Tango will be the death of me
"When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way." ~Wayne Dyer (with thanks to Selma)
It takes two to tango.
And if it doesn’t
and you know.
I tell amore
how excited I was
when a free tango lesson
awaited after a tango concert
once in my previous life.
I walked all day in the city with my ex
in my tight shoes
with a strap
as I’ve seen in movies.
Sally Potter directed a movie
about her real romance with her tango teacher.
She played herself,
but also he played himself,
even though they were through.
even though he knew
how much I wanted it,
He would not be made
to look like a fool
for not learning to tango
in one lesson.
And as I’m telling this to amore,
I don’t need to ask.
I can see his stance on it
clearly written all over his face.
It takes two to tango.
And if it doesn’t
and you don’t.
Yo, la tango.
No, I don’t.
In photos several occasions when there was dancing going on in Slovenia. I guess I miss it.
Here is the second part of my last October as promised. Today’s photos are from two mega trips as a reminder that I must just go.
To think about it, October was the last month when we could have any amount of fun out of our municipality for more or less half a year! So it clearly deserves two posts for my Calendar 2020.
In the first twenty photos last week there were all other days, today just two: the last getaway with Flavia (until this June!) when we visited Farnese, a waterfall and a farm, and the Last Day I Saw Something New (TM) for half a year and it was the wonderful castle town Torre Alfina.
Today’s public art post, the third with fairy-tale murals from Sant’Angelo, comes with a little reality check.
As I write this (Friday, 5 pm), we have had no internet connection in home for the last twenty-four hours. And on Wednesday we were again without water most of the day. These problems are not related, neither a sign of the times when things will slowly cease to be available, but still pestering and educational.
Rather they are down to the facts that the pipes in our condominium are old, low quality and tend to burst, and that we are in the end of the line as far as internet is concerned, and as amore says – instead of coming over to fix it they are waiting for us to die.
If I step outside or go up, I can hook to the data and post on my blog what I have saved as a draft from my phone, at least this. Luckily for me, I only blog and play card tournaments online (for honour, not money). What if I needed the stable internet connection for bitcoin mining, or I don’t know, karaoke contests, or banking?
Something tells me that in that case I’d go wherever needed and get things fixed, like that time when I got our car back in Vienna after it was towed away without paying. Italy is not Austria, though. (Except maybe Milano, if you ask amore. No love lost between Rome and the second Italian city. Milano is the only city in Italy that doesn’t have a street called Via Roma.)
If only I knew a bit more about the system in Italy and technical matters. I know that I could use my phone as a… I forget the word… hotspot! for my computer. I never have and need to study the matter. (After writing this I indeed changed my phone into a hotspot but for some reason my PC doesn’t recognise it as such, only my laptop does. Still, at least I can create my posts with something other than my tiny phone.)
It was good this year, the connection, until the recent storm. The last time a technician was here was months ago. After big problems in previous years he finally came over, proclaimed our cable “mediocre”, and said there was nothing more he could do. Really? We have a lovely Slovenian plum Schnapps waiting for the lucky guy who would fix it for good. (Amore’s idea. He knows how it goes.)
In the meantime, I learn. I learn how it feels when commodities run out. It’s good for the ego, for the build-up of patience, for cutting addictions. You know, such as the internet, electricity, gas, water, food… All addictions, telling you, every last one of them.
And now here is how our visit to the fairy-tale town Sant’Angelo continued two weeks ago. We are in the middle of it, three more posts await.
Let’s call him Rory since this is his name. It was not exactly travel, more like a job that brought me to Denmark, but travel around we did, a busload of students and I as a journalist. My last evening in the country, Rory was Irish, a writer and suddenly there.
This was not a romantic encounter. He was much older and it was not that kind of click. But clicked we did. We spent that evening chatting non-stop. I couldn’t understand why I knew him without having met.
We exchanged addresses. I started writing to him and he replied, and this went on for years. We never met again.
This was pre-internet and later, when I could, I never managed to track him down online. Our communication was old school. To receive a letter – nothing feels quite the same. Not even to write one.
