As I get ready for a new adventure which will bring me back to London next week, here are some things I have been working on lately.
I keep writing down stories from the research field, tales of sightings and boat-based life from my Ischia internship -which I will soon start sharing here- and I have been preparing my latest (online) performance, for the Richard Jefferies Museum in Swindon, which should soon be ready for launch on the internet!
While all this work is in progress, I thought to touch base with a mainly-photographic post. These are some of the daily sights from my grandma’s corner of world.
During the last weeks there I lived the change of the season together with the countryside.
After a hot month of watering tomatoes in the kitchen garden, and keeping planting new salads and zucchini, big storms came, bringing lightings, noisy nights, and then a new fresh clean air -as well as less watering of tomatoes, more new recipes to go with the cool weather, and the grand reopening of our home-made cinema nights!
We only put on old movies from grandma’s rich cineteque (recently turned from VHS into super technological DVDs), from musicals to The sting and Someone Likes it hot, passing from Mary Poppins, westerns and outsiders like Pixar’s “Cars” and the recent true-story-inspired “Harriet”. No need to say, we know most of them by heart, and keep discovering new things every time we watch them!
The sky cleared again just in time for the full moon.
When I am in Italy I love spending time in this corner. It is always a good chance to catch up with silence, connect for a while to the rhythms of trees and open eyes wide, since there’s a lot of sky to practice.
There was also time for jam making, and I am not talking jazz here… from the tree to the jars, no kidding!
I was in the process all along, and I found out…it takes a village. We took the mele cotogne from grandma’s tree, I was up there on the ladder with branches all over me in the heat of the late morning field, then it took 4 days to get the jam done and we didn’t even use all the fruits!
So many hours spent stirring the boiling hot jelly in huge pots! It was a team effort, with shifts and so on. So it was really quite satisfying to look at an army of full reddish jars parading on the heart sill, when we finally finished.
Soon after, they were already in use…
When not busy with any of the above, I have been enjoying reading ethology books on grandma’s swing bench, in the green shade between the maple, the poplar, and wholenut trees.
I’ve read about the wild Chimpanzees of Gombe from Jane Goodall, and on birds’ evolution and behavior from Italian ethologist Danilo Mainardi.
Jane Goodall’s work in the field of animal conservation, social justice and education is very inspiring to me. I consider it one of the best examples we have today on how the three things have to work hand in hand to actually reach long-term goals.
And I have loved learning about birds in Italian, from another very inspiring outreacher indeed! Mainardi’s book made me curious about domesticated animals as never before, as I am always looking for the “wildest” creature around. Now I could spend hours watching pigeons in a town’s square!
It is nice to be back with my nose in good books. The company of trees and wind makes it just the perfect holiday time to me.
And talking of trees…
here are some shots from olive trees trunks, our main neighbors at gramma’s place.
From the outside,
from the inside..
and with a unexpected guest star who last minute took the stage 🙂
I wish I could learn to grow like a tree. They make me feel a special trust in what is around, as they have to take whatever comes…and slowly make it into new leaves, roots and fruits.
As this is a harvest time in the wheel of the year, I have enjoyed looking back at what I have harvested through mine. It was cool to feel both satisfaction and impatience for the next to start!
New seeds to plant, and older plants to take care of through winter, through the time of growth that goes unseen…
..towards next sprouts and summer, the special promise the sun keeps every year to this incredible world.