19 August 2013

old post

Occasionally I have to go to my blog to find something I have "filed" there for future reference. This morning it was details from 2011 I was needing. In the process of finding what I needed I also found this post. It was timely for me to read it again. 

I am between guests and working madly for Legato 2014, after which I will then review my life on a bigger scale. I have made no committments to anyone beyond June 2014. Will it be time for a change? Will my permesso be renewed? Will my driver's licence convert to an Italian one? (Perhaps more importantly, what is the expiry date on my passport?) So many questions, and no answers.

But for now there is more work to be done, I do apologise for not sharing more interesting stories or downloading photos recently, but time waits for no man (or woman) and I must fill my days with other things for now.

Today I am grateful for emails received.

18 August 2013

il tempo vola...

Is it really so long since I blogged?

I've had a few computer issues, but mostly it is simply that time flies!

I am behind with emails, applications and many other things.

But I am still here, still making decisions, still making slow but steady progress.

And very much looking forward to some very special visitors coming my way soon...

Today I am grateful for pranzo con amici. 

9 August 2013

nothing changes much

I stumbled upon this blog entry this evening. It's the heat I have been avoiding, rather than chasing the light. And now there are two dogs.

And unfinished paintings.

When you think about it though, essentially nothing changes very much at all.

Today I am grateful for background music. 

8 August 2013

back into the fray

Source material: 
(I have moved and added roads to give rhythm in the painting).

As I left it: 

Before, during and after (but not there yet).

Taking into account that these are photographed in different lights, the colours are not necessarily accurate. The two directly above are today's "working back into it after a long break". I am playing with the idea that "all roads lead to..." and am superimposing the stylised roads from an old artefect depicting the area. At the moment I have become a little carried away with the flow and will have to set these back a little. What looks like snow will blend in better later. When I am happy that I have them right, and they are dry again, I will glaze with a sepia glaze to age them a bit. I am also flattening out the upper section apart from where I want to create flow down to the next stage. I will try to unite the backgrounds a bit more on the right hand side where the two images blend.

I have "cleaned my brush" under the arch to bring some of the colour down into the next section, and I will pick out the stones again later.

And just for fun, as I am driven to paint downstairs (36°C in my studio), here it is, a work in progress with a Kiwi palm growing out of the top of it.

I am going to work my way down the painting over the next few days until my guests return. I think that the tenor heads to Rome tomorrow, so he will only have one day of fumes should he return as expected today. Painting in the bedroom didn't work; the remains of Diny's delicious curry that I had taken from the freezer burnt to ashes as I happily daubed away at the other end of the apartment, completely forgetting that I had put dinner on to heat! Now I paint in the kitchen... 

I am looking forward to bringing the painting to life, and to developing the last section much, much more. 

Today I am grateful for alternative painting spaces. 

5 August 2013

fever in the morning...

If fever is 40°C then there is plenty of fever here... today we hit 42°C which is 107.6°F, definitely not a healthy heat! Luckily for me where I teach at the moment there is air conditioning in the lounge.

It is after 10pm and still 34°C outside, but it is holding at 26° inside. Whew!

But thinking of 107°F and fever, here is a lovely song to take you way back when I was just a tad younger than I am now. 

Fever, with Little Willie John,  from 1956 (I love the record and needle arm; somehow those words had different meanings back then).

Or, if you prefer it, you can have a sizzling version with Peggy Lee.

Today I am grateful for plump, shiny and very tasty black cherries. 

4 August 2013


Today I am grateful for my thick stone walls. 

The tenor has gone into the mountains, away from the heat. My other guests have headed for the caves at Pastena. Zacchi, Piccolina and I have opted for a quiet time listening to piano music and researching laptops and tablets. Today is rather warm...

I left the thermometre on the rail against the house, where it is usually in the shade. I noticed (when rescuing cooked washing) that it was in the sun, and registering 49°C, so I moved it in case it burst. An hour later it is still showing 40°C in the shade.

Inside the house it is a pleasant 26°C and a fairly constant temperature despite cooking lunch earlier. The vaulted ceiling is four and a half metres high, and takes up a lot of the heat I imagine.

I read that we have a strata of African sand over all of Italy, adding to our heat wave. Next Friday is supposed to be our hottest day. If today's "cooler" predicted 37 is really 40 in the shade on my north-facing hillside, what will Friday bring?

Earlier I read a health warning about the temperatures arriving between 5pm and 7pm today. I'll let you know if it gets worse, but for now that gentle 40°C in the shade has a sea breeze coming with it, through the gap in the hills across the valley, and I am sure that P, Z and I will survive. 

Today I really am very grateful for the metre thick stone walls that were giving me grief with rising damp only a few weeks ago! 

Update: It did get up to 41 (in the shade) at around 5.30pm, but not higher. And now, at 9.10pm, it is still 33°C. Needless to say the dogs had a shorter-than-usual walk this evening. And my fitness programme? Forget it! 

3 August 2013

happiness is...

...listening to my favourite tenor doing his vocal warm-ups at my keyboard while I clean the kitchen he has been cooking in.

How magic is my life?

(And what strange sounds warm-ups include!)

Today I am grateful for my fabulously interesting life.