Length of Time

Life is going very well in Nottingham and my girlfriend Stephanie is enjoying her stay more and more, as you can see from her updates too.
My brother David was here over the week-end and we had a great time training together, talking and walking.
Work is well and busy and I am learning every day. We had a deadline last week and we have a big deadline this coming Friday, but we are ready for it!

Stephanie and I will go to Newstead Abbey the next week-end, if the weather is nice.
Newstead Abbey is the place I went few weeks ago with my brother and my mother, the former residence of Lord Byron.
I've written about it last time but I wanted to linger a little longer on it.

This place is magical for the many layers that exist at the same time in the same place in an organic and deep bond.
I want to draw your attention on how these layers are there at the same time, place and in such depth because year after year, decades after decades, centuries after centuries, people have loved, lived, died there.
This is one of the reasons for which I love history and I studies historic preservation at the University. What makes such place unrepeatable, unmatchable is the very overlaying of countless events, both physical and abstract. This place can exist only here and nowhere else in the world.
Learning about Newstead Abbey is diving into a chest of dreams - good or bad, happy or sad, important or frivolous.
Layer over layer, story after story, it gets more solid and its aura is more and more powerful.

Even just visiting Newstead Abbey leaves a mark, because every visitor helps preserve this fascinating historical place.
Different people should be part of it in the future, as different people have been part of it in the past.
Different people - from monks to poets, to gardeners, to servants, to lords, to visitors.
Different lives - a life of prayer, of writing, of working, of travelers.
Different dreams, thoughts, words, actions.
Every one of these left their steps, their thumbprints, their sweat, their blood, their tears, their laughs, their dreams.

And everything is linked by one thread, untouchable yet ever present. Time.

End of Year Thoughts

The Sonderers are working hard because in January we are going to go live!

All of us write will participate in articles, but I am happy to be involved in the photography aspect of the project, because my focus and my strength is in photography.
I will definitely be issuing photo essays but I do like writing, so what I will be publishing will depend on the inspiration ad the material I have.

I haven't moved too much from September to now (which is only four months) but I have a lot of travel plans for the first part of next year!
Many trips will be shorter ones, long-weekends type of thing. Since I am back to Europe, it's easy to find deals and travel across the continent - and to Africa or the Middle east too, why not - in few hours.
France, Israel are just two on the list. I won't be jumping around like a pinball, but I'll move a bit and I also will be having some trips within England, even just in the Midlands.
The trips in England will be sports related too, because I plan to compete, race even more next year!

In 2015 I think I had up to 10 races, but they were mostly in Summer or late Spring.
Next year I am going to compete year long and I am going to have pool swim races again. Last year I had only one (if) and I miss them. Plus, they add one more reason to travel to new places!

I like to write and think of what I am leaving behind, while I keep creative, active, productive - I keep dreaming!

Un passo indietro, poi sempre avanti.

End of Autumn

Autumn is at its end and it has been an extremely busy, creative and interesting period.

My new life in Nottingham is going on very well, both in personal life and on work - where people are nice, energetic, fun and projects make me learn a lot!
I am almost on a regular and full routine for my work-out schedule and before the end of the year I am going to register to quite a few races, both in swimming and obstacle runs.

I like seasons and I liked this Autumn here in England.
Even more than usual I've been observing patterns and colors in Nature. The lines created but leaf-less trees; the carpet of red, or yellow, or brown leaves on the dark green grass; the pine trees' needles on the sidewalk. What a pleasure!
I will eventually have a photo album about it, too. One more things to do, but that's why it's exciting.

On we go, Winter is coming and I will hopefully see some snow!

Tappeto di Foglie

Chi Ben Comincia, È a Metà dell'Opera

I started my new job in Nottingham today!
I am an architect. I studied architecture both for my Bachelor and for my Masters.
I move back to the Old Continent, to the United Kingdom, and I am now working in Nottingham and soon I'll have a new apartment here in town, near the Castle.

I know the city a little bit because my brother used to live here. He is not here anymore but the irony is that now I moved here.

The city seems lively and busy, and it seems a little bit more sunny than York, too.
My office is in the center and I can walk everywhere, or bike, when my bike will arrive from the US (yes, I am shipping my 1970s old steelframe bike from Oregon).

