zaterdag 24 september 2011

Day 7. Back Home....

3.30 hrs. Wake up. Shower. Coffee.
4.00 hrs. Left the hotel. Minibus.
4.45 hrs. Arrival Venice Airport.
6.00 hrs. Cappucino & Fagotto.
6.20 hrs. Airplane KLM.
                Windowseat 17F.
6.45 hrs. Departure Venice.
                Plane fully booked.
                It gets light outside.
                Arrivederci Italia.
7.05 hrs. The Alps in the morningsun.
7.20 hrs. Sandwich, juice and tea
                served by friendly gay
                Dalida sings her
                sentimental songs in my ear.
7.45 hrs. More tea. Calm flight.
                Dalida sings: Mama.
8.15 hrs. Flying over Ijsselmeer
8.18 hrs. Marken & Monnickendam.
                Landing starts.
8.27 hrs. Landed at Schiphol Airport.
                Welcome to Amsterdam.

10.12 hrs.
Changed in Amersfoort. 2 stops and I am home.

Dalida still sings in my ear.

Suddenly unexpected tears.
It was a great experience to be in Italy with wonderfull colleagues. I felt at home with them. Lots of energy. Intense talks about life. Sharing life stories. It was nice I could talk about the situation I am dealing with. Good laughter. Great fun and serious moments. Interesting visits and meeting ups.

Inspirational is the best word for it...
And the best coffee and food ofcourse...
Going home this way is the best way one can have.

10.47. Deventer

Day 6. Milano....and More Milano...and More to come...

20.10 hrs. We just left Milan Railwaystation. Little less than 2 hours to go back to Vicenza. Last day, last evening. Great Memories.
Just some pictures...from the Pret a Porter Fashion Fair..Chocolat cake with crema con fragole....and the Duomo...

More to come soon..Via della Spiga...Wait till you see the pictures from the 3 days ago opened Pirelli shop. Absolutely Amazing!!!

Lots of fun and laughter during the trip back to Vicenza in a very comfortable train.

We arrived in Vicenza round 22.50 hrs. Taxi to the hotel...

In the hotel we said goodbye to translator Manuel who was a great help during the week.
We all got a little book from the region and a little bag with hazelnuts from the familytree in his garden. Might bake a plumcake sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts.
A last Spritz, a last talk.... and off to bed for a very short night sleep...

vrijdag 23 september 2011

Day 5. Venezia....

20.40 hrs. Venice, Railwaystation.
We just caught the train back to Vicenza.

Venice, Venezia, Bella...

We arrived by train round 11 this morning. The last time I was in Venice was about 15 years ago.
First we had a meeting at the Ministerio. Very formal and probably not very usefull, but...typical the Italian way...

Round 13 hrs...lunch with a foccacia. A small group of 5 (included me) stayed in Venice. We took the vaporetto to San Marco Square. The Canal Grande..The Palazzo's..the colours..all kind of boats...Breathtaking..

All we did was..walk and enjoy..bought a beautiful wool tricot jacket....terrace...walk more..took pictures...more pictures....a Spritz...dinner at a little square where only locals came....

And than...we left with beautiful memories..

Some pictures here...much more on my camera....

donderdag 22 september 2011

Day 4. Marzotto

Marzotto is a big textilefirm in Valdagno. The produce mostly fabrics for men suits. Big brands as Valentino & Armani buy the fabrics at Marzotto and the fabric usually is woven esspecially for them.

Arriving at the firm I got the feeling as arriving in a small city. Not a strange idea, because the Marzotto family did build houses where the workers could live.
It is a huge firm, established 175 years ago.

We got a tour around the factory to see the whole proces from building up the warp and weft till the final product. Very interesting was to feel the woven fabric before and after finishing. Soft and Delicate, Light and Airy in typical colours men like. Dyes in bottles computerized mixed together to get the right colour. Mixtures from silk and wool, 100% merino etc.

After the tour -which took hours - we had lunch outside. Spaghetti and a good cappucino afterwards. It was warm, which is strange for this time of year as we were told.

After lunch we visited the Marzotto textile school and museum. The museum showed all stages of weaving fabric from a historic point of vieuw. Old fabrics, hand drawn designs, patterns and new fabrics with a Palladian theme based on the famous buildings from Palladio. Would be nice to have a modern chair covered with that fabric.

Interesting was the adverts Marzotto made during the fascist time. No judging now please!!! It is also part of the history from a country. Marzotto did advertize in fascist magazines. The fight against communism with the symbol of the bear wearing a cap with a red star. The black and brown suit. Brown was the colour of fascism.

But one must realize that when they hadn't done that at the time the whole factory would be closed and the whole community would have lost their work. In my opinion it is always easy to comment on this from the comfortable situation nowadays. Ofcourse I am very against the idea of fascism, but the question always is: would you be brave enough to stand up against it and risking your life? I hope to be brave...but I can't say 100% that I would say No..and who is so sure of him/herself?? I personally hope that I will not come in such a difficult situation.