And wrote I did. I wrote about everything. I told him plenty. I guess I was intrigued that a writer would find me read-worthy. This went on until I got a feeling that he was only doing me a favour. Then I stopped.
In a way Rory was my first follower, my first reader, long before I thought it would be good to start talking to the world and showing it pictures.
I have no pictures from Denmark even though I was there as a photo journalist. (Don’t ask, it was pre-digital, father gave me a couple of his old cameras and off I went a-clicking, hoping for the best). The newspaper that sent me did post a few. Years later, as it happened, the bag with the photos and negatives got stolen.
If I posted a photo of Rory to go along with this post, he would be standing by the window in his Copenhagen apartment in his tight purple pants, with a round hat, his big wicked grin, and a small ladies’ gun in his hand. A prop or a real deal? The photo exists and I took it but don’t know the answer.
Instead, here are some photos from my farewell party in April 2013 just before I moved to Tuscany, featuring the Danish flag from this trip. We were singing.
I will have to go back though. The day was murky but the views of the lake were highly promising.
Rocca dei Papi has a reach Pope history, it seems. Uncle and I aren’t really fluent in these matters but we had a look around. The fortress looms above the town along the southern shores of Lake Bolsena called Montefiascone, “Mount Flaškon”, which in Slovenian is a big wine bottle.
There was no bar to be seen but the doors are everywhere, aren’t we lucky? Even though I couldn’t find the little girls’ door: in the monastery-type establishment there was only “uomini” on the doors of the facilities. We are all humans after all.
Our guest host I. J. gives us a tricky theme this week: the ordinary. My camera is used to catching abnormalities and the extraordinary. Where is the border between the usual and the unusual?
At first I was not sure what to go after. I opened the folder of my first year in Italy, 2013. The “pasta” curtain looked ordinary and interesting enough.
Then I opened 2014 and many more came to play. I added six current ones and here it is, my brown and green gallery. Such ordinary colours.
Except the IKEA paper pad, that one has more colours. And it’s eternal. We still have it after eight years even though we keep using it for three-lingual shopping lists. The only thing I still write by hand.
This is Italy for you: curves – from pasta too – and arches. I could easily use only photos from Niki’s Tarot Garden, but there is so much more.
Let’s begin there though: Il Giardino dei tarocchi, or the Tarot Garden, is a sculpture park in the south of Tuscany 15 minutes from me where Niki de Saint Phalle lived and created the world around her.
After I wrote above and uploaded the photos 5 hours ago, the internet connection died again. No fun this phone editing.
First six photos are from the Giardino, the rest as it says in the captions. Feel free to add curse words.
As promised, here is the continuation of our visit to a town of which I only learned because Facebook assumed correctly that I’d like it. I hope you do too as there will be four more posts from here. Fairy-tales forever!
The only thing I regretted was that I was not carrying a child or ten. What surprises lurk around every corner! Uncle was clearly in sync with his inner child, bestia is always happy to explore, and I couldn’t quite believe my camera eye what I was able to capture.
After the initial snooping around showed last week, we turn the corner and enter a magnificent square with Alice in Wonderland on one wall and the Snow White on the wall opposite, with lots of little surprises to discover.
A few visiting families turned around here and we thought that was it. Then I noticed a sign pointing to the stairs saying that the tour continued there, and so we climbed them.
On top was the mural of the train to take us into new adventures. A look down the street in the last photo promised more. So we continued…
She was so serious. She wanted to be a detective (not enough crime in her country), a writer (pending), a movie director (in a parallel life). But what she really wanted was to live by the sea. Here it is, 1.8 km away.
Hold on to your books. Have your priorities straight. Always talk back if there is injustice.
If ambition sounds as ugly to you as it did to me, reword. Call it calling. If potential sounds as ugly to you as it did to me, reword. Call it superpower.
Today’s post is an immersive experience. You will be fed doors for lunch in Tuscany on a glorious September day.
After yesterday’s new moon when our internet went on a 24-hour fast as well and I had to post via my phone, it’s so good to be back behind my big screen.
Our connection is at a quarter speed, but much better than nothing. If internet problems continue, I will be cut from my photo archives and forced to post only those photos that I can find in my email attachments, seeing that my phone takes photos too terrible to be posted.
