On Blogging about Antwerp

I write for the Fans of Flanders website once a week.  It's been interesting finding my voice over there because it feels less about me as a photographer and more about me as a foreigner here in Belgium ... kind of.

But this weekend's post was slightly simpler to write ... well, it took ages but I was working through a small crisis.  You see I have been known to complain about things here in Belgium.  It's a very flat country, there's only 60kms of coastline, it's polluted, and people can be quite rude in the shops and on the trams ... not always but by crikey, I have more than enough stories of outrage.

Last weekend we had a party and one of our guests was the lovely Spanish-based American friend called Erik.  He is friend to Simon and Paola, and so it was that he stayed with them over in Brussels, and they decided they would leave exploring Antwerp until the Saturday of the party.

I realised I would have to leave them to it, as there were more than 25 guests coming and we were cooking dinner for 7 plus 2 kidlets, beforehand.   I found it strangely painful not to be involved in micro-managing their city wandering. 

I was bemused ... but wait, what is this feeling???  Is it really that I want Erik to see Antwerp in the best possible light?  Really?

And I realised that this is my over-arching desire when it comes to this adopted Flemish city of mine.  I love introducing people to it, to the secret places tourists don't always find, to the restaurants and cafes with the best food and wine, to the ancient cobblestone streets that hide so many surprises ... really quirky surprises sometimes.   I love it because somehow this city has become part of me.  

Anyway ... my small crisis played out over on my Antwerp page.


A Recipe for Dreaming

The streets in Genova pull me out into them ... I can spend hours walking there, lost in the now.  I am missing those days where images came in through my camera lens as a deluge of colours and textures.

In New Zealand I was the kid and later, the woman, who disappeared constantly ... on my bike or in the car, with my dog, I was off, in search of a place to dream.  Rivers, lakes, the beach or, more simply, a school field.

In Genova I find that space more easily in a cityscape than anyplace else I've lived so far.  It used to be Nature, now it seems  that this remarkable old Italian city can soothe my soul.