Found in Surrey, England

My lovely friend, Kim, took me out to lunch today and we ended up in a pretty little village called Godalming.  

Have I already mentioned that the charity shops in England blow my mind?

Books, really good secondhand books, start at .50p and don't go higher than 2 pounds.  And they're all in English. 

I have been living outside of English for so long that I still find this stunning, even after a month in this world.

It was foggy today but beautifully, autumly, foggy.  The light was divine and, for the first time in a long time, I felt my passion for photography rise up and demand time.

Kim stopped at a church, somewhere in the hills of Surrey, so that my camera and I could play for a while. 

The lunch was delicious.  We discovered Grills and Greens, and were served by a lovely guy from Rome.  My tagliatelle funghi, mushrooms and cream sauce with fresh ground black pepper, was rather divine.

The Problem of Writing a Brilliant CV ...

One of the more difficult things about beginning this new life is writing up my CV ... telling the story of me and my work experiences so that people think it a good idea to hire me.

And I want to stay with the truth while remembering that it is about marketing.  Modesty isn't really the way to go ...

So how do I define what I have done these last few years.  How do I present my experience.  And myself.

I'm not sure that I quite fit any pre-defined box but perhaps that's a good thing.

I have a working title for my job description but it's only a working title.

So, with my head broken after a morning of study and much thinking, I wandered off to visit with one of the neighbours - friends of my lovely friends, Kim and Andy. 

What a delightful way to spend a couple of hours!

Diana is one of those wise women, a person I felt I had known a very long time.  And Steve is kindness itself.

I have returned to my work station refilled and replenished.

So yes, it's all about me. 

I photographed their 17th century wall yesterday, in the exquisite Autumn afternoon light ... there's a story to come about it all.  Of patents, inventors and brick-laying inventions.

Winter Blue ...

I posted, over on Facebook, that some friends in Genova will no longer believe me when I tell them I go there to escape the grey skies of Belgium.  Roberto and Doris flew in from Liguria on Monday, just as a high pressure weather system stalled over us.  They have enjoyed deep blue skies these last 3 days ...

We have had our first frosts here but a lot can be lived with if deep blue skies are involved.  I mentioned the fact that I had laundry drying on the clothes-line outside ... not completely drying but still, it was out and it was drying some, and she asked if I had photographed my lovely December clothes-line.

The thing is, once I pick up my camera, the difficulty is in putting it down again.  So rather than simply photograph sheets and duvet covers drying on my clothes-line outside, I wandered round our little pocket-sized garden.  I noticed the honeysuckle has been fooled into flowering again and that the raspberry leaves look rather divine in their autumn state. 

And so, a collage ...

Autumn Scenes in Antwerp, Belgium

It's a grey and miserable autumn day here in the city and that was me, out the door and on the tram, on school run by 7.30am.  To complicate things, Wednesdays and Thursdays Miss 9 's school closes at midday so I get an hour or two at home before I'm back out and across the city to pick her up. 

Who knows why I imagined I could handle my red umbrella and my camera but I did.  I created a couple of montages - photographs taken as I wandered across Antwerp city.  A tram from the suburbs to the city centre, then a walk that wends its way through cobble-stoned backstreets and ancient buildings ...

4.30pm, it's still raining and we're losing the light fast.  It's not even winter yet.  But anyway, my adopted city ...

There's the tree-lined street ... that I don't live in.  The tram tracks curving off into the distance.  And the beautiful park I live near.  The one that often has a 'beautiful mist' softening the scenes there.  'Beautiful mist' because, pretty as it is, it is actually the horrendous pollution created by one of Europe's busiest highways just next-door there.

The next montage was made up of images I found in the city.  Antwerp is a city of painters.  Rubens also lived here and there are statues all over the place. 

Reflections, taken on the street I call the street of the antique shops.  I loved the soldiers and the wine glasses... I tried to capture them while including the street scene too.  It made what might have been a miserable day almost fun.


It's been on odd going away on adventures not of my own making ... to places I hadn't dreamed of but it's been grand.  Absolutely excellent, in fact.

I've spent most of these last two months traveling, oftentimes feeling like Alison in Wonderland.  So ... if I haven't been exploring beautiful new locations and meeting most excellent people, I've been unpacking and preparing for the next big adventure.

Nicaragua was mentioned today but I have heard stories of wildlife I don't care to meet there and so now it is that I must prepare to face a Belgian winter ... it's here.  Oh how Belgium embraces that rotten season, wringing every last drop of greyness and misery out and dumping it over us here in the flatlands.  Our previous winter lasted into July, more or less, if I'm telling the story. 

I feel gloomy today, as darkness began descending much earlier than I recall it descending way back in August when my travels began.

Belgians have already told me of yesterday, that sunny day I spent in Paris ... was pure misery over here in Antwerp.  I feel like I should stockpile some vitamin D, and buy up all new material that slightly superb Australian, Tim Minchin, produces during this new season that I do not, in any way, enjoy.