Happy Anniversary

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Seven years ago today, I married Scotty Walsh.

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I put on a white dress I bought from my friend who owns Mariel Boutique in Denver, picked some tulips and daffodils growing in our garden and drove with Scotty Walsh to the City and County Building in the center of the town.

There we signed a document, paid a small fee and were legally married in that sterile government building under a banner of dusty silk flowers. Fortunately our inauspicious beginning was NOT a harbinger of things to come.

We walked from the courthouse over to the Denver Athletic Club and stood together as husband and wife on the club’s rooftop terrace.  Although our view stretched out over the Mile High City, there was no way we could literally or figuratively see far enough to imagine the travels and adventures that lay ahead before us.

Our wedding day in Denver!

The photo from our wedding day – published in the Denver Athletic Club magazine!

Since that time, Scotty and I have lived in Paris.   We enjoyed learning about its food (my faves: PAIN AU CHOCOLAT and COQUILLES SAINT- JACQUES), the flower-filled verdant parks and the warm people sometimes hiding behind proud and refined exteriors.

Par-eee!

Par-eee!

Now we live in Tuscany.  Again, we have enjoyed learning about the food (my faves: BUDINO DI RISO and SUGO DI CINGHIALE!), the sun-filled piazzas,  and the passionate and caring people sometimes hiding behind the teensiest bit of resounding exuberance.

Tuscan-eeee!

Tuscan-eeee!

As romantic as it may sound, it isn’t always easy to be the Americans living among different languages and customs. And, of course, we are busy raising our daughter Lulu.  Largely by ourselves since our families aren’t here.  We miss them.  We also miss having a car.  We miss the mundane comforts of knowing a system. Even though the US is not always the easiest place to navigate, we know we can pick up the phone and have a real conversation in our native language.  Here we’re constantly the foreign couple who speak a Tarzan-version of the host-country’s language.

Yes, there's a ball and chain. Yes, there's a rolling pin.  (This is modeled after a famous Buster Keaton photo, FYI)

Yes, there’s a ball and chain. Yes, there’s a rolling pin. (This is modeled after a famous Buster Keaton photo, FYI)

But so far, we have made it.  Together.

Thank you, Scotty, for seven incredible years.  May our adventures continue.

 

Grazie a tutti! All you wonderful people who have been comforts and friends to us during the past seven years.   Love and baci to you all!

Copyright 2014 Gina London.  All Rights Reserved.

 

!!! Happy April Fool’s Day  !!!

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I am proud to report the evil prank my mother played on me when I was five (oh yes, wait ‘til you hear about it; it was purely evil!)  has now moved on to a new generation of tricksters.

The initial crime, er prank, was committed one morning when innocent little Gina London work up one morning and prepared to get dressed to go to what she thought was a regular day of kindergarten.  My loving mother, however, had removed every pair of shoes from my closet.

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I had no idea, of course, that it was April First and that the day had any extra significance for making Fools.

I remember my mother siting me on a stool in the kitchen and very seriously explaining to me that Daddy had accidentally thrown away all my shoes.  “We can buy some new shoes after school, but for now Mommy will just wrap up your feet in newspapers and you can go to school like that.”

I cried.

My mom, then as I recall, loudly cackled out, “APRILFOOLS!” I seem to also recall her face being green and a witch’s pointy hat was perched on her head. Seriously, I still shake my head whenever I think that my mom actually pulled this off on me.  I mean, I was five, for Lawd’s sake.  In spite of this, I swear to you, my mother and I have a very close relationship.  And I never did find out if Dad was in on it or not.

Okay. So fast forward to yesterday afternoon.  Lulu and I are sitting on a bench in the Tuscan sunshine at Parco Prato and she tells me her teacher has told all the kids that tomorrow is April Fool’s day. Actually, she says “pesce d’aprile” because that’s what they call it here in Italy.  Happy April Fish Day.  But it’s still about playing tricks.

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Of course, I have told Lulu the twisted tale of her grandmother and my first April Fool’s Day many times. Lulu is convinced it will work on her daddy.

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Meet great communicators: BLEND plus ME = better YOU!

Earlier this week over on Facebook, I proudly announced my official alliance with Blend – a creative agency with offices here in Tuscany and New York.

See the bee?  That’s me!

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My passion is all about teaching clients to BE more powerful, dynamic and memorable presenters.  To learn how to BE on message when interviewed by the media. To learn how to speak in order to create positive BUZZ.  Get it?  Of course you do.

