Dear parents, well done!

As another year is being added to your union, let’s celebrate you and the fortune that is to be born near you.

Luckily, I don’t need to study this question too hard, because you two indeed met and took care of my face and all the rest.

Here are some of the loveliest photos that you have sent me in the last few years, only one was taken by me.

The first and the last photo in the gallery were taken two years ago for your big 50th by the pro photographer Mirko Kunšič and it shows. Father at the Fontana di Trevi is the earliest (who knows if I was born yet), mom in your garden with the kakis (persimmons) is the latest, taken four days ago by dad. The one before last I took this summer when everything was murky like this sky but we were together and this is what counts.

There are some celebrations in my today’s blogging memories as well. You two are sooo cute that no words are necessary.

And here is a little bird that stood long enough for me to click yesterday. I thanked her and it told me that every little thing is going to be alright, as long as we have each other. Cin cin, buon appetito, and thank you for all the love.

This day in my blogging history

PPAC: Piran 2. – Three sculptures

Why don’t we continue our art tour of Piran on the Slovenian coast with three sculptures, one by an Iranian, another by an Argentinian, and the third by two Serbian artists?

First this. I have been posting daily since May the 20th. It has come along spontaneously, the idea and the execution, when I decided to start posting my blogging memories at the end of my post. Every day I add one photo with the link to each post that was posted on the same day over my past seven blogging years. I shall continue doing so until next May when the circle is complete.

And today is the first day since I started with zero memories. I have decided to post anyway, since Piran is waiting to show itself to you in bits and pieces. Here are three.

The first one is the oldest of the three. The bronze sculpture shaped as the Piran outline was placed on the wall right by the sea in 2011, one year after the death of Dragan Sakan, the marketing guru from the Yugoslavia times and a big friend of Piran. It was designed and sculpted by Serbian artists Slaviša Savić and Milan Stošić. I like it how it is made of books and incorporates various objects such as a pine cone and scissors.

The other two were made during the Forma Viva 2019, an annual gathering of sculptors from all over the world, and set down to their present locations in 2020.

This is “Sunrise” by Iranian artist Behnam Akharbin Moghanlou. Like the one before it is placed above the sea with Croatia visible in the south-west where the Gulf of Piran ends. There is just a little problem. This is where you can observe the sunset, not sunrise… The sun rises on the other side, opposite the sea. I don’t know if this was on purpose, but in this location “Sunset” would make much more sense as the title. Still, I like the shape.

The last sculpture stands right next to where I was standing when we met Roma as described in my yesterday’s Friendly Friday post.

The suitcases are self-evident. The artist Laura Marcos comes from Argentina where many Slovenians ended up in search of a better life. Hence, “Next Destiny” is a perfect title. They are white, as if to say: destiny is the colour you give it. I like that.

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

Friendly Friday: Roma in Piran

This was a brief but friendly encounter on the Slovenian coast five months ago when we went to the bus station to meet my incoming uncle.

“Roma!” I heard behind me.

I turned and there was the cutest terrier with the fanciest collar ready to meet bestia. Bestia, who is male if anybody still doubts it, was all eyes. They got along splendidly from the first.

I looked up at the owner (always in this order), and it was a smiling blonde woman, about a decade older than me. I asked her: “Is this her name? Roma?”

You probably know that Roma is how Italians call Rome. But only now that I live about an hour and a half north of the Italian capital, I realise how it should be pronounced.

One would think it was done how they do it in the north of Italy: Roma, with the wide “o” sound, like Americans would say “Tom”. But you know that someone is a Roman when they call their city “Roooooma”, with the narrowest “o” in the world, like a Brit would say “appaaaaaalling”.

The funny thing is that this meeting took place in Piran on the Slovenian coast, about 700 km from Rome. The lady confirmed that this was indeed her dog’s name, and yes, they came from Rome. Another funny thing is that the conversation was conducted in Slovenian, my language. Amore stood by smiling until I translated to him: “This lady is Slovenian, from Ljubljana just like me, but she lives in Rome.”

That’s when the two started to chitchat in their singsong Roman dialect, and I could again observe the dogs in peace. They were super cute. It crossed my mind to take a photo of the lady as well, but I thought it might be rude. She was alone but said that she was married to a Roman man and they had been living in the same part of Rome as amore’s father, Monteverde, for a few decades.

