Golden Days ... Genova

My mornings begin slowly in this golden city in Italy. Morning after morning, I wake to soft blue skies and 30 celsius.  It's changing the pulse of my body ... of my mind. 

I am finding my feet but so slowly. 

Every time I move countries, I have to relocate everything.  The names of simple things change with the language.  Favourite places and people need to be discovered.  And I search for that new rhythm for my days ... for my life.

My holy moment, those breakfasts I love, have to be hunted and gathered again.  Reframed by what is available.  I haven't quite found 'breakfast' here ... not yet.

My skin is becoming brown, my feet have become accustomed to open leather sandals, and I wear that silky clothing I found in the secondhand shops in Surrey.  And I'm bemused because I've never been a silky clothing kind of woman.  But it's hot.  Really hot.

I have this idea now, that wearing clothes only happens because we have been civilised.  In Genova, the heat and humidity dictate that we only cover the skin that we must cover because any more coverage is just plain insane.

But the city and its colour... I began this wanting to try and describe the peachy, golden glow of the buildings here. 

In the past, I've always lived 'in' the city but this time is different, just for a while.  And as my bus rolls down the hill into the city, I see the glow of the buildings and begin to understand that colour is one of the things that has made me fall in me love this ancient place.

Even here, looking out from my borrowed balcony, the buildings are shades of pale yellow through into gold and terracotta.   And yes, then there's the blue sky, arching over it all ... every single day so far.

Life feels soft.  The air, the sea, the colours that surround me.  It's early days and I'm letting myself sink into them slowly.  Knowing I shouldn't but unable to help it.  To rush, to be stressed, to worry ... would be to waste it all.

I have half-constructed that precious breakfast.  There's a coffee machine here so I have my espresso.  Peaches are ripe and cheap at the moment ... they remind me of Christmas, long summer holidays, and home.  And there's cereal but this is definitely only an 'under-construction' kind of breakfast.  The search continues ...

My dinners are mostly about salad.  Paysanne Salade might loosely identify the mix of ingredients that find their way onto my plate.  Sweet lettuce and baby tomatoes,  and a little cooked bacon.  Sweet potatoes (New Zealand's kumara) cubed and lightly fried in some oil, with pieces bread falling into that pan too ... after the bacon.

I'm not sick of it yet.

I have so many stories of good people and marvelous adventures.  It's time to start telling them but first ... you understand, I had to mention the colour.

An Afternoon at the Antwerp Zoo

In my photography, there are themes that recur, images that I don't realise I'm chasing ...

Reflections would fall into that category.

Today was a sunny autumn day here in Antwerp.  Miss 9 and I wandered off to the zoo.  School holidays.   And I had to smile as we worked on a miniature photography workshop while exploring the zoo together. 

Her joy, as she worked out shutter speed and focus, was lovely.  She really got it. 

Anyway, she was given a zoo map when she paid for her ticket.  Oh my, there were some conversations where I suggested her map-reading skills were dodgy.  She laughed and, of course, we ended up at that funky slide over in the playground ... 

Not so dodgy it seems, perhaps we were simply on different missions.

Eventually I was able to arrive at the giraffe enclosure.  It's one of my favourite places there in the zoo but what I had forgotten was that there is a water course that runs round the edge of their space.  I don't know what it is about the water but it reflects exquisitely.

The image that follows ... Antwerp's blue sky reflected with the stripes and paint on the giraffe house.  Miss 9 and I could have stayed there all afternoon but for the fact we were cold and getting hungry.

Dank u wel for a lovely day, little Miss 9.

In Liguria ...

These days in Genova have been filled with adventures of an unimagined kind ...

Anna, from Beautiful Liguria, has teamed up with me and we're working on a project (or two) together.  These last few days we have wandered in Liguria, interviewing and photographing some very special artisans.  People using techniques that sometimes go back as far as medieval times because 'they still work'.  People keeping the personal touch alive in their creations and creating so much beauty in the process.

It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to visit these worlds I knew nothing of and in a region so beautiful that the journey has been as much a part of the destination.

I feel like I have fallen through the looking glass, from one beautiful adventure and into another.  And still it continues. 

As always, in Italy, it's about the people, and I am meeting truly excellent people.  They are kind to this foreigner, that one with so many questions and a desire to photograph all.

Here is a taste of the beauty I saw today.  Can you guess what it might be?

Light and Colour, Genova

I can never predict what I might find out in the streets of Genova, Italy.

Never.  It seems that all is possible.  Today the light was strong and it was hot.  Really unbelievably hot but I am adjusting to it.  Loving it even ... after the long Belgian winter that was.

I couldn't resist attempting to capture something of the artworks found in the narrow caruggi (alleyways) here in the ancient heart of Genova.