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Some of you congratulated me on my “new job” and I’m thankful for your kind wishes – but I’ve not simply “gone to work” for this terrific group.  I am still serving my consultant clients solo when only my expertise is needed, and so are the terrific folks at Blend.

But now, together, we are also combining forces.  We offer a full-range of communications and branding services to clients that will provide even more powerful marketing value.

End-to-end communications.  From redesigning logos and websites, to crafting new content that reflects your organization’s vision, to producing a series of fresh marketing videos, to conducting one-on-one customized communications training programs for your CEO, spokesperson or other key people.

If you would like to learn more, reach out to me here on the blog or through my website

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Or simply hit the “contact” button over on Blend’s site.  Our clients range from executives for multi-national companies, luxury hotels and fashion labels to banks and political candidates.

We’re in this together.   To help you and your organization be all that you can be.

And that’s the BUZZ behind the bee.

Look forward to hearing from you,

Baci, Gina

Copyright 2014 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Cultural Awareness Part 2 – The Bird!

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I watched as the man “flipped-the-bird” at his six-year-old daughter. 

Instantly, I gasped and felt a surge of adrenaline.  What kind of father would do that to his own daughter?

The next moment, giggling, his little girl smiled broadly and flipped him right back! The two of them then laughed and hugged each other.

It dawned on me.  The kind of father who would do that and who would have a little girl who would happily do it too – would be ones who weren’t American and who were not taught specifically (like I was) that this gesture was obscene.

They’re Italian.  And they’re lovely.  The little girl is one of Lulu’s best friends and a kind, well-behaved little sweetie.  I know her parents too. Her mom and dad are loving, caring, and, yes, full of Italian playful spirit.

Unintentional or not?

Unintentional or not?

Obviously, for them, raising the middle finger to each other  was just a part of playful banter – not the supreme insult of which most six-year-olds wouldn’t even comprehend.

It was my personal point-of-view and frame-of-reference that caused me to gasp – not the reality of the situation or their intent.

Consider your listener’s unique point of view.

That startling moment served as another reminder to me about how important it is to try as best as possible, to consider the points of views of “the others” when you communicate.   Not only where your audience may be from regionally or culturally, but what is going on in their lives that may reframe or color whatever it is you are trying to get across.

Your experiences are not necessarily the same as your  audience.

Of course there are plenty of hand gestures in Italy and in other cultures that do pack a real wallop-worth of insult.  I’m not going to go into that now.  Just remember when you’re speaking to you next audience, that not every anecdote or moment that that speaks deeply to you, will do the same for your listeners.  Conversely, something you may take lightly, may deeply impact those around you.

I remember, for example, when I lived in Cairo – I learned a particularly colorful epithet from the man who guided Scotty and me on our tour through the Pyramids of Giza.  Directly – and  bit softly – translated, it means, “Kiss My Red Baboon’s Bottom!”  I thought it was hilarious.  But when I proudly (and naively?!) repeated it in Arabic for my Egyptian staff members  back at my office, they  were shocked.  No lady speaks like that.  It was offensive. Yet, to my non-Arabic speaking ears, it was as lilting as a string of nonsense words from Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky.

Kiss my red baboon's ..yikes!

Kiss my red baboon’s ..yikes!

Search for the common ground.

Your anecdotes and language, therefore, must reach a higher level. One that you are sure will connect and not offend your audience.  Find someone with whom you can practice – and test out your stories or illustrations. Get feedback before you deliver your presentation or make your sales pitch.

It’s essential that every word counts and does not discount what you intend to say.cultural awareness

Author Elizabeth Gilbert in her best-selling book, Eat Pray Love recounts a moment in Naples when an eight-year-old girl in Naples shoots her the middle finger from the back of a Vespa all the while sporting a big smile.   Gilbert writes about a paragraph worth of imagined meaning from the gesture, because to her, as an American, that gesture carried a powerful impact.  But to the little girl in question, much like Lulu’s little friend, it probably meant hardly anything at all.

Ciao!

Here’s to your next presentation’s success!

Baci, Gina

Want to make your next presentation, powerful, dynamic and memorable – in a way that is NOT offensive?  Contact me here or through my website! 

Copyright 2014 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.

 

My demands for International Women’s Day

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Saturday was  International Women’s Day 2014.

