Ever since I read that the annual Firenze Light Festival would commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon, I planned to see it. However, what with one thing and another, all of a sudden it was the second-to-the-last day and I still hadn’t gotten to it. So, despite the minor travails of taking the bus on a Sunday*, I went into town. The installations were entrancing! Not only was I moved by memories, I was impressed by the cleverness of the artists who created them. 

The festival, which is also known as F-Light, was billed as Moon F-Light this year. How appropriate!

*I love my bus route, but it’s not at its best on Sundays and holidays. It doesn’t run that frequently and often doesn’t show up as scheduled. The bus into town was ten minutes early and if I hadn’t been checking the app for real-time updates, I would have missed it. The bus home was ten minutes late.

Images © Melissa Corcoran.


During our work session yesterday, my sister suggested I create a ‘gratitude’ post, perhaps with photos. A few minutes later, I came across the word ‘shutters’ in my list of possible galleries. In the heat of a Tuscan heat wave, I am grateful for the shutters on my apartment windows—they block the sun during the day and help keep the apartment a little cooler.

I’m grateful for these shutters because they are interesting and photogenic!

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Images © Melissa Corcoran.

Postcards from Malta

Places like Malta make me want to spend my time going around looking at beautiful sights and taking photos.

Images © Melissa Corcoran.

The charm of memory

It was where an adventure began. Everything had the charm of novelty—learning how to grocery shop, what was available over the counter in a pharmacy, the virtues of pointing and pantomime, that it was okay to drink wine at lunch, what a wealth of cheeses there was to explore, that the French know their way around a tarte citron, and what it was like to live in a language and culture not my own.

There was the thrill of standing on an exposed section of the Roman road—not cordoned off but there to stand on, and boats going through the lock of the canal, and sunshine, blue sky, and flowers even during the winter. When we walked a geocaching trail on the Canal de la Robine on a golden day in December, I realized that I was over feeling that Christmas should be cold and snowy!

There were day trips—learning to drive standard shift as a teenager came in handy since automatic-shift rental cars were hard to come by—that took us to interesting places. We explored the countryside around the city and the nearby seaside towns. Along with navigational triumphs (and mistakes), we seemed—every single time we came back into town—to drive the length of Boulevard Marcel Sembat at least three times. We also discovered, and to this day, still say, that the last 30 kilometers are the longest.

There were things to dislike of course: an annoying amount of dog poop on the sidewalks, the mistral blowing for several days in the winter, the frustrating self-serve gas stations that didn’t take cash or our credit cards (because they didn’t have the security chip needed) when we wanted to refill the gas tank of a rental car late at night. Set against that were great meals and friendly people and beautiful sights.

While you can’t go back and there will never be another first time, it was lovely to return to Narbonne recently, walk streets still familiar, visit favorite places, and enjoy the charm of memory.

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