Actually , the big adventure took a swerve when after another relatively pleasant night train journey ( I can’ t help thinking of it as my cheap version of orient express) I arrived at the hospital in Fontanellato to discover that J was very seriously ill….and still is.
I had booked to stay in parma but I felt it was too far away incase of emergencies. So I spent 4 nights in the hospital accommodation. Spent the first night worrying about being called for and not being able to work the lift. Have actually stopped on all floors including the basement but am gradually getting better. My suitcase I had left in my room in parma so luckily had my phone charger and lipstick. But being a wearer of stay put lipstick with nothing to take it off I had to resort to putting more on as it gradually wore off and stressed over whether rushing to someone’s bedside with bright red lipstick at 3am would look bad. It never happened!
After 4 days there was no room at hospital. I spent one night in parma with my suitcase. Then I was so worried at hospital that I booked into a hotel opposite …without suitcase! Spent 3 nights there and retrieved my suitcase from parma.
While in the hotel I checked through airbnb and found the monastery. Due to the photo I had assumed it was in the countryside….but when I looked at the address I could see it should be very close by. I sent a booking request , hoping they might have room for me and they did.
So me and my suitcase moved into the monastery ( 2 mins walk from hospital) and I love being here. It makes me feel safe. It’ s very pretty. My room is perfect . Lovely table for painting on. Nice view of the monastery garden from the window and it is so lovely and warm. There is also a dining/ living room and a kitchen available.
Every time I see one of the Sisters they are smiling.
I go between amazing gratefulness and wonder because I have somewhere safe to stay and fontanellato is soooo colourful and pretty. The people are friendly and it has everything I have needed so far…….and heartbroken at the hospital because it’ s critical.
So I am calling my adventure an art and life course. In the mornings I go out have coffee and the Internet in my favourite cafe, take some photos and then come back to the monastery and paint. I also bought some cheap art books at the antiques market so am studying them. In the afternoon I do the life part of the course. I am learning a lot there too.
I have used my little book of paintings several times and am sure if I stay here long enough I could get work. In the meantime I am painting a series of small pen and watercolour sketches.
( if you follow me on Twitter you will know most of this. Friends – real and virtual are keeping me going)
And I still have a house to sell in pisticci. It’ s on this blog somewhere)