Thursday, 16 February 2017

{quotable thursdays}

Hello World!
I'm back--back in England, and hopefully back (shortly) to health. I came down with a terrible terrrible flu in Genoa and was having to lie low for quite some time. I'm still feeling ill, but bit by bit I think I'm on the mend.
With that, I feel like things can only get better. My health can only improve, and the weather is just a little warmer and just a little brighter today, which makes me think...spring might just be on its way!
I've got some lovely tulips adorning my beautiful new/old vintage table cloth I bought in Italy at the antiques market (which needs ironing, but never mind!)

So much to catch up on, but that'll wait until I'm really better. I'm trying to do only essential things these days in order to get better as fast as I can.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

{quotable thursdays-postcards from Genoa}

{view from the flat I'm staying in!}
Ciao da Genova!!! I got here last night from Milan and am staying in a fabulous charming flat. In a beautiful palazzo, with antique furniture with large windows looking onto a typical Genoese square. Fab!!
Today's quote comes from Henry James, summing up the place perfectly:
Genoa, [...] is the crookedest and most incoherent of
cities; tossed about on the sides and crests of a dozen hills, it
is seamed with gullies and ravines that bristle with those
innumerable palaces for which we have heard from our earliest
years that the place is celebrated. These great structures, with
their mottled and faded complexions, lift their big ornamental
cornices to a tremendous height in the air, where, in a certain
indescribably forlorn and desolate fashion, overtopping each
other, they seem to reflect the twinkle and glitter of the warm
Mediterranean. Down about the basements, in the close crepuscular
alleys, the people are for ever moving to and fro or standing in
their cavernous doorways and their dusky, crowded shops, calling,
chattering, laughing, lamenting, living their lives in the
conversational Italian fashion. 
-Henry James, 'Italy Revisted, 1877, in Portraits of Places, 1883

I have to say, not much has changed since the 19th century. The palazzi still stand tall and proud, many striped black and white, with architectural details that in some ways point to Venetian architecture. Indeed, this city of merchants, also a seapower like Venice, has a resemblance to the Serenissima. But instead of canals, one is jostled hither and thither by tiny winding streets--the vicoli--where shops spill out onto the pavement and above ornate Baroque icons tower down on the observer.
{my flat is above this lovely shop--those windows to the left, with the big green shutters is where I'm staying!}
{the archives!}

As someone who grew up sailing the world on tall ships, I suppose it's no wonder I feel slightly at home here, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. I'm here on research--spent the day in the beautiful archives (Archivio di Stato di Genova), but am hoping to explore the city a bit more this weekend. I have caught a flu, but hoping that I can quickly overcome it.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

{quotable thursdays-postcards from Milan}

{taken in 2007}

Ciao da Milano!
I arrived late last night and am already immersed in the beauty of the city! So a little something from Henry James on my adopted city for the next week:

Milan, at any rate, if not bristling with the
aesthetic impulse, opens to us frankly enough the thick volume of
her past. Of that volume the Cathedral is the fairest and fullest
page--a structure not supremely interesting, not logical, not
even, to some minds, commandingly beautiful, but grandly curious
and superbly rich. I hope, for my own part, never to grow too
particular to admire it. If it had no other distinction it would
still have that of impressive, immeasurable achievement. As I
strolled beside its vast indented base one evening, and felt it,
above me, rear its grey mysteries into the starlight while the
restless human tide on which I floated rose no higher than the
first few layers of street-soiled marble, I was tempted to
believe that beauty in great architecture is almost a secondary
merit, and that the main point is mass--such mass as may make it
a supreme embodiment of vigorous effort. Viewed in this way a
great building is the greatest conceivable work of art. More than
any other it represents difficulties mastered, resources
combined, labour, courage and patience. 
-Henry James, Italian Hours

When I was a PhD student, many moons ago (actually exactly 10 years ago!), I lived here for a few months. It's an exciting city to be in with all its fashion and style and of course its fascinating history. I'm back again for archival research--here for a week and then off to Genoa next week.
stay tuned for pics etc... and you can keep up to date over on instagram!

Sunday, 22 January 2017

{postcards from Mexico-first communion}

It has been a while since I've been back from Mexico, but fell ill and am just starting to be able to catch up on things!
My niece and nephew had their first communion the first weekend we were there, which in Mexico is a very big celebration--like a wedding!
It was so wonderful to witness. My sister is starting a candy business, and did the most amazing candies table for the kids...and there was delicious food and of course the ceremony was amazing too.
I took a million pictures, but here are a few to give you a taste.

{beautiful sweets table designed by my sister!}

{my brother-in-law is a cigar manufacturer, so these were custom made!}


Thursday, 19 January 2017

{quotable thursdays}

Hello everybody!
Thursday already?! Have you had a good week? I'm almost completely on the mend! Had a very long list of to-dos this week, which I mostly got through, so that's good.
and next week...I'm off to Italy! Feels like I just got back from Mexico!
More on that, hopefully later...
but for now, I wanted just give you a quote that will make you feel all warm & fuzzy on a chilly January day!
{beautiful, either inside or out!}

Thursday, 12 January 2017

{quotable thursdays}

Hello and Happy New Year!
Excuse the silence dear readers! I was away in lovely Mexico, then fell really ill, and am only starting to recover now.
Work is as crazy as ever, so I'll have to play catch up soon. So many lovely photos from Mexico to share. I had a really really busy 2016, and stretched myself a little too far. So if I can learn something for 2017, it's just take things a tiny tad slower.
Today is Thursday, so let's have a quote!
I like this quote to start 2017, because it's all about making your life what you want it to be. Don't blame your failures on others, or wait for someone else to make a success of you. Go out there and find the life that you want. Don't expect others to do it for you! & when you haven't the time to plant your own garden, buy yourself some flowers!
{gorgeous daffs at the LB market on Tuesday}
Happy Thursday everyone!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

{quotable thursdays}

Are you frantically worrying about Christmas shopping? Getting the house in order for guests? Are you battling crowds on Oxford Street? Sometimes Christmas feels nothing like the Christmas we imagine: calm and peace, sitting beside a fire, instead we're yelling at loved ones, battling through crowds, and being all together grinchy.
More than ever, the world seems turned upside down. Messages of hope and love and peace and light seem trite almost ridiculous in the chaos that is modern life, on top of atrocities in Syria, messages of racism and hate supported by presidents elect and world leaders. But we can't give up hope. Indeed, it was in the midst of war, chaos, injustices that a baby was born in a simple stable to bring to the world a message of light, and peace, and love.

So today, 10 days before Christmas, I offer you a poem from Laurence Housman:

O perfect Love, outpassing sight, 
O Light beyond our ken, 
Come down through all the world tonight, 
And heal the hearts of men.

Tonight I fly out to Mexico to be reunited with most of my family. so looking forward to seeing them and to soak up a little sun and some relaxation.

Wishing you and your families peace and love and a wonderful, restful break!