Saturday, December 20, 2014

Artnotes: Buon Natale

Cervo beyond the Boats   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  15 x 21.5"  38 x 55cm
 View St Bartolomeo   Laurie Fox Pessemier acrylic/canvas  18 x 21.5"   46 x 55cm
 Castello at St Bartolomeo  Blair Pessemier   acrylic/canvas  13 x 16 "  33 x 41 cm  
 View from above Cervo   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  15 x 18 "   38 x 46 cm
 Early Morning Moonlight   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  9.5 x 12"  24 x 30
 Bell Tower and Chimney  Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas   16 x 10.5"  41 x 27cm
 Chair   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  16 x 9.5"  41 x 24cm
Looking up the street  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 13    41 x 33cm

Artnotes:  Buon Natale

“Cash only for stamps,” the clerk announced.  (after Blair spent a half hour in line)

Blair waited for the stamps.  50 euros, yikes.

“I WILL put them on,” she continued, “LATER”.  

So we’ll be interested to hear if anyone receives our Christmas card from Italy. (it bears my painting of Bologna at Christmas, and an Italian stamp)

As Blair’s uncle Hy used to say “you don’t make a fuss over change when there’s fifty people behind you in line.”  He used to have a concession at Dodger Stadium in the 1960s.   

This wasn’t our first postal experience here.  The day before, after spending 45 and 30 minutes in line at two different post offices, we learned that not all post offices mail packages to the USA.  “You’ll have to go to San Bartolomeo,” the clerk announced.  Of course, it was closed.

I remarked that no one else in the line had a package.  Mostly the queue-ers were waiting for bank transactions.  In most European countries, there is a bank tied to the postal service.  You wait in line for your weekly 50 euros, or to deposit your check.  No machines here.

It is always interesting to spend time in another country – more than the two week vacation, but to really LIVE in a town, using services, making acquaintances at the café, struggling through an explanation.  Yesterday we found a place to print three posters – just on regular paper, but nonetheless well printed.  We all beamed at the result.

Earlier, we hunted down a portable modem at the WIND store (the Italian telecom).  I even got an English speaking clerk (my Italian learning is S L O W) who told me I could use this device “in the middle of the ocean”.

The town we are staying in has a water-for-five-cents fountain – it rings of the day when people used to go to the well.   Christmas carolers sang beneath our window two nights ago.  The church bell ringer practices “Oh come all ye faithful” on the carillon every day at 12:30.  

And the package?  Luckily, we are only 45 minutes from France, and we drove to the post office at Menton to mail.  We got a tracing number and a receipt.  No line.   While we were there we picked up a live Christmas tree, almost impossible to find here on the “Riviere dei Fiori” (flower coast).   We made our own  ornaments, and PRESTO:  Merry Christmas.

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