Lens-Artists PC: As memorable as they come

I’ve got some moments in my life that I will never forget but this one I can not only never forget but also still feel after almost nine years.

Double surprise

On my first birthday in Tuscany, one month after I moved there for amore, I am waiting for him to come home from work. He works in Rome, one hour and a half away by everything.

Even though usually he cooks, the dinner is nearly ready, only pasta is left to be boiled. But he keeps missing his trains, postponing his arrival. I don’t get it. Finally he informs me that his train will come around 11 pm. Our car is waiting for him at the station.

When I hear the car arrive outside our home, something is off. I hear voices. There is nobody living around here, you don’t just bump into people that late. Who could that be with him? I go out. We don’t even have bestia yet. I open the gate – and let out a little shriek, as a wounded animal would.

My parents are standing outside by the car, as if someone beamed them up. It was him, amore, who did it, met their train in Rome, arranged everything behind my back, and I never saw it coming. I have to hold on to the gate. It is probably the closest I have ever come to fainting.

It’s not just that my parents are here. And they are! They stay two nights and we only have one day together. But they can finally see what in the middle of nowhere means in my case. What a nice home we have. How good it is. How cold it is, even thought it is middle of May, almost in Africa. That is the point, that is the big surprise and the perfect present.

But another lurking surprise let itself be known: He is good. He is slick. He is so good at hiding things that I don’t ever need to worry. Unless he makes sure I do, it’s not that I will ever find out.


These photos are from the visit in question in May 2013. Dad took the ones with me in them. Our one evening, one day and one morning went by so quickly and they had to board the train and leave again. They returned often but not since 2018.

Thank you, Leya, for a chance to revisit this memory. Your desert is splendid.

For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Leya: Memorable Events

This day in my blogging history

Pic and a Word #298: Divine

When the pandemic first hit and the world was running out of toilet paper, the only thing that ran out in our small supermarket here in Tuscany was the wine.

Divine

Is this a test?
How could 
divine 
get its name 
from anything else
but di vino,
from wine?

In response to Patrick Jennings’ Pic and a Word Challenge #298: Divine


This just in: Yesterday I saw that Visual Verse chose to publish my wacky poem to their visual prompt for the month of January. It is here. To read all the published pieces for this month, click here. It made me happy. Thank you!

This day in my blogging history

70 mi je godina tek

Excuse my use of foreign tongue in the title, but this is my uncle saying that today he turns only 70. Welcome to the rhyming party!

First, the original song from the title: “You are only 17”, a classic from the Yugoslavia times.

The majority of 35 photos in this post (readers are lucky that there are not 70!) were taken during your three visits to Tuscany in the past year. Here you are happy and in no fear.

Porto Santo Stefano, September 2021

I remember a funny moment. After driving forever on a really steep dirt road towards Castello di Celsa which Google Maps insisted I took even though there was a regular asphalt road as well – you will see the road in one of the photos below, under “draMATIC” – we realised that the access to the castle was impossible anyway due to a big gate with two buzzers. We stopped to look around. It was hot. You stepped closer to have a look…

…and proclaimed: “The first button is if you want lemonade and the second is for the custodian.” We pressed neither.

Before we start to rhyme, here is a little something that will make you laugh for sure. And then you will wish to come over so that we can visit it.

And finally, this little photo poem wrote itself after I had gathered (almost) all the (English) words that end in -MATIC which happens to be your name. The poem continues in the captions.

I’m glad that last year we got to see so many new places and had such a great time despite the situation. And a special THANK YOU for coming to Tuscany and taking me to Slovenia, and one month later again in the opposite direction. Always ready to repeat this.

Oh, the two photos with the cakes (plus one other) are from when you hit 60. And don’t miss the extra photo below the gallery.

Stric Matic and his greatest hits

My uncle – we say stric
is not Fritz but MATIC,
which rhymes with his wits
and these greatest hits:

Happy 70, Matic. It’s okay, it’s only the end of the 60’s. They lasted just long enough. Na zdravje!

For the very end, something that will cheer you up. When you returned home after your last visit, you gave me a specific task: to take a photo of your beloved train which took you to the beach for free almost every day. Here it is. And under it you can find all seven previous birthday posts. Happy birthday!

