THE LIST IS LIFE: how to survive the packing (multiplied by 4) for a trip to Laponia.

IMG_2939
what the hell did you mean with “bags h2o the box high”???

  This month of July is revealing full of little shocks for you. Just try not to insist on looking for a hidden meaning as you usually do, please. Because there isn´t, or anyway you will not get it now.

The kids are still at the sea, you find yourself alone in this boiling pot, finalizing the preparations for your departure on Friday. You should be methodical maybe, but you were not born that way. You compile lists which are condemned to be quickly lost or that, in the best case scenario, after two days you won´t even be able to read. As a consequence, you easily accept to do things the way of the dog´s dick.

Let´s see, then. First of all, the kids needs:

  • Provisions for breakfast / lunch / dinner / snack / momentofsuddennostalgycauseitrainsit´scoldandhereeverybodyspeaksweird. Also here is crazy, because the three of them have signed a secret agreement (you are completely sure about this) so that there isn´t any dish, ANY, that the three of them would like at the same time. They may have an excel sheet somewhere with all the possible food combinations, and they have periodical secret meetings to update the preferences, making sure that it never matches for the three of them: “Maia, I´m sorry but from now on you have to give up the mussels. You will reject them pretending nausea.” “Oh no, I like them so much”. (She cries) “Sigh, poor myself”. “I know, dear sister, also I will not be able to eat pasta al pesto, which I love… but this is a sacrifice that needs to be done. You don´t wanna make Mum and Dad´s life easy, do you?”. (Looking at the sky with tears) “No, I would NEVER do that!” (They hug each other).IMG_2937
  • Clothing that covers the delta between swimsuit+flip flops and winter jacket+boots. Delirium, specially since the older ones have started to grow by QUANTUM LEAPS. It could be possible that when they come back from the sea they can´t fit anymore in those clothes that were enormous one month ago. Not good though.
  • Medicines. You grew up in the belief that Aspirine was a panacea for any type of sickness, and you still consider any other drug as efficient as the Bach flower remedies. But both pediatrician and doctors have turned down this conviction: you can´t simplify with the kids. And then again, aspirine is not good for the stomach. So there you go: red antipyretics, yellow anti-inflammatory, pink creams, blue eyewash. Then you won´t know what to do because you are too lazy to read the leaflet, and you will end up giving them an aspirine (“Believe me sweety, with this one the broken rib will be cured in a few days”).
  • Books. Mmm. Buying books for the kids before a trip is one of those… joys of life. Let´s see: a nerd tale of science fiction for the oldest one, something comical and a bit feminist for the little one. And for Emma, but actually for all of you, inevitably this.
  • Music. Many years of traveling with the kids have allowed you to discover the Secret of the Peace Within a Car: the radio dramas. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the most efficient way to entertain the kids is some sort of stuff for OLD PEOPLE. It´s not easy to find them in Italian, we don´t have the BBC here. You need to browse the whole internet and they often have a poor audio quality, but still they are able to literally hypnotize the creatures (and let´s admit it, also yourself). This year you have opted for: Blade Runner, Tex Willer; the biography of Bruce Lee (*You can never invite the wind, but you must leave the window open. YEAH); Belfagor the Phantom of the Louvre; and a pile of some others, including, directly from 1949, “Alberto Sordi speaking” (!). And then, well, there is the music. But you will tell in real-time about this.
  • Movies. For the bad-weather-evenings sheltered in the van. It´s not easy to bring together the film taste of kids on such different ages. So you invest on the classics: the whole Miyazaki for Maia, whom anyway can watch anything; then Animal House, Point Break, the Big Lebowsky, Moonrise Kingdom, the Blues Brothers, the Goonies, Stand by me, The great Escape. And finally “I soliti ignoti”. In short, from Totoro to Totò, it´s peeeerrrrrrrfect I would say.
IMG_2936
You could read while you are driving. No, it’s dangerous, it could cause nausea

And now for you? The usual esacamotage of taking your oldest and most ruined clothes, so you have an excuse to throw them away? Diet of roots, insects and beer to save money? And then what would you do with those books, those movies with Shirley MacLaine with the green tights or Jack Nicholson with a broken nose, do you really think you will find some free time to (re)watch them? Pfffff. You better think about being concentrated on the road, the long road. And don´t get distracted by watching the Swedish girls.

FUCK FLEGETONTE: while the rats are away the cat can play. Young mr.A.F.

IMG_2677
Shhhhhh, the movie begins!

