Blogging and flowers when it’s hot in Rome



What’s the relationship between blogging and the real world? At a time in which a large portion of world populations seem to be going off the deep end – spurred on by insecurity and fear-mongering segments of world press and media – how much sense does it make to write about one’s garden or privileged travels? favourite places and foods or daily micro events?

I follow a number of delightful blogs with enormous pleasure. They do the above beautifully, with words and pictures and thoughts that distract me from the horrors and worries of world news. But for my own posts, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to strike a balance between what’s happening in my own backyard and the world at large.



Is summer heat partly to blame for all the confusion? It’s globe-warming hot in much of the world in which traumatic events are taking place, just like it’s summer hot here in Rome. Our own local woes are on a smaller scale, but strike so close to home. The murder of an American summer term student on the banks of the Tiber, a senseless tragedy in itself, is a heartbreaking cataclysm for his family. My heartfelt condolences to his family: I attended the university he had just enrolled in, and got an excellent business administration education there. But the ugly underbelly of this otherwise beautiful city is just a few yards away from the places tourists rave about, under the bridges of the Tiber you’ve seen on dozens of gorgeous postcards. Romans know enough not to wander down there, specially at night.


So it’s hot, and we have a new Mayor and Municipal board. She was voted in simply as a “protest” vote for a supposedly break-with-tradition party, pretty much of a gamble considering the vagueness of her platform. Traffic, garbage and honesty. Ha. It’s no surprise that just putting together a municipal team has proved difficult and her “new” party’s infighting has been up to par so far with old-hat traditional political squabbles. Admittedly, she seems good at avoiding critical situations, like visiting the Pope with both her kids when the power mud-slinging got really bad, and turning up with her little boy (?) at the first official Municipal council, a savvy move to deflect attention from the fact she’d just reneged on her horse-trading and was going to oust her soon-to-be Chief of Staff – because the latter’s connected to her party’s competing faction … so she doesn’t’ trust her.


Besides, her party’s national leadership have announced they’ll fine their members € 150,000 if they don’t obey top-down directives. Do these “clean party” young people actually have that kind of money? And weren’t local politics supposed to be local? And is this even democratic and constitutional?


A bit of good news is that tomorrow’s bus and metro strike has been moved down to the end of the month, and bad news is that this week we’re in for a 48-hour garbage removal strike while the thermometer’s forecast to reach a humid 36°C.

Drive-by flowers

Drive-by flowers

But beauty in Rome also lives on. Not where you expect it though. Except for the smoggy, chaotic and noisy historical center teeming with tourists, outlying districts are quieter and literally awash with flowers of all shades and colours bursting out of trees and shrubs. And if you manage to find yourself on one of the less famous bridges, the sunsets this season are also a wonder.

Any thoughts on blogging, flowers and real life?

Flower photos © 


This entry was posted in Blogging, Creativity, Elections, Environment, Italy, Opinion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Blogging and flowers when it’s hot in Rome

  1. sabaimru says:

    What a great article Bea! You nailed it. Once again you captured the paradox the fills peoples’ lives. It really reflects what a lot of us are going through. I’ve always wanted to write a book called “I love people”, but at one point a few weeks ago, I felt really useless, me and my coaching so far removed from the cruel reality outside my circle. I got so overwhelmed and disgusted with all the horrifying news that were piling up day after day that I stopped reading the news, unsubscribed from all sorts of protect-this-and-that newsletters, removed news apps from my devices and stopped recycling in the hope of contributing to climate disaster and to wiping off humans from the face of the earth, given all the havoc we create. Well of course, that was a tantrum and I’ve signed back up to my activist newsletters again, and reactivated all sources of news, continue my coaching work and recycle my garbage. Actually, what reconciled me with mankind was Obama’s speech at the memorial for the 5 policemen who were assassinated by a madman. He was so authentic, human, humble and reconciling. There’s still got to be hope.

    • Bea dM says:

      Hi Saba, so welcome to the club! Not recycling was a bit much, but all that news and all those newsletters could maybe be downsized somewhat anyway? You can find things to spark hope in the most unexpected places… specially if you keep observing people for your future “I love people” book 🙂

  2. Val says:

    I find it incredibly difficult to blog about my lighter stuff or about myself or my own life (all of which comprise the content of my blog, as you know) when there are things in the outside world that either raise my blood pressure to boiling point or make me feel so sad that I spend days in a puddle of tears. So I usually avoid blogging at those times. And that’s precisely why, recently, I re-wrote my blog’s ‘about’ page in case anyone got the impression that I was unfeeling when I blog light stuff when everyone else is feeling anger or despair, or when I choose not to blog at all. But it still doesn’t make me feel any better to ‘keep silent’. It’s a personal choice. One we all have to make, as bloggers, is what is most important to us. But remember, a blog is just an online magazine or journal… and each blog changes in time, as do we, their authors.