When this bit came to light, their chitchat intensified and the hands got busier. I later asked amore if he would recognise her as a “romana” only from the way she spoke. He said, probably, but he would know that she was not Italian. I couldn’t spot any telltale traces myself.

She added that she was on a visit to her mother who lived in Ljubljana but wished to buy a house in Piran and move here. Yes, just what my parents did.

I looked at the dogs again. Roma didn’t need to say a thing. Just looking at her collar would suffice. She was definitely Italian. And bestia was sad to see her go.

As for Slovenians, how would we know which “o” sound to use when we say Roma? We call it “Rim”…

For Friendly Friday Photo Challenge hosted by Sarah at Travel with me: Meet

This day in my blogging history

Thursday Doors 25/11/21: Santa Fiora 2.

Last week we came to this pretty town with a fish farm in its middle, today we climb the hill to the old town and find a most excellent meal. And doors are always nearby too, except when they are hidden by flowers so pretty that you don’t mind it at all.

Since I will not repeat the impressive water feature in the middle of this town, which I visited with my visitors from Oregon early in September this year for the first time, please have a look at my last week’s post if you missed it.

After a stroll around the park by the pond I asked my phone where we should have lunch. It said there was a 10 minute walk to the number one restaurant in town, so we climbed up to the old town and found a passage with a tree, which is where we stopped last week. Today we go through it and the town opens up before us.

A few years ago mom’s cousin visited with her husband who hails from Idrija, the town in Slovenia with mercury mining tradition. I remember driving around Monte Amiata randomly, without a plan, hoping to encounter some traces of that tradition. Little did we know that Santa Fiora is where we should go.

There is a mercury mining museum next to the Municipality but we didn’t enter it. Our stomachs were on a mission. My phone was leading the way and soon we found Il Barilotto, the restaurant in business since 1927, if you believe it and you probably should. All the tables on the terrace except a tiny one were occupied, so I asked the waiter if we – three people and a dog – could squeeze there.

We didn’t book in advance and with the situation as it is, I was worried that we might be turned away. Instead the waiter asked us if we had our Covid-19 Green Passes and since we did (a requirement if you wish to dine indoors in Italy), if we wouldn’t mind having our lunch inside. With the dog? With the dog, come on, he said.

He led us a bit further along the narrow street to the restaurant proper and it and everything that followed was just glorious, right down to the chestnut jam for dessert which he made himself with his brother (I believe). Clearly they are proud of their skills and their family restaurant in the wholesome, unobtrusive, non-screaming way, and such is their food as well.

Their white ragù with Cinta senese, pork from the pig raised around Siena with protected geographical destination, with the addition of anise and served with pici, local pasta, was possibly the best thing I have eaten in Italy so far.

After lunch we strolled through all the tiny alleys that we could find and greeted all the doors and cats, but then returned to our car since Monte Amiata, where they ski in the winter (and where I didn’t take a single door photo for some reason), was waiting for our ascent by car.

I invite you to visit Crystal’s blog and an informative post on this glorious day with more fish, food and frolics. Hard to believe this was nearly three months ago.

I wish Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the USA, with special thanks to our host Dan who is keeping Thursday Doors open despite the holiday. Buon appetito!

For Thursday Doors challenge hosted by Dan at No Facilities

This day in my blogging history

  • 2018: Around the bend:

    Around the bend
    is another bend.
    And then another.
    Beyond is just the
    flat
    promised
    land
    of exactly same sun minutes per day
    as in the country of origin
    this past week,
    namely none.
    It’s warmer though
    by a third
    and wetter
    and the promise lies
    in the return.

Wordless Wednesday 24/11/21

This day in my blogging history

Five from Ostia Antica

On the last day of this August I went to the Fiumicino Airport to pick up my visitors from Oregon. After the lunch of fritto misto we went to Ostia Antica, a huge archaeological site of the ancient harbour of Rome. Here are just five glimpses from it.

