Sunday, 29 April 2012

Day 306-326- Blog Friends Are Real Friends Part 1

Those 20 days passed like a dream, the kind they say never do come true because it's too good. The same one you don't want to wake up from. It was as if some Divine Being decided it was time for a treat and gave me a reward. Here, Sans! She said, I am giving you 20 days of some of the best things in Life! Enjoy! 

And did I enjoy? I hesitate to say only because that word does not even begin to scratch the surface of all the magical, unforgettable, incredible moments and all the hyperbole you can think of to describe beautiful, wonderful and plain amazing care and kindness I have had experienced in that 20 days.   

Many of you have shared some of those experiences through the posts here and on the blogs of our friends. Those were but fractions. Tonight, I am giving you the best of them. 

In Spain,

Eva @ Barcino Temple, Barcelona, 15/3/2012 

Eva with her emphatic YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS (Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii)! My reason for choosing Barcelona as the beginning and the end.

Alex @ The El Glop, showing me how to eat calcot- 17/3/2012

Alex who planned his days off work to coincide with my arrival, the designated driver when we hung out with the family and when Arnau was ill, who stayed home to look after him so Eva could take me out. 

He also made almost all the meals we had at home.

Unforgettable moments were when I was listening to his choice of music including "Hey Soul Sisters" in the car to Barcelona, Talamanca or Stiges and feasting on his fabulous librettos and chicken cutlets for dinner.

Me and Arnau @ Casa Battlo 17/3/2012

Arnau, gifted with the best from both his parents and who gave me his bed when I stayed at their home. GAUPO (handsome in Catalan) was the word I learnt because of him. 

Me and Eva @ Talamanca- 16/3/2012

Unforgettable Moments- being at Stiges with Eva where we chanced upon a Quilt Fair, had lunch by the sea and then saw parrots on a palm tree. More importantly, I witnessed the special bond and commitment between loved ones....

Eva and Alex @ Talamanca, 16/3/2012 

Eva and Arnau @ Casa Battlo 17/3/2012

On the guest book at Casa Battlo, 17/3/2012

Jazz Festival @ Terassa, 18/3/2012

Unforgettable was also  that brilliant Spring Sunday before I left for Genoa where we attended an outdoor jazz festival in the park near Eva's home.  

In Italy,

Ro, wearing the table runner I brought her as a shawl, Genoa 21/3/2012

Rosanna and the reason why I was in Europe this year. An incredible long distance relationship that actually lasted and can only become stronger. 

Although we haven't seen each other for 2 years, we wrote one another frequently. Still, I was not prepared when the door at the airport opened and I saw Rosanna, Walter and Matteo waiting and  Rosanna  jumping up and down when she saw me. 

Unforgettable moment: hearing Matteo said don't cry when he could tell I was going to as I hugged Ro. 

Ro engaging in her favourite activity, walking-Portofino, 20/3/2012

Rosanna who promised me we would walk and walk and walk and that we did sometimes up to seven hours a day. Needless to say, I love those walks and am missing them in a big way. 

Rosanna, looking crazy fresh even after a hike through the hills in Portofino, 20/3/2012

Me and Ro on a boat to Portofino-20/3/2012

That day Ro took me to Liguria and Portofino was peppered with the word special. From the centuries old architecture and their trompe loeil to the lone heron prancing for us on a speedboat culminating to the dancing dolphins in the sea paths of our humble ferry. Both of us didn't think all that could happen just because we decided to take the boat instead of walk and I don't care if I might have missed watching a lion mate with a tiger just because we didn't walk.  That day will forever be imprinted in my mind as the one I first met wild dolphins.

Rosanna soaking in the sun just before we had our packed lunch,
 after trekking a few hours-Portofino,20/3/2012

Lunch with Rosanna here with a million dollar view of the Portofino harbour nevertheless held the top spot for most unforgettable moment of that day.