    “Flegetonte. That is exactly the type of a name a grandma would give to her poodle: “come here Flegetonte, Mummy has prepared a chicken liver´s cake for you”. But who the hell names the atmospheric phenomenons? And most important, do they get paid for it?

In Milan we are gasping for breath. Looking for relief in the ephemeral summer events like the Hipster’s country festival is like… useless. Luckily for them, your kids are going to the see so they can grab a bit of fresco; the previous evening you take them to a plane and sincere pizza place, and then to gobble down the ice-cream under the hackberries at via Biondi. You will meet them again at the end of the month, right before your departure. It´s the classic eve of the summer holidays: you can perceive all the carefreeness that runs under their skin, it makes them speak at a slightly higher volume than normal and walk like if they were suspending. You feel so jealous…

Abandoned by your kids, on Saturday you decide to run away again: this time towards the mountains. You pick the car and drive through the city that is shaking on the heat, you pass by via Palmanova (don´t go over 60km/h, there´s a speed camera!) and you take the Mother of all motorways. Your friend and former flatmate, the young A.F., is waiting for you with other friends at the so called “Valley of Smoke”; you would have a thousand and thousands things to do but, well…what did we say last time about which fingernails you should cut first? And anyway, this is one of those weekends in which you have to get rid of a thought in your mind.

399895_10151612703748627_51883157_n
the old neighbour was not so happy

With A.F. you shared for two years the house with the big terrace. You have beautiful memories about those days, both you and your kids (not that much the neighbor though: maybe she wasn’t able to appreciate music?). You and A.F. are different by age, nature and needs, but still he is a person which whom you feel completely comfortable (an absolute rarity for a pathologic introvert as yourself). Your lives follows different railways but there is a common direction guided by the unrelenting desire for exploring new roads, things or people, each of you their own way. It doesn´t matter how much time would pass, when you meet again in any place (maybe marvelous, like this time) it feels like the most natural thing of the world. This is the true essence of what they call friendship, you guess.

IMG_2698
uh – oh

You drop the car near the nth dam in Trentino (how many of them are there???) great and terrible in the perpetual threat of losing control of their immense power. Then you take the path along the the lake. Dark clouds are roaring on the peaks of the mountains, you didn´t think about the possibility of an eventual storm… Fortunately you are in the section of the path where the trees are thicker and shelter you from the rain. The few people you bump into along the path say hello ostentatiously, according to that annoying agreement that in the mountain we all love each other. What the hell, couldn´t we agree that a smile is enough, given that we are all exhausted by the walk? Ok, you might be the grumpy one, but sometimes in the mountain you encounter people with the friendly expression typical of Rosa and Olindo, nevertheless they strive to say hello loud; but while they do they are clearly hating you.

Once outside the larch forest, you go up the valley passing along the river, IMG_2697while the clouds open up. The last sunshine illuminates the Adamello, that surrounds an idilic valley around the Chiese river, which slips “allegro” forming bends, puddles and small waterfalls. Finally you meet the others, that are mounting the tents in a meadow next to the river, paying good attention not to step into the souvenirs from the cows. Speaking of which, allow me a brief

SCATOLOGICAL DIGRESSION

Cows poop is an object towards which we all feel instinctive sympathy. Believe me: we always refer to it with that loving term “poop”, going back to be a child while we enjoy the funny cacca muccasound. Instead, shit is an offensive term that we reserve to dog waste, towards which we feel repulsion. Non of the excrements receives affectionate trust that human feels towards the cow poop. Maybe it´s because of that circular and spiral shape, that evoques ancestral images printed in our mind since the very dawn of time: the galaxies and the danish rolls. Ok, I cut it.

You all pay homage to the name of the valley with a tasty barbecue, plus that other thing that… well, ok, you know what i mean, while the sky is getting filled with stars. You sleep like a baby, and the next day you are awaken by an equine-bovine transhumance that is crossing your meadow guided by their herdsmen exclamations (tö tö tö tö! dåi béllaaaaaaa! tö tö tö tö!  the vocals are pronounced the Swedish way). The river´s water is freezing cold, but we don’t mind regretting this bath for the next days…

You arrive back to Milan in the evening, you listen to this counting down the days left for the kids to return and therefore, for your departure: 25 days. Eternity. It´s time to start preparing things, maybe, you can´t improvise as you do when you are on your own.

An then again, now more than ever, what you need is reality, not illusions. So make sure you turn it into a nice reality.

FIRST TEST DRIVE: short escape from a city on PM syndrome.

