Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vinicio Capossela al Regio di Parma

Never managed to see De André live (unfortunately). Never managed to see Paolo Conte live (yet). But finally managed to see Vincio Capossela live, yesterday, in the beautiful setting of the Regio Theatre in Parma.

Companion of this evening: Xavier, a Belgian friend of us who moved to Parma, with his wife Agnes, about one year ago - and that you already met a few posts ago.

And the concert has been a full show: music, of course, rich and original. Instruments, many and often original. But also scenographies, costumes, settings, monologues, quips…

The first part of the concert, more measured and lyrical, focused on Capossela’s new album, ‘Marinai, Profeti e Balene’, and recreated the atmospheres of the sea and of the characters that plough it: seamen and whale-boats, jagged coastlines and Mediterranean islands, tempests and ‘bonaccie’, sirens, white whales, and abyss’ creatures - all in a journey towards the unknown*…

The second part, more ‘tarantellata’, brought in his greatest hits, from ‘Con un Rosa’ to ‘Che cossè l’Amor’ to ‘Il Ballo di San Vito’ - heating up the public of Parma…

And now waiting for Paolo Conte to pass by Rome (sooner or later…)

(*) Click here to listen to 'Polpo d’Amor'.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Marchisio Brothers go to work

Silvia’s blitz in Rome. And after a (almost) white night, the Marchisio Brothers go to work. Fresh as daisies. 'Sbarbagallo' haircut.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Round is beautiful

Mathilde, week 25th

I have to say that fatherhood has been a rather abstract concept for me so far.

Don’t get me wrong: I am happy to become a father. But the idea that a baby was actually growing in Mathilde’s belly was something that I had to somehow rationally accept - but haven't managed yet to fully interiorize it or to be fully emotionally involved in it. In short, it was something that I know it was happening, but it was as if it was happening to someone else, as if I was reading it in a book or observing it in a documentary.

But when I saw Mathilde after almost six weeks we have been apart, oh gosh, I suddenly realized this is going to happen. And this is going to happen to me!

And running the risk of sounding trivial, I have to say that I rarely saw Mathilde so beautiful. It is true: round is beautiful!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Les M&M's are off for Easter

Les M&M's are off for Easter. Destination: Argentario. And beyond. Stories and pictures at our return. Ciao ciao...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tra le linee nemiche…

19 Aprile 2011. Stadio Olimpico. Roma-Inter. Curva Sud: il settore degli Ultras della Roma…

…trovate l'intruso!* **

(*) Sullo sfondo: un tipico Ultrá romanista...

(**) Within the enemy lines. April 19th, 2011. Olympic Stadium. AS Rome-Inter Milan. ‘Curva Sud’: the stands where the Rome hooligans sit… find the intruder! (On the background: a typical Rome hooligan...)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back home!

The incomparable feeling of being back home after several weeks away…

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lahore (2)

The Badshahi Mosque


After ten intensive days of work, I allowed myself an afternoon off, and visited Lahore, Punjab, unanimously considered the cultural and artistic capital of Pakistan.

And have to confirm that Lahore did not disappoint me: an interesting mix of Mughal monuments and Victorian buildings (legacy of the British) coloured by an unmistakable ‘sub-continental’ touch.

Lahore would have certainly deserved more time, but for the time being we got satisfied with the Shahi Qila (the Fort) and the Badshahi Mosque - until recently, and for over three centuries, the largest mosque in the world.

Looking forward to the next mission here, to have another afternoon off to discover the rest of the city...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ou est Mathilde?

While Matteo is solving the problem of rural poverty in Pakistan, Mathilde has just come back from the White Oak Conservation Center, Florida, where she was selected to participate to the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders Programme, a training program for young leaders in the field of wildlife conservation.

And, in this globalized world… who said you need to go to Africa to see giraffes and cheetahs?!?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Piergiorgio’s Koan

To Piergiorgio who congratulated me on successfully managing to plan my life (marriage, Rome, baby…), I responded that I often feel as things happen almost by chance to me - and that, on the contrary, I often feel like a tightrope walker at ten metres above the ground without safety-net juggling with three balls, with someone that from time to time throws an additional one at him, while he desperately tries not to have them falling - and not to fall himself…

Stimulated by my response, Piergiorgio coined the following koan:

L’equilibrista gioca con tre palline su una fune. Il povero teme la fune e dimentica le palline. Il saggio contempla la luna aldilà delle palline. Fune e palline non fanno l’equilibrista, né il povero, né il saggio.*

Whose meaning though still remains obscure to us…

Do help us to solve the koan: tell us how you would interpret it!

(*) The equilibrist juggles with three balls on a tightrope. The poor man fears the tightrope and forgets the balls. The wise man contemplates the moon beyond the balls. Tightrope and balls do not make the equilibrist, or the poor man, or the wise man.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In partenza (again)

This time to Pakistan only.

See you at my return, in a couple of weeks…

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Baby and his/her friends

This week we got to know that three couples of good friends of us who live here in Rome will have a baby between June and September.

Baby is not yet born and he/she has already plenty of new friends!

Friday, April 1, 2011

10 UN staff murdered in Afghanistan* **

They are not the first, and they won’t be the last. And the number of people daily killed in the numerous conflicts around the world has probably made us a bit deaf or indifferent to this kind of news. Myself included.

But my blood literally froze when I read that ten, or probably more, UN staff members were killed today after protesters assaulted a UN compound in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, in the North of Afghanistan. Two of the victims were cut their head off.

Several thoughts run through my mind: that these people most likely went there willing to help. That these people left their wives, sisters, parents home reassuring them that if there was any significant risk the UN would have not placed them there. That these people were probably thinking that being UN staff would have not made them targets.

That probably there is not much difference between them today and me one week ago…