We had to show our Covid-19 vaccination Green Passes and our temperature was taken. I had to wait a little in the shade because the sun was making me too hot. Then it was fine and we entered this huge complex for the first time. Dog allowed. Perfect first impression for Crystal and Pedro and their first time in Italy, no doubt. (I wonder if anybody will notice that there are actually six photos.)

This day in my blogging history

Lens-Artists PC: Seven times bliss

For today’s post, which answers to two challenges with similar themes, I gather seven times when I felt blissful. I wouldn’t mind revelling in repetition of such times, but most of them were unique.

I have a good friend who has just come out of the hospital after almost three weeks of Covid-19 pneumonia and non-stop oxygen mask. He found it hard to recognize his city, his apartment, his life. And so he is making some changes.

He negotiated a higher pay from the hospital bed. He is fixing things on the spot and doesn’t leave anything for later. He is getting ready to die, he says, but not in a morbid way, he is young. He also looks thirty years younger. Talking to him was truly empowering.

With this in mind I embarked on choosing some of my most blissful moments, because Lens-Artists guest host Lindy Le Coq suggests we follow our bliss.

Each of these seven occasions gets its own gallery with three photos. Usually one photo is of the setting, one of the company and one of the blissful me so that you can see for yourselves how happy I was.

1. The hike in Slovenia

The first two things that came to mind were a couple of hikes. (Why? Do I miss suffering?) Both are from August 2009 when I was at my fittest. There is just something about a hike done well and the high that comes with it.

The view down towards the Sava river with the Julian Alps in the back.

My friend and our goal: Stol, 2.236 m (7,336 ft), the highest peak of the Karavanke range.

After: Extremely blissful back in the valley below. Photo: Alenka.

2. To Croatia next

Ten days later we were already in Croatia, in a little village Duba where I used to spent Augusts with my family until I turned 20. This was the return after almost 20 years.

Like a goat. On Pelješac peninsula we attacked their highest mountain St. Ilija from the wild side. There are no maintained tracks from Duba. We were on our own. Yes, that’s me.

Towards the top. It took us most of the day, like this post.

A just reward. The bliss is not due to the beer but that we made it down intact. The first and this photo taken by one of my three companions.

3. The first visit of my parents

The surprise visit of my parents on my birthday in 2013, their first to my new home, is another example.

Mom picked me flowers. Photo: Dad.
The next day they had to leave already!
Having them there: total bliss. Photo: Dad.

4. My first visit

Only eight months before my parents arrived, at the end of August 2012, I was on my the first visit to the place that would become my new home and I wasn’t aware of it then. We were caught by surprise. It must have been the apple.

5. The Garden of Eden and Druga

Let me add my parents’ garden in Piran as such and the fact that it exists. From here is also my Embarrassment of Riches photo at the top of my blog. This garden makes it hard not to be blissful.

Permissive upbringing.

Eden and druga, Slovenian for one and the other.

Book and serenity and bliss. Photo: Dad

6. The end of lock-down

To complete the proverbial seven, I add two moments from this year. The first is my birthday in May, since that was the first time we drove to a new place together and had a meal out after half a year of being locked down. And I wish there were more such days also when it’s not my birthday and there is no lockdown.

7. The visit from far away

The second and most recent blissful occasion was a week spent with my two visitors from Oregon in early September, rushing from one site to the next, from one country to the other, over mountains, via lakes and rivers to my various homes. And we did it more than well.

I’m especially glad that Crystal chose this photo to begin her recent post on the first anniversary of meeting Pedro.
The last caress of her, now my camera. Uber blissful. Photo: Pedro.
I was really happy that we walked the Piran walls. It was my first time.

And since yesterday I discovered Ju-Lyn’s Happy Place, Happy Space challenge by chance, I link to her as well. In her post she speaks of repetitive actions and the tedium they bring along, which is something that I feel more strongly with every passing month, as I walk bestia to the right with the morning light and to the left when the sun sets.

I know what is called for: to be more like my friend and bring everything in order, no matter how repetitive it is. Instead, the only place where I maintain the order is my blog.


For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, guest-hosted by Lindy Le Coq: Follow Your Bliss

and for Yu-Lyn’s Happy Place, Happy Space

This day in my blogging history

Pic and a Word #290: Bound out

Today a doomy poem and glimpses from the waterfront of Trieste, a city bound in nostalgia and history.

