This will be a wordy post! I am warning you now...!
When we were married, my husband's Grandmother, Norah, gave us a beautiful water colour painting of The Bridge of Sighs in Venice. This was the start to my continuing fascination with that amazing city, although I did not really know it at the time.
She had purchased the painting herself, from the artist, when on the "Grand Tour" in the early 60s.
For those who do not know, the Bridge of Sighs was erected in the year 1600 to connect the Doge's prisons of Prigoni, with the inquisitor's rooms in the main palace.
The name of the "Bridge of Sighs" was invented in the 19th Century, when Lord Byron helped to popularise the belief that bridge's name was inspired by the sighs of condemned prisoners as they were led through it to the executioner. How awfully sad is that!
We hung our gorgeous painting proudly in our new home in Brisbane, Queensland.
One of our neighbours very kindly welcomed us to their home one afternoon.
He and his wife had an extraordinary collection of paperweights collected over a long life together. I was fascinated by them and hence my glass journey began in earnest - I began to collect my own.
The little flowers you see in these very traditional style paperweights (see photo below) are called millefiore, the Italian name for "thousand flowers". I have quite a collection of my own now, a lot of them given to me by my daughters over the years for Mothers' day or my birthday.
The same technique used for making the millefiore cane I now apply to my own beadmaking at times, with the application of Murrini to my glass beads - just in a much smaller degree!
My daughters, have of course, heard me speak about Venice before and how much I want to go there one day........
So, last Christmas they gave me this lovely book, "Venetian Journal" - a book of food, travel and dreams compiled by Tessa Kiros.
It has lots of wonderful photos, recipes and little tips about Venice as well as pages for diary notes and vellum pockets to keep little treasures like tickets etc.
And so dear readers, all of this story is to tell you that I AM GOING TO VENICE if you hadn't worked it out by now!! Yes, the reality of it actually happening is just starting to sink in a little!
A stopover in Dubai is first, followed by Venice, Florence, Rome, Istanbul, London and Hong Kong.
We are doing our own mini version of "The Grand Tour".
We leave in under 2 weeks time!
It is true that, of course, I could have gone to Venice before now. Somehow though, the timing is just right.
It feels that my glass journey has actually been taking me to this point where I am ready to go.
I am not participating in any beadmaking courses there - hopefully I can return one day to do that! It is purely for the joy of seeing a place I have desired to see for so long.
Yes, I know Venice is a little old, a little worn out, can be smelly, can be crowded, all of that, but that is all part of the beauty and I can't wait to embrace it all.
I will be continuing to write my beady blog as often as I can, however, you will be able to see my travel photos on my other blog-
For my glass bead friends, I will be posting Venetian glass photos here as well as on my travel blog.
I will be linking the two blogs together very soon.
photo by Pierre at Venice Daily Photo
I send my heart up to thee, all my heart
In this my singing.
For the stars help me, and the sea bears part:
The very night is clinging
Closer to Venice's streets to leave one space
Above me, whence thy face
May light my joyous heart to thee its dwelling-place.
Robert Browning (Surrey 1812- Venice 1889).
I will be blogging, I am sure up, until the day we leave,
So until next time,