I would have put a candle in the window, but instead decided to put it under a photograph of some grapes.
It isn’t one of those special ‘drip’ candles, but the wax proceeded to run all down the bottle and puddle at the bottom.
This is what the room looked like yesterday before even the bed and the hoist arrived.
Our hundred-square-metre room looks like a furniture store where the new lot of furniture arrived before the old lot was sold.
The main victim, apart from Galileo who was terrified, was the grapefruit tree which had to be moved back and forth and was knocked into mercilessly.
When everything had been assembled, Clive rose from his sofa like Venus on her scallop shell (correction: not quite like Venus), swivelled and ensconced himself in the wheelchair from where, after propelling himself across the floor, he used the hoist as a hand-hold to swing himself onto the bed – and then back into the wheelchair!
It’s like a little revolution has happened.
It’s sunny again today, but I have too many photos of rain effects from the last few days not to use one more.
The water on the cotoneaster leaf was just a shine to start with, then it gradually swelled into a translucent green marble. I caught it seconds before it elongated and fell.
The berries are washed shiny bright. Some of them carry an individual droplet cradled underneath them.
The undersides of the leaves are sprinkled with tiny diamonds to form a bead setting for the centre emerald.
A storm brewing over the valley; maybe whirling in its midst is La Befana, the Italian Christmas Witch who visits at Epiphany.
She’ll be departing now, having done her rounds of leaving sweets and presents.
I came across an elemental description of her by the Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli:-
Viene, viene la Befana
Vien dai monti a notte fonda
Come è stanca! la circonda
Neve e gelo e tramontana!
Viene, viene la Befana
This is my English translation:-
|Here she comes, the Christmas crone
From mountains in the dead of night
How tired she is! she’s wrapped up tight
In snow and frost and all wind-blown!
Here she comes, the Christmas crone
Every Christmas our town of Valtopina constructs a nativity scene in the same place and along the same basic lines.
It consists of a landscape of cliffs and glens and forests with, as its main feature, a stream of real running water that turns a miniature water wheel.
Somewhere in this landscape, bathed in light, is the Holy Family, with various shepherds and kings trekking their way towards them.
I haven’t seen the completed scene this year – it was unveiled last night – but this was how it began.
The young man in the quilted jacket is being advised by his grandfather, just visible.
I’ve got used to there being roses well into the winter, but the rose bush that produced these specimens has surpassed itself.
Its leaves have mostly gone, so the twigs are holding out red hips and red blooms like a forest of head boppers.
I wish the holly tree next door to it would take a leaf out of its book. It has six berries, all on one small branch rather hidden from view. If the birds had noticed, it wouldn’t even have those.
I wish all my visitors a JOYFUL AND PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS.
Last Christmas, when Clive was in hospital in France and I was on my own in Italy, I bought a rose-scented candle to keep me company.
This Christmas, although we’re back together, I lit the candle again.
Every time I come into the room, the scent envelops me – not faint and delicate like the perfume of the roses which still persist in the garden, but rich, creamy and heady.
The flame, flickering in my peripheral vision, adds to the feeling of cosiness.
We have a big candle painted with Nativity scenes on the other side of the room, and a freesia-scented candle to take over when this one’s finished, but this is the romantic one.