Some Sublime ...

Genova is one of those places where something sublime seems to happen most days.

Monday I finally slowed down and organised myself here at Paola's place.  I was expecting/planning a quiet night but suddenly it became one of those extraordinary evenings that involved me following instructions, boarding a bus and arriving at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, home of the Genoa football team.  

Extraordinary  because I started following the Genoa back in those days when I lived in New Zealand.  I was a rugby kind of woman in some ways but sport is religion back home and so I was open to being curious about most sports.

In Istanbul, Genoa kept me safe when my students (always) asked which team I supported ... Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, or Trabzonspor?  I would calmly reply, Genoa.  Shocking them into acceptance.

In Belgium, I attempted to switch my support to Antwerp but found I couldn't.  Genoa had occupied that part of my heart and there was no point in trying to change.

And so I follow their news here and it works well enough.  The games appear as live text.  I was fine with this (because I had to be) but last night ... LAST NIGHT I WAS AT THE GAME. 

Ohmygoodness.  You know when something is so amazing that you can't believe it is real? 

It was like that.

When I first started following the team, I lived more than 16,000kms away.  Last night, there was the team, directly below me.   And they were good. 

I think this is the best team since I began following although, I should note that one has to reserve large amounts of pessimism and display almost no hope, for fear of jinxing a good run but the team this year ... it's good.  Really good.

So, yesterday's sublime was finally attending a game at the superb Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

A huge grazie mille to those who made it happen. 


I flew over to Genova last Friday and immediately, upon arriving ... stories began to unfold.

It was a madly-busy, exquisitely-joyfilled 5-days.  And I couldn't reach the back-end of my website for some reason but honestly, I had no spare time. 

I stayed with the kindest friends out at Arenzano.  And I met their friend, the talented artist Giorgio Bormida.  Actually, I wanted to cook dinner for Francesca and Beppe before I left, and ended up cooking for Giorgio too.  It was only as I began dinner prep that I thought ... 'What have I done??!  Cooking isn't really my best thing'.  But they were all very kind.

I caught up with some of my favourite people there in the city but completely missed out on catching up with others.  It was lovely to catch up with Stefano, the owner/operator of Righicam, over lunch.  And with Francesca and Norma, from Le Gramole.

And then there was that 24 hours spent working with Diana, staying at B&B Baur with her and Micha.  It was sublime ... photographs and words to follow in the days to come.  I heard my first cuckoo as I sat by the open window in the morning.  And the views  ...

The kindness of Genovese strangers stunned me and ... well, it made me smile.  A lot really.  I met a lovely guy at a concert in Palazzo Ducale, who kindly explained all that was happening, to Outi and I.  But Outi and I is another whole story.

Meanwhile, here I am, just in from an 11-hour day of traveling.  It was a day that involved a train, a taxi, a plane from Genova to Rome, a bus to and from the plane, another plane to Brussels, then a bus and a tram home.

I shall return with photographs downloaded, with a mind rested and ready to tell you some stories.

Piazza Banchi, Genova

I think one’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes. I see no reason to paint but that.
Andrew Wyeth.

Exploring the depth of my love for a place seems like an inspiring reason to take photographs too.  There is more passion, more depth and emotion, when you turn your camera on something you love.

Piazza Banchi, the place where I buy my pink flowers when in Genova.  Taken one winter's night, January, 2012.

(Note: this was taken after the sun had gone down.  I spun my Canon EOS 5D MkII's ISO up to someplace around 6000 (thank you to Canon for this option) then handheld the camera to see what I might get without a flash or a tripod.)

Antica Drogheria di Canneto, Genova

I met the loveliest man, via Francesca, when she was searching for Lupini ...

We decided they were surely something to do with my beloved flower, the Lupin, but the photograph on the bag of beans showed this enormously strange and beautiful tree.  Google-searching tonight, Francesca ... it seems we were right.  All photographs in the search pointed to the Lupin I know.

Anyway, I wasn't carrying my photography gear and Francesca asked if I might wander back along Via di Canneto il Lungo, to number 54R, for a photography shoot.  The lovely man said, 'Si'.  So here's a small glimpse of the magical drogheria where you can buy all kinds of everything.

He tried some of his English and I appreciated it immensely but here, you can see him chatting with Karla Verdugo, a favourite artist friend of mine.