In Italian we say 'Chi ben comincia, è a metà dell'opera.', which translates as 'Those who well start, are halfway done.'
Well, today's start was great therefore I have a great feeling about my new job! Great energy, cool projects, young studio and the right position.

I am exploring the center by walking around and by going to new gyms. That makes me see the city and the surroundings of where I am going to spend most of my time.

There is a lot to explore in Nottinghamshire, but I am going tow wait for my girlfriend Stephanie to arrive.

By they way, my brother's birthday is on Wednesday! He is going to come here and I am taking him out for dinner.
He hasn't been here for a while so it's going to be almost as a flashback to be here with him, like when I was coming to visit him years ago.
Hopefully it'll be nice again - today the sun was peeking out of the clouds.

On we go with a new chapter of my life!

Aye! 20 mins walk from my new apartment, or my office!

Aye! 20 mins walk from my new apartment, or my office!

City of Lights, City of Faces

I just spent two days in Paris. I haven't been there in almost five years and it was nice to go back. As much as it is one of the most visited capitals in the world and I probably wouldn't want to live there (if I had the means), the fame and hype are deserved.

I did visit some museums and the Sainte Chapelle, but I wanted to enjoy the city and the streets too, so I walked several hours a day. And the weather helped because it was sunny and warm (about 18°C, or 65°F). Fantastic!

There weren't too many tourists around (for Paris standards) and I really enjoyed both the streets, the alleys and the parks. Food was very good, we went to restaurants were we were among the few, or the only ones, speaking English. And I got to practice my French!

I was interested in faces this time. Not people's faces, but statues and artwork ones. Since there is so much quality artwork, what a variety there is! From the famous Notre Dame's gargoyles, to the Sainte Chapelle's faces, to the statues in the Tuileries Gardens.

They call Paris the City of Lights. But it can as well be a City of Faces. This art and these faces are a historical cross section of the city and the countryas much as its architecture.

Old School Market

Sunday was my last full day in London for this period and Stephanie and I went to the Flower Market on Columbia Road. What a beautiful place!

The Flower Market is an old school market in East End right outside the City in Shoreditch. Columbia Road, West of Brick Lane, is a beautiful, corky and artisty road full of little shops, from perfume shops to artists' studios to cake shops and bars.

All of these are open during the market, so you have the shops open on the sides and the vendors' stalls on both sides of the road (no need to say, the road is closed to motorized traffic). There are a few musicians playing on the street in an empty spot between vendors.

The street is packed with people who watch and buy, but it's not noisy. The flowers are beautiful and very perfumed and there are so many types, from succulents to plants to flowers to spices!

The coolest thing are the old school vendors. Everywhere you can hear the calls and yelling about prices and deals and talking about what they have. Some engage with people and others try to talk to everybody.

We spent about two hours and a half there, it was really nice and interesting. The sun made everything look even better and made the experience even more pleasant.

There were foreigners but it looked like most people were locals (or from the UK in general).

Fantastic!

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Last Saturday I visited the Kew Gardens in west London, south of the river. What a special place!

The park is beautiful and extremely well kept. It is big and has a lot of variety of trees and plants, greenhouses and conservation areas. It is extremely clean and neat. We also went when apparently there were very few people, so we enjoyed the park even more and we were by ourselves in certain moments.

We booked online and we saved few pounds. There is the metro stop and the neighborhood is really really nice!

I like the fact that there were many different trees but there were may of the different species grouped together creating little nooks and areas different from one another, yet organically flowing from one to the other.

There are ponds and little bodies of water, few different buildings, paths, endless grass, birds, flowers, a rose garden, greenhouses, tropical plants and more!

It's absolutely a destination to go alone, with your partner or spouse, with your family, with your children, to have a walk, run, stroll, read.

I think the colors were beautiful because Autumn started yet wasn't everywhere, so the colors ranged from dark green to light yellow and anything in between!

I can just imagine what it looks like in full Autumn or in full Spring!

It is beautiful, magical destination and I highly recommend it.

Kew Gardens London England UK