Friday, April 4, 2014

100th post - my extra ordinary day in pisticci

I wrote my 99th post in response to questions I would be answering when International visitors arrived at my house as part of "Learning at the hearth" a European project associated with the centre where I go to yoga class. ( there is a short article on PISTICCI.COM. which explains more but as I was using google translate to read it I would not like to quote any of it. ( google translate is ok but weird!)
I was wondering what i could write to mark my 100th post and I don't think I could find anything better. This blog was partly the reason I was asked to take part in the project .
My Extra Ordinary Day in Pisticci.
I got up early as I had lots to do and I was a bit anxious . I had prepared as much as possible for the visit but I have hardly ever spoken in a group before and did not want to look like an idiot.
So after breakfast I  got started making my bed back into a sofa, which involving discovering various things I had pushed out of sight under the bed and forgotten about.  Now I know where my spare bedding and my exercise machine disappeared to. So gave the spare bedding an airing and put the exercise machine away again where I will likely not find it. (Nice, when one job means getting several jobs all sorted at the same time.)
That done - my new "sofa" looked extremely pretty and  the room looked much bigger. I figured I could seat about 11 people already without moving any more chairs in.
It was sunny outside so after clearing all the dishes away instead of leaving them on the drainer I decided to go shopping on my scooter. I had decided that being relaxed and happy was the best way to cope with nerves. That was fun. Whizzing along in the sunshine through Pisticci  seeing the pink blossom on the trees, wearing my enormous sunglasses and helmet and looking like  Penelope Pitstop's older sister. . I bought a bag of small easter eggs (possibly for visitors) and a small box of chocolates for myself - as a reward for being brave! 
Arriving back at the house I thought that I should really go for a coffee and got back on my bike and headed back into town....

. The cafe Malena has the most amazing selection of large easter eggs. They are all beautifully decorated and wrapped and all over the cafe. I was sitting next to the display cabinet and was entranced by all that chocolate beautifully arranged , luxurious, and looking at me.........took a photo and left before I was overcome and bought one.
I decided to buy another bunch of flowers  for the "sitting room" which would look nice and maybe help to cover the slight damp odour. (Had the dehumidifier on all day, burned joss sticks and heated the room up with a fan heater so was perfectly fine by the afternoon. I will definitely be fixing that wall next month - but it is gradually getting drier and the carefully arranged paintings cover the worst of the problem.
I made lunch and read over my 99th blog but to be honest my mind went a blank every time I thought of all these strangers in my house..........
So I reorganised my flowerpots outside,  then I washed the floors  and did a few more odd jobs. Had a chat to my daughter on the telephone. (She encouraged me to start writing a blog so deserves a mention on the 100th one.)
It was only 3pm..........and it was getting cloudy outside.
I counted the chairs for the 6th time, moved two more into the sitting - room which meant  changing paintings around in the gallery ... that took another twenty minutes.
I decided I had better take some photos of my house in its very tidy state. That took another half hour including downloading the photos on to the computer. Then I framed a painting and looked out my prints.
It was then I remembered - MUSIC and DANCE - the cure for nerves. I found the Blues Brothers and danced round the room energetically. (would prefer if you did not visualise this!) It was amazing  how I started to feel much more relaxed , I looked at the paintings on the walls which in themselves told my story without any words at all and I remembered that this was about me and why I came to Pisticci and stayed here and who better to tell it than me in my house full of paintings of pisticci and its people. 
A large crowd of friendly strangers arrived at my door about an hour later and  I had a great time. Almost everyone managed to squeeze into the room and I found it relatively easy to speak to people who smiled at me and made me feel comfortable. I might never be the most fluent speaker but I was happy that I had been myself  and it was ok. It passed in a flash and then there was some time to chat to individual people and look around the studio and at the view and get photos taken. 
It was a bit quiet after everyone left but I had been invited to hear a harpist in Casa Elizia with the group that evening so spent the next few hours  enjoying  the feeling of relief and a job reasonably well done. (didn't stop smiling all evening)
The Harpist was wonderful. She played music from the area and also spoke about the history of harp playing in Viggiano - which added to the experience. I think the harp makes the most beautiful pure music and it is so lovely to watch the harpist playing. (John from England commented on this and said it much better .)
I was home by 11pm and took a photo of myself ( wearing my favourite long velvet jacket) so I could remember how it was on my very, very extra ordinary day.