San Gennaro and the saints process through Naples, Italy

My Africa interlude is finished for now. This piece was written in May 2016, a few days after I’d followed the annual procession of saints through the old streets of Naples, Italy. It was an unforgettable day.

The Phraser

San Gennaro under escort through Naples, Italy San Gennaro, his blood, and the saints process under escort through Naples, Italy

In Naples the less usual is everywhere.

A few weeks ago it was San Gennaro, his blood, and a selection of saints, who added the extraordinary as they were carried shoulder high in procession through the city’s streets from the cathedral to the church of Santa Chiara.

View original post 786 more words

Zimbabwe: to Bulawayo and back (not for the birthday)

Our approach into Bulawayo in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe

Our approach into Bulawayo in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe

I was born in this country, and lived here for a quarter of a century … yet, because our focus was our farm many miles away to the north, its second city is new to me.

Below are acres of wet, green trees.  Bulawayo’s drought has broken.

Continue reading

A look back over two years in Naples, Italy

The Bay of Naples, Italy

The Bay of Naples, Italy

Experience, memory and time frame our lives.  We exist together and are shaped by them but are unable to catch hold of any one of them … we’re like flotsam on a storm sea.

I look back at my life and know its chapters have changed me, that each has altered the book of me they belong to.  Now there’s a new chapter to add – Naples.

Continue reading

Five days in the suburbs of Harare, capital of Zimbabwe

Coming in to land at Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe

Coming in to land at Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe

We fly in to the land where I was born and raised.  She is green from the recent rains and dusted with small white clouds.

I have not been back for fourteen years.

Continue reading

A parade of horse-drawn carriages through Naples, Italy

I took the photographs for this (it’s mainly photographs and two short video clips at the end) in Naples, Italy in May of last year. The horses were handsome and the weather fair … it was a lovely morning

The Phraser

The parade of carriages leaves Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, Italy, beneath the watchful Castel Sant'Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino The parade of carriages leaves Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, Italy, beneath the watchful Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino

This post is to remember in photographs a parade of carriages and their teams on a morning when the weather played fair.

The setting was Napoli, and it was the Sunday of the last weekend in May 2016.  The occasion was to commemorate a day in 1734, also in the month of May, when 18-year-old Carlo di Borbone rode into the city of Naples on the brink of becoming its king.

View original post 460 more words

Naples, Italy: the Museo Civico Gaetano Filangieri

This is a look back at a post written at the end of May, 2016. It’s about a small museum in Naples, Italy whose founder sought to save the skills and treasures of craftsmen before they were buried by the Industrial Revolution. There is care and pride in every detail.

The Phraser

The Museo Civico Gaetano Filangieri in Naples, Italy The Museo Civico Gaetano Filangieri in Naples, Italy

The best treasure comes in chests, compact and crowded, that brim with what’s been most precious … and there should always be scars.

The Museo Filangieri is a chest like this.

View original post 842 more words

To the sassi of Matera – a hard place made of rock

Statue in the square that overlooks the old cave houses in Matera, In Basilicata in Italy

Statue in the square that overlooks the old cave houses in Matera, in Basilicata in Italy

Our three days of travel are almost up.  We have one day left and one last place to see.

We leave the coast near Puglia and, with global positioning satellite technology as our guide, travel alien-style towards some of the oldest homes on earth – the cave dwellings (sassi) of Matera.

Continue reading