For lots of people 2016 was not a good year and for me it was the worst year I have spent in Italy.
Starting with new year when I had discovered that I had cataracts forming in both eyes and because of my status was not sure whether I would need to sell my house to pay to get them fixed. Am not sure which health service I can use and Brexit has only made this more confusing.
On the plus side , I have been trying out eyedrops and lutein and bilberry and it may be that in 5 or more years when it might be neccessary to have some treatment that my situation health service wise might be resolved. who knows.....at least I have a house to sell if all else fails.
As an artist this was a big deal...............but, it could have been worse.
Then at the same time there was the renovation project going on upstairs. That was horrendous. It was an experience that was always going to be difficult for me as I work at home and could not get away from it. Even after 9 months I can still feel the remains of the anxiety and stress it caused- not counting that I have had to make up 3 months income as I was unable to do more than a minimum amount of work.
I had believed that the owners of the apartment being renovated were friends so other than saying could you please keep me informed of what is going to be happening , then I didn't check out what rights I may or may not have had.
The problem thereafter was made much worse due to the psychological effects of being metaphorically battered on a regular basis, It became more and more difficult to act with any conviction and I went from being a reasonably sensible person to someone who couldn't sleep, was massively angry, had to take extra blood pressure pills, whose hands shook and I lived in a state of fear.
I regularly rushed through to the other part of my house because I thought my ceiling had fallen down. Small bits of plaster fell around me when the builders were working on the gutter and therefore on my roof....I climbed up a ladder in the middle of the night to plaster a yogurt tub to the wall to stop water running in a new leak in my roof and directly on to my electric meter. I veered from I can deal with this..it won't last forever to I can't cope I have to leave now.
I was however rather pleased with my ability to persevere more than I thought I could and am irrationally smug about my yogurt tub water deflector.
So , on the basis that the best way to get over something is to learn something from it
I should , in the future check out what rights I have in the worst case scenario- just incase.
I am not a failure if I can't deal with everything on my own- in fact I am an idiot for thinking that I can. Sometimes it would be the sensible thing to call for help.
Another plus is that I have learned to stick up for my self- even when I feel I shouldn't have had to.
I haven't enjoyed learning all this because I have spent most of my life believing that if you treat other people well then they will have no reason to treat you badly. So I was pretty much in the huff for a while cause my theory wasn't working. But now that i have adjusted it to most of the time you get back what you give out but sometimes you need to use plan b, I am not so much in the huff!
In all of this Pisticci and the local people have been an enormous blessing and comfort.
I would have preferred to ignore all this and just write about the happy bits of which there are plenty but it does seem like my little world got all shook up and my story doesnt make sense without it. And it feels like I can only look back at this year through a fog of disillusionment.
( I have greatly censored and rewritten this several times)
Its a lovely sunny day here and the cold north wind which has been making it feel very cold has gone for the time being.
I have been out for coffee and am looking forward to getting back to normal life.
I have very much enjoyed December. I thought I would do as many things as possible and be a bit more sociable.
So have had people round for a meal, been out for meals, did two christmas markets nearby my house ( great fun), been at 2 concerts locally, took part in a cultural evening/exhibition with artists and poets I didn't know, had a swedish new year, made lots of shortbread and lasagne, painted a lot and sold quite a lot, enjoyed having a guest in my little artists house and bought christmas lights for my studio and lots more.
And in January I have some plans for new work , maybe a few days away and lots more coffees.
So hoping to enjoy my life as a story again with the new improved me..........( and my plan b)
Happy New year and Best wishes to anyone reading this......