It’s raining again, after a fully dry summer, and it was the thunderstorm that messed our connection (and bestia, but the older he gets, the more resigned he is). Today’s post is a memory of a lovely lunch from two weeks ago when it was still hot.
Uncle, bestia and I had just done a considerable walk along the Elsa river. It was more up and down than expected and we were tired and hungry. Our next stop was San Gimignano half an hour away, but it was already 2.30 pm and in Italy things stop and shops close for lunch, including most restaurants. I was not so eager to go to San Gimignano and fall into some tourist trap lunch. What do to?
As I was driving, I realised that there was a town around and I didn’t know what it was called. There are countless towns in Italy but I like to keep their names in check, especially of those that I have visited. And now I had no idea where I was. I kept seeing signs for centro storico, historic centre, but not of which town. Never mind, I said and turned that way. Centro storico means lunch.
The rest is history, as the photos will tell. We came, we ate, we conquered. The restaurant was open all day and everything was excellent, the view, the food, the service. I even discovered a new way of taking door photos: sniper style.
And finally, disclosure: The name of the town (and I had to check again since I forgot) is Colle di Val d’Elsa, and the name of the restaurant is Portanova Hosteria Enoteca. Welcome.
I don’t have internet connection at home since yesterday and had to sign into WordPress with my phone and post from there for the first time in 8 years, just so I don’t miss my daily post going on since May. Be well and send some good net vibes. Phone sucks.
ADD-IT: It’s back. Your good vibes helped. The photo above taken by Crystal (with thanks!) in September while driving over the Vršič Pass in the Julian Alps, Slovenia.
“The vulnerable won’t help” is one of those pot idea lines that have stuck. What do you mean you don’t have these?
Since I have already written a poem with this title once I will repeat it this time. It was short and not so sweet and posted in April 2018 for NaPoWriMo together with a list of various layers of my identity.
The vulnerable won’t help
Victims need not blame
swimmers cannot ski
the blind refuse to talk
the living are dead yet.
Happy are those who choose it
the strong are waiting to break
multitudes suck you in
the vulnerable won’t help.
In photos, five from last October. I have gathered so many photos from that month that I wish to show you! That’s why, for the first time, there will be two October 2020 posts for my Calendar series.
This is not it yet. These five weren’t among selected and were crying to be posted. So vulnerable of them.
As far as days go, last Tuesday was a good one, if not for the castle of the ghost town Celleno, then for us.
You saw it, or better its doors, on Thursday already: Celleno, il borgo fantasma, the ghost town in Lazio between Orvieto and Viterbo. Today we look beyond the doors to see what is in there.
It is a bit ghostly and empty but there is Gina, the donkey, it is surrounded by the greens which we in lower Tuscany can only dream of right now (but the rains are coming), its rooms are full of objects that look like its inhabitants have only stepped out for a moment and not moved permanently to a new town 1.5 km away, and there is freshly baked bread awaiting in welcome. Bestia couldn’t believe his nose.
Well, it may be that the bread has seen better days, we didn’t taste it. As has Celleno. It was abandoned in 1951 when deemed unsafe due to earthquakes, landslides, epidemics, but unlike many such towns didn’t give up. It is still alive in its emptiness which is filled not only with objects but often also with various events, exhibitions, concerts.
Therefore no black and white for this ghost. Italy is alive even in decay and goes on in full colours.
2015: Boundaries, limits, borders. Let’s see. 1. I have never felt to have sufficient boundaries. And look at me now. Who said that if a frog had wings, where the end of it would be? I’ve always felt that nobody has gotten to my wings yet. And still I refuse to fly. (Read on)
This is a compilation post of the kind that I love doing the most, especially since I don’t recall ever doing a circular gallery in eight years of blogging.
I went quickly through all the photos that I took this year (almost 9500) and selected 24 various round shapes that caught my eye.
But first, here is a drabble, which in my case is a 100-word (true) story, not counting the title. I got the idea of coming up with one hundred of them for a book. Slowly but surely.
“Do you see that door, and the three circles? This is where they come in, where I feed them. Do you think I should?”
