Destiny Portofino Mountain…


I got my car back from the mechanic after a month of not being able to drive it and couldn’t wait for a roadtrip! My ordeal with my car will follow in another post but for now, I want to link you to my good friend Di Mackey’s blog because she is an amazing photographer and storyteller and she posted about our little adventure here.

We stopped in San Rocco for lunch, a coffee and sweets at Cristallo in Rapallo, then drove up the mountain to my house to hang out in the olive grove with the sheep and Yuri the Wonder Dog while chilling out in some awesome hammocks. So basically, we ate and drank our way to Portofino and back. Not a bad day at all and definitely a nice way to wrap up the end of summer!

-Namaste-

Leah

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I’m too sexy for my cat…too sexy for my cat


Well I can honestly say that if there was ever any doubt, all doubt has officially been removed and I hereby declare that I CAN NOT DANCE SEXY! Or walk sexy either apparently.

Let me start off by saying that last night I had a date with Netflix, a sofa, and two fuzzy cats. And then the text came, with little furry cartoon gifs pleading me to accompany a friend to a Burlesque demonstration (L’amour Burlesque), ahem, demonstration my ass, but let me continue.

First, my friend and I filled up on McDonald’s, because yes, when you want to feel sexy, the best course of action is to fill up on cheeseburgers and fries. Note to self…a giant bottle of cold Prosecco would have been a much better course of action in this situation.

Then, we arrived to a room full of wonderful Italian women who were all geared up in black tights like they were going to a hot yoga session, not that I have any idea about hot yoga, but this is kinda how I imagine it would be.

Next, the hot instructor starts dancing sexy like it’s nobody’s business and she expects all of us, yep, me included, to stand up and join her. What? I thought this was a demo and I could opt out? After all, I was only there for moral support of my friend, who lured me in with those cute cartoon gifs, damned those cute Gifs already! But alas, I owed her one since I often drag her to vintage car events (see, cars are sexy to me). I was also the only one wearing tight jeans and was cursing my friend under my breath while praying I would not slip a disc in my back. I know, I sound like I am 100 years old, I get it, really I do. It is my own fault for being such a lazy slob…insert here, I have no excuses.

Did I mention this is BURLESQUE? Yeah, so rolling around on the floor trying to look all sexy and you guessed it, I was the class clown, just imagine Lucille Ball in any video clip and that would be me. But come on, funny can be sexy too ya know. How else could I have possibly gotten not one, but two men to marry me? The instructor/sexy dance teacher, with the toned body and limbs like Gumby agreed that I was pretty horrible (numerous times I might add), but I made her laugh and it was a fun night. And her co-conspirator decided I would be a useful dance partner because I have long arms, well thank God for that!

 

lamour

 

The million dollar question is, will I sign up for the Burlesque Lessons? And my resounding answer is, Hell Yes! I see it this way, I will either end up in the hospital emergency room or I will have some fun and learn a few new tricks. After all, I may not be able to dance sexy (yet), but I did manage to co-write a sexy book (Dirty Words by Dominique Strong) which is available on Amazon -Dirty Words, (and yes, that was just a shameless plug to get you to buy my erotic book) and if I can write sexy, perhaps I am just one step away from dancing it too.

Sophie and Deborah @ L’Amour Burlesque Genova… Thank you for the fun night! Ci vediamo subito!

 

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Gioiellino di Portofino Park B&B


There’s a cool breeze coming off the balcony today and I am starting to catch the Fall fever of new beginnings. Just like a new school year, our renovation will start up again soon and call me crazy, but I am feeling kind of optimistic now because gosh darn we are so close to the finish line on this.

I planted my sunflowers on the balcony late this year, aren’t they gorgeous! How can you not be in a good mood with these sunny babies shining back at you every day?

This will be my last summer in this apartment in Genova, it has brought me much joy and happy memories with cats, family and friends but I am also looking forward to new beginnings in Portofino. I’ve had a few false starts and many tears shed over the past few years but this time I can clearly see the finish line.

With a little more patience and luck and magic, this time next year, I will be the proud operator of Gioiellino di Portofino Park B&B!  (translation: Little Jewel of Portofino Park Bed & Breakfast). The name originates with my beloved cinquecento, (1975 Fiat 500), which is called Gioiellino or the shortened version “Joey”.

Here are a few photos of where we are presently with the renovation. Moving date is November 30th latest. No doubt there will be a lot to organize over the winter months to get it ready for business and I am sure there are many more hills to climb before we get there but fingers crossed this time, right!

Just want to say a big thank you to all my readers who have stuck by me on this rough ride. Your comments and notes of encouragement have lifted me up and gotten me back on track with my life.

~Bacione~

Leah

 

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Genoa – Genova


I came across this nice video today and decided to also share it here. Genoa doesn’t get that many tourists compared to other more popular Italian cities.

Video of Genova here.

Personally, there are many things for me that I love about this city and region and then there are also many things that I hate. This region can be quite difficult at times, we get a lot of rain in the winter, along with severe flooding, it is quite windy and some of the people can be quite grumpy and rude (life is not easy here and I myself can be quite grumpy).

On the other hand, it is unique compared to other Italian cities because it is more genuine and real to me. The food is also very different and walking around here there are many interesting pockets inside the historic center and a feeling like no other. I feel safer here compared to other cities and it is a small city that is easy to navigate on foot, train, bus and boat. Oh, and elevators…the bus company operates several elevators that take you to the top of the city by use of a stamped bus ticket!

I’ve been living here for 9 years and there are still things to discover about this ancient city and everytime I walk past the giant fountain at Piazza de Ferrari I do have to pinch myself.