We than drove back to Vicenza for a final meeting at CPV and a presentation from a new fashion community on the Internet. Till now my mind is spinning with new ideas thanks to all I have seen, heared, discussed and thought. It definitely is not a holiday. The days are "full". You get tired, but it is so inspirational for me at this stage in my life. Big Bonus and I am very happy that I was allowed to go and have this experience.

A quick, very quick shower in the hotel before going in town with Mira, Cora and Thijs. Vicenza is such a beautiful city, and even more in the evening when the lights are on and the terraces are filled with young and old people. Nice dinner outside...good food, wine and interesting life stories where is really Bella Italia in many ways..

woensdag 21 september 2011

Day 3. From school to....

14.45 hrs. In the bus from Padova to Vicenza. Sunny with a nice temperature. Just had a nice lunch in the Italian way.

An interesting day sofar. We left the hotel at 8, to visit a fashionschool in Padova named E.U. Ruzza Pendola. I have done a project with this school about 15 years ago. It was nice to be back, and even met up with 2 colleagues from the past. The teacher design showed some denim bleached jackets. A new Director introduced herself. Nice atmosphere.

The building hadn't changed and the vieuw on the church with "cuppola's' of Saint Antonio hadn't changed either. I am going to invite them to join a new project about the future of patternmaking.

23.30 hrs.
Next was a visit to Scuola Italiana Design.  A really inspirational visit thanks to the inspirational talk about creativity and design done by Strategic Design teacher Andrea Busato. And I liked his glasses very much with the little red part in it.
We don't design, we satify needs.
A good designer is a good observer.
I hope to get in touch with him also because of the training Artist Coach for Companies I did follow and which also goes about creativity.

After lunch we were brought to Ritex Centro which is a textile lab. They do research on textiles for various companies. Interesting and I got a good website about jeans washings which we can use in school.

Late in the afternoon and after a quick view on a Palladian Villa we went off the bus in Vicenza centre.
Couldn't resist a tricot sleeveless cardi with a grey pinstripe front at Falconeri.
I had a Campari on a terrace with my colleague Thijs with the great architect Andrea Palladio in front of us.
A nice dinner outside followed. Really enjoyable company and very personal talks with eachother about subjects of life.
To be honest...I was a bit afraid that we only would talk about education...we do, but luckily also about other topics...and we have great fun also..

Tomorrow more visits...Bedtime now..

dinsdag 20 september 2011

Day 2. Differences...and Similarties..

It is late in the evening now..or better said: early in the morning when I am writing this little post.

Today was a very busy Day. During a meeting in the morning we got loads of information.

It became clear to me that the Italian schoolsystem  at the moment is changing into another way of thinking. The future will tell if this is positive or negative. There are private and state-schools steeped in long traditions. A kind of class-system.  Ofcourse there are also similarities in topics as drop-outs and how to get those youngsters back to school. Being a member from the European Union also means that we all move more or less into the same direction. But how to get the systems compatible is the big problem which needs to be solved in the future.

I know from experiences in the past that Italian teachers sometimes have the idea that they are better than teachers from other countries. But today I got an opposite impression. Right, wrong??????? But, overall very interesting to hear and it always makes me thinking what my opinion is about education in general and the specific topics I teach.

After a simple, but delicious lunch (what is it that beans and tomatoes taste so much better here??)  we got into the bus to visit Arpel. They produce leather and fur coats in a artisanal way for various brands. Interesting, but I am not sure what the future will bring to that firm. But..amazing coloured leathers and how beautiful some of the coats were made.

At the end of the afternoon we went back to Vicenza. Beautiful city to walk through. Nice luxury shops. Did see great boots, a nice tricot jacket. Shopping my winterwardrobe here is a piece of cake. Good Italian atmosphere. Nice and very tasty dinner outside on a Piazza. The group is interesting. Different backgrounds, different jobs in school but also similarities because of working in the education field. Serious, fun, laughter,personal talks..Great. We get to know eachother very well. Half of the group walked back from town to the hotel. It took maybe 20 minutes. A little drink in the bar with a small group afterwards.

I talked about my private situation which is a good thing for me. Little worries about how Bram is coping after I spoke him on the phone. He is so tired. Next week we have to go to the hospital for catheterisation. Really hope something will be found.

Tomorrow more visits to schools and firms. It is good to be here.

maandag 19 september 2011

Day 1....Schiphol>Venice>Vicenza

I am at Schiphol Airport now. Traveling by plane to Venice and after arriving there traveling to Vicenza. The trip is organized for teachers who's task is to organize International projects or trainings. Flying out today and returning the coming saturday. The days will be filled with visits to schools, firms, fashion-fair in Milan and a cultural day in Venice. It will be busy, but also very interesting.

So, this morning we said goodbye at the railwaystation. A little mixed feelings. Very looking forward to go, but also worries how things will go at home. Bram's health isn't good (first research nothing found, another research coming soon), but he promised me that nothing would happen. This morning he said that he could't bear the idea that I would have stayed home for him. So I will call everyday and I know that he is taken good care off by friends and neighbours.