This day in my blogging history

PPAC: Prekmurje 3. – Lendava Castle

Before we exit the Castle after last week’s Hundertwasser exhibition, here are some artefacts from its permanent historical collection with a local tune in two versions.

You will see some interesting sculptures, some weapons, the model of the train station and an impressive shield. If you wish more information, visit this site.

We still have to visit a tower, a church and a cultural centre in this flat region of storks on chimneys, extremely welcoming people, great food and plenty of thermal spas. I miss my Slovenia.

Here, some music for you to feel the power of melancholy of this place. American band Walkabouts covers a song by the region’s most popular singer – songwriter Vlado Kreslin with his lyrics translated into English. (The original song is here.)

That Black Guitar

I was little Vlado then when the gypsies came a-wandering to our town
They’d come by the house and they’d start to play
And father would go to his room and pick up his guitar
Which he’d bought long ago
With his paltry pay

Mister, do you still have that guitar
Mister, do you still have that black guitar
That one was the best one by far

And they kept on asking long after that
Whenever they’d shill for a spare coin or two
Always when they played at the village saloon
And they’d take their breaks to drink at the bar
Whenever their wives stood by the door
And asked for old clothes
Their wives would implore:

Mister, do you still have that guitar
Mister, do you still have that black guitar
That one was the best one by far

Now when I come home
I sit beneath the chestnuts
And I drink
I drink with my friends
Who still call this home
And nearly every night
To the table they come
And play for us
With childish faces
And tremulous voices
They ask

And now that you know what it’s about, let’s put the Cuban twist to it. Vlado Kreslin, the song’s author, joins Ariel Cubría towards the end and tells him that his father still has this black guitar and plays on it too.

And now a short castle hop with some particularly interesting blogging memories. That toilet story still cracks me up. Be well and happy Friday!

For Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) hosted by Marsha at Always Write

This day in my blogging history

Thursday Doors 20/1/22: Santa Severa 5.

With this post we say goodbye to Santa Severa, that’s why I’m letting several non-door photos take part too, for you to get the feeling of how gloriously this day ended.

It was a hot day in September 2020. My uncle was on a visit and we met with Flavia in Tarquinia, from where four Thursday Doors post emerged on my previous blog, with the first one here.

Then we drove to the Santa Severa Castle. With its doors we spent another four Thursdays, including the last one, one Monday with its windows, and today’s post is the goodbye.

After the pretty museum was done, Flavia and I emerged in the castle courtyard just as it was beginning to bathe in that special golden light which we get here on the west coast of Italy. There was a cat, a strange superhero exhibition, and several doors and doorways that wished to be acknowledged.

Then we sat down on the rocks and waited for the sunset show, for which this location is famous. The last photos of the day were taken of the castle from the parking lot. There was a picture of a fish on the wall advertising a restaurant.

Little did I know that almost exactly one year later this restaurant, a rather VIP L’Isola del Pescatore, is where I would be reunited with Flavia after not seeing each other since October. We were not sorry. After lunch we took off our shoes and walked in the warm sea. No doors from that time but the last two photos show the mood.

For Thursday Doors challenge hosted by Dan at No Facilities

W3C Homepage

This day in my blogging history

Wordless Wednesday: Which way signs

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Which Way

CFFC

and for Which Way Photo Challenge, hosted by San at Alive and Trekking

This day in my blogging history

Lens-Artists PC: Interesting finds

This is what I do, more or less. My camera is always on the lookout for objects of interest, be it in nature or culture. That’s why I’m suffering when nothing new comes along, even though same old means rural Tuscany.

I could do many galleries like this one, and I have, and I will. This one is for Patti and her quest for interesting objects.

It starts with my parents, which is how things tend to start. That day in 2016 we visited four autumn festivals in Tuscany.

A couple of Pinocchios follow and certain Etruscans. What will our civilization be known for? My guess is plastic.

The gallery ends with the sun and a cricket, a klobasa, which is Slovenian for sausage, and finally there is (a copy of) David in his entirety for Sarah, since the end of her post for this challenge cracked me up. You need to see that.

