Thomas Kinsella, a celebrated Irish poet, described in Mirror in February how, “the day dawns with scent of must and rain”. As anyone familiar with the verdant Emerald Isle will appreciate, such rainy mornings do not discriminate against the other eleven months of the year either and today is one such dawn. It is one of those mornings where the rain looks, as my mother would say “to be down for the day”. The silver lining, because invariably one nestles somewhere, is that today is Saturday – so instead of fighting the elements I have popped the heat on, am snuggled up with a steaming coffee under the protective cover of a hand-woven Avoca blanket, and have opted to share some of my favourite web offerings the week.
Firstly a daydream of a trip to Florence:
http://www.lostinflorence.it/wine/articles/9-reasons-to-love-san-lorenzo – this post makes me want to book a cheap flight to Italy and enjoy a little of the Dolce Vita. Travel, for me, has always been less about museums and open-top tour buses and more about people watching in neighbourhood cafes, grappling with a new language and eating local food from local menus. A weekly market, a quirky boutique or a place to sip a glass of local wine would form part of my personal illusion of travel heaven – this post about exploring a neighbourhood, as opposed to an entire city, seems a perfect itinerary for a perfect day in the life of the traveller who strives to live like a local.
The weather has only really turned to winter over the last couple of days but now just like Frost’s woodland paths, the russet autumnal leaves that carpet the walkways are very much “trodden black”, and the veil of mist makes hoods and closed toe shoes an inevitability. But winter, despite inclement climate issues, is the perfect season for all things cozy and for me one of those things is a steaming bowl of Italian Minestrone. This recipe from Julie’s Family Kitchen mirrors my own version very closely and is etched on my to-do-list for this weekend. A steaming bowl, a blazing fire and a good book surely combine to create a physical manifestation of the wonderful concept the Danes call “hygge”.
A few days ago I was delighted to stumble across the following post – an engaging read for virgin bloggers like myself, anxious to learn a little from those who know how it is done.
If today were a feeling, it would be both happy and melancholic all at once. Inspired by the mood that nature is projecting through the windows I am listening to YUNA, an artist old to the world but new to me.
It reminds me how lucky I am to have people for whom the lyric “I am learning you” seems the perfect summation. Is that not in ways the very essence of humanity – sharing experiences, empathy, curiosities – trusting in people and allowing relationships to enter the realm of the “deeper conversation”? This will never happen with everyone, but those who do break down our barriers are likely to be the ones who mean the most to us.
As for a plan for this winter’s evening, I think this sums up my thinking perfectly