She half-chuckles as if to say: I know how crazy it sounds. Be gentle.
“Well, grandma, they came all the way here to find you. They must be hungry.” I didn’t say it then, but now I do.
Then I held her hand, hugged her, said it was okay. Over her shoulder I looked at the three air shafts of her retirement home room.
If I squinted, I could see them. Her ducks, barely, but there.
And now, here is my year in circles and twice in wheels. It starts out a bit sad and distanced but it picks up in May when I could finally go places again and especially in July when I went to Slovenia.
Today you need to click on a photo to see the caption. This way you can learn more about the occasion, location, or me.
2014:There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. —Douglas Adams
Today a new series begins from the town in Lazio called Sant’Angelo. Here are the first 15 minutes of our Tuesday visit when uncle, bestia and I went fairy-tale hopping.
For Tuesday I had planned three stops in places from my list that were new to me: first Montefiascone above Lake Bolsena (check, the view of the lake impressive but will be repeated due to a murky day, must return), next the ghost town Celleno (check doors from there here), and finally Sant’Angelo, a town with murals.
Since I never like to study more deeply the places that win my attention in any way and instead just go, this is all I’d known about Sant’Angelo: that it had some sort of murals. I’m pretty sure that it came suggested by Facebook and now certain bots are rejoicing that I hopped on their idea. What can I say, bots, you know me better than anybody. (And possibly all we ever wish is to be known in such detail.)
It is especially neat that Celleno, the ghost town, and Sant’Angelo are only some 15 minutes apart and if you are ever in the neighbourhood, do visit both, especially if you have kids.
Today we arrive, have a look around, discover some cherries, Pinocchio, a pigeon and some bottles, and soon it starts to dawn on us that there is more to be discovered and we will do it slowly in the following weeks.
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t cheat again. There is the last photo of September too, unedited, the last in the gallery, but there is a whole bunch of others as well.
You see, I figure why leave you alone with one terrible photo if I can add a few that happened before this last one in order to project you the last evening with my uncle before he returned to Slovenia yesterday.
We finally went to his favourite bar around here, Bi-Bar in Porto Ercole, only to discover their beautiful platform above the sea (as showed in this post) closed, and a makeshift, smaller one next to it in operation. Still, he was happy with his unfiltered Ichnusa (beer from Sardinia) and nuts, and I was happily testing my new old camera with mixed results, as you will see. And with the best gelato around here.
I took many shots from the same spot by the table, pressing buttons, rolling rollers, feeling like a monkey, thinking that I might indeed search out some tutorials on aperture and shutter priorities, so that I can at least be able to distinguish between the two. The featured shot is the result of this testing: f/4.8, 1/25 sec for the win.
The last three photos remain as taken. The last photo is the last in September, only taken because uncle said that it would make a nice photo, while I had my doubts.
Here are the rules and they are simple:
1. Post the last photo on your SD card or last photo on your phone for the 30st September. 2. No editing – who cares if it is out of focus, not framed as you would like or the subject matter didn’t cooperate. 3. You don’t have to have any explanations, just the photo will do. 4. Create a Pingback to this post or link in the comments. 5. Tag “The Last Photo”.
I’m glad to be able to bring you the freshest doors from Tuesday when uncle, bestia and I made our wonderful three-stop trip of great variety. This was stop number two. Let’s hear you sing: “This toooown is coming like a ghoooost toooown.” ♫
Celleno in Lazio between Viterbo and Orvieto was abandoned in 1951 on account of earthquakes, landslides and epidemics (yes, that too). The inhabitants didn’t move far, only 1.5 km away, and kept returning to the old town to mind the animals. One animal remains and you will meet her below.
The houses might be abandoned but the castle is alive with memories and objects. In its many rooms and spaces a free open-air museum is maintained with love and precision, and it is the venue of various cultural events. One of the best things about it is that many doors are still in place.
Here is our half an hour spent in the castle of Celleno, the ghost town, as seen through the remaining doors in its tufa walls. Yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday post was from here as well and we start with the same door in the wall. More of the town will appear on my blog sooner or later.