Bright, yellow, puffy-palline sprays of Mimosa are sold up and down Corso Italia here in Arezzo.???????????????????????????????

Lulu and I each received a bouquet from the barista at the coffee shop in Piazza Grande.

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The symbolic flowers were everywhere.  On the balcony of one of our favorite pizzerias.

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Stretching out from behind an ancient wall along a vicolo.

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And even balanced precariously on a bicycle.

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The first Women’s Day was celebrated in the United States in 1909.  By 1911, women were being recognized  internationally on a special day.

Started by the Socialist Party, but broadened (get it? – sorry) to include Social Democrats and other parties, the day is designed to remind the world about the rights and demands of women.

During this time of recognition and celebration, where freedoms, salaries and protection are some of the larger issues, here are my personal “demands.”  I bet there’s a woman near and dear to you, who might make these as well.

  • Thank me.

 I work hard every day – to make our daughter breakfast and walk her to school, to coach and consult with my communications clients, to consider and care for friends and family, to cook dinner and to love, listen to and respect my husband.  The simple phrase, “Thanks, hon, for all you do” warms my heart and encourages me every time I hear it.

  • Forgive me.

In spite of my strengths, I am also full of flaws and frailties. I am a work in progress. I don’t want a full-time pass, because I definitely believe I am in control of my decisions and actions, and can always work harder. But sometimes a “hey, don’t worry, we all make mistakes,” can bring great comfort and reassurance.

  • Offer to help me.

“Is there anything I can I do to help?”  is a fabulous question.  Even if I don’t take you up on the offer at the precise moment, the gesture is terrific.

  • Love and respect me.  

We are Mothers.  Sisters.  Wives.  Partners. Friends.  So – just like our Fathers.  Brothers. Husbands. Partners. Friends – we are human first.  All we need is love.  And the rest will follow, won’t it?

For all the women out there – and the men too – I hope you are giving love and respect and getting it in return.

From Arezzo, with love.

From Arezzo, with love.

Til next time,

Baci – Gina

Copyright 2014 Gina London.  All Rights Reserved.

Meet Great Communicators: Paola De Juliis

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I call it the “Relationship Quotient.”  Good Communications revolve around Good Relationships.

The better your communications, the deeper you can forge your relationships.  The stronger your relationships, the more effective your communications can become.  And around and around it goes.  It’s a powerful spiral.

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One of the first people I met in Italy is, to me, a shining example of this.  Her name is Paola De Juliis and she is quite simply an expert in all things Tuscan: Your Tuscany Concierge. 

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She found us our first home in Arezzo’s countryside, complete with a sparkling swimming pool.

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She also negotiated our deal for our current palazzo home in the city’s centro storico, or historic center.  Paola has her finger on the pulse of practically every home, apartment, villa and country cottage in this region of Tuscany.

No, no, this is not our current home - but it is  one of the villas Paola represents and you could rent!

No, no, this is not our current home – but it is one of the villas Paola represents and you could rent!

But, even more than real estate, Paola manages experiences for visitors.  For instance, I have been fortunate to accompany Paola as she led a behind-the-scene-tour of an exclusive mountain-village gelateria (yes, that means a place that makes Italy’s famous gelato!) – along with Lulu, who was more than happy to taste the delicious recipes that have won several national awards.

As Carlo of "Il Ciocccolato di Carlo" made his creation, Lulu looked on hungrily!

As Carlo of “Il Ciocccolato di Carlo” made his creation, Lulu looked on hungrily!

I’ve enjoyed chamber music festivals that Paola has helped organize, I have eaten some wonderfully authentic Italian meals at the comfortable homes of her friends, and I have attended gala-like parties at incredible Tuscan villas with some of the area’s most affluent and influential residents (and one with a rather flirty priest, but that’s another story).

I enter right before Paola at the Giovanni Raspini party... So chic! ;)

I enter right before Paola at the Giovanni Raspini party… So chic! ;)

Paola also helped organize my book-launch party here in Arezzo last spring which brought out over a hundred people, including the president of the Women’s Business Chamber as well as the mayor himself, who has now become a friend, Giuseppe Fanfani. 

Paola introducing me at my book launch party in Arezzo.

Paola introducing me at my book launch party in Arezzo.

How does Paola successfully manage all these diverse activities? The simple answer is because she knows everybody in town. But it’s more complex than that.  It’s one thing to “know” someone, it’s another thing entirely to invest time to learn about that someone’s family, their health, their interests.  It takes time and effort to form a relationship – to show you really care.