IMG_2261
The older son, sitting on the sand, diligently studies Algebra with the aid of an abacus made of little rocks
Milano, Montemarcello, Fontanellato – 13/14 July 2015

Milan makes it till Friday exhausted, compressed by a ball of heat and humidity that swells and swells and never finds relief. The average level of histeria in the city reaches a worrying degree, in some sort of premenstrual collective syndrome. Public transport is reduced to a bivouac shelter of unfriendly racist people who moan (key words imposed by the local news: machete, scabies, malaria, heat. Probably the same conversation topics between the boats in the Amazon river), the streets packed with compulsive horn honkers. The relief will come over the weekend, under the shape of abundant precipitations: perfect time to run away with the kids and test the van far from the city. On Saturday they release the results on Matia´s high school, when you pick him up at 13 he is a little bit upset, he has to do maths in September and he won´t count on your help since you got stuck somewhere around the 2 digits divisions. You point towards that small and narrow portion of earth between Ligure, Emilia and Tuscany, where the sun should be shining.

IMG_2285Two and a half hours later the Bear Volkswagen climbs up promontory Caprione with no efforts. You abandone it near the beginning of the footpath to the beach: 700 big steps made of stone and wood overcome the difference in altitude between the town and the beach. The route winds its way covered by a wood of Aleppo pine trees and holm oaks, and the kids walk through it with not even much complains. Actually as soon as the color blue appears at the end of the woods they twitch like crickets along the path. The last hundred steps you carry Maia on your shoulders (your knees will be thankful for the whole week) and you reach the most beautiful beach of Ligure, a stripe of black pebbles speckled with rocks. In the back you can see the mediterranean scrub climbing up the cliffs. The sea is rough, and delivers foamy waves, the girls shriek happily as they get overwhelmed, Mitia floats along with the water flow. It won´t be easy, at August, without this big-happy-blue-puddle called Mediterraneo…

IMG_2220
“Who cooks, washes the dishes”, what the fuck of a rule is it?

You spend the night in a semi-abandoned campsite, a large grassy open area divided by rows of poplar trees. You make dinner for all and when the night comes down you take the kids to bed: the hike to the beach has defeated the descendants. Before you go to sleep you smoke a cigarette, thinking about the endless “to-do list”, which has become the life of many people now: but how can you survive when everything is priority?? What we usually do, more or less on purpose, is to start with the most threatening tasks, those that scream the most. We silence them and scroll down the list, getting closer to the most pleasant tasks, which are waiting for us confident and cheerful at the bottom. But there you are, someone starts shouting again in the back and we hurry to pacify it; the beautiful things can still wait a little bit. We don´t realize that by doing this we are contributing to a perverse mechanism by which those who shout the most will feel legitimate by our promptness to keep doing it, while the gentle ones who await with patience will slowly slip away. It seems grotesque, but maybe we should really strive to do first the nice stuff. Force ourselves to cut first the left finger nails, as some would say.

On Sunday morning the weather is different: the sky is hidden behind low clouds and a very light rain is washing the clothes of those who dare going out of the van. You quickly prepare breakfast, pack everything up and you all leave again. On board the Bear kicks off the game “I have nausea”. In order to seat on the front all three creatures report imaginary symptoms of carsickness. At the end wins Maia, who after being convoluted with the iphone´s playlist (an endless ping pong between this and this until exhaustion), falls asleep. The other two are snoring for a while. Nice companions , you think, in reality you are happy that you can get the control of the music back. Outside, the humid wooded hills of Lunigiana unwind.

IMG_2228At Parma West the sudden downturn wakes everybody up. “Where are we?“ yawns the older brother. “I´m taking you to a special place. Do you like labyrinths?” you answer while following the state road through yellow wheat fields towards Fontanellato. Don’t you get upset, mr FMR (for sure he is often reading you), but at first sight the complex of the Labyrinth della Masone pays back the abuse of the brick: the Esselunga effect is around the corner (maybe Caprotti could also try to dare more…). Once you enter thought, the labyrinth is marvelous, a forest of bamboo grows wild and essential up to hiding the sky. The house-museum is a surprise, holder of curious and perturbing works (you see the room with the vanitas close to the edge of splatter), fun and pleasant to follow. IMG_2259Then the exhibition about Ligabue, well: between leopard tonsils and self-portraits (in short, the usual repertoire) pops up in the room a delirious battle between Russians, bears, reindeers and wolves that seems Hugo Pratt (even Rasputin is there!). And finally the exhibition about the publications of FMR, all in strict Bodoni, including this one that you would like to hide under Maia´s t-shirt before walking confident towards the exit (“my daughter wears an orthopedic corset, you know Oh yeah, now they do them all like this, square, they work better”). You get out just on time to catch buckets of rain in the 100 m between you and the car. At Lodi it feels like October, at Melegnano barrier, like November.