Papa Rolla who loves Rosanna's food and who wouldn't?-Genoa, 20/3/2012

All the meals at Ro's home was prepared by her. She even made me an artichoke pie on the night I arrived in case I got hungry. And on the 3rd day, we had the pesto pasta I had been craving since 2 years ago.

Unforgettable too was the Father's Day fritto dinner Ro made for Papa Rolla, the same day we went to Liguria and Portofino. Heaven was to eat everything deep fried in the company where love abound and kisses flew freely, where laughter was aplenty because Papa Rolla was mimicking a burlesque dancer throwing her breasts over the shoulder, one at a time.

Ro, an Audrey Hepburn moment, Zaanse Schans, 23/3/2012

Rosanna who undertook the Herculean task of getting a week off work so we could travel Holland and Germany together. She who accorded me such honour, by telling me on the last night of our travels and just before our heads hit the pillows, that I was a truly truly decent person (I laughed then and I am laughing now as I type) and how it was a privilege for her to have travelled with me,  when the privilege, my dear Ro, was all mine. 

Roberta at work and with her Chase Away Bad Luck Broom-21/3/2012

Then there is Roberta whom I met again for the 2nd time for a large coffee the size of an espresso, on the last day in Genoa. The funny, endearing and bubbly Roberta who I swear is The Good Witch of Genoa, especially when she excitedly took out her new mini broom and promptly started dusting the space in front of her, to chase away evil, she said. 

In Holland,

Sylvia with Ro, on the train from Amsetrdam to Almere, 22/3/2012

Sylvia, the multi-talented and much admired Sylvia, who's earthiness, experiences and extreme courage made her a giant of a human being, in my eyes. 

Sylvia at home Almere, 22/3/2012

Despite her talents, this star has neither airs or pretenses. Unassuming and generous, she made us a delicious dinner although she disliked and hardly cooked and she brought us to all the shops even when she was not into shopping at all. Then to top it all, she suffered the early morning sun in her eyes to sleep in the hall so Ro and I could have her bed and the bedroom. 

Sylvia's living room with huge black and white prints on the wall-Almere, 22/3/2012

Sylvia at 16
Inspiring even when she least expect to, can you tell where I got the idea for this post from? 

Seeing us off at the train station, 23/3/2012

That very evening we arrived, Sylvia told us that friends had been following our journey through blogland. I knew some of you were reading about my trip but only on my blog and when it dawned on me that you knew when we arrived at Amsterdam and when we were expected in Arnhem, even when I was not posting, I was overwhelmed.

Ro and I opening Margriet's presents-photo by Sylvia bashed by me, Almere, 22/3/2012

Like how I was overwhelmed when we met Margriet through her gifts which she made sure to send in time for our arrival at Sylvia's home. 

Alex at Arnhem, 24/3/2012

Then Alex really made our day at Arnhem by coming up to Rosanna and me and saying you  must be Rosanna and Sans! I recognise you from Sylvia's blog. Another talented miniaturist with beautiful blogs, what a pleasure it was to have met you, Alex. Thank you for coming up to say hi and to have lunch and then coffee because I won't deny it, it is such a thrill to have someone we have never met know who we are. By the way, that happened to us twice! 

All it took for us was to stay with a famous blogger. Seriously though, it never fails to amaze me  how we all connect in such a special way through our shared passion and blogs ! 

And what a day it was at Arnhem! 

Sabiha looking at Ro's gift, Arnhem, 24/3/2012

To have met the really talented Sabiha, as pretty as I have expected and better than that, also genuine, humourous and very sweet. But don't be deceived, she can be mischievous too. Just like Sylvia. I believe they were the ones who came up with the survival kit , Rosanna, and it was Sabiha's handwriting and smiley face on that packet. 

Josje -Arnhem 2012

And then Josje, who doesn't look a year older than 29, when she has just celebrated her 50th. Her beautiful world filled with immense and bewildering wonders, many of which she created by setting  uncompromising standards. Yet, there was nothing unapproachable about her.  

