I am staring dreamily out over the sleepy Umbrian hills from my Italian terrace. A majestic view of Perugia rises before me as an early summer sun begins to set. Church bells ring out in the distance and birds harmonise delightfully with stories of their day. I must surely be in paradise? And just when I thought life just couldn’t get any better, my German artist neighbour appears with a large glass of “montefalco rosso” served at perfect room temperature, accompanied by a plate overflowing with heavenly appetisers! My creative new friend sees that I am deep in thought tapping away on my iPad, she lays the feast by my side and quietly retreats. I’ve just spent 2 hours editing and translating some text for her new art exhibition which is opening in Germany soon, and the tasty offerings are in grateful thanks for this. Taking a ladylike quaff of wine I toast her over a floriferous rose bush.
I came here a week ago with the plan of studiously taking in some Italian lessons, reconnecting with my Roman friends and, as always in the back of my mind, to search for some musical inspiration. As ever with such an adventure, the unplanned experiences along the way are all part of the journey. I arrived with an open mind and things just flowed…..
My German neighbours and I quickly bonded through a passionate interest in all things Italian and a mutual love of art….helped by an appreciation of good wine ☺. The awkward Italian words we initially exchanged soon gave way to intense and fascinating conversations in English. Before I knew it, Elisabeth was seducing me with stories of her “Green Room” exhibition and her desire for an accompanying English text. I was, it seemed, the girl for the job. So without a moment lost, I steamed in to action…and amazingly enough, Elisabeth was delighted with the result! I must thank you dear Thorpe Magazine because without the valuable writing experience you have afforded me, I would never dreamed of offering my writing services to anyone….and here I am having a great time doing it too!
The next day……
Well, my artist friends are recently gone and I am left with musical ideas in abundance. Elisabeth’s paintings have resonated with me on so many levels that melodies and lyrics pour forth. Luckily, on leaving Thorpe, I had thought to ram a plastic recorder in to my hand luggage at the last minute, and I have to say that even though it has its restrictions, this simplest of instruments has been incredibly useful! (Ryanair’s instrument carriage policy leaves a lot to be desired when transporting my beloved saxophones with care…. and this alone lends itself to a series of a series of distressing budget flight tales, of which I’m sure you’ll thank me for saving till another time).
This hot afternoon saw me roaming into the hills after my Italian lesson, clutching my recorder in my sweaty hand, along with a pencil and scraps of manuscript paper…….oh, and a large bag of local delicacies (I’m sure you’ll understand that these were completely necessary to support the creative flow!). It was amazing…..at this point in time I was content and at one with nature. The words I had written with Elisabeth were with me, as were her beautiful images, and I enjoyed a magical afternoon of pied piping with nature. I felt Saint Francesco of Assisi wandering with me amongst the olive groves, reflecting on how many different shades of green there are, and feeling simple peace in this verdant oasis.