Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Autumn Adoration

Every so often I get cravings for the mountains. This last week it has been particularly strongly in the form of the Dolomites. I really miss them! It doesn't take much to spark the longing: a few too many weekends in Milan, Nonna B's autum themed table cloth, a plateful of pasta with funghi, or even an email from my former boss sending me overdue paperwork.

This time last year I moved to Italy to a little town northwest of Venice. It was without a doubt the most beautiful place I have ever lived. Unfortunately I was quite often very lonely, so a move to Milan to be with A. was necessary for my weight if not my creativity. I had a lot of time on my hands by myself and I was bursting at the seams with creativity. I took tons of photos, sketched, did yoga every morning in the garden (!), and even wrote poems.

These poems I wrote for myself on a whim to capture a moment, but perhaps anybody who loves nature, almost to the point of shamanism, like me, might like them too.

I would like to be a mountain

Carpeted, a handmade rug of red and green and yellow.
The clouds caress your middle
and you rise up
beautiful and immense in your perfect creases.

Keep the leaf blowers at bay

I make my way through the hospital, entranced
The sun has gone but the trees have absorbed its gold
radiant, they light up path.

The leaf blowers are busy in their futile task
shuffle and sigh
the dry leaves flutter down
pitter-patter as they tumble down the hill
and mimic the rabbits and upset the crows.

Autumn Haiku

The red berries gleam,
Hot gnocchi alle zucche,
The burning mist steams.

The good news is that A has booked a Bed and Brrreakfast (for authenticity really roll that 'r') and it looks like all being well we may well be taking a quick weekend break so that we can gorge ourselves on cheese, polenta, pumpkin pasta and mountain scenery and revisit all our favourite spots and people.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Painting in Progress

A couple of weeks ago I got some new paints. Here is the fruition of this investment. After a couple of dodgy over ambitious landscapes I finally settled on a classic scene form Rome that A took in Trastevere.

Step 1. Rough sketch and lay out.

Step 2. Take picture of sketch for blog and realise that door is wonky. This is actually a great way of looking at a picture with fresh eyes. I may well do this again in future.

Step 3. Choose paints (as few colours as possible as my Art teacher taught me).

Step 4. Paint picture quickly (to avoid boredom and over working).

Ok the door is still a little wonky, but I wasn't really aiming for a photo finish. The thing that I'm most pleased with are the walls and their finishing touch - streaks of car-blue. Until I added them the car looked a bit super imposed, but it looks more anchored. In hindsight a touch more door-green would have hurt in the car blue, but I'm pleased anyway.

Sometimes, though, I think the paint pallet itself is the best looking thing to come out of it. Hmmm that gives me an idea....

Words that begin with A

It's Milan Chaos Week also know as Milan Fashion Week. I took my camera out to Duomo, but the interesting fashion people were hiding and I only saw one male model who was looking exceedingly grumpy. There are quite a lot of girls about though, tall as trees and thinner than saplings clutching portfolios. Not where I work mind you, but it does make the metro a little fuller than normal. And if having about twice the normal population on the streets wasn't enough, the metro got flooded when two of the rivers broke their banks, so I will have to be devious next week when I try and head north. I had seen the warning signs in the metro explaining something was going on but until today had no-one to explain to me what it meant. Allagamento (flood) will now be stuck in my head forever.

As will "acconto" (deposit) and "assegno" (cheque). It's enrolment time and time for me to eat some humble pie. My Italian is really not as good as I thought it was, probably because I hadn't put it in any challenging situations for a while. Got a bit sharp with one poor mother when I she asked to do "l'acconto" (deposit) and I heard "lo sconto" (discount). Oops.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Dreaming of Blue

I'm dreaming of blue. A beautiful turquoise blue. The kind of blue that fills your eyes and soul... a corsican blue!

Had just the perfect week in Corsica in and around Bonifacio. The sea was so calm and the water's so turquoise and that deep marine blue that you only see in documentaries. I learnt to swim better in these confidence giving waters to the point where I was even able to 'snorkel' a bit with goggles.

So relaxing to think of the fish feeding and the silver and rainbow colours on their flanks glinting as they edge away from me in their little shoals among the weeds. And the weeds are like the fairytale forests of folklore. You don't want to put your feet down. Who knows what's lurking?

And now whenever I get a glimpse of blue sky from the tram window, I'm back there, dreaming of blue....