“reflections and thanks” revisited

I posted this photograph six years ago today in response to The Weekly Photo Challenge that so many of us used to be part of. Given how we are all supporting each other in the blogosphere, the world’s safest place to practice social distancing during these challenging times, my thanks today are for all the heroes and heroines working so hard to save us all.
Cortona ii
The photo was taken early one summer’s evening from the Youth Hostel in Cortona, Italy and shows the bells of the Chiesa del Torreone reflected in our bedroom window with Lake Trasimeno seen shimmering in the distance; a moment of pure magic.

My little watercolour shows reflections in the window of another Italian youth hostel in Finale Ligure, the magnificent Castello Vuillerman, recorded in my Journal on July 2, 1999. We’ll never forget climbing the more than three hundred steps, with packs on our backs, to the Castello where the view of the city, seen in this window reflection, was well worth the climb.

I hope this raises your spirits just a little. Be well and stay safe.


 Mosaic Variation 12.6.15, matted and framed.  Inspired by the floor mosaics of the Basilica San Marco in Venice

Returning to Venice next week but difficulty with Wifi so here is a taste of the last few days with lots more to follow when we return home. 


Foro Romano 30.5.15 matted and framed.

Next stop The Eternal City.

Our last visit was on the 19th of July 1999 as you can see.  
It’s been far too long. 
Stay tuned 🙂


Finale Ligure reflection matted and framed.

The window is from the Youth Hostel in Finale Ligure, Castello Vuillerman, where we stayed in 1999. We’ll never forget climbing the more than three hundred steps with packs on our backs to the Castello where the views of the city were well worth the climb.

The first variation in ink and water-colour repurposed from Studio 365:Day 145

…the journal entry from our visit

  …and the original window reflection.


Venice study I 22.5.15 matted and framed

Returning in a few weeks for the first time since July 1999 as you can see from my journal.

…can’t wait for more “Asiago and Pomodori at the Palazzo” 🇮🇪

the list’s the thing

The Poetry of List-Making

For this week’s Discover Challenge from WordPress we are asked by Erica to explore the artistic side of list-making.

“Using the list form as your foundation, turn it into something unexpectedly beautiful.”

This seems the perfect excuse for another dip into my prized Journal from our Italian travels in 1999, which you may remember accompanied the Italian series of paintings last year during my Studio 365 day challenge.


Writing the journal at the end of each day became a labor of love. Each list of the day’s activities took on a life of its own, and as I look back through it again today memories of those lovingly documented moments come flooding back, which explains why the journal became the subject of my post for another Discover Challenge in April: Memory

lists i

…the surgical instruments designed by Giovanni Alessandro Brambilla in the Museo Galileo in Florence…

list ii

….meeting Alessandro Menghini in the medieval garden he had designed in  Perugia, which he describes in his book Il Giardino Dello Spirito…

list iv

…and the welcome gelati break in the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, lying in the warm afternoon sun.

list iii

But perhaps the most important lists of all from our trip were to be found in the train timetable book from Italian Railways, which became our bible as we travelled across this most beautiful of countries.

Definitely time for a return visit I think…maybe next year 🙂

Discover Challenge: Memory

For this week’s Discover Challenge Krista asks us to “get inspired by illustrated journalling”.

From time to time in my blog I have dipped into one of my prize possessions, an illustrated journal I kept throughout our travels in Italy and Greece during 1999 and 2000.


I thought for the challenge I would use four of its pages as examples of pen, ink and water-colour notations that I made each evening to record certain moments and scenes that I had found particularly memorable that day:

Final Ligure

The laundry hanging out of the window of the youth hostel at Castello Wuillerman where we stayed in Finale Ligure…

Padua i

Some of Giotto’s exquisite fresco figures in the magnificent Scrovegni Chapel in Padua…

Journal 9.VII

The intricate patterns of the mosaic floors of Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, which you may remember inspired a painting on Day 163 last year…


The birds and flowers on the entrance ticket for the Akrotiri Archeological Museum on the Isle of Santorini…

If you are interested in seeing other postings from the journal just search “journal” in the search box at the foot of the page.