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Sunday 3rd February, still in Piana

After Christmas and New Year in Palermo we returned to Piana to finally create the dining table we had came here to build in the first place, drawn by our wonderful and magnetic hosts Julia and Giuseppe.

Since then we’ve had some exciting adventures. We went at night to hot springs miles out in the countryside, and the nest day visited a market of stolen goods in Palermo. We bought an orbital sander for 10 euros, and it didn’t work.

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a fixing job on the hole made by the new chimney, alici alici!

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treehouse table
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treehouse table from above
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our dining table in progress
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dining table after 3 days of sanding
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our finished dining table
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detail from dining table
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detail from dining table
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the view from our christmas airbnb in Palermo
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kitchen still life

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our tree felling disaster
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my travelling companion

 

Tuesday 11th December, Piana Degli Albanesi – still here

Having finished the wall of bookshelves, the cold weather has compelled us to build a wood store to get some winter firewood drying, and to update the chicken coop which is in danger of being ripped apart by the high winds in Piana.

The weather is certainly wintry here, largely due to the altitude I think, for on our forays into Palermo the weather has been mild and pleasant. We had dear old Sean McGouldrick visiting us for a week in November, and managed several days of swimming in the sea.

We are now putting the finishing touches on some jobs here before we go to spend christmas and new year in Palermo, where Lachlan is meeting us for a week. Good lord I can’t wait to see that beautiful faice of his.

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a finished pallet library!

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Rhones, Shones and Clones on a walk
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the old church of Santa Maria
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Rhona and our unfinished chicken coop

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Tino and Ivy, always having fun
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Liccheo the arch nemesis

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Wednesday 31st October 2018, Piana Degli Albanesi

After a brief birthdaying hiatus in Budapest with Elspeth, Rhona and I made our way to Palermo, where we were picked up and whisked into mountains to the old Albanian settlement of Piana Degli Albanese, where we have been spending the last three weeks with our benevolent hosts Giuseppe and Julia and their wonderful menagerie of neurotic animals.

Here we have been exposed to the innate cooking power of a born Sicilian, watched thunder storms approaching and departing, met a wild fox and a giant toad and done a wee bit of work.

So far a sad table has been given a make-over and a large wall of bookshelves is close to being finished. Photos of the shelves and further projects will follow as they’re finished.

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Novaki 4.09.18 – 3.10.18

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Rhona and me, sitting in Klub D, drawing by Sergio Patron

For the last month we have been in Novaki, a glittering metropolis 40km from Zagreb, helping our wonderful hosts Marija and Nenad with developing their garden. We’ve been eating like Croatian kings and befriending ducks, dogs, cats and grasshoppers.

Over our time we’ve helped Thibault the Frenchman with building raised beds and garden furniture, built a greenhouse with Sergio the Mexican carpenter (and artist), shared our creative dreams with Mike and Sian the Mancunian rascals and generally had a very pleasant and productive time in Croatia.

Having now left, I’m sad we didn’t stay to see more projects come to fruition, but the cold weather has come and driven us south. The clear waters and buttery spaghetts of Sicily are calling…

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Sian, Mike, Sir Wallis, Nenad, Thibault, Marija and old Lora

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master carpenters
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Dr Garlic and mr Mystery Herb
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Our wee home in Novaki
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Lake Jarun in Zagreb

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Novaki garden

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Zagreb

On the 4th September Rhona, my partner in adventure and artistic endeavour, and I depart on a long awaited adventure of meandering creativity and learning. Our first stop will be close to Zagreb, where we’ll be spending a month helping to build a greenhouse and befriending ducks.

Over the next few months this space will be updated with musings and photographs from our journey, as well as artwork created along the way.

SILHOUTTEY