Unforgettable was having the best fish lunch with Josje, her friend, Sylvia, Alexandra, Rosanna and I sharing tips on skinny clothes and youthful looks as if we have been girlfriends for ages. 

Lisette, Arnhem 2012

The biggest surprise at Arnhem for me has to be the legendary Lisette. I have heard of this mega talent way back in 2009. Her work was described as insane and mind-blowing even back then. I visit her blog all the time but we hardly conversed  and because of that, she appeared  inaccessible to me. I could not be further from wrong when I met this delightful lady. She walked the last round of the fair with me and astounded me further with her creativity, resourcefulness and imagination. She showed me how a spindle post could be used to make at least 10 new things on a 1:144 scale, from a yo yo to a mannequin. 

I salute these ladies from The Netherlands who all had beautiful blogs, creative minds and over the top talent. I am so happy to know you, not just as  master miniaturists but also as  sharing, brave and amazing women. 


carmen said...

mujer increible tú...

Margriet said...

I'm reading your story with tears in my much love and joy, it's amazing!:-)

Sans! said...

Sí, lo son, Carmen.

Sans! said...

Margriet, I wish you were there too :). Really. I never thanked you properly for the beautiful birdcage, but even more beautiful ,that gesture of mailing them to Sylvia in time for our arrival :):). Did we tell you Sylvia opened her letterbox as we were walking out to the shopping mall right after tea and there they were, your packages in the box :). Now, that's an amazing welcome gift! :)

You made my trip special too.

SaMiRa73 said...

Sans, thank you so much for sharing your trip with others! I read about it in the others blogs, too and it was so much fun following, even without knowing any of you :-) I hope you are going on another European trip in future! Hugs, Sandra

malu2 said...

Susan me encanta leerte!! cada vez que veo un post tuyo,corro para ver que explicas!! eres fantastica!!
Hoy me has emocionado,me he visto en la primera foto, es un regalo para mí precioso!!
Un beso muy fuerte, MªLuisa.

Eliana said...

Very emotional! I loved this post, Sans. Despite so many wonderful people that you portrayed, I believe it comes from you that looks so adorable girl. ;)

rosanna said...

This is definitely the right potion I need at this moment.
Thank you

Maria Ireland said...

Wonderful post Sans :) It was like meeting these lovely people myself. Thank you for the fantastic trip you gave us. When are you doing it again ? Lol.
Hugs Maria

The Old Maid said...

Ehhh I had tears in my eyes...even though this is not about me.;) As usual great post and so many beautiful ladies and handsome gentlemen.....
Hugs and kisses dear, hope you got my email sent a few days ago?

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Hi Sans,
Wow what a wonderful trip you had full of great memories and time shared with great friends!
Thank you for letting "US" meet them too!

Flora said...

The images tell more than words :-)
I know many people who, throughout their entire life, did not experience the emotions that you have shared with friends in 20 days :-)
Thanks for sharing with us all :-)
Mini hugs

Daydreamer said...

What an Incredibly Beautiful Post this is Sans! Gorgeous photos! I LOVE the B&W theme... (takes me back to my youth...!) Such Beautiful people... EVERY one of them! And what a gift to have been able to visit... all through this AMAZING internet blog world!!!!! The LOVE is so clearly shining in everyone's faces! And here you are Spreading it even further... Sharing it with those of us who can only be there in the Ether.... SUCH a Gift! I thank you for sharing! I who have met NONE of you.... but hover in your blogs... and Delight in every shared piece of your worlds! Beautiful, Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL!
Thank you!

Eva said...

I am silly, you know, I am crying...I get goose pimples (I am not sure if is English this...LOL) Oh Susan! how many beautiful memories we have, all of us...Alex now is working but I will show him this post when he arrives at night and, I am sure, he will be very very happy. I have two "guapo" men ☺
The first picture makes me smile a lot!!!
I am very moved, you touched me
Lots of love!!

Ascension said...

