30 September 2010

wanting to share

I have just been watching a programme about sharing with the rest of the world if you think that the world can be a better place. The "movement of change" just might be worth looking into. If you have read "The Tipping Point" then it all makes sense... if enough of us, in our own best ways, try to bring changes for peace, then we MUST make a difference.

Tonight I was at a presentation of a CD followed by a concert. The theme was the region's history and the battle of Cassino. The speakers and projected photographs were very interesting - as much as I understood anyway! One of the speakers challenged the musicians to see the work not as the culmination of a project, but as the launching pad for what comes next. Strong, stirring words, and so well chosen! The concert, as usual, was highly professional and uplifting despite the sad stories in the songs.

But now I must sleep, it is late. On the way home I thought to myself that one of the downsides about living alone, in any country, is there is noone to check to make sure you got home safely. I wonder if that is why I often blog after an evening out? Just to affirm to myself that I am safely home?

Today I am grateful for inspirational people.

29 September 2010


Back up the scaffolding today, and up and down the ladder, and up and down the steps in the village... it's got to be good for me!

Progress at last, I can see the end of the work in sight! Now to wait for a little stucco to be done, and tomorrow will be full on with sponging walls again. Then there is a painting to have finished and ready to go by Monday, and then back to the work that I had put aside for now.

Then, hopefully, some time to get next year's Legato up and running with a bit more energy...

Life is good!

Today I am grateful for glorious blue skies.

28 September 2010

another day

Today was a Kiwi day, sharing my beloved village with a group from NZ. The time was so short... there is so much to see and do, and only a few hours to try to share how wonderful this place is, and the history so closely entwined with NZ after World War II.

It's a very small world, one of the group even knows my uncle from Dunedin!

Now I am tired, happy, and relieved that the time went well. I was surprised at how nervous I was, knowing that the group comprised well travelled, well educated kiwis. They were lovely, I didn't want to let them down, and then I didn't want to let them go.

Today I am grateful for our welcome in my Italian village.

25 September 2010

autumn is here

I drive 12 kilometres to teach three children twice a week. At 3.30pm the sun is catching a crop of corn and the cyprus trees in the background frame a house on a hill. Do you think I could remember my camera? Three weeks now, and no stopping for a photo. Today I took a photo on my phone. I wonder, how on earth do I download it?

Today I am grateful for beautiful vistas.

24 September 2010


My computer finally stopped functioning today... a rather dramatic exit, so I am not holding out too much hope for it! If I can save it I will be a very happy chappy. In the meantime I am not even thinking about what I have backed up and what I might have lost... let's hope it is all for the best whatever the outcome!

In the meantime, I had an interesting experience this morning on the dreaded Facebook. A friend had shared a link, with the comment "I'm one of the 7 percent". Because this friend is usually sharing inspirational quotes I clicked on the presentation. It was thought-provoking to say the least. I found it very difficult to write the "I'm one of the 7%" it asked for, but in the end I did.

It's not that I don't believe in the power of prayer, in fact I do, but I don't believe that there is only one way to a spiritual life, and that made me hesitate. How many religions strive to attain the same goals, each believing that they have found the right way? There are as many "right ways" as there are people.

Today I am grateful for spiritual challenges.

23 September 2010

way back in june

I had "all but" finished this painting of the local landscape. I can't (yes I can, really) believe how long it took me to make the final adjustments. Now, when they are completely dry, it's varnish and then to the framers to stretch out the last little wrinkles in the canvas.

So, it is onwards and upwards, on with the next commission.

"All but" reminds me of playing cards with my father-in-law - I think it was euchre or five hundred. Now to remember how it was used... ready to lay down the cards, all but done?

Today I am grateful for patient clients.

22 September 2010

where did today go?

I have hit a creative blip. Today it was an effort to even get out of bed, so making it up to the studio has yet to happen. I think that once I have sorted all my accounts, located and filed and understood the last few months of payments, and maybe had a nice cold beer, I will feel much more able to concentrate on work.

