There is something truly delicious about lying in bed here in Genova, listening as the street comes alive, my windows open behind shutters closed for privacy...
I hear the first footsteps ... quiet voices followed by louder voices as people roll up the metal doors of their workplace. The clank of the coffee cups hitting saucers begins soon after.
I doze a while longer then wake again, this time to the laughter of men at the cafe below. I imagine them stopping for an espresso as they head off to work ... friends who meet everyday on their way ... and I envy them their routine for a moment.
There's music but I nap just a little longer ... until it becomes impossible to ignore my craving for one perfect crema brioche with an espresso. I pull on my clothes and head out.
I have some days without shape or form ahead of me. Days where I can organise the creative chaos that is a part of my everyday life. I have been waiting so long to reach this place of peace and isolation, located in the midst of the everyday noise of the beloved ancient city.
Here, back in Genova, I'm always a little off-balance and some days shyness will find me more easily. But it is so very good to be back here again... good to be writing again.
Il Genovese, located at Via Galata 35R here in Genova, serves a Ligurian meat sauce that I simply adore.
For me, Ravioli Fatti in Casa Al “Tuccu” Di Carne captures, or perhaps represents, some of the best of my food memories so far.
There is the nostalgia for those stews my Nana used to slow- cook on her coal-fired stove in Invercargil, New Zealand - although her stews never tasted this good. Never have I tasted a meat sauce like this one.
Then there is the delicate pasta that hosts the exquisite filling I may have been known to rave about previously. There is the meat sauce, the one that spends a day cooking ... until it is so tender it simply melts in your mouth.
And that combination of ingredients I cannot name but that come together to create this dish I adore.
This was dinner tonight. Grazie mille to Il Genovese!!
The intensity of these days here in Italy have been quite incredible. I have been teaching photography workshops in Genova and they have been everything ... a privilege, a challenge, so much fun, exhausting, exhilarating.
They have been about people ... about breakfasts at Douce while sitting outside in Piazza Matteotti, about the occasional aperitivo at Caffè Degli Specchi, and fresh take-away pasta, with sauces and parmesan cheese bought from the kind people at Pasta Fresca Fabio, in Via Di Canneto Il Lungo.
Tomorrow is my first 'day off' since arriving but that busy-ness hasn't been all about workshops and people, it has been about the fact I arrived in the city relaxed and happy to be back only to have that moment of horror when I realised, quite late in the day, that I had forgotten to pack the power cord for my laptop. But you know that already...
In all my years of traveling with ridiculous amounts of equipment I have Never Ever forgotten my laptop cord. Nor my phone cord (only discovered when I needed to recharge my phone yesterday). I believe I may have left them on the same chair when finishing my packing at 4.30am that morning I left. Mmmhmmm, and those comfortable walking shoes I own ... don't ask me about how my feet were on Friday but honestly, never before has so much been left behind.
I was quite stressed when I flew. That much is clear. I believe I may develop some 'behaviours' as a result of 'the forgetting'.
But that aside, I realised again how much I love working with women on their photography. I simply love it! Often they have an instinct... a good eye for composition but a way of doing it all that somehow falls outside of the rules of 'technical'. And it is this that seems to make it so much more difficult for them to own their way of seeing and capturing the world.
I should know ...
I'm so delighted with the work my clients have produced over these days. I will publish some in the weeks ahead however tonight I must sleep so as to be up and out early ... for breakfast at Douce.
Ciao from this ancient city I consider the best in all of Italy.
I so very much enjoythe people I meet here in this ancient Italian city and then I love introducing visitors to all that I love about being Here.
The last few days have been extraordinary and incredibly busy. Today, out with Gabriella all day, I took a series of photographs that made me smile. This is one.
It's not so much about being great ... it's simply about sharing something found on one of those most excellent days.
There has been so much more. Working with Anna and Valeria, meeting and working with Silvia too ... days spent with Maddalena, and Gabriella, and a superb night out with Alessandra, Davide, Federico, Grazia, Maddy and Isabella ...listening to Ghos T Notes perform out at Nervi.
Back in Genova, Italy, and loving it.
I'm back ... in Genova, slowly finding my feet after an epic couple of days.
Days that culminated in my discovering I hadn't packed the power cord for my laptop. This was beyond terrible. I could cope without it but preferred not to have to.
The big electronic shops were of no use. I hadn't realised. And couriering mine over was going to be complicated by public holiday Monday and all kinds of other things too.
Then I remembered . The phone guy had recommended a particular shop last time I needed something for my computer. Tucked away in Vico Campetto, 3R, they're not easy to find unless someone tells you about them.
Once again their service was perfect and yes, it would be no problem, they could get me a Dell power cord. The relief was intense. All my notes are on my laptop, as is my music and, of course, it's my way of staying in touch with the world when I'm out and wandering.
I'm going to write more about Cosimini. And maybe go back and get a photograph of the store. They offer before-and-after assistance when you're purchasing that new electronic article, and all kinds of other technical services too.
As for now ... it's really good to be back in Genova.