Gnomon, revisited-Today, I attended a summer solstice event at Santa Maria del Fiore (aka the Duomo)—the observation of the transit of the sun on the meridian plane, a phrase I don't understand any better than I did when I attended Lo Gnomone a couple of years ago!
The road-“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he [Bilbo] used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Bilbo knew what he was talking about! Whether the road is literal or figurative or, as I … Continue reading The road
An adventure in Prague-I don’t usually travel in the summer, but a chance to see two friends from the USA in Europe was too good to pass up. We met in Prague and despite the heat and crowds, had a great time discovering this fascinating city. Our first day, we had a lunch that included fresh lemonade—perfect for … Continue reading An adventure in Prague
Don’t finish what you start-When I was in my 20s (shockingly long time ago that was!), reading The Far Pavilions got me interested in learning more about the Khyber Pass, so I bought a book on it. Despite the interesting subject matter, the book was the most boring book I had ever read. Even though my boyfriend suggested I … Continue reading Don’t finish what you start
Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridge-My fascination with the Brooklyn Bridge began many years ago when my brother gave me David McCullough’s The Great Bridge. Up until then, I associated history with school textbooks and read little of it once out of university. This story was so fascinating and well-written that I was reading the book on my lunch breaks at … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridge
Love Language-Originally posted on Not Inclined To Resign To Maturity: Love languages have been on my mind lately, in part because of Skype conversations with my oldest sister, Melissa. We haven’t actually discussed love or love languages, but what we have done is engaged in amusing ways to say goodbye to each other as we sign…
Lisbon bits and pieces-Bits and pieces from Lisbon: This scene was a nice start to my visit. Left my table at the restaurant where I was having dinner to capture this combination of color and light, blue and white. Whoever designed this pavement was devilishly clever! It’s flat, but can you imagine walking on it in a state of altered … Continue reading Lisbon bits and pieces
The Museu Nacional do Azulejo-What an absolutely fabulous visit to the Museu Nacional do Azulejo in Lisbon – truly one of the best times I’ve spent in a museum! I looked forward to visiting this museum, also known as the National Tile Museum, because I knew that Portugal was famed for its tiles, but it was even better than I … Continue reading The Museu Nacional do Azulejo
A day in Belém-I spent a day in Belém because one thing led to another: the Monastery of Jerónimos was high on my list of places to visit in Lisbon, then I saw that the Tower of Belém was part of the same UNESCO World Heritage site, then I noticed that the Museu da Marinha was in the same area and I … Continue reading A day in Belém
A walk around Lisbon-Visiting Lisbon, I did something different – I booked a guided walking tour of the city for my first morning there. It turned out to be a good move, not only because I got an overview of the city, but because my guide was so knowledgeable and entertaining. The tour filled my head with new names, … Continue reading A walk around Lisbon
Serendipity-Sometimes, I go out and about with a specific sightseeing and/or photography goal in mind. Other times, things just happen! The other day, I took afternoon tea at the St. Regis. While I was making inroads on the delicious sandwiches, scones, and pastries, I opened the book that is one of my ‘bibles’ for Florence, An Art … Continue reading Serendipity
Beauty for Elka-When my friend Jeff married Elka several years ago, I lucked out because while at first she was ‘Jeff’s wife,’ over the years she became ‘my friend Elka.’ I remember saying to Jeff one night, as he drove me to my train after a visit, that I liked Elka more and more every time I saw her. About … Continue reading Beauty for Elka
Weekly Photo Challenge: It IS Easy Being Green!-Photo challenges like this one make the endless photo cataloguing worthwhile - I could search my catalogue for photos with keyword green. The challenge was limiting myself to a small selection and seeing if I could avoid plant photos (almost!).