Back in the city, you catch Milan under the covers with a cup of hot tea and biscuits, happily padded with Moment® Rosa: finally, it´s raining.

bbb

An Apulian break: Weddings are always beautiful, if they are not yours. Signorina E.V.

IMG_2011
“Miss E.V., couldn’t life be an eternal wedding party? Someone else’s one, obviously”

Lecce, Barletta, Selva di Fasano, Cisternino – 28th May/1st june

If making a virtue out of necessity is maybe just an illusory compromise, it´s still something that you are able to do quite well. Taking advantage of an Ryanair special deal (taking a plane with three kids is like having three wives, from the financial point of view) you book the flights to Apulia, where you will leave the kids for a few days with their maternal grandfather and cousins so that you can go to a wedding.

In the airport takes place a micro-drama, maybe a small alarm bell ring, still a reminder that you have to pay more attention in the future. Emma, the 11 years old daughter, is always scared of flying and whenever she has to do it, she struggles to contain the anxiety. As you reach the gate she insists on queueing up straight away, but you don’t want to think about queuing for nothing as the seats are already assigned. Therefore you let her go in a bad way so that you can seat down and stuff yourself with gummies together with your other two kids, while you wait for the crowd to clear out. After ten minutes you raise your eyes from the newspaper and you see her over there, in the middle of all the overweight tourists. She is quietly weeping. Please note: Emma NEVER cries. Only when she is truly harmed or when she is very, very, very sad. Obviously this small kind of anxiety that you ignore or that rather annoys you is a pain bigger than you thought: now you reach your daughter immediately, apologize slowly and hug her. Sit next to her during the take-off, when she is hiding her head between her arms, and hold her tight. There´s a special empathy that has always linked you and her (in the memory of an ugly adventure you once wrote this for her): you will need to take particular sensitivity with her during your trip this summer, you can´t afford carelessness. You know very well that inexplicable melancholy hidden behind the brightness of her eyes: from all the aspects of your nature that you could pass to her, this is the last one you would have wanted to.

IMG_1946
pickup sounds like BRODDGROOROGRREBRRODDOGRREERR ORROGGHRRblblblblblblblblblbl

At Brindisi Casale you meet your ex-father-in-law, who you don´t see since when, 4, 5 years? Since you have separated from his daughter, I would say. You can´t avoid to feel uncomfortable (you couldn´t either in less suspicious time anyway), but luckily the kids don´t seem to notice: they meet the “cousins”, who in reality are uncles of the same age… complicate stuff about way too extended families. The farm where they live in the countryside is occupied by dogs, cats, goats, rabbits and millions of black, fat, glossy ants. Maia, your youngest daughter, goes crazy with joy. You leave them there and hit the road: your ex-pseudo-father-in-law has lent you an EMBARRASSING pickup Nissan really redneck style (or like those the ISIS have, points out Mitia, the oldest of the three). No MP3 player, you are forced to digest the local radio schedule: at some point they play Thunderstruck, but unfortunately is not this version.

It´s nice to watch the sea of olive trees pass by from the window, while you drive with the sunset through the legendary Apulian section of the SS16, with its endless deviations for the misterious Cumblanare and its usual splattered animals on the side of the road; once arrived to Barletta you offer to the public the spectacular match Pickup Vs. Old City. No one dies so you´ve won, I would say.

The next morning you take the chance to see the De Nittis Museum, an Apulian Impressionist painter who sent to hell his fellow citizens and travelled all around Europe finding love and fortune in Paris: basically the stereotype of an Erasmus student ante litteram. Shame that the most beautiful painting was lent to Milan for the Expo. Even this far has come the annoying Expo.

And then the wedding. Well, the wedding is Apulian, and therefore: generous, elegant, smiley. The groom is the brother of a friend of yours, signorina E.V., who is also with her partner. Signorina E.V. is a special girl, whom you know and hang out with since long time ago. You both have lost and then re-found each other, and now she is officially one of your favorite persons: those who are able to gain a surprising and true affection. The life of signorina E.V. has been fragmented by shocks, some of them really strong, and still she is that funny character with an imagination two meters ahead of reality: you can’t avoid to feel complete sympathy for her. Dear E.V., you definitely deserve more from Life: however, remember that bitterness is a waste of energy. Cultivate those things that make you feel beautiful and remember that you can fix any trouble, whenever you think it´s worth it: for instance if you forget the physiological solution for the contact lenses, you can always prepare it yourself, right?

