Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Well, Chickadees,

I'm off again for a few days. I'll be in Dublin til Mon.

No comments like, "Wow, Dublin. That's cool" if you please.

I would rather gnaw my own leg out of a steel trap than get on a plane right now. Just at the moment, I'm more in a mood to hide under the bed, so really...

Don't know how much posting I'll be doing, so play nicely.

Anyway, here's a few random pics to amuse you.

Finished my second Bargue drawing today. It didn't take nearly so many hours to finish this one as the last and she was more complex. It's going well, I think.

From this

to this

to this

to this

e basta.

So I started on the Horse head right away.

Found this neat store that sells and repairs casts of famous things. Just up a bit from Piazza della Republica, on the way up to Santa Susanna.

Visited the nuns at San Vincenzo last weekend.

They have donkeys. They loved to be petted. When you go up to the fence, they come right over to have their ears rubbed.

Got along with the cat pretty well too.

The "new" monastery is fully restored. Built in the 11th and 12th centuries.

Little bits of the old monastery of San Vincenzo can be seen all over,

as well as plenty of old Roman columns from the Roman villa the first foundation was built on.

This thousand year old stone lion still guards the front gate.

along with a slightly newer friend.

When the nuns (from Regina Laudis in the US) first arrived in 1990, a lot of it was in ruins. It had been abandoned for 200 years.

The nearby towns, this is Rocceta al Volturno, were all built in the 9th and tenth centuries after the Saracens destroyed the old San Vincenzo monastic city. The people all literally took to the hills in a process called "encastellation".

Then... the "new" Romanesque church of San Vincenzo, built in the 10th century. The old one (8th century) was burned by the Mohammedans.

...and now

The church as it has been restored since the nuns arrived.

A bit austere for my taste.

The stones, still being recovered, from the old San Vincenzo, some of them still bearing the faint traces of the frescoes for which the monastery was famous.

From the olive groves. The nuns have over 400 trees, and could use a little help in harvest time.

As I was walking through the olive groves, I was wondering if I ought to have been wearing boots, against snakes.

Sure enough...

We also heard wolves at night, and I was told that since the population has been falling, the wolves are getting bolder. The monastery lost a sheep one day some years ago, right out of one of the front fields in broad daylight. I was told not to take walks at night, or even go out into the courtyard.

The newly restored church, behind the apse, with some of the ancient masonry.

Another nearby encastellated town.

One of the monastery's old outbuildings. Restored to serve as the nuns' pottery. One of the sisters,

Mother Philippa, is an archaeologist and she was fascinated by some of the ancient Samnite tombs they found while digging in front of the Church. They date to the 6th century BC. She started studying the pottery techniques and has made a lot of Samnite pottery.

Mother Philippa, the potter, in a rare moment when she was not smiling.

And the fruit...

I picked and ate a lot of figs.

And took home about 5 pounds of crab apples.

As well as about the same of rose hips.

They said I could come back and pick sloes. They're best for gin if you wait until the first frost.

And I said I would come back and help with the olive harvest.

The dogs and I went for a walk along the ridge, and came across this hut. Something to do with sheep, perhaps? Heaven only knows how old it is.

"Listen my son, and incline thine ear..."



Ingemar said...

>>No comments like, "Wow, Dublin. That's cool" if you please.

Oh sh*t! Dublin? Why hang out with a bunch of filthy gingers?

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures; thanks.


SMJ said...

It looks that the nun is wearing crocs... :-)

Fr. T. said...

I never ever wanted to become a nun before, but now, in the midst of all this lovely and gentle Romanesque architecture, severe in away only St. Bernard could have, I'll definitely have to have a chat with my spiritual director. Tell Mother Philippa I love her, though.