Friday, September 19, 2008

"A toast to Pizza"

Our first evening meal in Tuscany was Gulasch with bread dumplings, with Chianti on the side. Our next evening meal - Mathew's Dad prepared the dough and we spent the evening flattening, rolling, cutting, sprinkling our own personalised pizzas. Then they were gathered up and shoved into the pizza oven. Bottles and glasses of Chianti graced the dining table in the middle of this Tuscan villa, as pizza after pizza passed over our plates. We were even priviledged to have the youngest pizza chef create a Calzone to share. Mathew raised his glass as we began our feast "A toast to Pizza" - how appropriate. His little sister raised her glass and we all clinked glasses. A toast to pizza in this tuscan villa surrounded by family.

Canaling the Thames

Well after many days skyping my sister in Tuscany, after the rest of my extended family joined together in June for a Tuscan family reunion without me, after my eldest sister taught her youngest neice to blow kisses via the internet to me in NZ, after many discussions about celebrating my fathers' 70th in the UK or Tuscany, after my hair dresser said I was mad to not take the plunge - I finally booked a ticket to the UK and Tuscany!!

On the 13th of September, 2008, my eldest sister picked me up from a traumatic flight, and drove me to Goring - the place my father had moored his canal boat. When I knocked on the door of my father's canal boat, he opened the door - stunned. He did not know where he was, who I was, what I was doing there, and as he said later - his jaw fell into the thames and floated away. The surpise birthday present had worked its charm.

I spen the first week of my overseas holiday battling the strong current of the Thames with my parents in their canal boat. It was not the experience I or they had hoped I would one day have in their canal boat, but what I did have I loved. Canaling is me! Mooring one evening, after challenging the 'red boards' and motoring up the thames against the strong current, on the edge of the meadow with the cows munching the grass along the misty bank, I felt like I was in heaven. I awoke early the following morning, camera in hand, and shot the scene.