And, that “Relationship Quotient” is what makes Paola successful.  She takes time to care.

Before you visit Tuscany, reach out to Paola!

Before you visit Tuscany, reach out to Paola!

If you’re planning a visit to Tuscany, for work or pleasure, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Paola De Juliis. You’re also welcome to contact her through Facebook or her website.  Tell her Gina sent you!

Ciao!

Till next time,

Baci, Gina

Copyright Gina London 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Meet Great Communicators: David Stevens!

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He’s from Australia, he’s motivating, and he specializes in “inspiring clarity and purpose for people in mid-life.” Meet David Stevens!

No, he isn’t my life coach (I’m waaaay too young to qualify, of course), but we met recently through Twitter and I do find him very uplifting and encouraging. We can all use more of that in our lives, can’t we?

Check out my interview with David below, and please check out his website at 

David Stevens Life Coach to sign up for your own free session.

The latest in my “Meet Great Communicators” series: I proudly present David Stevens. 

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Why did you become a Life Coach for ‘Mid Lifers’ ?

“Coaching/mentoring/guiding has been part of me for the past 20 years, initially without me actually realising it. In my previous professional lives as a Banker and also later as a Realtor, I was always “helping”. I was always communicating on a personal level with people from all walks in life … and it was something that I enjoyed.

My transition to be a Life Coach I found, to be a simple one in so far as I felt comfortable from day one.

I wanted to have my largest concentration on a niche area/ speciality. My most recent “experience” has been the mid life years. I have recently turned 59 and during the past 20 years have experienced significant change on a personal level. This has equipped me well as far as relating to clients going through similar circumstances. A Good fit, if you will.”

Who are your clients?

“A majority have been women of varying backgrounds aged from 38 to early 50’s. The male clients, have been similarly aged. About 75% have come from my local area and others have been mostly from North America. Their professions have varied though it’s not something that I concentrate on unless it has a large bearing on the coaching outcome.

I have found that regardless of occupation or profession, people are people and share similar problems, issues, successes and failures. It’s really the personal stuff that they are seeing me for… and for the motivation, energy and inspiration that I give.”

What are the benefits of Coaching?

“It is very difficult to succeed at anything on your own. Having support & guidance is a great benefit.”

life coach

“Even having someone simply to bounce ideas off when needed, is beneficial. Your Coach is your partner. I listen intently to my client with a view to understand where they are coming from. I don’t have a pre determined method of coaching. I adapt & integrate my coaching “style”/approach to what that individual client needs best. It is only when you ‘listen with intent’, can you understand the best approach for your client.

I had a lady client a little while back [a school teacher by profession] who felt that her message was not getting through to her students. She was a “veteran” teacher and very much had her students interests and aspirations at heart. This apparent [in her words] communication breakdown, was giving her great angst.

After about a half hour of listening to her story, questioning, listening again, further questioning … I was able to get a real feel or sense as to what the “problem” may be.  It came down to her tone of delivery and some of her wording. It was a habit that she had gotten into without realising. I repeated some of the phrases that she was using to her students, back to her. It was then that she realised how the subtleties of what you say & how you say it can make a big difference.

This all came from listening intently to the client.”

How do you communicate your message?

“This is still an evolving thing and probably will remain so. I currently spend the majority of my “communication time” with Social Media … & I’m still exploring new avenues as we speak. I’ve been writing blog posts for the past 3 years and gain a bulk of my enquiry from these posts.

Being more of an introvert, guest or public speaking hasn’t been my thing however funnily enough, when I find myself speaking in a small group or one on one, I am completely at ease. Public speaking may be a “fear” that’s only inside my head. I think it’s best to concentrate on what you feel comfortable with however if it’s not working after a reasonable period of time, change it.”

What are your top 3 Goals for 2014?

  • Purchase a Jeep Wrangler.
  • Double my Newsletter subscribers.
  • Being fully self sufficient on my Coaching income.

With “Goals”, while I have them and assist people with theirs, I tend to set a ‘theme’ for each year rather than a set of goals. For example, this year is a Theme of “taking action”. Procrastination is passé, action will be taken with every thing that I feel is important. Un-important stuff will be discarded.

My main goal is my 5 Year Plan. I believe it to be important to have a direction for your next 5 years and I renew my Plan at 5 yearly intervals.

