One of the really nice things about being home in Ireland for Christmas is hearing stories from years ago. I thought I had heard all of them a million times over, but today my mother told me a new story of something heroic my Nana Murphy once did, which will leave a lasting impression on me.
Machiavelli versus DJ iPhone
My train journeys from Bologna to Florence and back are normally peaceful enough. I usually get the slow treno regionale from Bologna Mazzini station, a short walk from where we live, to Firenze S.M.N. station. The slow train stops all along the way and you have to change at Prato Centrale. The only occasional excitement, apart from the odd fare dodger arguing with the inspector,
A Bolognese feast
While the focus of this blog to date has been largely on jewellery making in Florence, I think it's high time I dedicated an entire post to our Bologna base. There is a saying in Ireland, 'It would be a great little country if you could roof it'. The town planners at home could do worse than take a leaf out of Bologna's book in this regard. The porticoes here mean you can get about in the rain without an umbrella!
An introduction to enamel
Anyone who has played with the wax dripping from a candle burning atop a wine bottle will know how incredibly satisfying it can be. I've completely lost track of conversations in pubs and cafés where candle wax is available for the peeling, melting and construction of miniature skyscrapers. The distraction has proved so difficult to resist that, on one occasion, the person I was with snatched the wax encrusted bottle away and plonked it on a neighbouring table.
Venice & Valeria
I've been wondering how to write a blog post after the Paris attacks. For the past week the internet has been awash with sympathy and outrage and, in almost equal measure, assertions that the sympathy is selective and the outrage misplaced. I can understand the outpouring of grief and simultaneously understand the frustration of those who wonder why the same grief isn't shown when the victims are from unfamiliar places.
Levitating ring and the invading brass band!
Today when I went into class Agasi told me to go have a look in the front window. He said that the square ring was there and it was rotating. I didn't know what he was talking about. I was pretty sure the ring was back in my bedroom in Bologna and it didn't have the power to rotate by itself and levitate in mid air.
Square shank and a roundish stone, the sequel
My square ring with the roundish stone has been a challenge to say the least, and the saga continued this week. Last Monday, in preparation for setting the stone Ignacio instructed me to give it a good shine on the polishing machine. Anyone who has used one of these will know that you have to be careful. Getting tangled up in the lathe is to be avoided at all costs.
Square shank and a roundish stone
Ollie is away for ten days, working in Belgrade and Prague, and I have been a bit lazy about writing the blog as a result. Whilst procrastinating in his absence, I read a disturbing article on the prevalence of pesticide-resistant bed bugs in Prague and have decided that Ollie will have to be hosed down outside upon his return and his clothes and luggage incinerated. I may also insist on him having a full body wax just to be safe.
Thoughts on learning the lingo
As mentioned in a previous post, I've noticed that when I am tired, the language centre of my brain seems to shut down. It's as if the old left hemisphere wants to hit the snooze button and get five more minutes in the sack. When I am travelling from Bologna to Florence by train in the mornings I am normally a bit foggy-headed
I got a truly amazing surprise in the post all the way from Ireland this week! My friend Clare Barman said she had a few gemstones that she wanted to give to me, as I might have some use for them. She bought them in India over twenty years ago