[Only] Mad Dogs and Englishmen

My wonderful English son-in-law mentioned Noel Coward’s song the first day we started work. Yes, the sun is warm, the work (for Roy and Elizabeth; much, much less so for me) is long and hard. And, yes, currently, much of the interior work is still in process.

A Vision...in process

A Vision…in process

Yet, it’s amazing to be in this Sicilian hill-town again, this time with Roy and Elizabeth, and working on – not living in – the studio.

I’ve done some painting in my day. Whitewash is NOT paint. Ask me sometime about using the calce Elizabeth mixes up in one, often two, buckets for the day’s work. Also, in my day, I’ve seen bricks delivered — but tufa? Who builds things with volcanic conglomerate? As it turns out, the Romans did. Speaking of bricks, I will state the obvious: Ordering bricks – whether tufa or terra cotta – or getting cement or piping delivered here, is not like placing the order with Home Depot.

So, yes, I’ve done some water-spraying and whitewashing, and I’ve done it in the sun. However, when it got to be too much…? I mean after two hours? Three? I’d walk away from the job, heading for the nearest bar or gelateria.

And more than once, the end of the day meant the wonderful Ristorante-Pizzeria Halykos, just up the next street.

Pizzeria Holykos, Via Siracusa

Pizzeria Holykos, Via Siracusa

Escaping the Mid-day SunE

Americans Escaping the Mid-day Sun

Day 2.5

Elizabeth and Roy are very patient with me. Today I  content myself with just a morning spritz over the 2 layers of whitewash which have been laid on over the past 2 days.  In the late afternoon – the sane time to work – instead of helping out, I’ll represent us at the funeral of il padre di  Giuseppe, the lovely MyHouse Joe, who has been so patient with me – answering every question (about Mass times, about shop openings); storing my cane, when I forgot it in the rush to leap on the Palermo bus in April ’13.

In the meantime… 


The Way In

Via Catania: The Way In



Hat, gloves – prepping for the day’s WHITEWASHING


Lovely to turn around and find this Vista







from  the '13 visit!

In the kitchen: Palms remain, from my  ’13 visit!

Happy Fourth of… WHAT?

No holiday in Cianciana. With all of us arrived, unpacked, and in place, today was our first official Work Day. Elizabeth sat outside to do some business – the chiavetta works best outside – before we headed to the studio.

Our Personal Internet Cafe

Our Personal Internet Cafe

Roy and I, dressed for work —


Once at the jobsite (Studio Sicilia,where I stayed Spring ’13, and where she currently has renters, upstairs), Elizabeth could begin unpacking some of the items she’s been sending from Asia to Sicily for the past 2 years.

Here, she just found the Thai elephant cups.

Unfurling “Painters’ Silk.” The picture doesn’t to justice to this pure, light Chinese piece,which she’ll use inside Studio Sicilia

Elizabeth and Roy inspecting, discussing possibilities for this new project (a new room!).

E&R planning