You can always tell it's Sunday in Italy, away go the Cinquecento's and the Piaggi's and out come your Super Moto's all in their National Colours and paintwork in adoration of their Superhero the World Champion Valentino [nothing to do the actor or Santa] - just ask my mate Lillo he 's a top fan.
They behave superbly on the Strada immaculately dressed and moving twenty to thirty at a time in perfect formation it's a sight to see and one you can see all over Italy on a Sunday.
Very restless night caused by this picture I found in the Times Magazine by an artist named Bond [John not James] I'll do the jokes here!
It's a simple winter scene using no more than three colours Violet, Cobalt and a hint of something and there's the problem and it got to me.
Life's' hard - all your problems out there, World Economy, DHL or not DHL. British weather, another quick seventeen pages of Excel accountancy spreadsheets before I go home or shall I savour it overnight and do it tomorrow?
Weighed against my major problem what is the missing colour? I think is Alizarin Crimson or it might be Cadmium Red Hue and so it went on...
I was awake half the night trialling everything I could think of now I look at again it more of a brown hue. See the problems I have? - and you thought I was having fun. Stressed is what I am.
Shorts and t-shirts weather order "whites" as we used to say as Cadets, no socks of course, Johnny Foreigner knows immediately you're a Brit if you're found to attired in Wolsey's Finest Argyll Pattern even if you are wearing the latest type of Jesus sandals.
I was due to leave here on the 1st Jan 2009 but the weather next week here is not going to be good and so I will sit tight here in my chalet caravan and complete my last four paintings, clean out the van, wash the remainder of my clothes, top up the van levels and on the seventh proceed to Palermo for two days to have a really good look round.
Then it is onwards to Trapani for one day then to Selinunte for one day, Agrigento for five days then Ragusa for seven days, Syracusa for two days, Mt Etna camp site for one day (no use tempting fate by staying longer!) Then Taormina for one day then on the ferry to Reggio Calabria and to Tropea camp site before nightfall.
I will then tackle the long journey home commencing on the 28th January which will give me 28 days to get home through Italy and France over to Bordeaux up to Vihiers (if you join up the v and I to make a w it spells Whiers a bit like my old company Walon spelt with a w pronounced like a v as also in German).
So if I'm visiting and if they've all got big noses and waffle on for hours about nothing then I'll know that this is my ancestral home. It's as scientific as that folks!
It's very quite here today, twilight is upon us a 4pm.
Ate lunch outside with a bottle of wine had a long chat with Grover. He is quite knowledgeable about quite a wide tranche of things, though I never actually see him drink and yet his share seems to go down briskly enough. You would be surprised what he has got to say after a bottle of wine or two, I even find myself losing the odd argument with him once he really gets going!
All our love Grover & Laurence
Taken on the 22nd December:
Beach at Cefalu - I slept in the sand for 2 hours!
Swimming pool at Rais Gerbi
Path to the beach at Rais Gerbi
Taken on the 23rd December:
My New home for the next 3 weeks:
Set up for my painting