Maybe I'm 'involved' in too many things ... is the thought that occurs to me as I try to organise my desk as a viable working space after Italy, on this much-cooler Sunday morning in Belgium.

I'm trying to organise all ...  there are the things I want to blog about from Genova, the photography workshop material I'm printing and organising, the Inspiration workbook material I'm preparing for the 5-day workshop in Italy, and the book on Genova I'm putting together ... and then there's everything else that interests me too. Reminders, notes, the appointments book, and and and.

To my left my bookshelves are overflowing with books read and unread but I love that state of being.  No pressure, just pure anticipation.  There was the secondhand beauty I found just before flying - Pablo Neruda, Memoirs.  And I'm still meandering through Eduardo Galeano's Children of the Days.

Both books were too heavy to take with my camera gear and laptop as hand luggage, as I acknowledged that sad lack of escalators in Italian railway stations.  A lack that has twice made me consider abandoning my luggage there at the bottom of the stairs as I looked up.

Yesterday, pre-massive night-time thunderstorm, I lay on the bed for a while and zipped through the delightful story of a wandering cat and its owners efforts to track it - titled Lost Cat.  Pure lazy luxury.

And I'm still dipping in and out of Paul Kelly's 100 chapter biography (although not the version I've linked to. No cds included in my copy and, sadly, too heavy to contemplate carrying to Genova), and the Letters of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West  because they're the kind of books that invite dipping.  I discovered 'Portuguese Irregular Verbs' at my .75 cent secondhand book supplier (so many good books found at this price) and it's waiting there in the queue.  And finally I am reading 'TinkerBell, in the Realm of the Never Fairies with Miss 9.  It's an excuse for us to hang-out up here, in the cool of the evening, reading and chatting.  We're looking for the next big series read but will put that decision off a little longer.

I'll leave you with a story-scene from medieval Genova.

One of the last remaining medieval towers in Genova ...

This morning I had the most remarkable, almost overwhelming, time.

The other day, Stefano had introduced me to a lovely man, an artist who is something of an expert on the truly ancient part of Genova.  ‘Truly ancient part’ translates as more than 2000 years old.

Today we 3 met under the gate known as Porta Soprana, one of those ancient gates built back in 1155 as part of the Republic’s defense against Barbarossa, and we set out on our walking tour. 

The tower photographed at the end of this post is, of course, medieval. 

The New Zealander in me, the child who remains, found that fact stunning.  And by the end of the tour my mind was mush. I felt extremely fragile but understood, eventually, that it was coming face-to-face with explanations of ancient history.  Legend has it, that the man who built this tower was responsible for ... inventing a kind of mobile ladder to scale the walls of Jerusalem during the Crusades.


I don’t write of the days where I find myself on my knees, completely lost in the world.  I feel things quite deeply.  I presume it’s an artiste thing (let’s put a positive spin on this) but there are times when I am crippled by a feeling of immense fragility as I wander the world.  It happened in Cairo.  It happened in Istanbul however it doesn’t seem to stop me wandering… 

It happened today.  I felt so small in this ancient world and I had no idea of how to save myself. But I usually do. Or someone else does without knowing what they have done.

Sometimes I wonder if I just can’t somehow become a stay-at-home-kind-a-woman-with-my-labrador-dog... but then I need to wander again.  But I love labradors.  I love belonging someplace. However I seem to need to climb that gate I used to climb as a very small child.

And so, to walk through these streets today, with two men I respect immensely and being offered a glimpse of the enormity of Genova’s history down through time ... I had to rest this afternoon because my mind was shattered.  I felt like I might just implode.  I felt so very small ... and lost.

And yet we all know ... I’ll do it again and again and again because that seems to be what I do.

If living alone in Istanbul for two years didn’t cure me of the loneliness and fragility that comes with this strange life that I live, then nothing will I think.

Today I learned so much about a very small part of this ancient city I love and it was good.  Mille grazie to those who patiently led me through these ancient streets telling me stories and translating.  It was a golden day.