If you don’t like the weather…

2016-03-06-2432Almond blossoms   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  15 x 15″  40 x 40 cm

My father always jokes, a la Mark Twain, “if you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.”   This is soon to be the global mantra.

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Snow in the Trees    Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas   12 x 15″    30 x 40 cm

The week began in Rocca Malatina with heavy fog, which cleared up by Wednesday morning, for Blair and I  to paint the almond blossoms and to lunch outside.  Not far from our house, we could see the Alps, 200 miles away.    That afternoon Blair bought two black cypress trees at the garden store (Ludovico, the gardener said, “ I’ll plant them next week.”) and I planted primrose and violets.    On Thursday morning we woke up to 4 inches of snow, which continued most of the day.  The eight or so inches froze, then we got the strongest winds  I have ever experienced, Friday evening through Saturday afternoon (Otto at the café assures me this is not normal).  Trees toppled, and the lids flew off our 4 foot tall terra cotta planters.  What happened to sunny Italy?

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​Blossoms in March    Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 15″  30 x 40 cm

Friends from Corsica visited us on their way to Slovenia, and then on their way back.   The daughter had been making documentary movies in Slovenia for fourteen months, and worked in a refugee center.   She is the only person I know who has actually experienced the “refugee situation”, and it was surprising.   Competing NGOs and encouraging immigration were just part of it.   “Don’t believe the TV”, was her advice.   As time goes on, I think the media is constructing our reality, from world conflicts to politics, and I am careful what I read.  Right now I am reading “Nabokov’s Butterflies”.

They brought us dozens of bottles of Bordeaux and cheeses from France.  I don’t mean to complain, but I have had difficulty with Italian wines.   I can taste the heat in the wine, and it makes it hard for me to notice anything else.  Italian wine and duck?  I don’t know.  Of course there is the Barolo, at near 20 a bottle, “the king of wines”.  G, from Iceland, brought us slippers that her mother knitted, and Corsican sausages.   We had feasts and lots of laughs together.

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​Through the Chapel Window   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/panel   12 x 12″  30 x 30cm

We took the Corsicans (Corsica is that marvelous blend of Italian and French)  to our favorite pasta joint in Modena:  Aldini.  It’s an upstairs restaurant, and fashionable diners eat delicious homemade food.    We get the combination of three pastas – if you are going to gorge pasta, may as well go all the way.  Tortellini in brodo; Tortelli with ricotta and spinach, Modenese style; we slipped in a Risotto, and finished with my favorite Lasagna.   Waddle waddle down the stairs and out.   We drank Sangiovese all around – a rather thin wine.

We took a walk through the woods that afternoon, eyeing the incredible amount of violets in bloom.  We were in search of butterflies, but there were none.  I guess they knew something we didn’t.

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​Violets growing in the Rock   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas 10 x 14″   25 x 35cm

Today, the bird sings outside our window to put a good face on things.  Bravissimo!

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