Saturday, May 12, 2012

Manual for Moving

a guest post by Tamsin Hickson

Most people hate moving. I adore it with a passion, one passed down to me by my mother. Her love of
moving manifested itself freely throughout my childhood, ensuring that by the time I turned eighteen I’d "loved" in twenty houses. She felt that settling meant death and when I told her, shortly after buying my first house with a garden in London, that I didn’t ever want to move again she reacted as though I’d confessed to a passion for torturing small animals.

From my years of experience I have some practical suggestions for Katrina. Only two: a long list would only add to the proliferation of lists swirling around her and Francesco as they settle into their new home.

Number one: messy doesn’t matter. Everything is in chaos and confusion, all your things are packed in the wrong boxes and there’s no bedding for the first night. Relax. Open a bottle of wine, use a towel as a sheet when you go to bed. You’ve years ahead to live tidily, with things packed neatly into cupboards and onto shelves. For now enjoy the chaos of the moment.

Number two: start hanging pictures on the second day. This comes from my mother, who always had all their pictures up by day three. It may take months, years even, to unpack boxes, but pictures make a home.

My mother said something else: people who move a lot move easily. This goes both ways: even though I've lived in my house for nine years, the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere, I still get worrying tendrils of desire to up roots once again. When that happens I take myself off to sit in my kitchen and stare at the blank walls. I fell in love with my house because of the way the sunlight fell on the soft hand-moulded plaster and having protected it from Italian builders and the tide of human possessions I need only stare at the walls, contrasted against the grey green of olive trees glowing through the window, to remember why I live here. In minutes the fantasy house, with its unimaginably exciting new life, becomes ghostly and pale before disappearing altogether.


Tamsin lives in Le Marche with her loves, her family and friends who come to visit, nestled in a sweet spot surrounded by olive trees, rolling fields, sheep, shepherd, sun! I wrote about one of her great outdoor dinners sometime last year here. She writes like she is in real life, such a joy to read and be with. Find more at her blog here:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sunken Church

Over a month ago, a friend of Francesco asked me to bring to life his vision for this graphic inspired by the story of the sunken church in Ancona (read about it by scrolling down his blog here). I met Jason, a missionary unlike any other, and his family only a few times and felt sad they had to leave just when I was starting to settle in Italy. Anyway, we had an interesting conversation over tandoori chicken one time. Shared some thoughts on books. Malcolm Gladwell came up and a brief chat over The Black Swan (not the movie). I thought he was amazingly open and curious (hearing about the time Fra brought an anarchist to one of their dinners to discuss creation makes me want to bonk Fra's head but still, Jason is so chill. That was probably even fun for him - my guess.)

So here is Jason's vision of the sunken church - under the Adriatic sea! Thats the Duomo of Ancona, by the way still on top of a hill and can be viewed today should you pass by this port city. What a fun project to work on, this one. Thanks again Jason!

Hear more about him and his adventures over at

On other life news, we just recently moved to Pesaro and I'm loving it. Still need to move in a few more stuff and working on finishing projects like Project Greece, which you can now subscribe to for launch updates and news as fresh as lemonade on a hot sunny day like today OH YES.