This is a picture of chaos. I'm packing to go to New Zealand, leaving tomorrow via Milan and Singapore, arriving some time on Wednesday NZ time. Somehow I have to get a month's worth of clothes, books, notebooks and assorted paraphernalia into one suitcase and a carry-on. It's spring in New Zealand, which can mean 4 seasons in one day and makes it difficult to choose what to wear - you just have to take everything! The reason I'm going is in this photo -
my little Kiwi family. And I hope to see some of the many good friends I've made during the years I've traveled backwards and forwards researching the Katherine Mansfield biography. I'm also hoping to see one or two areas of NZ that I haven't visited yet. The country is so beautiful - ocean, mountains and lakes, glaciers and fjords, volcanoes, and the kind of beaches they use on travel brochures to make you ache to get the sand between your toes.
But I'm leaving behind my Italian home just as autumn is beginning to mellow in. This is the piazza today, at the end of the tourist season, when we have it all to ourselves.
There's a wonderful Rumanian busker who sits on the corner of the piazza - he's so good people sit on the duomo steps just to listen to him. He's probably an illegal immigrant, but his music enriches people's lives.
Neil isn't coming with me this time - apart from the cost of long-haul airfares, he's hard at work in the studio at the moment and can't afford to be away for a month. So there's a mixture of excitement and sadness.
I don't know how much time I'll get for blogging, but I'm hoping to share as much as I can. Wish me luck - the number of trains and planes I'm traveling on in the next few days multiplies the Murphy's factor by at least a hundred!*
*Murphy's Law - if it can happen it will!