But first, three times that I was by the sea in Trieste:

Bound out

Bound to find out
it’s easier to go out with a whisper
than a flame,

bound to think
it only happens to other people,
you will be happened to.

Round on the way. Re-
bound on the way. Out-
run on the way. In
ground all the way.

The photos below – of the port and the waterfront, the Canal Grande (really very piccolo), and the Piazza Unità d’Italia – are from two visits.

The first part until the fisherman is from 2015 when amore and I continued from the port to the Miramare Castle. It was 6 am, amore just rode into town on the night train, hence the lovely light.

The second half is from another summer three years later when father took me to Trieste from Piran with the regular boat line. It felt good to invade Italy from sea. (Why do I write Trieste, like Italians do it? I should say Trst, in Slovenian. Yeah, there you go, remove all the vowels. Trst is – also, as much – ours.)

If you are curious about the history of Trieste, and there is plenty of it, I recommend the book by Jan Morris, called Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere. Never has the title been more spot on.

In response to Patrick Jennings’ Pic and a Word Challenge #290: Outbound

This day in my blogging history

CFFC: Boooooks

Here is a compilation post for Cee close to my heart, with my favourite books and book photos of the last eight years.

Just yesterday, as I was reading my first Martin Beck novel, The Laughing Policeman, on my e-reader, Kobo, I realised what is wrong with e-readers. They don’t make me feel the same as holding a book does.

You don’t get to grasp a book, take it in as the whole, observe the quantity, shape, form, state, all of it, at a glance. One e-book follows another, and it’s harder to make it stick in my mind. They may be well-written, vivid, intelligent, and yet they pass as they were never here to begin with.

My books have always been my best friends. I tried reading two non e-books this year (when the internet was down) and both proved to have letters that were too small for the faint light in my bedroom and for my eyes – even with my glasses on. It was a painful realisation.

Luckily amore got me a Kobo years ago and I have collected e-books to last me several life-times, or I’ll just have to live really long.

Many suggestions for what to read have come from my state-of-the-art, one-of-a-kind booklist, which is safely kept on a previous blog and for which my family, friends, blogging buddies and all sorts of internet acquaintances have contributed their favourite book(s). Here it is. Click on the photo and be transported:

If you haven’t yet – or if you have but have acquired a new favourite in the meantime – please be so kind and leave your favourite title(s) in a comment, here or there, especially if your book is not included yet.

And now here is my life in books, at least the last eight years of it. It starts in our home and spreads over some book shops in Slovenia and Rome.

I’ll never forget what amore told me the first time I visited him and we went to Almost Corner Bookshop in Rome, a rare one with English books in the city. He watched me for a while, smiled and said I was like a kid in a sweet shop.

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Books and Paper

CFFC

This day in my blogging history

PPAC: Piran 1. – Church art

This is the first post in my new public art challenge series. We will spend several weeks in Piran on the Slovenian coast and admire its many art forms, styles and shapes. Let’s start with some of its many churches and chapels.

Even though my parents have had a house in this small but extremely pretty town on a peninsula just south of Trieste for over a decade and I take photos all the time, the photos in this series were all taken over ten days this July and on that September day when I was fortunate enough to be able to show Piran to my visitors from Oregon. When we drove over from Tuscany, Piran was our first stop in Slovenia and my parents welcomed us with open arms.

The series will include sacral and profane, sharks, Bosnian painter Safet Zec, writings on the wall, and an Iranian sculptor, among other things. Even though I’m not a church-goer, let me start with churches and chapels, considering how many there are here and how pretty they are.

Most of the smaller churches have eternally open doors with a railing so that you can see inside but cannot enter. There is one with an especially elaborate floor design that I always like to visit.

At the end there is a view through the window that stopped me in my track twice this summer. There is a light that never goes out.

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

This day in my blogging history

Thursday Doors 18/11/21: Santa Fiora 1.

This is the first of two Santa Fiora door posts from my first time there in early September. I chose this lovely sounding and looking town to show it to my two visitors from Oregon sight unseen and we weren’t sorry.

This is chestnut territory below Monte Amiata, the highest peak of lower Tuscany, which we climbed by car after lunch in Santa Fiora, a true flower of a town.

