Well, the exhibition opening has come and gone. I was calm and in control right up to the end. I worked methodically through everything I had to do like a well-oiled machine. On the night the timing was perfect. I had time for a nice refreshing and cleansing shower beforehand and then had an hour and a half to prepare the tapas, which I did with three minutes to spare! I enjoyed it. I had to just do it. There was no time to stop and think too much, although at the same time I was making up certain recipes and mixtures of flavours. It was creative and hugely satisfying and relaxing. I even had enough time to wipe down the counters and stack the dirty boards, knives and mixing bowls for a wash-up later on.
I can’t believe how relaxed I was when I arrived at the Casa de la Cultura and calmly started opening bottles of wine and stacking up the plastic cups and organizing the hospitality table in general.
And then the people started arriving. Most were friends but there were also various interested people who I had never met before and there were visiting dignitaries invited by the powers that be. The gallery wasn’t thronged, but I was more than happy with the turnout. It was interesting to see the people who did support me and those that did not. Of course people have their own reasons for not coming on the night and so I prefer to dwell on the surprise of certain people who did come.
It was an enjoyable night for me. Of course I must have been a little bit nervous and in fact I know now that I must have been quite wired over the past couple of weeks of intense work and planning because for the last two days (after the event) I feel about a hundred years old and am having the greatest difficulty dragging my aching bones out of the bed in the morning. Still I forced myself out this morning and went up to my beloved forest. It was a struggle, especially as the weather last night was wet and very windy and it looked cold this morning, so I put on a fleece and was glad of it, although by the time I got to the forest I was sweating gently.
And there I was surrounded by the damp and earthy smells. There was a lovely blue tinge in the air where there was a slight morning mist hanging just suspended by invisible hands. I saw two different types of mushrooms. I was told yesterday by someone who knows about these things that there are mushrooms to be had up there so I was on the look out. It is frustrating that I have not yet learned which ones are edible though. I have the fear of God in me about picking poisonous ones and so hesitate. It is so hard to identify them from books and there is always a margin of error.
My attempts at jogging this morning were pretty hopeless I will admit, but I forced myself to do just a little bit of stop-start stuff. My legs felt like lead and felt quite stiff down the backs of my calves as well. Still I did a bit and perhaps will be fresher tomorrow and I will try again. All the same I managed to free my mind from all the work of the past few weeks and two new ideas just popped into my head. I have now jotted down notes on them and this afternoon I will do a couple of little sketches in my sketchbook to keep them there until I have time to carry them out properly.
Today it is still windy although in the main there is good sunshine. It is a holiday tomorrow for All Soul’s Day (or is it all Saint’s – I always get the two confused and really think that only the very devout know for sure) so there have been a few firecrackers and rockets going off today. I am sure there will be some marching and drumming tomorrow too. It starts to fascinate me, this heartbeat of the land. I often hear drumming practice going on at various times. It is a country of rhythm and slowly but surely I start to slip into that rhythm. The heartbeat starts to control all the residents unless they strongly resist. I have no problem with being sucked in. I like the warmth of the country and of the people that I am meeting here slowly or ‘poco a poco’. I am in no great rush. I have the rest of my life.