at a local bar and last night's dinner was in my favourite pizzeria down in the city.  'In the city' because after dinner we made our way into the heart of the caruggi where Marco and fellow Roman. Gabriele Caporuscio,  played their beautiful Irish music.  Afterwards they were joined by a few local musicians and had a 'session'.


The big challenge was the lighting, down there in the medieval basement, where light was limited to candlelight.  Not the best for photography but interesting, with the ISO cranked up to 6000+  ... as above.

1am, we 4 dragged ourselves back to the car and made the 30 minute journey, back up into the hills, where we only had the strength to say a series of 'Buona nottte's,' before disappearing to our rooms. 

Sunday morning, and it's been more than 24 hours of Irish music, eating, some laughing and a little drinking too ... I don't want to leave but isn't that how the best workshops go. 

But I wanted to write this while the woodsmoke was still in the air, and while the workshop was still happening, and while I was full of the peace that comes from living out a most excellent experience.  

And I was lucky to get here, much has been happening and I was exhausted when the invitation arrived.  I almost said no to this but suspected it would be to good to miss.  It has been so much better than I could have imagined.  The people have been kind, and there has been the delight of other musicians swirling in and out of the group.

I'll go back to work on the photographs but ciao from this beautiful slice of Ireland, up here in the hills above Genova.