No Need To Be Serious


Even on a short work / study trip to Den Haag (The Hague) – generally associated with serious people, serious places and serious thoughts – you can find abundant occasions to smile.

While I was there, I found many things around the streets especially sculptures, which put a big smile on my face and made me laugh. Just perfect to get into the best positive mood while on my way towards a library or a tribunal!

In a street near Scheveningen, I saw a small house which had red gates oddly decorated with what looked like a ‘Winter Theme’ (yes, in June!): white owls, snowmen and other strange (fake) stuffed animals.

Now…what is t-h-a-t?? If you think this is odd, wait for the next picture. I was walking in the same area and, as I stopped checking my map, I felt eyes staring at me from a close-by window. As I turned to check who it was…this is what I saw:


Creepy, but funny! I think the shop-owner had a very good sense of humour, although I am not sure how well he was able to sell his products through this sales technique. But the best conclusion to my trip was this wise sign hanging in a chocolate shop in Brussels:

Have fun – wherever you are – and keep on smiling! 🙂

A Bug’s Life: Lessons Learnt


My grandma used to always find orginal ways to analyse the world surrounding her. Her so unsual and detailed observations each time opened my eyes before a new world. It was a new world, not because it had not been there previously, but because I had never seen it, noticed it.

In summer time, in the mountains, we would spend hours looking at ants. My grandma used to call them “miniature motorways”, because ants had chosen the flat waterpipe to water the garden as their privileged path. The ants would share the surface of the waterpipe dividing it into lanes and even in the two directions. None would ever use the wrong lane. There were ants, the fastest, who would run to collect their food supplies, and, in the opposite direction, there were ants that were going more slowly due to the weight of their load. Some ants would not make it and they were climbed over and crushed by the crowd of stronger and tireless ants.

My grandma and I would notice how ants would replicate social dynamics in a way very similar to ours, that of human beings. Those who couldn’t make it, would literally be climbed over. Those who were strong and fast, would reach first the anthill’s tunnels, where they could proudly lay down the fruits of their labour. The ants’ motorways are a suprisingly organised march. Surprising, perhaps, because we, humans, are always astonished when we discover other creatures seek order within chaos.  The social order turns into a means to overpower the others.

My grandma used to always notice the red ant, the smallest rather than the one walking with a limp. She would observe and comment on them without a hint of prejudice, rather, with admiration and suprise for them. These were my grandma’s ways of teaching me how to relate myself with the world by taking an open-minded approach and by showing always an amazing curiosity for the surrounding world.

Other times, she would tell me how she, petite in height and body structure, had decided to change her point of view.  She told me how she had climbed on a chair and had looked around imagining to be naturally that tall. She had then recounted to me how effectively the different perspective over the world was very different from up there and, how, after that experience, she could finally realise better what she, from a lower point of view, could  not see.All photos in this post were taken with my brother Enrico during my holiday in August 2010 in Denmark, in the woods near Silkeborg.

The Best Surprise


It was Sunday and Thomas was in bed, already awake even if it was still early morning. He felt the urge to get up and play. He sat up still inside the warm blankets and looked towards his baby sister’s cot. She was fast asleep. He could see her tiny hand grabbed around her little doll. He got up, quietly slipping his feet inside his slippers.

Thomas tiptoed to the kitchen where the shutters were already open. Everything felt strangely quiet and calm. He was not accustomed to silence and it made him a bit nervous. Then, suddenly, he saw something extraordinary…

…He walked closer to the kitchen window and he saw that the garden, the trees, the sky were all white.  He was completely confused. It looked like icing sugar had just been powdered everywhere. What was going on?

Mom and Dad were asleep…he just put on his blue jacket, gloves and hat. He looked for his boots and he quickly got his feet inside them. His heart was pounding, he needed to get out in the garden and discover what was happening.

Thomas opened the kitchen window and ran outside… he felt the snow on his face, and he saw that as soon as he touched it, it melted. All he could do, at this point, was run and run and run around the garden – he was laughing loud, screaming and crying with happiness. The sky was a magnificent kaleidoscope of snow flakes, that almost made Thomas feel dizzy.

His mom woke up and saw Thomas from the window, and smiled: it was the first time Thomas had ever seen snow. It was his best surprise ever.