Saturday, 30 April 2011

More than just a bag land

So I suppose you may be wondering if there could possibly be anything more to the Republic of San Marino than handbags. Of course there is - they have a football team after all!

It is full of towers and turrets - enough for any tomato handbag princess to enjoy.

 It has breathtaking views out to the rolling Italian countryside.

 They speak Italian but speak in a very gentle way and are very patient with laydees who wish to practice their Italian. They also have lovely squares. 
The restauant scene may be a bit lacking although I was lucky enough to be served a bowl of green Parmesan cheese ( to go with the view of the green hills I presume.)

There is also plenty of limencello.

The odd San Marino pussy cat

And pussy cat hunter!

 Beautiful sunsets too!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

You had me at hello

Warning! This blog entry contains some serious handbag porn!
So I was walking along a narrow cobbled street in the tiny Republic of San Marino when I spied a tomato-shaped handbag in a shop.
  The attraction was instant - we definitely flirted - but I resisted and walked on. The next morning I strolled past again, our eyes met ( and yes tomato handbags do have eyes!) and I decided to take a closer look in the shop.  Then - bam! - suddenly another bag caught my eye. Rolling seductively on the ground all on its own ( the only bag rolling in the entire shop I might add!) -  my  dream bag - sort of  kind of  - and all I could think was 
Of all the bags in all the shops you had to roll in front of me. 

 We finally met each other. We fell in love - actually we kind of created a threesome because the tomato charmed me too - and now we have formed a lovely mènage à trois.

Avert eyes now! serious bag action shots ahead!!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Ladybird rescue

Yesterday I went for a stroll to the Water Tower in the Bruderholz with Rita (one of my student friends from Slovakia.)  The weather was beautiful and we had an energetic walk up to the tower ( which left me panting in the manner of a slightly unfit laydee.) When we got to the tower we climbed up inside it (for the princely sum of 1 swiss frank.) This led to further panting (by both of us I would like to add) and much groaning by our thighs. At the top was a small room  where we found a ladybird climbing rather despairingly (in my opinion or perhaps I am just projecting :-)) across a map of Basel. She must have been carried up on someone's shirt or hat as there is no way such a sweet little creature would have chosen to live in such a cold, airless room. Fortunately I had a small ladybird rescue kit in my bag ( a small tin the size of a big thumb with a picture of a sheep on it) which we were able to put her in so we could release her back in nature on our return back to earth.

Before our return though we went out onto the viewing deck to admire our surroundings and take some cheesy shots.
Rita: co-ladybird rescuer
After the release of our ladybird friend on a carefully selected daisy  we went for a walk around the park and visited a diplodocus.

When I was five the diplodocus was my favourite dinosaur so I am always happy when one happens to cross my path. This one was particularly charming and I gave her a friendly pat on the bottom since her head was way too high for me. 

Friday, 15 April 2011

Restiamo Umani

The news of  Italian actitivst Vittorio Arrigoni's kidnap and murder in Gaza has sickened me.
That a man who used to sign off his own blog with 'restiamo umani' (stay human) should be meted such an inhumane death abhors me, horrifies me, breaks my heart and to borrow the words of John Donne diminishes me as does it diminish us all.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

She said...he said...

 April is the cruelest month, 
breeding lilacs out of the dead land, 
mixing memory and desire, 
stirring dull roots with spring rain
T.S. Eliot 

I have to say that this year I agree with Mr Eliot 's sentiment. I feel as if I stepped off a plane (a little water-logged) last January, got punched in the face and have spent the past months trying to find my way out of its lethal concussion. I don't feel ready for budding flowers and fragrant air yet but I suppose April does not care for these things. She must do what she was made to do and slowly, day by day I must learn to let her.


On a side note a wise person told me this week that I should try to make more friends in Basel.  This is a sound idea - in theory, however the putting of this idea into practice is another thing all together. (Something my two quasi-Swiss friends at work confirmed when I told them and they both simultaneously raised their eyebrows and said 'goodluck'. I mean if they think it is difficult what chance do I have. It's not that Swiss people aren't nice - of course they are nice - but Basel is not the easiest place to make friends - real friends.)

Anyhow to my credit I did make a twenty minute friendship with a transvestite in a park on Wednesday  S/he was sitting on a bench in a red skirt, black top, with lovely long black hair ( perhaps a slight three o'clock shadow) and an overnight bag.  S/he needed15 CHF for a train. I only had 3. So then we started talking.  S/he came from Milan orignally but now lived in Germany.  We talked about the sun and the flowers etc and then s/he asked me my name so I said Giovanna ( io parlo L'Italiano si!)  so then I asked for her name and s/he asked if I would like the man name or the woman name. I said ' whatever name you want.' So s/he said Alex which I found to be appropriately ambivalent. So we talked a bit longer and then I had to go. We shook hands and s/he told me what a lovely time s/he had spent talking to me and how s/he wished she had met me with her trousers on instead!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

A drive on the wild side!

So I decided to visit my pal Noah who lives down near Geneva for the weekend. Normally Geneva repels me even more than a picture of Nick Nolte but taking some time out from Basel seemed like a good idea. Besides, Noah recently got a new electric car...
                               And he wanted to show me what a good driver he is!

                                                And what a great mechanic he is!

He even let me have a drive although I was only allowed to try in the carpark because I come from Australia and they drive on a  funny side down there.

I struggled with the gears at first!

Actually I struggled a lot!!

Fortunately Noah was close by to advise me :-)

Soon I was driving like a pro .... a professional electric car driver that is!! 


 In the end though we decided it was better when I was a passenger.

Thank you Noah for being my Hafiz for the weekend and making me smile.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Giggling flowers

Today the sun is shining so brightly it as if Shams himself has ridden into town to share his great golden light with all of us in Basel. I imagine that grill-party/ bbq/ kebab season will be offically declared all over the region this evening and the air will be redolent with onion and charcoaled meat.

In one of his poems Hafiz writes of giggling planets which I absolutely adore. ( I bet Jupiter is a terrible giggle and keeps all her moons up way too late!)
Anyway in the spirit of Hafiz I have decided to believe that all the grass and flowers around Basel are quietly giggling  under the sun today - it comforts me somehow.