What brings you Joy?

“The smile on a client’s face when a breakthrough moment occurs. Helping my daughter successfully release wild birds back to their environment when they have healed. Each morning that I wake up. My daily fitness. My family.”

*    *    * 

Thank you so much, David, for your time – and for your commitment to helping other people obtain their life goals and find their joy. So, okay, folks:  What are you hoping to achieve this year?  You’re welcome to reach out to David.  As he said, ‘Having support & guidance is a great benefit.’

Til next time, tutti! Are you closing in on what you’re after? If you’d like help, just ask!

Baci, Gina!

Copyright 2014 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.

Believing in Miracles.

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I think you’re not a proper town in Italy, unless you’ve experienced a miracle. And, Arezzo, my friends, is a proper town! Its most famous miracle is celebrated every February 15 during a holiday named La Festa della Madonna del Conforto, so, naturally, Lulu and I joined in today’s festivities.

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The nexus is Arezzo’s duomo where hundreds of faithful climb the steps and line up for a glimpse of the miracle-worker enshrined inside the cathedral’s ornate chapel.

As Lulu and I ascend, we are almost step-in-step with the procession of white-cloaked clergy, including Arezzo’s long-time Bishop Gualtiero Bassetti, whom Pope Francis (or Papa Francesco as Lulu says) just appointed Cardinal last month.

Pretty impressive turnout!

The new Cardinal and entourage!

The new Cardinal and entourage!

 However, even more special and personal for us, is when, as I prepare to snap a photo of Lulu in front of the duomo, Arezzo’s mayor, Giuseppe Fanfani, snuck up behind and surprised Lulu with a Dracula-like envelope of his coat!

He’s a kind friend, who has graciously cooked and served us an amazing dinner at his home with his family, Zio Beppe (again, as Lulu says) takes a real shine to Lulu – and vice-versa.

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Lulu and Count Dracula, er, Arezzo’s kindly mayor, Giuseppe Fanfani!

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Lulu and Arezzo’s mayor, after an attendant has placed the ceremonial banner on him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

But, as I mentioned, the main attraction lies inside the church, so inside we go.   The queue is a long-one and luckily Lulu has her sticker book which keeps her happily occupied.  

PicMonkey Collage

Finally, we near the flower-bedazzled chapel and there it is: a small glazed clay plaque with the likeness of Madonna, (Mamma di Gesu, as Lulu says) painted on it.  This is what all the fuss is about.

See the little glowing square in the center of the frame? That's her!

See the little glowing square in the center of the frame? That’s her!

The terracotta tile is Arezzo’s sacred protector, the Madonna del Conforto, or Madonna of Comfort.

The story goes that back in February 15, 1796, that plaque was just hanging out in some basement (directly above a stove that covered it in smoky grime) when a series of earthquakes threatened to damage the city.  A few people huddled in that very basement and began to pray. Then, the legend has it that the Madonna plaque suddenly began to glow brightly through its blanket of soot and those dangerous tremors ceased!

The plaque received a cleaning, polishing and place of honor in its prestigious current location, where today it seemed to glow again. The two times I quickly tried to snap a photo, I could never capture the famous face.

We're getting closer to the Madonna del Conforto, but my camera still didn't capture her face.

We’re getting closer to the Madonna del Conforto, but my camera still didn’t capture her face.

As we pass by the plaque’s flowerful shrine,  Lulu and I are sprinkled with holy water by the plaque’s presiding priest and we are each handed a little tract.

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“Okay, we did it,” Lulu says after dutifully crossing herself and exiting the cathedral.  “Now can we go get some candy?”

“Sure, let’s go,” I reply.

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Surrounding the base of Arezzo’s duomo are a ring of concession trailers selling an assortment of chocolates, nuts and Lulu’s favorites: gummies.

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“Yummy! I like the Madonna festa a lot!” Lulu exclaims holding her paper bag of chosen treats.

“But do you really believe that the little plaque glowed and stopped the earthquakes?”  I ask.

“It wasn’t the plaque, Mama, it was God,” Lulu sums up what I had apparently missed.

Because, more than the candies or the Cardinal, it’s that that brings the people here today to celebrate.

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Til next time, Gina

P.S. Got a miracle to share?  Made a pilgrimage?  Visited an inspirational shrine? Let us know! 

 Copyright 2014 Gina London.  All Rights Reserved.

Buon San Valentino!