IMG_2066The next day you take again the ISIS´s pickup and you stroll along Itria Valley. There´s no one around and there’s no hurry as well: everything is marvelous, stopping here and there to admire olive trees contorted like Laocoonte statues, you arrive to Santa Maria in Barsento church, with such a simple and harmonious architecture that comes close to perfection. It´s funny to think that when you were a child any trip with your father including a visit to any church was received with a constellation of bad words from you and your brother. You stay overnight in Cisternino in a refurbished trullo, property of a very kind friend/client, and the next day you pick up the kids in Salento. The weather is misty and is not too hot but you kidnap the three of them and, no matter what, you throw them into the water until sunset: you have to make the most of the sea now, because the beaches you will find on your way to Rovaniemi will not be as sweet as the Apulian ones. “There will be no planes to take on our August trip”, you whisper to Emma while the 737-800 Raynair is taxiing along the runway facing the sea “Only a big van. Same petrol-consuming though, damn it”.

IMG_1926

Gracias! to lovely Vanessa, proud Galician girl who translated this from the original post!

THE MEAN THAT JUSTIFIES THE END. Collecting Professor M’s van

Campiglia Marittima, Milano – 8/10 Maggio 2015

“This should turn on the aircon”, said professor M., accidentally throwing the volkswagen van into hyperspace

Some people needs days and days of holidays, and lots of kilometers, to be able to really take away their mind from their office´s desk (IKEA Melltorp, from €39.90?)   For you, the first bar of the toll-house going up it´s enough to make you switch into “vacanze” mode. Of course, a wrong call is also enough to break the mental idyll and make you fall flat on your arse. SPLAT. But well, this is a different story and you had a mission, other than holidays.

You run away from Milan around 16, destination Piacenza, where you will meet Professor M, the owner of the van that will host you and your children this coming summer, which is now parked in Toscana. You enter the highway under the pewter sky. In the aircraft of your Multipla-with-generous-hips the soundtrack is this. It´s pouring rain when you reach Professor M at the basement of an absurd library in the center of the city, an underground labyrinth made of tiny corridors of metal shelves extra-loaded with books which are ordered by some sort of mysterious code I can´t understand (only the phantom of the old lady is missing here).

Sheltered by a microscopic umbrella with the word “CARS” and the drawing of a car with big eyes as a windshield (don´t complain, you rather thank your little daughter) you go back to your car. Obviously the result, other than the indecent show you´ve given for free, is that you have to continue our trip completely SOAKED.

Professor M is an important friend. One of those people who´s been there all your life, but with whom you have recently started a new kind of friendship and dialogues, somehow far away from the ones you use to have. Professor M is married and has two sons, and this summer he is taking his family far, far away. Therefore he thought he could lend you his van: no need to be told twice, here we are!

Now though, it´s time for Professor M to know something you´re not proud of, and it has to do with his wedding. Yes, that was the wedding you never showed up. Probably, they thought… he is just divorced, he is not in the mood to meet the old common friends all happy and together. Oh yeah, running away from your old friend´s love and intimacy, the humiliation of failure and blah blah blah. The true truth though, is that YOU HAD FORGOTTEN. Exactly. You were in the office that day of March, doing god-knows-what when suddenly it had come to your mind, you fucking idiot, that you had a wedding to assist that day. Ops. Your colleagues probably still recall the following “monologo del Cioni”. Just so you to know what kind of airhead character you are. Just so the Professor takes it into account with Freudian´s peace and his missing acts.

FullSizeRenderThe next day it´s sunny: the van is quietly resting on the grass but once awaken “he” is shaking “allegro” and turns down the voice of the engine. The Professor is visibly relieved, and he goes on showing with proud all the features of the juggernaut, which looks more and more like a transformer to you, with all the revolving seats and the sliding beds. You try to take notes but.. bah! You are too busy sending the pictures to your older son in Milan (the sibylline verdict is “AWESOME”) and thinking about swimming in the sea. SEA. SWIMMING. NOW. You’re some kind of summer Pavlov’s dog, as soon as sun shines up in the sky you start drooling.