For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Patti at P. A. Moed: Interesting Objects

This day in my blogging history

Monday Window: Santa Severa Castle

Since windows are natural companions to doors, whoever loves ones must love the others too. Here are a bunch from the museum in the Santa Severa Castle on the Italian west coast between Rome and me in southern Tuscany.

As I was selecting doors from this castle for my last Thursday Doors post, many windows were left out. This cannot be, said I and chose to feature them today for Ludwig’s Monday Window challenge. I realise the singular form but can only laugh. If you ever see me post only ONE window, you will know that I am in some kind of trouble.

Since you like windows, pay special attention to the blogging memory post from 2020 at the end of this post. Click on either the title or the photo and find many more windows with a view.

And now, welcome to Santa Severa which used to be the Etruscan port Pyrgi. The castle houses a museum with the view through its many windows. I visited it in September 2020. In the last photo Flavia and I are paparazzi and the cat is the model. Let’s have a look, in silence this time.

For Ludwig’s Monday Window

This day in my blogging history

Pic and a Word #297: Ljubljana spectacle

Lately I can’t make my poems in any other way than by twisting the letters and shuffling the words around until they stick. But then again – is there any other way?


Spectre of man,
spectator of mankind,
spectacle of yourself,
receptacle of others.

Spectacular.

Today, January 16th, is the birthday of my two happy friends, M + M. We are the same year of birth and my birthday will follow in exactly four months.

In photos my city of origin last summer on the day of my first vaccine. Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is where I went to primary school and dreamed of foreign lands with one, and studied English and journalism with the other.

More birthday memories are in today’s blogging history at the end of this post. Have a good day, M + M and everybody else!

In response to Patrick Jennings’ Pic and a Word Challenge #297: Spectacle

This day in my blogging history

PPAC: Prekmurje 2. – Hundertwasser and Hasegawa

My apologies for this post, since this art was not really public. The exhibition was available in exchange for a small fee, and it was not visible from the street. Still, the vibrancy hopefully makes up for it.

Here, let me show you. This is a card that I bought at this exhibition. I took these photos two days ago in our yard especially for this post.

Only now I turned it around and read the title: “Irinaland over the Balkans”, 1969. I wasn’t even born yet.

When my friend – our host during this 2019 day trip to the Pannonian, flat, NE part of Slovenia – had asked me what I’d like to see, my first wish was: Hundertwasser.

I suppose the late Austrian visual artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser is a divider of public opinion. Some love him, others hate him, and for me he is everything that is good in art. He’s got colours, shapes, message, vision, dreamlike quirkiness, and he officially changed his name from Stowasser upon learning that “sto” in several Slavic languages, including Slovenian, means “hundred”. So he became “one hundred waters”. How cool is that?

I learned of him during a particular period in the life of my family when father was away on business, that is during the six years or so when he was living in Vienna as the national TV correspondent. I visited him often and we always had much fun. The Hundertwasserhaus was a beloved spot, and the artist’s manifest on the uneven floor about how flat floor fits engines, not human beings, was easily recognisable as truth.

So when I learned that the Lendava Castle hosted a temporary exhibition of his and Shoichi Hasegawa’s works entitled “East and West”, I knew I wished to see it. And so I did, immediately after the welder artist Robert Jurak’s lean cows and awesome fish in front of the castle from my last week’s post.

Let’s enter the castle and have a look. Next week we will remain inside for the permanent collection of historic artefacts. I didn’t wish to cram it all in one post. Or Sandy would never finish it. Ha.

For Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) hosted by Marsha at Always Write

This day in my blogging history

CFFC: Happy Tili, windows, trios and seats

Today celebrates my friend who was gone from my life for almost thirty years but now is back and was the last friend from Slovenia to visit me in Tuscany together with her pack. Here are chosen together times featuring windows, trios and seats from both my countries.

I realise that not everybody thinks joining several blogging challenges in one post is somehow bad form, which is something I feared. My last Lens-Artists PC post, which answered to five other challenges as our host Tina desired, was warmly received.

This is why today I continue this habit by joining windows for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and Ludwig’s Monday Window, seats for XingfuMama’s Pull Up a Seat, and Thursday Trios for Mama Cormier even though it’s Friday.