In the meantime I have listened to a couple of tapes on keeping life simple. I have been trying to do exactly that since I moved to Italy, but saying no to other people is difficult and I seem to have too many projects on the go.

Note to myself: remember which is which of the balls you are juggling and make sure you don't drop the crystal ones. Rubber balls bounce back; crystal ones, the beautiful ones, shatter if you don't give them enough attention (from Rich German's daily post.

It is time to make a list... and the first thing on it will be exercise.

Today I am grateful for two well behaved little dogs who walk me.

19 September 2010

and then it was sunday

Doing what Italians do so well... pranzo, cena... lots of good food!

Came home from the wonderful lunch with friends and happily wandered out to hang the sheets on the line...

beautiful slither
wonderful movement

...and by far the longest of the few snakes I have seen in my garden glided elegantly from plant to plant along the wall of the house and down a two metre drop over the edge of the path into the orchard.

Don't worry, it was not a dangerous one. When I think that four years ago this would have set my heart racing I think "Wow! I've come a long way!" Instead of being fearful I simply stood and enjoyed the beauty of the movement and tried to estimate the length of the elegant creature.

Today I am grateful for green vegetables.

long day and night

It started reasonably early Saturday morning with a couple of hours cleaning the stairwell in the palazzo (no, not all my mess, there was a bit of glue and cement dotted among the drops of paint) and ended at 2-30am Sunday with an all night festa. It's now 4.15am and I think perhaps I should get some sleep...

Today I am grateful for talented and dedicated musicians.

18 September 2010


Today was the last day up the top lot of scaffolding, working under the domed ceiling above the staircase, and as far as I know it was dismantled after I finished work today. The other side of the coin is, however, that as I came downstairs I saw that the next lot of scaffolding was already under construction... for me!

Photos later,

Today I am grateful for careful, safety conscious construction workers.

14 September 2010

new eyes...

Today I saw my year's work in the palazzo for the first time after a two month break. I am thrilled with how it looks now the wrought iron light fittings are casting shadows and the splendour of the building is being revealed.

What was a burden on my shoulders getting it complete has become a work of joy! Tomorrow it's back up the scaffolding, this time with a happy, not heavy heart!

Today I am grateful for the appreciation of my work by an Italian architect.

international dinner, lights and peace

Tonight I enjoyed a meal with an international group. Historians, peace workers, and assorted immigrants like myself. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera, so you can't see the lights on the Via Latina, which were turned on with due ceremony for the first time before dinner. Even worse, I forgot that outdoor dinners at close to midnight in the autumn can become a little chilly if you happen to be at the breezy end of the table, so I was home relatively early.

Today I am grateful for peace workers who really do make a difference.

12 September 2010

ps, there's progress

Much overdue work completed this afternoon. Who knows, I could get creative soon!

Today I am also grateful for an encouraging hug from a friend.

today and passion, or lack of

Today I read two inspiring blog posts. One was on Sarah Scott's painting blog manganese blue and the other on writer Lucy Adlington's blog. I envy their passion and burning need to create.

I am alone in the house for the first time in ages and find myself doing repetitive things, domestic chores, searching for cheap flights to family, and procrastinating.

Is it creative block? Is it a need to fill my soul again? Is it that I need to reclaim my personal space?

I think lunch and a cuppa, followed by some more blog reading to my favourite music, might help.

Today I am grateful for passionate people.

10 September 2010


Tonight a concert at Caselvieri, in the company of four other Kiwis. I wonder, do they wonder how they ended up at a concert in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night?

MBL is a fantastic band, I'm a big fan.

Today I am grateful for toe-tapping, hand clapping music.

7 September 2010

emails and emails...

Am still dealing with a backlog of emails. Had a day off on Sunday, and spent the whole day at a first communion. Diet? Don't know what the word means!

Today I am grateful for
a peaceful space in my day.

2 September 2010


Internet functioning on laptop, I am in touch with the world again!

I have a huge backlog of emails to answer, then I'll be blogging away again.

All is well in cyberland...

Today I am grateful for
reliable communication systems and pleasant technicians.