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Although Valentine’s Day is not as hyped here in Italy as in other countries (say, the United States), there was still plenty of pink and red to be found today on my morning’s walk along Arezzo’s Corso Italia.  Come join me!

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The first thing I noticed were these tiny hearts peering up from under this large plant at the entrance to Graziella Patio Hotel!

Immediately at the intersection of Via Cavour and the Corso, I was greeted by the always friendly windows of Bar Stefano, now decorated in a subtlety sweet San Valentino style.

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Even though it is not traditional for Italian children to exchange Valentine cards at school, there was still a stream of Valentine envelopes cascading from the beautiful shop of local Arezzo jewelry designer superstar Giovanni Raspini.

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Next, as I continued down the Corso, I wondered whether I was more intrigued by the alluring lingerie behind the window or by the silver stickers on the window representing those delicious chocolate-wrapped hazelnuts, “Baci”  or “kisses.” Like Hershey’s in name only.  The company’s motto is, “Say ‘I love you’ the Italian way.”  Perfect.

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Rounding out my stroll, on the opposite side of the Corso, this store proclaimed it has the secret of “TRUE LOVE” inside its doors. ???????????????????????????????

Perhaps, but as I wandered along gazing at the array of specially advertised Valentine’s Day sweets, jewelry and clothing, I happened upon this young couple walking hand in hand.

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Without disturbing them, I snapped a photo at the very moment they expressed their love the best way of all –          -from the heart.

Buon San Valentino, tutti!  

No matter what or whether the gifts – I hope you have a loving day.

Til next time,

Gina

Copyright 2014 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.

Birds of a Feather

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When I first snapped this group photo of a synchronized geometric pigeon formation on Arezzo’s Chiesa Saint Maria in Gradi, it was just for fun. Then I started thinking more about it.

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Perhaps because I am a compulsive “life lessons” gatherer, I began to wonder the following:

1.       Who was the leader?  Which, among the dozens of birds I saw resting on the church’s pediment, was the first to land there?  Was it the leader in a flock already flying and the rest followed?  Or did the first one land solo, but look like it was having so much fun that others flying by decided to land and join in?  Why?

2.       How many did birds did it take to “trend”? Assuming that they all didn’t land there together, I wondered how many of them in twos or threes had to congregate there first – before the many more swerved over to check out the church rooftop?  What was the (thank you, Malcolm Gladwell) tipping point for this avian afternoon hangout? If you’ve ever tossed a bread crumb to a single pigeon, you know it doesn’t take long before a crowd of friends appears from almost nowhere.  But here at the church, there didn’t appear to be any food – only sun and rest.  Perhaps that was enough.

3.       How long was it before they left and how did they leave?  Okay, most likely the birds left in flight. But since I didn’t stick around until they did, I wondered how long the group decided to hang out up there and whether when one decided to depart (would it have been the same one who started the trend?), did the rest follow en masse  or only a few at a time? 

Follow the leader

Follow the leader

Sheep vs. Pigeons

Usually, it’s the sheep we get compared to when discussing how and why people seem to follow others.  But that unfortunate comparison often leads to the allusion of slaughter and I’m just talking about landing on a quiet Tuscan church that holds in store no apparent harm!  So, indulge me just a little more, if you please.

I wonder who we follow and why?   I read a lot about communications and personal brand marketing these days, to keep me current when coaching and training my clients.  I sometimes, however, get distracted by a Daily Mail type tabloid about some celebrity’s drunk driving arrest (thank you, Justin Bieber) and I waste valuable work time.

Lulu in Parco Prato's former meadow hangout

Lulu in Parco Prato’s former meadow hangout

My friend Francesco tells me that people in Arezzo used to flock (sorry!) to the meadow in Parco Prato a few years ago every summer evening– laying down blankets or sitting on the lawn.  The grown-ups would chat while they sipped aperitivi and the kids would run and chase each other and be kids.  Nobody does this anymore and there appears to be no reason as far as I can tell.  I wonder why what seems like a lovely social gathering spot fell out of practice.

Maybe I have too much time on my hands for such pigeon ponderings, but I think once the weather properly warms up, I’m going to grab some friends and picnic blankets and head over to Parco Prato and see what we can do!

Here’s to being leader pigeons! (Please do pick your preferred animal avatar of choice.)

Til next time!  What/who are you proud to follow?  Guilty of following?!

Baci, Gina

Copyright 2014 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.

 

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