What all today’s photos have in common is that they were taken in 2018 and 2019 while hanging out with today’s birthday girl in: Ljubljana where we met when studying journalism; Bled – in the featured photo taken by amore – where we went on a day trip in 2019 to swim in the lake and hear Larkin Poe play live; and here in Tuscany where she, her Janez and their dog Manči visited us in September 2019.

Let’s go. Windows first.

Next, let’s pull up our seats. One can seat on different surfaces.

And finally some mostly animate trios, just the first one is of food.

Happy birthday, draga Tili, and be well, healthy, happy and wealthy. (The last is relative.) Always welcome back! And there is one nice photo in the memories below as well.

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Monday Windows;

CFFC

for Ludwig’s Monday Window;

for Pull Up a Seat, hosted by XingfuMama;

Pull_up-_a_Seat-Badge

and for Thursday Trios, hosted by Mama Cormier.

This day in my blogging history

Thursday Doors 13/1/22: Santa Severa 4.

This year looks like a good year for finishing stuff. I try to keep a neat blog but sometimes things are left horribly unfished (and even unfinished). This is the museum inside the Santa Severa castle and its doors.

Last summer on my previous blog we finally reached the museum in the third Thursday Doors post from the Santa Severa castle – and then I stopped. You see, I finally got to go to Slovenia and was overwhelmed by seeing my people again and by the vaccinations and all the doors in Slovenia, and later I forgot to conclude this series. I shall do so now with this and another post next week.

Let’s recall: Santa Severa is a coastal town between us in southern Tuscany and Rome. We passed it often but that hot September day in 2020 was the first time we stopped to have a look at its castle by the sea which houses a museum and a hostel, among other things.

While uncle tended the dog and a beer or two in a lively bar in front of the castle, Flavia and I paid the entrance fee and entered the castle complex and I was surprised to find a little town there. Here are the three previous Thursday Doors posts from it:

The museum is new, it opened in 2017, and only then it became possible to see the inside of the castle. Santa Severa used to be the Etruscan port Pyrgi a long long time ago. The history is thick here, and not all of it is pleasant.

I shall not tell you more but rather show you the museum and its doors, windows, exhibits and views. And next week the tour concludes with some exteriors and final Santa Severa doors.

Welcome! I’m always glad for your company. It’s the only one I have (apart from a couple of bestias). A plan to meet up with a friend today fell through. Tuscany is yellow again since Monday. In my little town there are 15 infected, which must be about 10 percent, and in the neighbouring towns it’s even worse. Amore learned of this while buying cigarettes. Lesson: Don’t smoke.

For Thursday Doors challenge hosted by Dan at No Facilities

W3C Homepage

This day in my blogging history

Wordless Wednesday with November red

This day in my blogging history

Five riders and six cypresses

Today I thought of posting one of my contributions that wasn’t excepted by a past Visual Verse edition since I like it anyway.

I was wondering which photos would go with six riders. I know, six cypresses, thought I, gathered 10 photos of the same cypress field through the year, and then read my piece again. The riders are only five.

This was Visual Verse’s prompt visual for November with my unpublished contribution below.

Image by Frederick Cayley Robinson. Visual Verse, VOL. 09 CHAPTER 01.


Five Riders of Five Apologies

If I wait just a little longer, seemingly supportively, she will tell me what I’m waiting to hear. But I can’t do that. She has no idea and keeps babbling away, like a monkey.

By the end of her monologue the cat will be gone, the sun will go in hiding and the Five Riders of Five Apologies will come riding in through the window like hunting dogs and demand them, the apologies, in blood if need be, or so I’ve been told.

The scene could surely use some blood.

Not long now.

The cat is off.

The first rider lands so gently that I wonder if his head is still on. He looks at me. She doesn’t see him. I turn towards her: “There are some things I need to tell you. I’m sorry for being a bad sister.”

The second rider crashes in with the fall. I say: “Since you were born, I’ve only wished for you to be happier than myself. By failing to do so, you hurt my feelings. I apologize for feeling.”

The third rider is late. I look at her: “It’s something that I need to do. I’m sorry that you don’t see it this way.” I see him outside. His horse is munching on some daisies. 

The fourth rider is dead by the river.

The fifth rider is called No Apologies.

