A Low-Key Xmas in Trieste, Some Reading Tips and an Underwater Mass

As you may have noticed, I have taken a substantial break from writing in the last two weeks. I am in the process of moving home, and having moved 5 times this year already, it has all been a little well, disorientating to say the least.

I went to visit my parents in my hometown of Trieste, Italy, where I spent Christmas and the New Year. Most of my holidays were spent lazing around, eating beautiful seafood and cuddling my four dogs– in fact I was such a couch potato that I barely even saw my friends and relatives. Sometimes we just need a break from everything – and I like to be alone to recharge.

A little Triestine Christmas spirit above...

I did in any case manage to sneak out of the house a couple of times and on one occasion I made my way to Piazza Unita`. This square is rather well known for its’ attractiveness– it opens out right onto the seafront and it is enclosed by some cream cake-pretty buildings.

On the occasion of my stroll- around-town I spotted a crowd of people right on the seafront that were watching some divers lowering themselves and a huge diving bell (or capsule?) in the water. I was quickly informed that this is a regular catholic tradition in my hometown. Every 26h of December a priest is lowered into the sea encased in a diving bell, from which he leads a traditional Boxing Day service to 50 or so assembled divers. Unusual, no? I couldn’t really believe I had never heard of this before, and I couldn’t find much information on the internet either. I did however find this article in English from 2011 in case you are interested.

Other than this small discovery, my trip was rather uneventful- but speaking of Trieste, I did start reading an intriguing novel set in my city called “Ciao Charlie” by John Clark. There are a lot of interesting twists and turns in the plot and it is quite nice to read something set in my home town whilst I am hibernating from the cold in Berlin. (It is -8 todaaay!)

Also, speaking of books – my short story ”Hong Hahn” (which is also about unusual rituals incidentally) was published in a collection called "Borderline Stories" by Strange Days books. You can check it out here.  I will leave you for now but will be back shortly… bis bald!