Following a tip of friend Giorgia, I went to the 29 August evening event ‘lights at the Castle’ (Luci a Castello) in Cagliari, especially for the subterranean excursion and then prematurely wound up at the exhibition of hand crafts (artigianato) made in Sardinia. Looked like all of culture minded Cagliari came just for the excursion to the caves below the Castle of St Remy and of course there were not enough torches and helmets. The excursion was then cancelled for security reasons. Since this is the second time, could it be a publicity stunt, also to be read on the faces of in-crowd near the guide with the megaphone? Anyhow, there are other occasions and too many is too much, also above ground, so let them have their alternative excursion. go for the excellent exhibition of the hand craft shown in ways artists think suits best their original works, meanwhile also exposing a bit of their own personalities.
You like to photograph animals and must go on safari to catch them, while they sometimes come to you like they did with Francis of Assisi (Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone; 1181 – 1226, an Italian Catholic friar and preacher to animals). This happened to me 2 and a ½ times during my stay abroad. First was a cross orbweaver spider (Araneus diadematus) that made its web right into the window of my former bedroom. Seeing my pictures, my mother was quick to point out that she could not be blamed as the room itself was well-cleaned and the spider was thus actually outside the window. Second was a female emperor dragonfly (Anax imperator) that made its way into my sisters living room. While I was taking pictures my sister came home from work and I needed to release it outside, otherwise I could have had some shots in flight or even a sound recording. A ½ were parakeets tok and tuk (Melopsittacus undulatus), because they are always in their cage, although this time particularly courageous and cooperating, even if tok could still not help hiding a bit.
Now that I am walking again, even with photo gear, I do the 5 km or so connecting old and modern Maastricht, the principle city of the southernmost Netherlands Province of Limburg; wondering where I came from and where I go to, suspecting that I am a northernmost south European. With a coach I arrived from my sister’s place in the country village of Gulpen, hidden between lush limestone hills, descending the old glacial terraces of River Meuse in order to reach, within half an hour, the central station of Maastricht, Mosa Trajectum, the crossing of the River Meuse, where nowadays live some 130 thousand ‘Mestreechteneeren’. Continue reading
First they keep you tight, then let you lose and soon come the days to walk alone, leaving the garden to go behind the hedge. So, this mythical magical land is a wild, barren and forbidden zone between ours and the village behind. Along the hollow road, trains run coal day and night from mines ‘Prins Hendrik’ to ‘Koningin Emma’. You can flatten a nail on the rail as a train comes by; think off trying bolder bolts and then dream of full speed collisions with your nearby bed, hoping to wake up in time at night. But now, half a century later, the mines are closed, rumor harbors atom bombs underground; while the rail road is a bicycle path; vegetables turned into flowers as decoration replaced everyday survival, and in the end dogs followed upon kids Continue reading
Now and then, I return to native Netherlands to meet family and friends in their summer holiday gardens. This time, I started at best friends Summer Garden Utrecht, where I went to University, we used to study geology and were neighbors while mapping our Spanish lands. She used to keep an eye on both of us and one off the street; in turbulent times a beacon of stability at a table of plenty shared with daughter and sons. Continue reading
Making a living in Sardinia never was easy and that’s why there is the famous corbezzolo bitter honey (spherical panorama). During the years I used to go with my boss to ‘Apicoltura De Col Piras’ for one of the best qualities of this bitter honey made from the nectar of the corbezzolo shrub that is also known as the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo). My boss has gone, the bitter honey remained. Continue reading
Once a year in October it is quite busy during the ‘Sagra degli Ulivi millenari di S’Ortu Mannu’ near Villamassargia, where you can taste olives and wine, buy any kind of local product, admire folk dance or the latest model tractor; the rest of the year S’Ortu Mannu is quiet and you can hear the olive trees talking history. After all, some of these Olea europaea must be extremely old as they measure more than 15 meters in circumference like Sa Reina (the Queen). Continue reading