Every month Visual Verse publishes a visual and gathers writings between 50 and 500 words until the 15th of the month. Then 100 chosen ones are posted on their website. There are still four days to submit for January. My piece has been chosen five times so far and here you can read all five.

And now six cypresses in one field through last year, with one photo from 2020 and one from 2022.

If you really love this field and/or time lapse photos of this kind, here is an old post with the same field in even more photos and a ditty for Amanda’s old challenge. Let me repeat it here:

There once was a field in Toscana
that couldn’t decide what it’s gonna:
rest, freeze or make room
for poppies to bloom.
Once done, autumn said: “I don’t wanna.”

This day in my blogging history

Lens-Artists PC: Five new challenges

What a good idea Tina has! Why not bring us closer together by making us join new challenges? I gladly obey. This post answers to five.

Every blogger just starting out should be told this: Do not wait. Start joining challenges immediately or your blog will only be visited by perplexed relatives for a year (well, this depends on your level of bubbliness and weirdness).

What a boost I got back then when I joined my first challenges – Thursday Doors, Weekly Photo Challenge and various Cee’s challenges – yes, after a year of more or less blogging in silence! The year was 2015 and I’m happy to say that the first one, my favourite Thursday Doors, is still going strong, as is Cee with her output.

These are the challenges that I post for regularly, including this one, Lens Artists PC, of course. In each line the first link leads to the most recent challenge post, and the second to my latest contribution:

As you can imagine, my blogging week is rather full and luckily I post every day or I’d never manage to fit in all of these. That’s why I’m especially glad for this opportunity to post for some challenges, which otherwise I might not do so soon, even though I want to. Let’s do it in random order.

1. Thursday Trios, hosted by Mama Cormier

2. Six Word Saturday, hosted by Debbie Smyth. Each photo comes with six words.

3. Pick a Word, hosted by Paula at Lost in Translation: Each photo corresponds to one of the five words, given by Paula.

4. Pull Up a Seat, hosted by XingfuMama

5. For a bit of fun, Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Cups or glasses.

For fun is the only way I dare do B&W.

Christmas in Rome. Gift to amore from his daughter. Polite translation: “Keep calm? You wish!”


For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Tina at Travels and Trifles: Double Dipping

and for:

This day in my blogging history

Almost 50 documentaries

This post deals with all the documentaries that I have seen in the last three years. They are varied, sensational, ground-breaking, important, fun and neatly ranked and rated.

But first, I wish to celebrate my friend Crystal, my generation, who celebrates her birthday today on a trip to Boston, one day after David Bowie, Elvis Presley and Stephen Hawking. Coincidence? I think not!

Thank you so much for the highlight of my last year when you come over with Pedro and we hopped between my two countries, Tuscany (Pitigliano, left) and Slovenia (the road over the Vršič Pass in the Julian Alps, right). You brought along your smile and your thoughtful presents, including a camera. Your generosity knows no boundaries. I wish you that your happiness continues and that your good things jar always stays full. Cin cin!

And now here are the 49 docs that I’ve seen in the last three years, roughly divided in six groups. My enjoyment grows with each next one.

As usually, they are accompanied by trash that I can observe around me here in Tuscany. Truth be told, it is mostly gone by the next day. Except that car, it is forever. And the boat is not really trash.

I already know which will be the 50th I watch: Val, about Val Kilmer, which comes recommended by Crystal. Thank you! I’m always all ears if you wish to tell me what to watch.

First, a few that fell and felt a bit short. I still rate them 7/10.

49. Abducted in Plain Sight. One of those horrible “under the spell” tales in which the child’s eyes are blacked out in the poster.

48. Three Identical Strangers. A say-what?? tale of triplets popping up all over.

47. Remastered: The Miami Showband Massacre. A tragedy from the Ulster times.

46. Facing Adversity: Choosing Earth, Choosing Life. I imagine we will soon be in need of more films like this one, instead of that meteor one.


A few that are interesting as such but too sad or not really up my sleeve. I give them 8/10.

45. Whitney. It was not easy to be Ms. Whitney. A devastating watch.

44. The Carter. See, it’s comparably much easier to be Carter. The world as much removed from my own as possibly possible. I remember the most his daughter rapping.

43. Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics. I quite enjoyed watching it but have forgotten all about it by now. Says it all. All those celebs wasted on me.

42. The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire. One of those films that you watch in self-defence, nodding throughout. The City has always sounded so ominous. And all those offshores…

41. Capital In The Twenty-First Century. Goes well with the one above. Since I’m not really fluent at the matters of economy, much of it was rather hair-raising.

40. The Social Dilemma. Did you know? Facebook employees forbid their own kids to sign up. Every time that I click on an article that comes recommended for me by FB, I imagine a little person in there high-fiving herself.

39. Tío Yim. A father, a husband, a musician gone silent in Oaxaca through the eyes of his daughter.

The second half of 8/10s. Good watches, all of them, but those coming later were better.

38. A Glitch in the Matrix. And what if we are living in a simulation? It’s not about what is real but rather about what is believed and why.

37. The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter. Fascinating bits of wartime history that we don’t think of often. Talking about hard life.

36. Food Inc. Another important insight, into the food that America eats and the forces that govern the processes. I have read a bit about it so it didn’t come as a total surprise. Still horrifying.

35. Colectiv. Romanian documentary about the nightclub fire that killed 64 and injured many more. It is important since it unveils a fraud but does not provide any hope that things like that would ever stop happening for these exact reasons.

34. The Hottest August. This is a poetic insight into life as it is starting to happen to us all from the mouths of the people of New York. And you know that tell they will.

33. Rubble Kings. Another chapter of the American history from the times when I was being born that I know little about. Gangs, violence – not my preferred style but an important watch.

32. The Great Hack. This film, together with the fascinating feature Brexit: The Uncivil War, made me realise the truth of so much, not just Brexit and Trump’s victory.


Here come those that earn 9/10. In some cases ground-breaking stuff, with a few feelgood pleasers and not just a few sighs.

31. Leaving Neverland. A biiiig sigh. It’s horrible, and nobody wants to talk about this. It’s as if Michael Jackson were that meteor.

30. The Legend of Cocaine Island. Here’s a light, amusing one for you. Off you go in search of that treasure. It’s still there, no?

29. 20 Feet from Stardom. This story of background singers, always a fascinating subject, won the documentary Oscar. Ms. Merry Clayton, my favourite, was in a crash a few months after the film came out. Her legs were amputated but not her voice.

28. Toxic Beauty. Oh my, another touchy subject for some. I’m not a user of (many) cosmetic products, what do I care. Right? Wrong! There is a direct link, no matter what you believe.

27. Oklahoma City. Oh my, oh my. It was so hard to watch this, and I’m not even American. So important too. Don’t look away.

26. Aquarela. This film starts with a car that drives on the ice and then breaks it, apparently with a person inside it, and submerges. Welcome to Siberia. Locations change – there are also Angel Falls – but water remains the only character with no narration.

25. The Cleaners (Im Schatten der Netzwelt). Another sigh. Some people do it so that you don’t have to: watch murders, torture, pornography on Facebook. They do nothing all days but eliminate posts like that. In the Philippines. For how much would you do it?

24. Fahrenheit 11/9. I have been following Michael Moore’s output with interest, learning much in the process, about America, the divide, and the power of a documentary. Of course it’s biased, it’s about Trump! When it’s raining you don’t need to include the other side that claims it’s sunny!

23. The House that Rob Built. A necessary basketball break. My mom played it, I watch it and always will. The coach Rob Selvig gave Montana something to cheer for: its lady winners.

22. Fire In The Blood. Another hard-hitting but important topic, AIDS medicine, and how it was or was not distributed evenly. A proper landmark of a film with consequences.

The second half of 9/10s starts with three musical numbers to let us breathe a little before it gets heavy again.

21. Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! Before their sold-out 2004 Madison Square Garden show, Beastie Boys gave out 50 digital cameras to fans and told them to shoot the concert. This is the mix of their footage. I’d have said: “Nahhh, thanks, I’ll be otherwise occupied.”

20. All I Can Say. You might know the song No Rain and the bee girl in the video. The guy singing it, Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon, was shooting the world around him up to the time when it was time to die.

19. Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché. I had no idea of Poly’s existence before seeing this one. A raw slice of life of the singer in the punk band X-Ray Specs.

18. Into Eternity. This is different: A look at how and where nuclear waste material is being stored in Finland. Forever? Foreverever? The film is already 12 years old. It would be interesting to see if anything has changed.

17. Bowling for Columbine (repeat viewing). I have to see this one from time to time, just to remind myself that you guys are not all the same. Or are you now.

16. On the Record. Some sighs coming up again. Russell Simmons, my man, not. How many times must we say “allegations of sexual abuse” for it to start dawning on everybody that they really did it and that’s no alleging?

15. Bitter Lake. Oh, right, we haven’t said anything about Islam yet. Adam Curtis does it for all of us. Watch it.

14. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain. Oh, Anthony. 😦 I’ve just read your “Kitchen Confidential” too for the first time. What a life. Why did you have to go?

13. A Life on Our Planet. Sir David Attenborough is 93 and this is his life. Some say this was the most important film of last year. It’s certainly a legacy, and such a humble one, that nobody can destroy, no matter what comes next.

12. Seaspiracy. Oh my, oh my, oh my! Just – don’t watch it. No, watch it, it’s crucial, but expect blood. And yet I STILL eat fish and sea food just like I did before watching this. This is our problem.


And finally, here are eleven that stuck out and hit the nerve the most. They are as different as they can be. I love that.

11. Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love. It is rather incredible to see these images, hear this story, remember this music. So intimate. So much a part of the past that is gone forever. So long, Marianne.

10. Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time. I’ve just seen this one. Kurt was one of those whose books I just had to buy (another was Tom Robbins) until I had them (almost) all. Here you see him as a family man and then he gets big. Guess what happens. This one was 40 years in the making and made by the man who became Kurt’s friend. When he died, grieving took precedence over the film.

9. I Am Not Your Negro. Another part of American history that I’m not familiar with enough. Thank you for the eye-opening, Mr. James Baldwin. Based on his unfinished book about his three assassinated friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.

8. Heavy Metal in Baghdad. Something completely different again. Just what the title says. But then Iraq became too small for them.

7. Procession. *Grumbles something about priests.* I know why when little I cried upon learning that (less than) a half of my class cannot sleep in on Sunday mornings nor watch cartoons but must go to church. This one is especially hard-hitting since the abuse survivors face their trauma in real-life settings.

6. Pearl Jam Twenty (repeat viewing). What can I say, I’m a fan. Dusty Grammy on the shelf and all. This was made ten years ago. The first time I saw it in a cinema in my Ljubljana. The crowd was lovely, just like at their shows (and I witnessed ten of them). They have been around 30 years already. Oh my.

5. 76 Days. Whereas this one is from the start of our present pandemic. 76 days is how long Wutan was in lockdown. This is only one hospital through the eye of one camera (I believe). It shows exactly how it was like, in case somebody is still unconvinced. Plenty of moments that will linger.

4. 63 Up. The latest instalment of the late Michael Apted’s 7 Up project. He used to visit his “kids” every seven years since they were 7. This one came out in 2019 when they were 63. Two years later Mr. Apted died. Who knows what happens when they hit 70. Is the series over? It remains one of the most astonishing things I have ever watched.

3. Knock Down the House. The #3 spot is well deserved. Even my heart played a little watching Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez win her spot in the world of American politics. There is something about her, in her eyes, in her smile, in her resolve that makes you feel better. I don’t follow her path since 2019 when this film was made but I do catch her stir it up now and then. I hope the nation serves her well because the opposite is true already.

2. My Octopus Teacher. What a peculiar film this is. A pet but not really. Friendship certainly. A crash-course in wilderness vs. humanity. Why did I say “vs.”? Aren’t we supposed to be on the same side?

1. The Age of Stupid. (There is also The Making of, and The Age of Stupid Revisited from 2019.) This film is from 2009 and when I saw it a few years ago (upon recommendation by an environmental politician) something broke in me. Most of us have such a moment, probably. Just one sentence about it: “In 2055 an archivist examines videos from 2008 to understand why humans didn’t stop climate change before it was too late.” Imagine: It is 2022 now.