I only knew there was a certain body of water in the middle of the town and this was enough for me to wish to see it. It turns out to be a trout-raising facility of many years.

After we enjoyed a stroll around the little park that surrounds the pond, we got hungry. I googled the place for a restaurant and we lucked out in a major way but more about this next week. Today I show you the pond, the church and some doors on the way up to the old town.

Crystal and Pedro were happy, bestia and I were happy, and that’s the most one could wish from a town. Let’s go.

For Thursday Doors challenge hosted by Dan at No Facilities

This day in my blogging history

Wordless Wednesday 17/11/21 – New lens testing

Lens: new Tamron 18-200. Camera: new old Nikon D-5000. Location: home and Southern Tuscany around it. Lesson: don’t wield that sun visor wildly. 😀

This day in my blogging history

Lens-Artists PC: Shapeshifting in style

This is my favourite kind of posts: a compilation of shapes and styles from here, Italy, and there, Slovenia. No wonder I couldn’t stop before I hit 30 photos.

I did my best to pair my photos in a way to create some sort of structure, while marvelling at Patti who was able to select just a few representative photos for her Lens-Artists photo challenge post, including a lego portrait. I just can’t. Over here it’s always a flood.

But this is what I do anyway, daily: select forms, shapes, styles and patterns for you to enjoy and transport you over and we can all pretend that you’re here. Welcome!

For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Patti at P. A. Moed: Shapes and Designs

This day in my blogging history

Weekend Writing Prompt #235: Death by concert

I rarely decide on a new challenge since my blogging days are really full as it is, but Nope, Not Pam (last week) and Sunra Rainz prompted me to have a try at a new prompt. Each week writer Sammi Cox proposes the word and the length and off we go. This week it’s mirror in 95 words.

wk 235 mirror

Death by concert

We have come a long way.
Woodstock was huger than huge. 
There people stormed in for free too. 
Did someone die? 
I think someone was born.

A mirror to society:
“People are dying. Stop the concert.”
“No.”

They say he signed a contract
for an exclusive documentary 
after the fact.

An early comment to the tweet 
which informs me of the concert deaths
reads:
“Everything was laced with Fentanyl.”
No need for that.
A concert can kill you just like that.
By reckless organisers.
Incompetent security.
Greed.
Or just plain
peer pressure.

Ask Pearl Jam.

(Dedicated to all the dead and injured at the Astroworld festival crush. It should have never happened.)

For me, concerts and live music are of major importance. I have heard Pearl Jam play ten times (for example, here is the full show from Hyde Park 2010), Therapy? maybe not quite as often, and attended numerous other big and small gigs. Since the pandemic started, I’ve only been to two small outdoor shows. I can no longer see myself in the crowd.

I rarely take photos during a show since I prefer to enjoy it (and don’t pack my camera), but if it’s an outdoor, free event I might. Or only crappy but beloved phone photos remain of the day. Here are some from the last decade. The last photo was not taken by me or in my company. I wish.

For Sammi Cox and Weekend Writing Prompt #235 – Mirror

This day in my blogging history

Pic and a Word #289 & PPAC: The wave of irony

The photos are from Orbetello for Marsha’s PPAC. The poem is a double fib, named after the Fibonacci sequence, for Patrick’s Pic and a Word challenge. That it doesn’t make much sense is a sign of the times. And the waves are for waving.

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13  

0
I
run
with my
iron, eeee!
I Ron, you Mexi. 
Aye-aye, you will mess my sassy.

Isn’t it ironic: I run as I wish to run?

In your eye, le roi c’est moi. Live 
like it’s iron age.
What a sad
runny
mess,
this.
0

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 061621challenge_1.jpg

and in response to Patrick Jennings’ Pic and a Word Challenge #289: Irony

This day in my blogging history

CFFC: Future nostalgic

Isn’t this a brilliant theme? I had one photo in mind immediately and was sure to gather many others. And then…

Cee’s post is so cute and I was in such good spirits when I started to look. The first photo I searched out deliberately. It was of a poster we spotted in Padua this September. “Future Vintage Festival”, it said. Just brilliant, thought I then and think it still, isn’t this what we all are? Future vintage.

