Nina Coolsaet, Bodega Mas L'Altet

I was out photographing an event for friends on Wednesday night and while there I met a lovely woman called Nina Coolsaet.  She is a Belgian Bio-Engineer living in Spain and she has the most delightful story about her Spanish family  and their vineyard located to the north of Alicante.

Avi, Catalan for 'grandfather', is the name on the label of wine being tasted today and it is produced on their bodega called Mas L'Altet.  This morning I had the pleasure of beginning this misty cold Antwerpen Saturday over at Puerta Del Sol, interviewing Nina.

Interview to follow.  The photograph that follows, Frank, Nina, and Guy at the Botart de Amberes Event, 2013

Sometimes ... I just get quietly lost

…And that’s why i have to go back
to so many places
there to find myself
and constantly examine myself
with no witness but the moon
and then whistle with joy,
ambling over rocks and clods of earth,
with no task but to live,
with no family but the road.

Pablo Neruda

I found Pablo Neruda's words in my inbox, via The Quotationist, and I thought 'yes'.  Sometimes I just need 'the road' because ...

These days have been dizzy, giddy, fast-moving days.  And in recognition of the pace and insanity, I am quietly developing this habit of throwing myself back at my bed on a Sunday - to read and nap and sleep and rest because I have been tired.

I returned from Italy and stepped straight into 10+ days with the delightful Miss 7.  She had 8 of those days off school but we read a lot of Harry Potter, walked in the park, talked about interesting things and maybe we had quite some fun.

My stepdaughter arrived for a few days too.  And I was cleaning and cooking and slipping back into this life while trying not to think about the fact that my daughter and her daughter are moving countries soon. 

I'm fortunate.  Their destination is no longer that small South American village, reachable only by horseback ... that place where tarantulas and scorpions are commonplace.  And it's no longer New Zealand ... some 16,000kms away from me.

Instead, it's just next door, over in Germany.  I can do that.

Gert used his environmentally-friendly gift cheques to buy me a bicycle ... a brand new one.  The first brand new bicycle I've ever owned but that's a whole other story that needs blogging, with photographs.  I love my new bike though.

I've been putting together my book on Genova, and editing it ... because I edit.  It's not a good thing.  It may be that I'm seeking perfection ... just perfection.  So yes, I need someone to take my first draft from me, as I write, and not let me edit until the whole thing is done.  I know this thing about me but I'm not sure of the solution. 

And I have received the first draft of the story of a special wine and a family and their friends in Italy.  I can't wait to write that up and share the photographs with you.  It's one of those stories that make me smile whenever I think on it.

I have made a yoga date and hope to become a creature who rescues herself with the practice of yoga.

Paola, Simon and Matteo came to dinner on Saturday night.  It was good to sit down and catch up with them again.  They bought wine ... my beloved Banfi.  Gert cooked a pie from The Hairy Bikers Perfect Pies Cookbook.   It was lovely, although we're still experimenting with pastries here in this country that doesn't sell the New Zealand pastry I knew and loved.

On Friday, I was running all over Brussels, meeting with the most delightful people.  First stop was my accountant ... she who rescues me from the hellish complication of daring to be self-employed in Belgium.  Then on to Paola, to return her Genova keys and catch up.  And then a little further, to the inspiring New Zealand artist, wise woman, and friend, Wendy Leach.

Oh, and I sold a photograph that will be published in a book.  News to follow when that all comes to fruition.

Hmmmm, Stephanie and Catalina came to dinner last Wednesday night, and I had a tooth rebuilt on the Tuesday ... a second tooth.  I do appreciate my wonderful Belgian dentist.

There was an English church fete on Sunday with Stephanie, Catalina, Miss 7 and I ... and a phone call home to my dad because he turned 76.  And on it goes.  You see the giddy mad slide that is my life?

But I think I  must love it because nothing ever changes.  It's always kind of mad and chaotic and full of good people, and frustrations, and things slipping through my fingers, or arriving - in all their beauty - in front of me.

Anyway, all that to say that I haven't been quite so bloggy lately but I will be again ... soon.