And swimming we say. You´ve already been once to Cala Violina, do you remember? Maybe not, it was one life ago. Two, actually. While Professor M is falling asleep in the sand you sneak into the water, which is not too cold (but there haven´t been 3 hours since you have stuffed yourselves with “sopprassata” and “fo´accia”!), beautiful. You feel happy while you cross the pine forest in your way to the van. Here and now is already beautiful, but it´s even more beautiful when you look at the view in front of you, which shows simple, clear. IMG_1753But here it comes, as mentioned above, the wrong telephone call that knocks you on your ass, together with Jupiter´s force of gravity.   Everything goes back to be complex, delicate, unsure, dangerous: limited free movement. The view is stretching and suddenly it becomes a badly illuminated corridor. It´s not the person calling´s fault, but the “thing” that she has to unwillingly communicate. You don´t know if it was the “thing” itself (a problem you feel powerless against) or your own reaction to it (more than understandable, you tell yourself) what is making you so nervous.

After dinner the dark comes down and while you chat with Professor M in the garden, you try to chill out with a bit of red wine and one of those things you can´t talk about. A big toad crosses the meadow and climbs up to the wall. You lighten him up with your cell´s torch, and he paralyzes: he might be as big as a baby´s head, the belly inflates and deflates. He is probably scared to death, you switch off your phone and you settle for watching him climbing the stones in the dark. You struggle to fall asleep, waiting for a dream to bring you a message. Maybe in the form of a toad.

Instead, the next morning you don´t remember a shit about your dream. You only know that in the middle of everything, there was the Pope. The Pope!!! “Ma come il Papa???”. As if you didn´t have enough with watching him everywhere now, in the newspapers, glued to the bakery´s cashier, hanged in the garages, although a bit far away from the naked women altar. Damn it. The Pope. What the hell should this mean then, the visit of Bergoglio in a dream? A reminder about patience and tolerance? Or that other thing that if someone insults your mother you can kick his teeth without having God slapping you?

On your way back you drive the van. It´s big, gentle and a bit clumsy, like a big dog. The children will be enthusiastic. When you arrive to Milan you show them the pictures and tell them how beautiful it will be to hang around with this walking house. Only the blonde one, the middle daughter, is silent.

What happens, little E.?

I´m too tired Dad. S slept over and we stayed up until late”. And what were you girls up to? “You know my friend A? Her parents are hosting a Japanese girl who´s looking for a house. She is called Fujita”. Mmh. And… so? I can´t see any connection. “Basically she has “fugit”, she is “fugita”, do you get it Dad? “fugita” from home! We have been laughing all night long”.

In conclusion, you have now a van, one more problem and, in addition, you have a daughter with a sense of humor like Ezio Greggio.

A huge Gracias! to Vanessa, who translated this from the original post in Italian with such a special sensivity

cropped-cropped-cropped-img_9986.jpg

My name is Giuliano.

Years ago, I had three beautiful kids with a woman I’ve been living with for thirteen years; then we got separated, and both of us followed different paths. I am an architect, I work in Italy during this age of crysis: this means struggling with expenses and taxes as monkeys on my back… sometimes I may feel a bit weary, but then Etty Hillseum comes to my mind: “life is hard, but not serious”.

Whatever are the conditions in your life I think that, when you have kids, pursuing little dreams is not just a pleasure, but also some kind of duty: the duty of showing them that the world is a beatiful place full of surprises ready to be disclosed, if you accept to take on responsabilities and even some risk.

This year I’m turning 40. I usually avoid to look back, as I rather need to watch my step: in spite of all I still tend to have my head in the clouds, but when you have three kids you can’t afford chasing clouds.

Or maybe yes.

So I’m taking my kids, and this time we’ll go chasing clouds together; or indeed, we will chase the sun. From Milan to Lapland and back again, throughout all Europe: me, my three kids and a van, stopping wherever we find a place we like. After all Rovaniemi is just the name of a place: the real meaning of this travel stays in the space between it, and the place that we call home.

I know it won’t be easy, I need to find almost everything starting from the money to pay the van, the fuel, the supplies… but I’m confident that I will find the way to put everything together. Why not? Maybe even with your help!

I promise I will repay you, my way: a watercolor portrait of some strange beast we bump into, a song strummed with a guitar out of tune during a rainy day, or maybe even some odd object picked up by the youngest daughter… and above all with this chronicle, because I feel the urge to record it.
we may succeed or not in gettin’up there; anyway this is our story
 noi