The next photo that I found almost teared me up. It was taken only 12 years ago and I look like another person. Alas, the other person in the photo forbade me to post it.

I thought some more and quickly realised: Why look back at all? It’s the present when we are the youngest and the thinnest (well… I speak for myself) that we will ever be. The world is at its serenest, the seas are at their lowest, the weather is at its calmest. Let’s be nostalgic for our present.

With this in mind I had a look at the last batch of photos taken one week ago and knew these were the ones I wished to post. The ground here is practically level with the sea if not below it. This means it will be the first to go.

Before I left home one day, I saw a feather in front of our garden gate, as if it were a present. I returned for my camera and when I opened the gate to take a photo, the gust of my action blew it away. I caught it but the symbolism lingered.

On Thursday the final sad addition to this post arrived. My friend Vera with whom I had pizza this summer as pictured, passed away due to lung cancer. Keep an eye on us, Vera.

The future is now, present is past, and nostalgia is a happy memory.

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Future nostalgic

CFFC

This day in my blogging history

My Friendly Friday airports

First of all, this post for Amanda turned out a bit long. Thank you for reading, really. As I told Snow Melts Somewhere recently, it takes a certain effort to be swept in anything these days. I truly appreciate it.

The runway ends in a hillock, then there’s the fence, and then there’s us. The airport is at Brnik near Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Even though it has been renamed after a politician, we still call it Brnik.

Do you planespot? I mean, you either do or you don’t. I need more than 20 years to board my first plane, so I spend years watching them wistfully first. I even ride my first helicopter before my first plane. (I win the ride as a prize. It’s a different story.)

In primary school I have notebooks wrapped in Peter Stuyvesant cigarette commercials. Those planes in romantic sunset hues, you know? (If I google the name, I don’t see any planes or sunsets. Was I dreaming? The ads were in Der Spiegel…)

Which reminds me, my mother’s first job was at the Duty Free Shop right here, at our Brnik airport. She sold cigarettes and booze to pilots and still knows certain Dutch phrases from those times.

She always calls the airport “aerodrome”, and when I’m told in my kindergarten that we are about to go and visit the hippodrome, I come home excitedly and tell my parents that we are going to see where mom used to work.

When father indeed takes me to the airport one day when little, I’m afraid to climb the stationary, show airplane there, because I’m convinced that it will take off while I’m on it. For that I’ll have to wait another 15 years or so.

The first time I fly is after the sleepless night to London with my family, out of Vienna and not my home airport Brnik. It is pretty spectacular when one of our suitcases comes out in London opened with bras hanging out. We get a brand new Samsonite in compensation because they broke it.

A bit later I start going with friends to our regular spot from the first paragraph to watch the planes land and take off. They do it right above us. It’s a trip without a trip. I hear later that this spot becomes so popular that kids order pizza there.

The last time I’m there it’s winter and just before we leave, I spot a white owl on the fence, illuminated by my car’s headlights. It could be another dream, but I know it isn’t.

No, the last time I’m there I’m older, my sister is about to land from her trip to Peru and I stop at the hillock for old times’ sake, to see her plane land like we used to do it together. I know she is looking down.

Later I stand in front of the airport building with my first dog and my friend and we keep gazing at the exit intently for her to appear and suddenly she is standing next to us and smiling. We missed her. She is dressed like nature and has learned her magic. She blends in.

A couple of times she lands in Venice after her travels. Once a delegation of friends go there to meet her and we come early and ride the vaporetto and it’s February and the boat ride in the mist is like a film or a dream, except it isn’t.

The second time I pick her up in Venice I’m alone, it’s summer and her plane lands at 6 am. I google the distance. It’s three hours. I leave at 3 am. When the right lane on the highway gets to be bumper-to-bumper with trucks, I know something is up. Indeed, an accident prevents our progress and for a while everything stops. We need to leave the highway at one exit and return at another and we move like snails.

All in all, it takes me 6 hours instead of 3. When I finally reach the airport, I try her phone. A woman’s voice replies: “Ospedale.” Oh no. Before I can focus and decide what to do, I find the toilets. And there she is, my sister, and I’m over the roof happy. She lost her phone on her travels. The number I called didn’t include the prefix for Slovenia and by chance she shares the number with an Italian hospital. On return to Slovenia we chat so much that we don’t even notice or care that we drive on an old straight road instead of the highway. Who needs highway when you’re happy.