Previous flash film review posts:

My IMDb Watchlist with films I’ve seen (517 titles)

This day in my blogging history

Pic and a Word #296: Bluster

Once in a while I have to google the challenge word we are given. But even once I did, only silly verses dropped by.


Bluster,
buster,
blister,
booster.

Gust,
bust,
lust.
Just … must.

Blast
from the past,
best
for the last:

blues
&
rhythm,
drum
&
bass. 

The photo accompaniment is more serious. These were taken this summer through the window while amore was having his Covid-19 test, organised by a cosmetic surgery company in BTC, the largest shopping centre in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Talking about filling a niche. Landing zone? Don’t be one.

In response to Patrick Jennings’ Pic and a Word Challenge #296: Bluster

This day in my blogging history

  • 2015: It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are. They do their work in silence, invisibly. They work with all the internal materials of the mind and self. They become part of you while changing you. Beware the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness they are altering your world. ~Ben Okri

  • 2019: Drink, people!

    The poem, the song, the picture, is only water drawn from the well of the people, and it should be given back to them in a cup of beauty so they may drink — and in drinking understand themselves. ~Federico García Lorca

PPAC: Prekmurje 1. – Robert Jurak

When Marsha asked me recently what my next public art series would be, I still had no idea. And yet today starts a new series from Prekmurje, the region in the NE Slovenia that is a part of the vast Pannonian plain. First comes Robert Jurak, a welder artist.

Prekmurje means “the land over the Mura river”. It lies in north-easternmost part of the country with Hungary to the right, Croatia below and Austria on top, or in the chicken head if Slovenia is in the shape of a chicken and many claim it is.

In the summer of 2019 amore and I visited my friend from this region and she kindly showed us around. This whole series will be from that one day, July 30th. This time it will be mostly about architecture, but let’s start with some sculptures.

Lendava is a town with about 3000 inhabitants. We visited the castle above for the indoor exhibition of two painters, which doesn’t make art public enough for this challenge, or does it? I’m afraid I will have to infiltrate some of that in my series too. One of the two featured artists was Friedensreich Hundertwasser, one of my favourites.

But before we entered the castle, I was blown away by the metallic cows and fish on display around it. They were part of another exhibition called “Welded World” by an artist from the region called Robert Jurak. When we were done with the indoor exhibits, I had a peek behind the castle and sure enough found more Robert’s sculptures on display there. The birds were especially eye-catching. He made them after the drawings by one of his painter friends.

This is just one bit of info that I learned recently from a documentary about him on TV Slovenia. He said that his masterpiece was still to come. Take your time, Robert. We are waiting.

For Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) hosted by Marsha at Always Write

This day in my blogging history

Thursday Doors 6/1/22: Maribor

Since today is my grandma’s birthday, I’m taking you on a door tour through Maribor, her city, where my father was born. It is also Slovenia’s city number 2.

We visited her often and I spent many happy times with her, but she died two years before I moved to Tuscany almost nine years ago. I only returned to Maribor three times since: in the summers of 2014, 2017 and 2021. Here are some of the doors I captured on all three occasions.

First, a funny story from the first time. We reached the cemetery and just as I was trying to figure it out and remember where my grandma and grandpa were buried, a heavy downpour forced us to return to the car. Roman people carry no umbrellas. My Roman man, used to short showers, suggested we waited it out in the car. Half an hour later he, bestia and I were all asleep.

The rain didn’t stop for three days. The first thing we did when we woke up was go to buy new windshield wipers.

When we returned in the sunshine, I got totally lost, had to admit defeat and inquire in the office about the location of the grave, no matter how many times grandma had taken me along to visit her husband, my grandpa, who died on her birthday. Today.

More memories of them in my blogging history at the end of this post, and now a selection of Maribor doors and sights, starting with the Old Vine, officially the oldest vine in the world (how could they be sure?). And my father has its descendent growing in his garden in Piran, on the other side of the country.

For Thursday Doors challenge hosted by Dan at No Facilities

Congratulations Teagan, the new badge contest winner! I love its colours.

W3C Homepage

This day in my blogging history

Wordless Wednesday with the last piece

Recipe: Devil’s Food Cake by Nigella

This day in my blogging history

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