..............ME ENCANTA!!!!!!!!!!!!
Es un post muy emocionante, me ha encantado ver las fotos de Eva contigo y su familia.
Las fotos de cada una de las amigas de las miniaturas a las que sigo en sus blogs y ahora les pongo cara.
El relato emocionante y cariñoso, de ese fantastico viaje.
La musica que has elegido...........vamos que se me saltan las lagrimas jejejeje
Que te quiero.
besitos ascension

BiWuBär said...

Goose bumps... eyes swimming in tears... and no idea how I will stand the second part - this one gave me already the shivers and touched my heart. I even spotted my Mom! Thank you so much for this beautiful and (even for you) extraordinary post. You should really get a print on canvas of this fabulous collage!!!


P.S.: Tell Singa P. Ore to give you a beary hug from me... ;O)

Rosamargarita said...

Un "post" entrañable, lleno de cariño, como el que das y te han dado todas estas personas. Un viaje inolvidable sin duda alguna, para recordar muchos, muchos años. Aún cuando seas anciana, lo recordarás como lo que es:
Mando mi cariño a todos los que pudieron acogerte en sus corazones.
Muchos besos

cockerina said...

beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, very beautiful! a thrill! I have shiny eyes ...
I visited your blog, like that of Sylvia and Rosanna, looking for news to follow step by step on your journey.
I'm happy for you that you were in Europe, these memories remain in my heart for a lifetime!
I have just a hint of envy, because I have not met you personally, and you were the Italy ...
I wonder if one day?
thanks for sharing, beautiful pictures in black and white, much feeling, so many smiles, makes your heart feel good to read you!
big hugs :))


Debora said...

What an amazing post; sharing what's the most important thing in life and that is connecting with other people and the love between you all. You have experienced it back then and now you are sharing it again with us. Thank you so much Sans! You are indeed a truly decent person :) Genuine kindhearted and spreading love. I'm moved and touched ...

Drora's minimundo said...

Sans, you are such a special person, no wonder good things happen to you. Such pure and touching friendships can happen between people who share, love and enjoy the same things. Thank you for this post.

Eva - tatalamaru said...

Susan entre la música, las fotos y tus palabras, has conseguido que me emocione.
Realmente hermoso tu viaje, que recuerdos!!!
Me alegro de formar parte de tu historia....un beso lleno de cariño.

Remco said...

WOW, you know how to tell a story about a journey.
Seems you had a perfect time, and since I had the honor to meet you, it also doesn't suprise me.
I just say: keep blogging, you are a star!

Susanne said...

Wonderful pictures and a wonderful story, Sans!
Love, Susanne

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

All I can say is Beautiful. Thank you taking us along on your journey.


rose cat cottage said...

Thanks a lot for your post ... and it explained a lot because I was confused to see you to pop up here and there by the way of differents you were jumping from one place to an other...LOL

It was pretty amazing to follow your journey and I have discovered a lot of news blogs! A post dedicated to friendship! As Italians said : when you find a friend you find a treasure!!! Then imagine all the treasures you heave found!

I was lucky in ARhnem to say you hello with Sabiha and Rosanna pushed by Sylvia who told me you were around!

Doei, Claude

Josje said...

Dear Susan, what a lovely, warm and happy post! It was wonderful meeting you and Rosanna and even though we only had a short (but lovely) market lunch, it was a memorable one!
You must have been exhausted after meeting so many people. I am surprised you managed to buy anything at the show with all of these people coming up to you ;-)
I am glad you had such a wonderful trip!
Thank you for posting a picture of me in which I don't look too bad, hahaha!

Jollie said...

I am not often without words... but your beautiful words made me spechless...
Thank you so much for sharing this lovely story and pictures Sans!
You are a darling :-)

Warm hugs Jollie

Natalia's Fine Needlework said...

Hi Sans! I am back. I've been reading the report of your European tour with green envy, :))) What a great idea! When are you planning to come to the USA? Natalia

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Wonderful things, do let me know whenever you publish once again something like this!britian

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