Weekly Photo Challenge: The Road Taken-A mild, sunny December day, a geocaching power trail, a 20-kilometer walk along the towpath and a watery road taken - the Canal de la Robine near Narbonne, France. It seemed every bend showed us another lovely view, even after sunset.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadow-Part of the challenge on this one was limiting myself to just one photo! I didn’t succeed, but I did at least manage to limit myself to this handful of photos. Shadows cross the lines of the planks forming the walkway. Shadow curves on top of chalked curves. Look closely and you’ll see a plastic hanger lost … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadow
Random notes from Italy-One of the interesting transportation facets of Florence is that you don’t hail cabs, but you do hail buses. For cabs, you typically either telephone for a cab or go to a taxi stand. You don’t really hail a bus, since you can’t just stop one in the street, but if you see your bus … Continue reading Random notes from Italy
Be of good cheer-New Year’s Day is generally a non-event for me. Sure, if I’m with people, I’ll enjoy whatever rituals and traditions they have, but I don’t expect to feel that life has been ‘rebooted’ and is all bright and shiny just because the calendar says it’s the start of a new year. This year, though, I … Continue reading Be of good cheer
Christmas lights-One of our Christmas rituals growing up was to pile into the car and take a drive through nearby neighborhoods to look at the Christmas lights. One of our favorite displays was on a small manmade lake. The houses surrounding it were on a slight elevation above the lake and the homeowners decorated from the backs of their … Continue reading Christmas lights
More magic-I mentioned in a recent blog post that there was something magical to me about fog and that autumn mornings in the Casentino Valley offer lots of magic. That was an understatement, as you can see from the photos in this gallery.
The fabric of life-Sadly, I went to a funeral yesterday in Stia. A local shopkeeper, someone my friend Catherine and I knew from numerous visits to his shop, died tragically. Although we had committed to attending a workshop at the wool museum, we knew we had to attend the funeral Mass. It didn’t matter that neither of us … Continue reading The fabric of life
How the light gets in-One of my favorite songs is Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem.” I discovered it via Louise Penny’s book How the Light Gets In; the title is a phrase from a line in the song that is one of my all-time favorites, “There is a crack in everything / that’s how the light gets in.” Cohen’s death last … Continue reading How the light gets in
Antique-In Arezzo, started down a street lined with antique shops. Interestingly, the photo I captured of shadows cast by old metal objects has an antique look to it.
Blue-In Arezzo a couple of weeks ago, I saw this blue door: As with my Yellow photos, sharing the image sent me looking at other blue images in my catalog, like this tangle of rope: Blue shutters and sky: Shadow turning a hubcap and sidewalk into blue-on-blue (now that song is stuck in my head!): Another door in … Continue reading Blue
Working the dream-A couple retires, buys a RV, and takes to the road, planning to spend time with children and grandchildren and explore the highways and byways of their country. A woman fulfills a lifelong dream of moving to Europe, which among other things gives her easier access to the opera performances so important to her. Another woman spends … Continue reading Working the dream
Right turn-Today was one of those delightful days that are a welcome relief to August heat – cool, windy, sunshine and clouds, so I hopped in the car with my camera for a short excursion. When I came to the bottom of the hill out of Porciano, I almost turned left because that’s what I usually do. … Continue reading Right turn
Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up-I love this photo challenge! Having lived in an urban environment most of my adult life, I’ve learned to look up—the details above street-level are amazing. It was too hard to limit myself to one photo, so here’s a gallery. Click (or double-click, depending on your device) on any image to launch the slideshow. For … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up
Letting go-When I moved to Italy last fall, my friend Elka was starting her second year of cancer treatment. Although I had been emailing her and responding to posts on her CaringBridge site, I felt badly that because I was living in various cities distant from her, I couldn’t provide the kind of support other friends could, … Continue reading Letting go
Gnomon-Another great day in the Duomo! Today I attended an observation of the transit of the sun on the meridian plane (I’ll have to study more to understand that fully!). What happens is that on a few days in June, the sun’s rays are channeled through a bushing under one of the windows of the … Continue reading Gnomon
Yellow-The yellow broom is in bloom all over the hillsides here and it’s quite eye-catching: Sharing the above photo with a couple of people reminded me of other ‘yellow’ photos in my catalog. Just for the fun of it, here are some of them. A stunningly yellow wall: A fire hydrant set off by red … Continue reading Yellow
Books, comforting-“Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?” * Casting about recently for something to read, I realized that what I really wanted was to reread a book—one that I knew would be absorbing, allow me to fall into another world, and comfort me … Continue reading Books, comforting
Facebook and mindfulness-When the season of Lent started in February, I happened to be IMing with my sister. She mentioned that she was giving up Facebook for Lent and although I am not a member of her religion, I said I would too. It was partly to keep her company and partly because I thought it was … Continue reading Facebook and mindfulness
What bad could happen here?-If you could see the village of Vallucciole as I saw it today, you would wonder – what bad could happen here? This small, isolated village is located in the hills of the Casentino, which at this time of year are awash in the bright greens and colorful flowers of spring, set off by a … Continue reading What bad could happen here?
