31 December 2010

a little bit eccentric is good, right?

I woke at 5 this morning, (it's really Friday, New Year's Eve, here in Italy) looking for an email that wasn't there. Stupid, I know, but that's what we do, we solitary bods. It set me thinking about this strange and challenging life of mine.

I've decided that if the electrician sees me as being a bit eccentric then that suits me just fine. I've seen others look at me as though I'm not quite real too. I'm not sure if the looks are of disbelief, admiration, or appreciation. Some, I know, are sympathetic, pitying, and these I reject vehemently. If I choose to sit outside the square that is, absolutely, my choice. I will conform when I find things worth conforming to. For now, it is enough to renovate my house on a shoe-string budget in the manner most appropriate to the house, honouring its 500 year old history. Tomorrow, when it comes, will have to take care of itself.

A friend called in recently, and expressed her concern and sympathy when she noticed that the hot water cylinder above my sink was missing connecting pipes, and clearly wasn't working. Ummm, yes, well... it was, until I had it disconnected. There is no place for a huge, ugly, inefficient, calcium filled water heater that leaks and costs 20 euros a powerbill to run just to wash the dishes for one person, in a beautiful ancient structure where it is ruining the line of the magnificent arch above it. It is on its way out, as soon as I find two strong men to lift it down.

I heat exactly the amount of water I require to wash my dishes, no more. When I carry larger amounts from the bathroom (where the water heater is more efficient) I appreciate the pioneers, the people who have no running water, the need for conservation of resources. Is it little things like that, together with a fragile but beautiful snakeskin on the mantlepiece, that make me eccentric? If so, it is a hat I gladly wear.

The owner of a furniture shop who called to deliver something belonging to another NZer gazed around my apartment with eyes wide and eyebrows arched, then uninvited stepped into the unconventional kitchen, nodded approval and said "so much imagination" or words to that effect.

You can get away with a lot, when you have the label "artist", in this culture. Perhaps that is why it suits me. I am not really expected to conform, in my daily routines. It is a privileged space to be in.

Today I am grateful for the company of two little dogs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those two "strong" men are saying it's appreciation!!