Sunday, August 20, 2017

Fare la Bella Figura -- in Red

Their suits, their shirts, their ties, their shoes, their haircuts, even their fingernails were all beyond perfection … bella figura … To present a bella figura to the world, no matter what was going on inside, was an Italian tradition that reached from the nobility to the peasants. 
Judith Krantz, American author, in Lovers (1994) 

Fare la bella figura literally means "to make a good impression". Figuratively, it means so much more. It's a philosophy of life for the Italians. It encompasses everything from outward appearance to deportment and behaviour. For Cat, la bella figura comes as second nature. I, on the other hand, can aspire only to not being la bruta figura at the other end of the spectrum. The conundrum comes in finding a means to make a good impression while being comfortable.

Shopping with a friend yesterday, we found a pair of snazzy red shoes that are as comfortable as running shoes and have sufficient tread to grip those lovely cobblestone streets that I am so looking forward to wandering with a gelato in hand. I thought my beautiful shoes might also link me in good company with the Pope and his cardinals. However, an Internet search revealed that in comparison to Pope Benedict XVI's red shoes, I remain bruta and that Pope Francis has decided to forgo the papal tradition and wears simple black shoes. Oh well. I am nevertheless going to feel so good in my flashy footwear.

Wish me luck as I channel my inner Sophie Loren. :-)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Travel Planning

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet (1803–1882) 

In attempting to organize my office/sewing room, I came across boxes of memories. The pace of progress slowed significantly as I pondered the photos and diaries and remembered times past. Among the 'finds' was a Scribbler that I used when planning and documenting a family trip to Nova Scotia -- exactly 43 years ago today. I'm still 38 (in my mind) so I'm having a hard time reconciling the math of 2017 minus 1974.

Back then, I was a Girl Guide keen to earn my travel badge. Obviously, the travel bug infected when I was but a wee lass. I recall that on this trip I announced that I wanted to be either a stewardess or in the army because with both I could travel. Thank goodness, I found an alternative!

The trip's diary provided a good chuckle. 7:30 am departure and a flat tire two and a half hours later. Looking further in the diary, three days later "the other tire" was flat. I know it must have been stressful at the time, but I figure that that "Be Prepared" Girl Guide learned a valuable lesson about dealing with challenges faced when you're on the road. It's all part of the journey. It's all part of the experience. And in 43 years, you're going to laugh about it.

Keep smiling!