A walk through Taormina

View of Isola Bella

Walk through Taormina 7

Walk through Taormina 17

Walk through Taormina 12

Walk through Taormina 11

Walk through Taormina 19

Walk through Taormina 10

Walk through Taormina 9

Because of the storm, the funicular was out of order for the rest of our holiday. That meant a lot of walking up the hill between Mazzaro’ and Taormina.

Hundreds of steps, but so worth it.

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Mini Saga n.17 — Presence Unknown

Presence unknown by Tania Metalli

One day here, the other, gone.
The only thing left was that menacing message.
You never knew when your turn might come. If ever.
When it finally happened, it wasn’t as I expected. 
I went looking around, expecting to find familiar faces, but couldn’t find any.
Still, it's early days.

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Mini sagas are short, self-contained stories, of exactly 50 words. I’m using them as a way to practise storytelling. Sometimes inspired by an image, other times they are the inspiration for photos, which I take to complement the stories.

Taormina before and after the storm

View of Taormina 1

View of Taormina 2

View of Taormina 3

View of Isola Bella before then storm

Taormina after the storm 1

Taormina after the storm 4

Taormina after the storm 2

Even Totoro came out to enjoy the view.

Taormina after the storm 3

As we arrived in Taormina we were welcomed by a big storm. One of those that will keep people talking until the next big one.

Everything got flooded.

We spent the first couple of days mopping up water, as it tried (and moslty succeed) to fill our rented apartment.

In spite of the storm we didn’t regret at all being there. The place was in a great position, perched on the hill facing the bay of Mazzaro’, the perfect spot to observe the changing weather.

The sun eventually made its come-back, and blessed us for the rest of the holiday.

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Farewell Fluffy Clyde

I don’t often post photos of cats, but this is a special and sad occasion.

Clyde, the fluffiest cats of my parents herd (and one of my favourite), passed away.

Clyde 2

He was big,

Clyde 5

fluffy,

Clyde 6

and a biter.

Clyde 3

He loved having his curly belly rubbed,

Clyde 1

and had the strangest temper,

Clyde 7

not really getting along with the other cats,

Clyde 4

he was so bigger than the other ones!

Clyde 8

Farewell my big fluffo.

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Mini Saga n.16 — Shadow’s Selfies

Shadow's Selfies

In the midday sun, Shadow took another shot. It was the best time of day.
Another one and the series would be complete.
She checked the image on the screen. It looked nothing like her.
Had she changed that much?
Or had they found a way to infiltrate her photos?

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Mini sagas are short, self-contained stories, of exactly 50 words. I’m using them as a way to practise storytelling. Sometimes inspired by a photograph, other times they are the inspiration for images, to complement the stories.
  

How to find focus… when your mind keeps jumping all over the place.

Bored. Born Bored - by Tania Metalli

Are you one of those lucky people with so many interests and passions, enough to last a few lifetimes?

What I have learned recently, the hard way, is that sometimes you just need to apply a bit of force, a bit of restrain, a bit of… (please don’t say it!)…yes, self-discipline.

Gosh, I hate that word. I hate the very idea of self-discipline. Or sacrifice. I am a hedonist brought up in a family of epicureans. I was left to do what I wanted when I wanted.

Which was great.

Now I am not one for waking up an hour earlier, every morning, to write or make art, before going to work. Maybe one day I’ll get there, but at the moment it’s not for me. I am more of a night person anyway, and my brain really switches into gear after 4pm. It is a proven fact.

But… Of course there is a but.

I have been struggling with focus, finding a way to concentrate on one project at a time, long enough to get anywhere with it.

It wasn’t always like this. I used to be very focused on my art. For over 20 years I have worked with incredible focus and commitment on my art career. That’s all I did. Of course I pursued some other interests, and I took time to experiment with ideas and materials. But, I would always find my way back to my main project.

Then something changed. I changed.

A few of years ago I started taking breaks from my art. I took what I thought would be a ‘little holiday’ from the Creatures, to explore new ways, new materials, new projects. The holiday kept getting longer and longer, as I tried to decide what else I could be doing, while jumping from one thing to another, looking for this ‘else’.

In the meantime I went back to university (Psychology. Something that I’ve always wanted to study), I went back to writing, trying my hand at short stories and flash-fiction, I went back to photography. I also started thousands (not an exact figure) projects, freelanced, tried different business ideas…you get the point. It got ridiculous. It became pathological, a compulsion.

It also became very frustrating.

Every time I said I would do something, it wouldn’t last long. In a matter of days my attention was gone, I would get distracted and started working on the next thing.

It was time to find a solution, something that would help me setting a goal and see it through to the end. Maybe it was time to employ some of that dreaded self-discipline.

Nick, (who can be the voice of reason. Sometimes), suggested that I should simply pick something, anything, and try to do it, without distractions or jumping to other projects, for a certain amount of time. I opted for two weeks. After the two weeks I can chose to continue with what I am working, or move to another project

Sounds simple enough.

Of course two weeks are not long enough for bigger projects, but at this point I am just keeping it manageable, as a way to stop jumping.

At this point it’s an exercise in focus.

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