Thursday, 24 April 2008

On the move

Back from ten days away in Italy during the school holidays as the seasons work out which one is going to hold sway. Snow on the mountains is visible from our apartment's windows, and the swimming pool in its garden is still covered up, but each day the sun rises and shines and promises, but doesn't quite deliver. The hammock that hangs tantalisingly in the garden dries each morning in the sun before the next downpour makes it too wet to lie in.

Le Marche is an area of hilltop towns and rolling countryside, away from the crowds, and a gentle place to be. We cycle to nearby Amadola down ridiculously steep lanes, so steep that we end up pushing the bikes down, because the brakes aren't all they might be, and then, later in the day, push them back up again. We might just as well have gone for a walk.

The town has an arch in its central square, through which all its traffic must squeeze, and cafes overlooking a market. The kids' ice-creams are big enough to give me plenty of time to draw the piazza from a cafe, while a Birmingham couple talk loudly from the next table about their plans for a new extension to their house.
Celia gets from the market a red and black striped AC Milan shirt with "99 Ronaldo" on the back, and wears it for the walk back. We visit our old friends and their children nearby who have moved to Italy to live, and drive up into the snow.

Back in London, the local patisserie that features in one of my drawings agree to take one to hang on its wall, and then three other ones. I attach my contact details, and then get a series of emails and phone calls from potential buyers and people interested in commissioning me. Hang them on a wall and they start to sell themselves. Most of those who call me are leaving London and want to take something to help them remember their favourite places. Everyone seems to be on the move.