Homelands ...

Listening to Avicii.  That Wake Me Up When It's All Over song, the one that somehow got under my skin and into my head earlier this year.  Miss 10 just asked me to 'play it again' and so there I was, trying to work out font colour for the photograph below, listening to that music.

Miss 10 heads back to school tomorrow, after the last week of school holidays where it seemed Autumn had arrived.  As traditionally happens ... 26 celsius is predicted for next week. 

Ms 28 and I rushed off to ER early on Saturday morning, 5am actually.  We were mostly the only ones there but that didn't help.   Turns out you're not meant to race off to ER, you're meant to go to the after hour-doctors however ... we were both concerned about abscessed wisdom teeth and the possibility of blood poisoning. She had never had pain like it and I found her pressing a plastic ice pack directly onto her face.

They loaded her up with an IV painkiller and anti-nausea meds.  We walked out there sometime around 8am I think.  The IV dose worked for quite some time but there's no real way of avoiding pain when you have wisdom teeth actually pushing your real teeth out of their socket. 

Turns out she needs 6 teeth, in total, removed.  She's looking into that tomorrow ...it can't be too soon I suspect.

Yesterday was full of 'things that had to be done'.  Two trips to the emergency pharmacy on the bike, the supermarket too.  Cleaning the house in preparation for another lovely guest ... Inge, the Belgian living in New Zealand.  She's back home for a visit and had a 24 hour window of time just for us. 

And there was the pavlova to cook for the BBQ at 1.30pm and then ... once there, Fiona committed to filling my glass while we caught up with Ruth and Lucy.  Marc, Charlie and Benoit too.  And Tom, the lovely Belgian doctor, just home after some years spent living in NZ.

It was a day full of the most marvelous folk really.

I was running on 3 hours sleep and crashed out of this world sometime after 10pm.  Feeling so tired that I felt ill. 

Today has been a new day.  Gert, Miss 10, and I spent the morning spent talking with Inge and Elise. Then I had a few more hours of sleep after our guests had returned to the Westhoek - home for Inge when she's in Belgium.  Elise starts school in the morning too.

As so often happens here in my world, it's been a magical, difficult, exhausting, quietly superb couple of days.  Inge and I spent quite some time comparing our experiences in each other's countries.  Same same but different would best sum them up.

I would love to write of the good, the bad and the ugly of the immigrant thing but perhaps that's for another day, when I'm less tired than tonight finds me.

I noted the following quote in one of my journals.  It's a favourite, by Susana Fortes, and I found it in her interesting book Waiting for Robert Capa.

And the photograph ... it was taken at Herculaneum, in Naples.  I spent some hours wandering there one hot summer's day.

Robert Capa Exhibition, Genova

I didn't have time to visit this Robert Capa exhibition while in Genova but only because I realised that it will be there for a while.  I shall return and make space for it.  He was a fascinating man.

Monday found me in my favourite secondhand bookshop here in the city.  I discovered a huge treasure, justified buying it, then had to talk myself into carrying the huge weight of it home.

It's John Phillips book, Free Spirit in a Troubled World

At just 21 years old, Algerian-born photojournalist Phillips was hired by Life magazine and assigned to cover Edward VIII, just as the story of Wallis Simpson and the king's abdication was about to break. Here, Phillips records his next 23 years as a correspondent, witnessing many of the 20th century's most dramatic events. Before World War II, he filmed the Wehrmacht marching into Austria, the Warsaw Ghetto, and turbulence in central Europe. From the Middle East, there are momentous photographs of King Farouk, King Ibn Saud, and the destruction of Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter. Reproduced from his negatives rather than Life's prints, the over 200 black-and-white images chronicle old worlds collapsing and new regimes seizing power. More so than most photojournalists' memors, Phillips's extensive text combines intelligence with delightful intimacy.

Of course I'm going to want to read his book.  And even better, for me, it was less than 20euro.

But anyway, at some point each morning spent in Genova, we would find our way to Douce Pâtisserie, in Piazza Matteotti, and this was the view from my table ...

Excellent Stuff Found Lately ...

I love the work of war photographer, Robert Capa.  I have his book, Slightly Out of Focus, and two fictions based around the facts of his life, Waiting for Capa, and Seducing Ingrid Bergman.

Last night I discovered a 1hour and 23 minute documentary about Capa, on Youtube, titled Robert Capa: In Love and War.  Brilliant!  I was searching for information on another war photographer at the time. 

Note to self, never watch two documentaries about war photographers back-to-back.

Erkan Saka's Daily News is one of my favourite news sources.  I have recently deleted my Facebook account and unsubscribed from so many different newsletters and updates but kept Erkan.   I think it's clear why he's undeletable.

Laurie, a lovely friend, introduced me to Ed Sheeran's music and this song has to be a favourite.  Peter Jackson agreed and this song was created for the Hobbit movie. 

Russell Brand, comedian and all kinds of other things, is out there doing his thing.  I can imagine how that red-necked friend of mine in Australia will love this link.  Here's the interview that started it all ... for me anyway.  Jeremy Paxman almost seems to take on more than expected when interviewing the Russell.

People, he's a comedian.  I've had to remind people although so is Jon Stewart...

I've committed to the NaBloPoMo month of daily blogging ... an interesting challenge, to rock up here everyday and write something that I've decided is okay to publish. 

NaBloPoMo ... I was inspired to sign up by this beautiful soul. It's all about turning up and writing, and I needed to work on that habit. 

I was gifted the documentary Restrepo recently.  Tim Heatherington was a rather remarkable war photographer, a rather remarkable human being actually, killed in Libya in 2011.  This documentary was the result of being embedded with a platoon stationed in Afghanistan.  He worked on it with Sebastian Junger, author, journalist and documentarian, most famous for the best-selling book The Perfect Storm.

Nate Thayer wrote of a musician's protest against 'working for exposure', as opposed to cash, going viral.  An important story.  One that is happening across the arts fields, as musicians, writers and photographers are increasingly told, by large corporations and organisations, that there is no budget for the ... 

A long overdue conversation. 

News to end this post with.  I sparked a bit of conversation back when I was still on Facebook.  Turns out that I might be the only person of my generation in the world who didn't know the music of Van Morrison.  To be fair, I knew a lot of songs once I started really looking but he has so many sounds ...

Okay, fairly shameful.  I was watching my favourite television show of all time ... The Newsroom, and there was Van Morrison, singing that song.  I picked up some lyrics, searched them, found him.

And now ...the Ostrich.