Find last year’s post on Italy here.
Last weekend I flew down to Italy again for four short days of visiting. My dad needed to go on business and I tagged along to visit my friends.
My Italy is
a warm welcome by friends both old and new.
baking summer heat, dry and salty.
swimming in turquoise water so warm it feels like silk on the skin
colorful, shady streets in the city centre.
a sweet baby boy, who I last saw when he was only a few weeks old and who has won my heart so completely that it was so hard to part from him, knowing he won’t remember me when I’ll see him next.
tiny village shops to buy the best goods in town.
waking in the middle of the night because it’s still basically too warm to sleep.
drinking copious amounts of Estathé, the taste of my childhood.
More photos and infos on Italy over on my photo blog.
I’ll just sit back and dream about sun and beaches and good food and speaking italian while trying to blend out the second cold and rainy summer in a row here in Germany. Back next year for sure.
Last week was the bi-annual big shoe trade fair. My dad has been attending for thirty years or so with whatever brand of shoes he has been selling over the years.
I worked there for almost ten years during school and university. It’s weird not to anymore (I stopped when I finished university and got a fulltime job).
I stopped by shortly before they closed to say hi to everyone.
I worked for an italian kid’s shoe brand, having known the owners all my life and being good friends with them (heck, I even learned to speak italian just so we could chat). I did some photoshoots for them a while ago, which still shows up on their flyers and posters.
For nearly all of my life, the shoe fair fell on my birthday. Years ago, my dad introduced me to an old client of his and the client told me: “Oh, I know you, I remember the day you were born. Your father was called out for in all of the exhibition halls, telling him he had better go to the hospital now. That day, everyone on the fair knew he was going to be a daddy.”
I guess I just have a special relation to shoemaking. I loved this video about a shoemaker.
While my friends have a factory and a few dozen employees, a lot of their work is still handmade. I’ve seen them work at these old industrial sewing machines and cut leather fringes meticulously by hand one by one. Their designs are still drawn on paper and later, my dad goes through dozens of designs, picking and combining different leathers and colors to make each shoe a work of art.
First time this year eating outside in sunshine with friends.
And enjoying homemade apple pie on Sunday.
We’re having lovely sunshiny spring weather with warm days and cold nights. Shame I’m doing a 5-day course in labour law this week. Sitting still inside all day without sunlight, for hours, until you’re about ready to scream…but then being able to drive out to the barn and stretch your muscles and have a riding lesson outside in the fresh air and the fading light of a beautiful spring day. Bliss.
are there for meeting up in the evenings and eating well and having fun with friends.
And taking pictures of everything and everyone, including my friend’s vivacious little daughter.
There were some cute kitties as well. Click.
It’s a good thing I have patient friends. But hey, they get rewarded with pictures, so that’s the deal I guess ;)
I haven’t been blogging as frequently lately because there never seem to be enough hours to the day to do all I want to. Between finishing the thesis and applying for jobs and working for my dad and working on my Etsy shop the days just fly by.
This weekend I am working on the biggest shoe fair in Germany, which lasts 3 days and takes place twice a year. My dad’s been doing this trade show for about 30 years and I seriously have videos from the 1980s of me as a five-year-old crawling through the corridors and playing under display tables.
Since I started helping him out about 7 years ago I have always been looking forward to this despite the hard work and long hours, because our colleagues/boss from Italy come over and I get to talk italian for three days.
This time I caught a bad cold the day before the show so it all started off badly. It got even worse when the bus I was meaning to take didn’t show up and, after I’d made it to the train station, trains weren’t going due to an accident at another station…great. When I finally arrived at the fair 45mins late I was 100% sure the day was going to suck…badly.
Well, I should know by now I can always count on my italian friends. The minute I arrived they presented me not only with a pair of my favourite sandals from our last collection but also with a huge italian leather designer bag which they’d brought me….’just because, and your current bag’s too small for all your stuff anyway’. Need I add these are also the friends who invite me stay at their house in Italy every summer for two weeks, feed me the best italian food and make sure I have the most amazing beach vacation? Seriously, guys, you do waaay to much and I can never ever even attempt to repay you all your kindness!!!
That’s not to say I’m not in love with my gorgeous super soft new Avorio bag because I am…totally, completely in love :) It easily fits my camera, a bottle of water and all the other completely necessary stuff I carry around with me all the time.
Another reason I look forward to this event is that I get to dress up for it. I have been working/studying from home for about 3 years now and I’m ashamed to admit there frequently are days I never change out of my pj’s…I know I’m not going to leave the house anyway and my cats couldn’t care less. But for those three days the fashion world turns to Duesseldorf and selling a high-end fashion label you are expected to look the part. Really good reason for shopping if you ask me!
That was the least awkward picture I could find (I am so bad in front of the camera).
And while we’re talking fashion, I did say I avoid going to the city center because it makes me spend money, right? Well, I went the other day and I just couldn’t leave those shoes be, they were calling me…
They’re off-white leather, brushed to give them a greyish-yellowish tint. The first thing my boyfriend said when I presented them proudly in the evening was: “Why would you buy dirty shoes?” to which I replied rather hysterically “they’re brushed leather, it’s called fashion!”. Duh.
While yesterday was crazy busy today it’s quieter and I even found time to write this post in between clients (yay for wi-fi).
Here’s to my wonderful friends and my dad, I’m loving you guys to bits and having a blast with you!