The last time I’m at an airport with my sister is when I drive her to Fiumicino in Rome from where she will fly to Peru. It’s for work this time and she doesn’t know when she will return. I accompany her to the check-in and there is a problem. They don’t let her on the plane because she doesn’t have a return ticket. Just when she thinks she will need to buy a bogus ticket to make them happy, the lady gives in and lets her board.

All this has just barely to do with my own airport experiences but really, I don’t fly much. I have only flown eight times (I count one trip as one flight, or that would be 16 times). I can imagine Snow Melts Somewhere, who used to be a flight attendant, read this and laugh.

Three times of these are to London, including my first and last flight. The last time is eleven years ago to hear Pearl Jam in Hyde Park and I’ve just posted photos from this trip.

Four summers, back to back, my ex and I fly to four Greek islands for a week – Karpathos, Samos, Lefkas, Kefalonia – with charter planes that are always really late to pick us up on return. The trip to Lefkas is the only with photo evidence and here it is.


The eighth time, and the only time I am anywhere outside Europe, are two weeks of California.

It’s before Christmas and our first flight leaves from Klagenfurt in Austria. My two friends and I come early, the airport is tiny and – closed. We are too early. Our taxi has left and there is nowhere warm to wait. It’s freezing, there is snow around, and we are dressed for California. I discover an unlocked tower of sorts and we wait inside on the stairs.

The Lufthansa flight to Los Angeles leaves from Frankfurt. From there I remember only vastness. We can still smoke on the plane for all 15 hours or so and I do since I still smoke.

When we disembark at LAX I can see tiny dogs with vests saying: “I am your friend.” They are searching for fruit. It’s a big no-no of the times. I don’t know if peanuts qualify, that’s why I leave them on the plane.

I can see a big security guard motion me to approach. Why me, I think, others are let go freely. It must be my leather jacket. It’s torn in places and I have taken it with the intent to ditch it. He is kind in a menacing way but after a short interrogation he lets me go.

I can see people waiting with signs. I thought this only happened in the movies. At the end of all the waiting people is our host, the Slovenian video artist in a leather jacket. “It’s a bit chilly today,” he says. “Let’s drive through the town.”

The last time I’m at the airport is the last day of August this year. My two friends from Oregon are flying in after a three-hour delay caused by their first cancelled flight in Portland.

I drive into the gated area at the Fiumicino airport near Rome. We meet and leave quickly but still not quickly enough for the 15-minute freebie. The gate doesn’t open unless you pay with the credit card. We try an American one, and then another, and nothing happens. Then I try my Slovenian bank card without much hope. And yet, this one works and we are off to our adventures.

First Ostia, tomorrow the world.

For Friendly Friday Photo Challenge hosted by Amanda at Something to Ponder About: Airport Experiences

This day in my blogging history

Thursday Doors 11/11/21: Ljubljana Bežigrad

Because sometimes you need doors that come with mom. These are the doors and more of Bežigrad in the north of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

All today’s photos were taken this summer five minutes or less from my parents’ house which was my home too for 20+ years. Even when I left, my new home was only a few houses to the right in the same street, right until I moved to Tuscany at 43+. So you see, I miss the doors of my youth.

For Thursday Doors challenge hosted by Dan at No Facilities

This day in my blogging history

Wordless Wednesday 10/11/21

This day in my blogging history

Verboten!

The friend who seven years ago sent me the Pippi book re-emerges from her dark woods of Canada, starts a creative challenge on Facebook and calls Verboten as the theme. Dog forbid I say no.

Verboten!

To love more than.
To love too early.
To love still.

Verboten! 

To show nipples.
To not show code.
To wag tail. 

Verboten!

To play.
To lay. 
To shit on the right. 

Verboten! 
To be the wrong gender,
wrong race,
wrong species. 

Verb
bot
ten.
“Forbidden for dogs.”
The opposite,
the better word,
right?

Leave!
Let!
Allow! 

But also
lasciate ogni speranza.
Abandon all hope.
“Who enters dies.”

This day in my blogging history

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