Arches-arch: a typically curved structural member spanning an opening and serving as a support (as for the wall or other weight above the opening) Recently, I was looking for an image in my photo catalogue and came across one of repeating arches. That sent me searching my catalogue for other photos of arches (and being pleasantly … Continue reading Arches
Henry James on Ravenna-One of the things I liked best about Ravenna were the placards along a main thoroughfare titled “La vie dei poeti. Appunti di viaggio / The street of poets. Travel notes.” Each placard had a story about or a quote from visitors to Ravenna. This quote from Henry James was one of my favorites: “The greyness everywhere … Continue reading Henry James on Ravenna
Ravenna-I’m waking up from a dream, one filled with glowing color and intricate patterns. The dream is called Ravenna and the colors and patterns are those of the Byzantine mosaics. With several early Christian monuments on the Unesco World Heritage list, I had expected the mosaics of Ravenna to be wonderful, but I was astounded … Continue reading Ravenna
Viareggio-Rather than stay inside and be frustrated by internet issues, ran away to the seaside today … As views go, one of waves with snow-capped mountains in the background isn’t too bad! It wasn’t that warm – the wind was whistling in the rigging of the sailboats docked on the other side of the jetty. Laughed … Continue reading Viareggio
Bicycles-My sister Nancy, who blogs at Not Inclined To Resign to Maturity, often takes one or more of my photos as the starting point for a blog post. When she does this, I often see my photos in a different way – her commentary gives meaning to the photo or highlights details I had discounted. A … Continue reading Bicycles
Assume good will-Several years ago, I logged onto the website of a car-sharing service of which I was a member. I wanted to reserve a car, but when I tried to do so, I got a message saying that my account had been cancelled. My immediate reaction was ‘what is wrong?’ followed by ‘oh no, are they blaming … Continue reading Assume good will
Chefchaouen, the blue city-Walking into the town of Chefchaouen, Morocco was like walking into an enchantment. There were blue walls and doors, a rich mix of colors and textures, and life going on all around us. It was, as the saying goes, a feast for the eyes. Click (or double-click, depending on your device) on any image to … Continue reading Chefchaouen, the blue city
A Duomo day, part 2-It was raining when I woke up this morning and as I walked from my bus stop to the Piazza del Duomo, I told myself that this was a sign that I did not have to climb the bell tower. This was a relief since my calf muscles were aching from the climb of the … Continue reading A Duomo day, part 2
A Duomo day, part 1-During the many years I lived in Boston, one of my favorite places was The Brattle Theatre, which showed second-run and classic films. I got to see some of my favorite movies on the big screen that I had previously seen only on television, like “Singing in the Rain” and “Rear Window.” The problem was … Continue reading A Duomo day, part 1
New Year’s Day-I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions; I think my coach has the right idea (Resolutions … Bah Hum Bug!). However, I occasionally take the approach of starting the new year as I mean to go on, not in all aspects (the day is not long enough), but in one or two. I’m not fanatic … Continue reading New Year’s Day
A Christmas wish-Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, … Continue reading A Christmas wish