When I was 5 my parents took my family to Europe, Dad was on sabbatical from the University of Canberra. We stayed on campus at the University of Coventry. As we were taking time off school, Mum and Dad made us all write in our diaries at the end of each day. These diaries became treasured items that we would refer back to for years and years. On the front of my diary were a few scratch and sniff stickers (made to smell like cola or fruits or anything really). After returning to Australia I would intermittently scratch the stickers to release their smell (and consequently, the memories of our trip). Eventually, after a decade you could barely detect the smell.

I arrived in Rome yesterday and the moment I stepped on to the platform at Termini the smell that engulfed me was combination of both of my Nonna's houses. I can't explain it, but one of the most striking memories of my grandparents were the smells from the home; from meals, perfumes, christmas trees, whatever. I've never been to Italy before, my parents immigrated to Australia when they were both teenagers. Mum came from Puglia and Dad from Calabria. I think that people came to Australia from Italy to escape the harsh economic conditions that prevailed after the war. Coincidentally, Australian industry was in need of labour and so goes the story.

I'm in Prato, Italy for 3 months to participate in a residency at Monash University's campus here. Blogs are a bit outdated, I think people used to write in them more a decade ago. I still think they're good, maybe they're even better now noone is reading them.