I moved to Genoa because of my love for a man on a boat…

My good friend, Di Mackey, moved to Genoa because of her love for the city. She moved here a year ago after much coaxing from me to get her to cat sit for me last summer and my covert plan worked! My cats adore her and so does this city!

She already knows more about this place than me and spends every day photographing the streets of Genoa and posting them on her Facebook page. She also offers Photography Workshops here, sells her photos and is just a joy to hang out with because of her vast life experiences, love of art, music, people, red wine and everything Genovese and of course her big, crazy Kiwi heart.

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You catch it and eat it


Someone asked about one of my photos from my hike…I believe this place is new as I have not seen it before, but since I never noticed those stairs leading to the sea for a swim, well, maybe I should be paying more attention to my surroundings?

Anyway, this is what I found online regarding this place. It is a tour where you go out and learn about the environment and also catch your lunch. I think it sounds like great fun and I will be trying a tour myself soon! Here is a link to their site in English and Italian…

http://ittiturismocamogli.it/en/

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Change of heart


Somewhere in all this summer heat I’ve found myself again. Hot, sweaty and tired but slowly I feel like I am coming out of the fog of my life. Of course, I am fully aware that this could just be a temporary calm before the inevitable storm ahead since there is still a road ahead of me that includes finishing a stressful renovation, a big move and change of vocation which offers no promises or guarantees to be better than before. But move forward I must, since going backwards is never an option.

So, with that in mind, what lies ahead could be promising, fun and full of opportunities too. For as long as Italy is my chosen country, I have shared on this blog the good, the bad and the ugly. Lately, there has been a lot of ugly so it is time to share some of the good again. I cannot continue to allow other people’s energy rob me of mine.

Hiking is something I stumbled into when I moved here. It is a way of life and my area is full of interesting paths and I have the good fortune to soon be living inside a national park, up on a mountain which is surrounded by the sea!

Depression is my dark horse and I often lock myself indoors for days. This has been one reason why I have been pushing so hard to move to the countryside where going outside will not cause me immediate stress and anxiety. I have lived in big cities but being an apartment dweller has never really been my thing. One of the reasons I quit working on ships was that the dark cabins made me claustrophobic and anxious because I was forced to be sociable the moment I stepped out my cabin door.

Anyway, my change of heart is this… I have decided not to completely abandon this blog and have written a post about my latest adventure for you so I hope you enjoy it.

Now that the weather is cooling off again I have resumed my love of “slow hiking”. Recently, I went back to a favourite trail which is located above Camogli. It is a place I have always found peace and somehow feel like I belong there. Who knows, maybe one day I will even find myself living in the tiny village they call San Rocco di Camogli.

It is a short hike (30 mins) from San Rocco to Punta Chiappa with many steps towards the sea and for each step down I am reminded I must retrace these steps back up too. The hike is an easy loop if you want it to be, or you can also carry on towards other destinations like San Fruttuoso Abby, but for me, my destination is always the same, the point of Stelle Maris. A mosaic, which is built on top of a large, rocky perch called Punta Chiappa which juts out to sea and is worth every step.

If you get tired and don’t want to climb the many steps back uphill, you can always take a boat back to Camogli and then a bus back to San Rocco to fetch your car too. Added bonus for someone like me since really the title of this post should be “the lazy hiker”.

When I arrived at Stelle Maris I learned something new this time. There are some steps along the rocks that you can climb and then jump into the sea for a swim! I had no idea. I didn’t wear my swimsuit but was very tempted to jump in with my clothes on. There were quite a few people there enjoying this added bonus too but I do believe this is one of the regions best kept secrets since it was obviously locals who were splashing about in proper attire. Or maybe I am just clueless and hadn’t noticed those steps to the sea all these years?

Anyway, I took a few snapshots for you…and I will be heading back there this week with my swimsuit on!

~Namaste~

x Leah

 

 

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A beautiful life


In today’s world, no one seems to want an authentic connection anymore. I’m feeling the weight of the sugar coated Facebook and Instagram posts and if I am not online, then I am surrounded by people swimming in the sea while holding selfie sticks to capture and post the moment.

I haven’t posted anything here for quite some time. I also stopped reading other people’s blogs too. Why? I promised myself that I would try to keep the content here positive, light and fun and well, my life stopped being any of those things quite some time ago.

From an outside perspective, I have a beautiful life. Quirky. Never dull. Adventurous. I have struggled to always maintain that the glass can be refilled too. Optimism should be my friend.

But, my reality tells a different story. What was once a jokey approach to my situation here in Italy has become a sad tale of multiple disappointment. The ugly side of what appears to be a beautiful life.

My survival mode kicked in and I shuttered myself away from the world. Poured myself into dreams that seem to always be beyond my grasp while the Universe keeps kicking me hard down a staircase and I am still scratching my head wondering why?

Here is another dose of reality. My muse, my mother-in-law, and I no longer speak to each other. While I always tried to see the lighter side of her ways and culture, in the end, my capacity to laugh was depleted.

I won’t bore you with the drama or the hurt I felt by her choice words for me. The damage is done and you cannot go back. Sadly, this is not the only situation in recent years where my presense seems to be unwelcome. So, I am very much out here in this beautiful life alone. I feel like I have no family, no foundation and am lost at sea.

So, in a nutshell, I’m not really sure where this blog is going anymore and I am thinking of shutting it down but before I do, I just wanted to reach out to whoever has stuck it out with me here. My readers have been awesome and patient and inspiring.

I thank all of you for riding this crazy rollercoaster with me! It was fun while it lasted but perhaps time to move on.

~Namaste

Leah xo

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