Just bougt a book situated partly in Venice (I always buy a book at the airport when I go somewhere) and had a Latte at Starbucks. An hour to go before the plane is heading off...

14.50 hrs. It's raining when we take off...

15.10 hrs. High in the sky. Clouds are drifting by. They form a new kind of landscape. Always changing. I am always amazed how an airplane goes up in the air. I know it technically: speed and pressure working together..but still tough. Gone are the green meadows.

Almost crossing the German border now. Little turbulence is expected. No Blues CD: Ya Dunya is on now.

16.00 hrs. First chapter from "Tell it to the skies." by Erica James finished. An "easy read" for €7,50. Still no sign of a landscape on the ground. White World.

16.25 hrs. 15 minutes to go. Thunderstorm and heavy rain in Venice and 27C. Landing 5 minutes later than expected time. Strange: one moment you are in Amsterdam and less than 2 hrs. later you are on Italy. Turbulence now. Something is appearing now inbetween the clouds. Italy in sight and we are approaching Marco Polo Airport. No clear sight on Venice unfortunately, but such a different coloured landscape.

15.40 hrs. Landed safe in Venice. The city at the horizon.

18.40 hrs. Just had a soak in the bath from my room. Arrived one hour ago  - by mini-bus- here at the NH hotel Vicenza. Nice to hear the Italuan language spoken. Very pleasant room with a huge bed.
The group seems nice to me with some familiar faces I know from meetings. Did a phonecall to Bram. Grandson Jim didn't liked the idea that I wasn't at home and kept asking where I was. So sweet to hear this.
At 7 we are going out for dinner. Italian food is my favourite. Let's get dressed now.

22.30 hrs. Home after a nice meal at a restaurant on the same street. Pasta with fungi, white wine, dolci and a good espresso at the end. All that is left is on the picture. Afterwards a drink at a terrace close to the hotel. Interesting group with different backgrounds. Time to read now before going to sleep. Buonanotte.

donderdag 15 september 2011

Back to School..Back to Normal life...

I am now in my 2nd week back in school and all goes well sofar. My new class seems a nice one and this week I had to teach lessons to all classes. The routine of waking up early is not a problem, but the first time it was strange to find out that it is dark at 5.45 when my alarmclock went off.
The meeting up with my fellowtravelers (my four TrainGirls) on the first day was good as always. Plenty to talk about the past holidays and lots of fun and laughter.

So, back to normal....Daily Rhytm and Routine is good for my mind and soul with at some point a little step into another world..

I didn't go back to my choir last year. To emotional to sing, but last week I went back and had my first rehearsal which was a real joy for me. I sing now in a choir for almost 10 years which is a good thing for me to do. My choir members greeted me with such an enthusiasm that I felt at ease immediately. Nothing on my mind when I sing. No worries or thoughts..just attention for the song and my choir members.
So tonight my 2nd rehearsal in which I might learn some new songs they learned last year...

And there is knitting ofcourse to keep me sane...sort of..

When I read about the JuleKuler book from Arne and Carlos which came out in a Dutch translation I immediately ordered it and after searching in my stash I did cast on which soon became a real addiction. There are 55 patterns in the book and I might knit them all..and perhaps some with my own designs.

It is an easy pattern, and one an evening goes well. At the end with Christmas our house will have a Scandinavian atmosphere with balls everywhere.

They are on YouTube and you can see them Here and Here and Here.. So funny!!

It reminds me of the great holidays we had in Norway years ago. We used to go to Scandinavia almost all summer. Camping in our little tent on campings with hardly anyone.

The breathtaking nature, the fjords and the all over silence.

The first time I went -28 years ago- it was so overwhelming for me, that sometimes I felt that the silence was too much for me. Faded pictures but with great a way it seems like yesterday..but we have grown older.

Memories to treasure.."Das war Einmal" always sounds a little sad..but, to treasure memories is one of the best things in life. To enjoy Silence.... I have learned it over the years and now going into silence is a big part of my holiday.
And there were the knitted Norwegian sweaters which have always attracted me, but never bought one. Now I would have loved to have one to wear with a pair of jeans..So fashionable. Guess knitting has always been with me in memories over the years, and it is a big part of my life right now.

So let's go back to the Knitting topic.. I did finish off some shawls. The purple tweed one, with the name Spring Time Bandit has send over to my best friend Birgitta who lives in Scotland. She is very pleased with this one. It will hopefully keep her warm in the cold Scottish winter to come.

This week I blocked the Matilda shawl in Red Tweed Yarn...

Who will get this one is a surprise.. even for me. Still on the needles: the Dew Drops Shawl in slippery alpaca yarn.

Must finish this one before going further with my JuleKuler.
Next week it will be Italy for me. A study trip to the Veneto region with visits to fashionschools, firms,fashion-fair in Milan... No, I am not complaining about my work...