EMPIEZO

DAY 4 Tuesday 4 September 2018

 La Playeta on the River Chelva is a local bathing spot. Families come here at weekends to eat Paella and relax.  

La Playeta on the River Chelva is a local bathing spot. Families come here at weekends to eat Paella and relax.  

A wonderful riverside walk with Ben and Helma to start the day. The Rio de Chelva (Rio Tuéjar) is a tributary of the Turia; a fast flowing river which used to serve several old mills along its course. Sadly, I think the Turia is not easily accessible; it runs in a steep gorge in the mountains to the south of here, and feeds a large reservoir and hydro-electric plants along its course. The area is known for its rock climbing so that probably rules out a visit.

En route to the Playeta we visit an American couple who are renovating an old house - a big undertaking, but already it looks lovely with an antique tiled wall behind the hooded-fireplace and an arcaded balcony with a stunning view over the valley.

 Waiting to start...

Waiting to start...

When we return I make a start in the studio. I’m making simple mono-prints off pieces of perspex using acrylic paints. This morning I’m experimenting and find, annoyingly, that I need to return to Valencia to buy better and thicker paper. Also perspex and acrylic paint are rather too smooth and featureless. But anyway I make some initial textures based on Aigua y Fang (Water and Mud) and then start on ‘The Kindness of Strangers’; the gifts I have been given: eggs and olive oil...

 Some initial mono-prints. Top. Angus y Fang Bottom. Huevos.

Some initial mono-prints. Top. Angus y Fang Bottom. Huevos.

Later, Helma gives me some local unrefined honey and vegetables from her garden. And I find some ripe figs on a tree at the bottom of my garden. More gifts for the series...

 Fresh garden vegetables for supper...

Fresh garden vegetables for supper...

In the evening I take my downing rods round to Ben and Helma’s to search for water as they tell that there is a damp patch on their chimney. Indeed it appears to flow under the chimney in the sitting room and in the kitchen too, but that must be very common round here! I’ll dowse my house tomorrow, although I’m not sure I really want to know!

 I delight in my house and garden - it’s full of interesting objects and details and the four flights of stairs will keep me fit.

I delight in my house and garden - it’s full of interesting objects and details and the four flights of stairs will keep me fit.