I love my travel self ...

I love my travel self, I love the kindness of strangers on the road and I love the challenge of trying to capture something so ephemeral on the page. If I do it right —if I research like an historian, investigate like a journalist, question like an essayist, understand like a sociologist, paint character and place like a novelist, tell story like a griot, craft metaphor like a poet, making meaning like a memoirist— it has the potential to change someone’s understanding of the world. And I’m changed too.

Faith Adiele , travel writer.

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A Smaller, Quieter Life ...

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My days here, are so different from those beautiful days back in Genova.

I miss the bars, and the lovely people who worked there, making the best coffe in the world.

I miss the noise of the city, and the quiet of the medieval centre.

I miss the musicians, and the everyday presence of ancient places. I miss passing by people whose faces look like faces painted in 400 year old paintings. I miss good pasta and sauce, pizza and walking. 

I miss the Genovese.

BUT, I am learning to love hanging my laundry out on Dad's old clothes line, in the garden that smells of roses and all the other flowers he has there. And it makes me so happy to climb into my bed when thesheets smell of fresh air & sunshine. 

I love the sound of the birds ... one of the only sounds as I hung out my laundry at 7am this morning.

I was always passionate about driving ... about wandering, and so I am happy to be driving again. Even if I enjoyed the kilometres I walked on Genovese footpaths, and the buses and trains. And I'm not sure how to avoid weight gain, other than via that boring path called self-discipline.

Reading. I have just finished 3 books, one after another. Reading late into the night, just as I did as a child.

My espresso machine is making me happy, I just need to go find 'the' coffee. 

I love 32 celsius days (yesterday) and sitting here in the kitchen, back door open to the garden, and working. 

Mmmhmmm, I called the plumber today. The bathroom tap is broken and it has leaked for days now. 
Another thing to love, after a life lived in Europe, I phoned the plumber at 8.50am and he said, 'Okay, I'm doing a job just round the road, I'll come to you after it'. It was the same with the washing machine repair guy. That's quite marvelous really :-)

Here I am, just trying to find my balance again, in this smaller, quieter life that I'm living. 
Buona giornata ...

Foto: these chairs, were just there, in this ancient ruin in Genova. I had my photograph taken in one, and couldn't resist the beauty of this still-life moment, Genovese-style.

So Much Love ...

I took this photograph back in August 2016.  

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Today, I saw them again.  I wanted to talk to them, so much.  I walked past them, looking for someone who might speak English and act as a translator.

I met the kindest man.  He agreed, and we asked if I might talk with them and tell a little of their story.

It wasn't possible but it was so beautiful to see them again, and see that same connection between them, as they walked along the street.

Grazie mille, to the guy who translated.  I appreciate it so much.

Richard-Ginori ... my most beautiful cup & saucer

The monthly Antiques Market was held, here in Genova, over the weekend and I had a truly lovely night-before-the-market experience that I wanted to remember.  So I'll note it down here.

It made me remember that when I was a very small child, Dad's workmates and friends occasionally arrived on a Friday night, with lobsters, or perhaps a sack of un-shelled oysters, and they'd settle in for the evening in our then, very small, kitchen. I remember the occasional live Lobster crossing the kitchen floor.  And there was laughter too, lots of it. 

Last night, I met friends of friends, here in Italy There were no lobsters, nor oysters, but there was a box, or two, full of small and beautiful items ... all up for sale at the Antiques market this weekend.
The friends work in the industry but knew my friends needed more china.

Who doesn't ...

As beautiful cups and saucers, teapots and silver spoons, were unpacked and admired, I couldn't resist getting my camera.

I think we finished around 2.30am, and as I wandered off to my bed, I remembered those times from my childhood, back when I was incredibly young. 

It was a really beautiful way to spend a few hours, here in Genova. 

Then Sunday came round, and we all went wandering in the Market.  And I found the beautiful cup and saucer that appear at the top of this post.  I couldn't resist.  

This morning, I discovered that drinking my espresso from it is like drinking from an egg shell. It is so delicate.  So beautiful

I had half-heartedly been searching for porcelain with Italy written on the base, not realising that Richard Ginori actually have Genova written there.

Like a child, gifted the perfect gift, I'm still smiling as I write this.

But a little about Richard Ginori ... The Doccia porcelain manufactorer, near Florence, was founded in 1735 by Marchese Carlo Ginori near his villa. Now known as Richard-Ginori, (following its merger with Società Richard of Milan).

Its early wares were of a “soft-paste” imitation porcelain, as were most European porcelains. Ginori established the kilns at the foot of forested Mount Morello, where the timber provided fuel.  They initiated experiments with local potting clays. He engaged J.K.W. Anreiter from Vienna to head the painting workshop and a local sculptor, Gaspero Bruschi, as the chief modeler. Production began in 1737.

By 1740 Ginori was confident enough of his products to send samples to Vienna and get a privilege for porcelain manufacture in the Austrian-ruled Grand Duchy of Tuscany, giving him the security of a monopoly.

Ginori obtained wax models and casts from the heirs of major Florentine baroque sculptors Giovanni Battista Foggini and Massimiliano Soldani, intended for casting in bronze, and produced boldly-scaled porcelain figure groups “of a grandeur which makes the figures of most other C18 factories look petite and trifling,” John Fleming and Hugh Honour observed. Some statuettes of famous Roman sculptures were also produced.

The early Doccia paste is gritty in texture and slightly grayish; its glaze less glossy than most contemporaneous European porcelains. Innovative decorating techniques from the 1740s were transfer-printing and the stampino, or stenciled decor, usually or blue on the white ground.  As these techniques could be used by inexperienced workers, decorated porcelain was brought within reach of the middle classes, and porcelain rapidly replaced traditional maiolica in common use.

Ginori's manufacture was continued by his three sons, who introduced a new, whiter body, with tin oxide added to the glaze for increased whiteness, but were less successful in adapting neoclassical forms to the wares. With the revival of rococo styles in the nineteenth century, the Doccia manufactory reverted to its eighteenth-century models.

The manufacture remained in the hands of the Ginori heirs until 1896, when it was incorporated with the Società Ceramica Richard of Milan, a larger manufacturer of ceramics, as Richard-Ginori. Gio Ponti served as artistic director of the manufacture from 1923 to 1930, producing many designs in the Art Deco manner, and was succeeded by Giovanni Gariboldi, 1930-1970.

Richard-Ginori maintains the Museo di Doccia in Sesto Fiorentino, which moved in 1965 from its original location, in the eighteenth-century factory building, to a new structure purposely designed to house the collection.

Information sourced from Wikipedia.

Surrey, and these amazing women ...

Tonight, thanks to Cathy, I found myself sitting in her lounge with a most marvelous group of women. 

We came from Macedonia, Sweden, America x2, England, France, Bulgaria and New Zealand. 

And I found myself adoring both them, and their stories. 

There was so much laughter.  I had met some of them last week, and enjoyed them already.  Tonight was just MORE.

I love that, that where ever I go in the world, I find these marvelous women.  Full of stories and laughter, and kindness and this incredible fellowship ... from the road perhaps but from being women too.

And one of the other marvelous things I'm enjoying about England, are the charity shops.  It's how I met Cathy.  She runs one of them but ... it's also how I met this exquisite Italian L Medici handbag, Italian leather, built to last forever ...  that I so very much couldn't afford in real life but couldn't resist in the world that is secondhand here in Surrey. 

It was beyond reasonable and, just by way, it fits 3 bottles of red wine inside of itself, so very easily.