I had hoped

Before Ahlia was born I imagined what kind of a girl I would like to have. I had hoped for a courageous soul full of vitality and energy, enthusiastic and eager to learn. I had come to realise that learning was among one of my greatest passions and hence dreamed of sharing this love with her. My enthusiasm for self-edification developed a little late in life. In large part because my family home had entered a state of semi-paralysis once my parents moved from Italy to Australia. My dad had concluded that Australia offered little in the way of culture: music, architecture, cuisine and tourism. There was nothing to see, to eat or to listen too. So our bookshelves were never replenished with new material and there were never any visits to the local library. Radio Italia whose captive audience was made up of residents in their 60’s and 70’s: mostly uneducated villagers from an impoverished Italy adorned the airwaves, and I had access to very few new ideas or lifestyles.

Now I hunger to learn new skills and am responsive to new ideas.  In having these hopes for my daughter,  I was also aware that I didn’t want to impose my dreaming on her. I wanted to nurture and facilitate a desire for learning and making, not oppress her with it. If our daily rituals and activities inspired her involvement then I would be ecstatic and if they didn’t it could only mean that her dreaming lie elsewhere.

For now our lives are beautifully entangled in a weave of colour and texture and learning and I am positively enriched by it!

Ahlia and I (14 of 20)

Ahlia returns home from school, spies my activity and takes over. Then we try and take turns and ‘share’ the making, but struggle a little as we both want to do it our own way.

Ahlia and I (8 of 20)

Pasta sheets decorated with nasturtiums.

Ahlia and I (3 of 20)

The entire flower or just petals are placed on the sheet of pasta and then wrapped inside by folding the pasta sheet over.

Placing individual petals in the shape of a flower.

Placing individual petals in the shape of a flower.

Nettles are added and baked punking mash is used as the filling.

Nettles are added and baked punking mash is used as the filling.

Nettle leaf detail.

Nettle leaf detail.

The pasta sheets are passed through the varying sizes of the roller until quite thin.

The pasta sheets are passed through the varying sizes of the roller until quite thin.

Petal decoration detail.

Petal decoration detail.

Getting more and more creative, with frequent visits to the garden to source flowers and petals.

Getting more and more creative, with frequent visits to the garden to source flowers and petals.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

The red streaks are created by mixing nasturtium petals in the dough during the kneading phase.

The red streaks are created by mixing nasturtium petals in the dough during the kneading phase.

A mixture of textures and colour.

A mixture of textures and colour.

Ahlia and I (1 of 20)

Nettle pattern.

Our dinner! Served with a humble tomato ragu.

Our dinner! Served with a humble tomato ragu.