Saturday, February 27, 2016

My "palace" in Pisticci

It has been such a joy to have my house back. No more flinching when I hear a particularly loud bang, no more plaster dropping from my roof into my studio, no more  wondering whether my house would survive - or indeed myself , and no more opening the door and being confronted by scaffolding
I can relax again........
I decided that I need to be nice to my little house and give it some TLC after its distressing experience.
So , I am never going to refer to it in a derogatory fashion again- no more apologising for it being an unrenovated house with a few defects.
Now it's an old and well loved building with a lot of history - which can be seen if you look closely.  It has been here , I think , for hundreds of years and lots of people have lived in it before me and hopefully more will after me.
I am lucky that it is not perfect because then I can be as imaginative as I like with it and I have some crazy plans for future decoration. No limits.
If the walls were perfect then I probably couldn't hang as many paintings on them- but I love living in a gallery and being surrounded by works of arts, portraits of family, old bedspreads. I love lots of colour!
I have so much space to play with and almost every part of the house I have painted or worked on myself or james has fixed is special. My painted fireplace with the roaring fire still makes me smile every time I look at it. The lovely yellow wall in my new sleeping chamber ( sounds more fun than a bed room.)  is a colour I mixed myself after I had been to Florence and seen it in an old cafe with crumbly walls and great atmosphere.
My gallery was painted a sort of orangey terracotta colour one night when I was in the mood for a change and fed up of white.  
The green door was symbolic- not just because it is a traditional colour here, but because I always used to want to blend in and not stand out  and was a bit timid so I changed it from brown to bright green in the hope that my personality would brighten up as well. ( worked a bit...)
Nearly everything in my house has a story.  The crazy tiling in my roman style shower room was decorated with sequins after I had seen a totally weird bathroom in a cafe in Matera.  Or the fridge freezer that a friend gave me several years ago which transformed my shopping life (I can buy ice cream.) and makes me think of her every time I open it.
There are 2 little soft chairs which came with the house, I re-covered them and sometimes I wonder who has sat on them before. They were the first chairs I had ever covered myself. And when I look round I see stories everywhere.
And outside my flowers are back at my door. I have bought some more to celebrate and I managed to save the plant that is growing round my door and  am very proud of it. My first yellow rose is out.(thanks Hans) my fig tree is not dead and quite a few of my plants are getting quite big. I was never a gardener so anything that survives me is a surprise. 
So apologies to my delightful little house/studio/palace and I will  never again refer to it as a shed. I will love the tinkling of raindrops into plastic boxes until I repair the roof again,  I will love the crumbly plaster because it lets me cover it with paintings and bright colours.
And found this old poem
let me grow lovely growing old
so many old things do
laces and ivory and gold
and silks need not be new
and there is healing in old trees
old streets a glamour hold,
why may not I as well as these,grow lovely growing old?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Half a Carnevale.......

I should have known better..............
The Carnevale was to start at 16.00. And I can't help it but be on time..................
So first of all went for a coffee and then after 45mins..... went for a walk.... and then another walk.......and then a prosecco in a circolo.......and then another walk and hey presto only 30 minutes later the carnevale arrived. I found myself a doorstep to stand on from which to take photos and all was going well.... I love  the whole feeling of carnevale, the sheer fun, and exuberance............but I can't cope with the noise- the bass!
So I was happily taking photos until a large lorry thing arrived, bass blasting and I thought I might well die if I didn't get out of the way.
So, unable to find the friends I was with I went home - resolving next year to  not to go on time!!!!
It is such a pity as now I think there is a party- but I am going to bed............must learn to get my timing better...............
However I did get some photos- one of which is really special.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Very Good Day in Pisticci

It has been ages since I scootered all the way to Marconia but for some reason I decided to give it a go and drop in at the market. It was Saturday after all.
After checking the tyres (it has a slow puncture) I figured I had better go before I changed my mind.
I don't really like the road to marconia: its too narrow and the edges of a lot of the road are broken and full of holes which is quite dangerous for a scooter.
My scooter has in the past had a nasty habit of dying for no particular reason while going up hills and is making a sort of clicking noise at the minute.
However I set off and went relatively slowly  and avoided most of the pot holes, the tyre held out ,the engine kept going and I arrived . On the way I passed an elderly lady on a tricycle who I have seen often with an enormous amount of shopping- and even big heavy tiles on the back of her bike.  She was a bit of an inspiration.
It was a very nice day with a lovely blue sky- so after a coffee to recover from the journey it was great to have a look round the little market, have another coffee, miss the friends I thought I would see and then get back on the scooter and head for home.
It was so much more fun. on the way back  ...I stopped at one of my favourite shops and then at the little wine shop and dawdled back to Pisticci with fingers crossed that the engine would not die on the last hill.
What a wonderfully satisfying experience. May have to repeat it.....
Then the day got even better.
The IMBIANCHINI DI BELLEZZA are back  and painting Pisticci white - bits of it anyways. Was lovely to be part of something again and this time after some light wall painting  someone suggested we go for a walk in the calanche.
Even though I have been here for more than 10 years I didn't know that if I just went down a little road about 100mtrs from my house that it would lead into the calanche. I could attempt to describe what "calanche" are but I can't ,so there are photos. It was like another world.
But not only that .... to go with people who love this and were enthusiastic about their country and knew all about the reasons it was like this was beautiful. I have now realised that not understanding  some of what is said has probably made me more aware of how its said and  people's general attitudes. So I understood some things, didn't say much , but had a wonderful time. On the way back we sat down and waited for sunset.
And I saw fossils- lots of them.....Magical!
I arrived back at my house just as two ladies arrived who then bought a painting which meant a lot to them because of the people in it. It is such a privilege and pleasure to have made something that is special in that way.
Still smiling when I think about it all. It was a very good day indeed.