Wednesday, December 28, 2011

view from my scooter

Am sitting on my scooter writing this. It's parked outside my studio.It's a lovely day , gorgeous bright blue sky and is much warmer outside, than inside. And  the seat has been warmed by the sun so I am very comfortable .
I may well look rather silly, oops and just as I wrote that someone walked past, but I would feel even more silly sitting inside with a gas heater practically glued to my leg.
Out here the sun is warming me and the light is cheering me.
I can see my pansies smiling up at me.(they do look like they have little faces on them). Every morning when I arrive at the studio they are just a splash of colour against the white walls.
I feel much more part of the world out here. There is stuff going on. I can hear cars and machinery and animals. People walk by the end of the street on their way somewhere.
I have already been out this morning , into town for a coffee and cornetto and a some mild socialising. The nice thing about walking into town is that it's quite acceptable to say "Buon Giorno" to almost everyone and they all return the greeting.
This is such a lovely day, again! We have had great weather , other than christmas day- thunder and rain- since about October. I am hoping it continues because from the middle of next month I am planning to spend  4 weeks living in my studio.
However today  the sky is an incredible deep blue looking towards the town and  only a little cloudy towards the mountains. My street is a sun trap.
I feel like everything is getting back to normal here because Nella has recovered from her recent illness and has delivered lunch by way of string and bag. (fennel and butterbeans, walnuts, mozzarela and an apple.)I have missed her.
I suppose it's past the longest - or is it the shortest day - so there is a reason to be cheerful. Also I like the concept of new year, and starting all over again and er getting it right this year? I always make vague and sometimes specific plans and then I normally forget them only to sometimes years later find them written in an old notebook and realise that actually I did acheive some of them. Not very proactive admittedly.
Just waved to one of my neighbours. tThey are all very friendly and I am hoping to get to know them a bit better and speak more to them next month.
It is surprisingly comfortable sitting on my scooter with pen and notebook. No way was I balancing my laptop on my knee. Am warm. Must do this more often.
Very loud bells ringing . Now they are ringing a tune. There is a lot of bell ringing in Pisticci. I don't know why.
Looking down I can see the wire holding on my scooter box. It needs welded but will have to wait till I can afford it. It has been overworked recently.
Am feeling as if this must be very healthy, sitting out in the sunshine absorbing whatever vitamin you get from the sun. In fact , now I am inspired to drive out to the country and sit on the scooter and write my next post. (Or maybe not.)
Unless I am inspired , warm and energetic then this will be my last post of 2011. (I can hear fireworks and its midday!!)


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

back in sunny Italy, odds and ends

Was a liitle odd this time in Scotland as I felt like a tourist when I was out. You know , wandering around looking at buildings and thinking "wow that's impressive" and looking at people and thinking, "They look like foreigners."
But I was lovely and cosy at my daughter's house.
And now back in "sunny Italy" I have my 5 layers and a hat on (inside).
But enough moaning!
The weather has been very good. Every morning so far I have woken up to blue skies. It's 14 degrees today. I know because it said so on a sign above the farmacia.
I was out earlier taking a painting to  Vladimiro's cafe  and exchanging it with the one I left a few weeks ago. Have now perfected my method of transporting paintings in my rucksack on my scooter. It involves a fair amount of string.
However I excelled myself at the weekend (in my opinion) by transporting my stand for the market  including 4 easels and a stool on a shopping trolley. I took the bag off ,and tied the folding table, easels, two large paintings and stool on to the frame- with string. and pulled it up the street.  Then after leaving them in the piazza I came back and brought paintings and prints etc on my scooter.
This time the weather was good and it was fun to be outside in the sun. It was good to meet the other stall holders again and to practice  speaking Italian

Financially it was a dead loss but I love meeting people and met Maria Grazia's Sunday school class, who all said hello and then counted to ten in english, and the kind man came by and gave me a sweetie.  Enzo at the next stall sang a lot and gave me a little christmas tree decoration. I met several people in the same family who's portraits I had painted , some of whom I had only seen in a photo. Lots of the older gentlemen came by and laughed at the painting of a row of them sitting on a bench.. They all wonder if they are in it. The fruit seller came by and pointed out his stall in one of the paintings. A regular visitor who knows a lot about the history of the area pointed out that my decoration on the church was a bit off and reminded me about one of the local ravines, which is called the "elephants's trunk." I shook countless peoples' hands and met lots of previous customers and their friends. Lots of people stopped because they recognised Pisticci in my paintings. I have lost count of whose grannies and aunties and cousins  all live in houses I have painted. I remember though meeting the granddaughter of one little lady whose house I have painted lots of times. I call it "Casa Cloot" because it almost always has a row of dusters hanging on a line across the door. Then I met Amedeo , the local photographer . I had a card for him with a print of the painting he organised for me and he insisted I wrote both our names on it.These  were only a few of the people who stopped and spoke.
It ended, at least for me, when it got very damp on sunday evening , and reluctantly I was forced to pack up and go home as I had no gazebo. I thought going downhill to the studio with my trolley contraption would be easy but  in trying avoid the crowds in the corsa I got lost, got laughed at by teenagers, had to go down an extra flight of steps (backwards, one at a time) , the table kept sliding off when I went round corners and  by the time I got home I was more than a little frustrated and tired.
To prepare for the market I painted 6 paintings in  the three days between returning from Scotland and the start of the market.
So Monday was a lovely day off. Went out for a coffee and appley pastry in a cafe that I save for special occasions and admired their large presepe (nativity scene) which was at least a metre square , was depicting  piazza san rocco, and made to look like it was made out of chocolate icing. Interesting !
Then went to the post office to see if my 200 euros worth of free petrol card had arrived. Basilicata has a lot of oil and this is a gesture to the people who live here , from the government , who, I think have sold it. I don't actually know all the ins and outs of it. I also posted all my christmas cards, which will probably arrive in March. (sorry!)
Then on home to decorate the christmas tree , which is sadly lacking it's middle part , so consists of the top and the stand. However I think I have made it look ok.
It's nice to be back.