    If you feel very strongly that you need to keep this blog light or lightish and yet still want to write in more depth about stuff that troubles you you could always start a separate blog and run both, only posting in each when you feel able to write the relevant sort of content. I’ve done that many times in the past – it can help a bit.

  3. eurobrat says:

    I feel that blogging provides a breath of fresh air — in a world in which everything is so crazy and fast-paced, it’s nice to slow down and read a bit of detailed, reflective description such as your post above. It definitely serves an important purpose, but then again I’m a bit biased 🙂

    On a different note, I guess it’s not a big surprise about your new Mayor. It is the year of the outsider, after all. She still sounds slightly less scary than Trump….

    • Bea dM says:

      On a different scale, she’s a great subject for humour and I’m pretty dubious she’ll get anywhere. But you never know, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed anyway 🙂

  4. theaustraliansojourner says:

    Couldn’t find your like button… I think others may have the same problem. Interesting read 🙂

  5. Barb Knowles says:

    I love reading your blog and I know that I’ve been missing in action for a while. I’m trying to catch up. You said so much above. The world seems to be going crazy. But on a side note, they schedule strikes? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose? In the midst of craziness, we can only find our sanity with periodic calm. The flowers are a perfect way. Wonderful post.

    • Bea dM says:

      Strikes are part of the culture of entitlement here. And lack of sense of community, but fllowers somehow seem to make up for it 🙂 Glad you’re back in action!

      • Barb Knowles says:

        My health issues are fine now. I’ve been writing a lot and it’s hard to write other things and maintain the blog, too. So I won’t be posting quite as often.

      • Bea dM says:

        Good news, and do go for the “other things” a lot of us have trouble moving ahead 🙂

  6. Hi Bea,

    I love how you find the perfect balance with being realistic to what’s going on in the world and to finding the beauty in every day life. Yes, the world is very troubled. But, there is also a lot of beauty and hope in the world. I try to focus my attention on that.

    Love the pictures of the beautiful flowers!


    • Bea dM says:

      So glad you found a balance – that’s exactly what I’m struggling to maintain despite the crazed world. And flowers along the roads do help 🙂

  7. theturtle says:

    A very good point 🙂

  8. It seems that the world tends to spiral out of control on a somewhat regular basis, although now we’re flooded with images and information that was previously unavailable before the internet and social media. We’re not oblivious to what is happening on a global scale, but we choose to live our lives as best as we can and focus on what we can control. There is a saying that you head towards what you focus on, so if we focus on the negative aspects of the world, then our lives will become negative as well. We hope that you can still find some smiles and laughter in this otherwise chaotic world! 🙂

    • Bea dM says:

      I do agree with you – or I wouldn’t be here 🙂 Negative information overload is sometimes overwhelming, and you’re right that keeping a focus on the positive is really the only way ahead. Thanks for the positive nudge!

  9. Ellen Hawley says:

    I’m with you on not being sure how to strike a balance between what’s happening in the world and the small area I staked out to blog about–not to mention the tone I committed myself to. The world does seem to be falling to pieces as we watch.

    • Bea dM says:

      Thanks Ellen, feel the same, huh? and you’re right that a great part of the problem is the tone we like to write in. Even light humour seems almost out of place some days…

      • Ellen Hawley says:

        It sure as hell does. I’ve stepped out of it once or twice. On the other hand, what you do here, acknowledging the strangeness of it all, is of use. All of us need a bit of an emotional break, especially in dark times. If you can both provide it and not make it a place to hide from reality, that does seem like a good mixture.

      • Bea dM says:

        I’m only in my second year here, so first time the sheer accumulation of insane news is getting to me. You certainly do provide an emotional break, and the best I can do is try to follow your lead… 🙂 (you just made me smile!)

  10. lundygirl says:

    for me it’s the detail of everyday life that i love about blogging – but there have been times that i have been unable to blog because things have seemed so awful. When East London was in meltdown with riots in 2011 I was shocked and saddened to the core. It wasn’t until I went to see the Olympic torch come through Walthamstow in summer 2012 that I began to feel that the awful events of the previous year were over.

    • Bea dM says:

      I see you agree that it’s tough to write about the everyday when things “seem so awful”. So we’re all in the same boat… thanks for sharing!

  11. zipfslaw1 says:

    I guess that one way to think about it is that the world going off the deep end is, in the end, interesting only to the extent that it affects individuals, and that’s us–flowers, travels, food, daily micro-adventures with the langue de Molière…

    • Bea dM says:

      The heat was getting the best of me, so thanks for offering up an upbeat but sensible comment. I imagine you’re going to cheer for Les Bleus now? I’m in the opposite camp, the Fado guys 🙂

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