A New Post on the Antwerp page

There has been a real sense of storing impressions ... of really looking, as I walk city streets in these days before flying back home to New Zealand ...

This is the opening to a new blog post I wrote for Fans of Flanders, and posted on my Antwerp page but even as I write this here, I'm thinking maybe I need to create a New Zealand page.

I'll leave you with another image from New Zealand photographer, and good friend, David Wall.

Must finish packing ... tot later.


Leaving again ...

This morning, I set the alarm for 6.15am, giving me time to clean the apartment before leaving ... two loads of laundry to do.

I woke at 5.20am and lay thinking how unfair it was, knowing there was no way to sleep again.

I showered, put the first load of laundry through, and packed.  I began mopping floors and then voila, almost 8am, and I needed breakfast.

I sat at an outside table at Caffe Degli Specchi, with a cappuccino and brioche, realising that today was the day of leaving Genova ... again.

And so I walked, through the city's centro storico  ... walked until just after 8.30am. The air is a soft 17 degrees celsius, the sun is out and, as always, all around me was the quiet hum of this city I love.

'Ciao!' is everywhere.  It makes me smile.  People arrive in the cafes, pass each other in the street, arrive at work ... 'Ciao'.

I'll miss that.

Someone has written a long story on the footpaths here.  Beautiful Liguria has the story on Facebook. I didn't have my camera but I stopped this young guy and asked what it was about.  Apparently, it's something to do with WWII.  It's neatly written and seemed like another of those surprises that Genova presents to her people.  It happened in the night I think.

Anna, from the Beautiful Liguria website, let me know about the story today: 'It is a story of love between a Jewish lady and a Russian guy in world war II.'

Laundry is already out and hanging across via Ravecca.  My kitchen window is open and, here I am, this New Zealander who simply loves those times when she comes stay awhile in this private, elegant, chaotic, sometimes dirty, exquisite, secretive, ancient, post-modern city nestled between the hills and sea.

The night before flying ... madness

There’s this check-list that automatically unfurls like a kite in the wind on the day before flying ... my to-do list arrives at DEFCON1 and I find myself achieving at an extraordinarily high level, writes this wanderer at 23.49 on ‘the night before leaving’.

Today I unexpectedly babysat Little Miss 5, chose paint for two rooms in the new house, had 100 business cards printed for the new site, had a print made for the guy who hosted my exhibition in his brasserie, dropped it off, bought a couple of light shirts because Genova will be warm, and then returned home to some work for the NGO and yes, packing.

My packing technique has changed over time and these days everything I don’t want to lose goes into my photography backpack and is carried as hand luggage which means I usually arrive at my destination slightly broken by the weight of it all.

Camera, lenses, flash, battery charger, card reader, voice recorder, phone, charger, at least one usb cable, laptop, laptop power cable, book, wallet, glasses, comb, business cards, pen ... will the journal with the important notes and interviews fit in too?

Suitcases have been a huge learning curve during this year of intensive wandering.  I arrived in Belgium with a backpackand a big black hand luggage bag for my laptop and camera gear. Time passed without much travel however eventually I was wandering again, having updated to a wheeled suitcase, making the mistake of not having any kind of external pocket for my book, passport and wallet with the first one.  I bought a small pilot’s wheeled suitcase with outer pocket but then bought the big camera ... although last time I was in Genova, I lived out of that bag and half the available space was taken up by my equipment.  I think my Genovese neighbours might not recognise me if I’m not wearing the red or the green striped shirts with my jeans this time.

Finally a good job came along, one where they wanted to pay a photographer, I had money and found a real suitcase, one that allows me to fit in my favourite feather pillow if I want.
Oh yes, a feather pillow princess ... you didn’t guess?

So anyway, it’s ciao from this Belgian-based me who has just agreed that a 4.40am alarm would be the best idea ...