Monday, 31 January 2011

Signs & Wonders

We finished a feverish bout of sign making yesterday evening. All hand cut in wood and painstakingly painted. There's a sign for each apartment, signs to direct folks to the house and the car park, and little boundary defining signs that read 'Privato'. No translation required! I tried several times to get a decent photo of them, but none reflect exactly what the eye sees. The picture here was the best of a bad bunch!
Tell Tale Signs

Gradually, inroads into the schedule of little jobs that need doing are being made. Having earthed every fitting and appliance around Christmas time (see previous bloggery) we've completed the electrical section by installing better lighting in the main kitchen and fixing new lamps over the mirrors in the guest bathrooms. The lamps are modern but the opaque white glass shades add a touch of the traditional and remind me of those you saw over gas mantles way back when.

White walls and chestnut beams are heavenly, but if you eat too much candy you're gonna get sick. Today we've been mixing coloured pigments into cauldrons of white tempera. Not to be mistaken for the mouth-watering crispy batter in Thai establishments, most urban Brits and a good many others aren't familiar with this material. It's the stuff your great-granny used to whitewash the coal house with. A simple water based suspension of pigments, breathable, superb chalky finish and ecologically sound. You can buy a vat of it for a handful of beans here.

A slight digression, but those renaissance masterpieces in the Uffizi were painted with similar stuff but stabilized with egg albumen. (I never missed an Open University broadcast as a kid!)

We were aiming for the yellowy colour of real vanilla ice-cream. At first it looked a disturbingly psychedelic acid yellow. Thankfully, a few hours later it settled back to a shade slightly more yellow than Devon clotted cream, but we can live with that. We only used about 50ml of the pigment to 14 litres of tempera. The lessons of life aren't learned in a day!

Long nights and short grey days clearly get some Brits thinking about holidays. We've had lots of enquiries and we've sold about 50 nights so far. At the moment it looks like our season kicks off right at the start of April. Unless you come sooner.

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