2009. UNA BELLA GIORNATA AL MARE

Or in other words ‘a beautiful day at the beach’, and everything that happened thereafter.   

As soon as Pip awakens at the break of day and feels the sunlight on her face, still sleepy but already slightly annoyed by the damp humid blanket of air that seems to hover over the outskirts of town, she has to get out the city immediately, she has to get out in the open, back to the sea, back to her roots. 

Pip has been living in the city for quite some time now, and although she has completely settled in, she still refers to the house where she was born as ‘home’.

On her way to the coast, she cancels all her appointments as she longs to feel the salty sea breeze in her hair, feel the warm welcoming sand underneath her feet (and everywhere else where it is not supposed to go). She yearns to just sit in sand and fix her eyes on the horizon, where the deep blue sea appears to blend seamlessly with the blue sky above. 

In her dairy Pip describes this emotion as follows;

‘A day at the beach, or better yet an entire weekend, gives me an enormous feeling of freedom. No hassle no stress, no drama. As a child I dearly loved this experience and the desire for this emotion remains the same. The sound of breaking waves at the shore, the soft rolls with almost melted cheese including the unavoidable seasoning of sand and the bottles of water, warmed  by the sun.
Once you are finally covered with sunscreen protector and lay down on your blanket (mostly on your tummy since you have an ounce or two too much!), the sea breeze softly puts you to a slumbery sleep. After your catnap, you have to cool off, and dip in the salty sea water that is always too cold. 

Without having to use a towel, the sun warms you back up and small salt crystals appear on your skin. Afterwards, you catch up with old school friends, that you haven’t seen for ages, play a game of beach volleyball, and then when the sun starts to set, the first bottle of spumante is opened.

Once the sun has finally set you head on home rosy and happy, you take a quick cold shower to get rid of the sand and salt, sit down at the table for a light summer salad, some grilled garlic coated prawns and the catch of the day that is superbly barbequed by either one of the brothers or better yet, the master chef himself, which is dad obviously.

That is what Italians call “una bella giornata al mare” translated as a beautiful day at the beach.’

As it is often the case in a country that has a northern sea climate, the summer never lasts too long. If you’re lucky a week, but generally it’s a weekend, or even just a day at most. Usually after a day or two a major storm breaks out with high speed winds, huge waves and heavy rain showers. Such was the case this time, it was raining cats and dogs.

Although it seemed that the summer was over, Pip decided to stay and linger for another day or two because she had prior arrangements to meet  with two of her closest childhood friends, Maryo whom was also fondly known as ‘Marrie’, and with Esther whom was more often than not, named ‘Essie’. 

They decided to have a late evening supper at Essie’s house since she was the best cook. 
They invited some other female friends, for a ‘girls night only’ with the intention to have a long overdue catch up with each other.  

The appointment was to set a eight o’clock that evening, and when you are normally accustomed to the hectic city life as Pip is, it can get pretty boring in the daytime at your parents house. Therefore, she decided to visit her sweet old granny that lived in a petite house behind the dam. Everybody knew her as ‘old granny dam’. Pip would help her granny to sort out her incredible collection of bits and pieces she had gathered from her many travels around the globe.

Pip first separated the 2D images from the 3D objects. The 2D images contained postcards, old advertisements, sketches, clipped newspaper articles amongst other things. After a while it seemed to Pip that she was just replacing chaos with new chaos. If there is anything that she cannot stand is losing oversight in what she called ‘the illusion of control’. 

Therefore, Pip decided to pin all the flat images to the wall, Once she took a step back to look at the big picture, it took her breath away, her heart skipped a beat, this was the intimate story of a woman’s life who she so dearly loved, admired, learnt from and above all, her endless source of inspiration. This was candy for the eye, loaded with decades of emotions, Pip felt that this must be saved and preserved, before it was lost forever.   

When old granny dam peeked around the corner, she could not stop the tears rolling from her eyes. She could not say whether it was because she relived all the moments that where in the pictures, or whether it was because she was so proud that Pip had inherited  her creative genes that would live on long after she was taken away from this earth. Then, as if struck by lightning, Pip had a fantastic idea, she realized that this was exceptional inspiration for an entire collection of wallpapers, But this would be no ordinary wallpaper collection, this would be ‘Wall power’, or a ‘Power’ Wall, if you prefer. 

After that Pip arranged all the 3D objects that  she could not pin to the wall into sub categories and took snapshots of each and every collection. When she looked at the clock, she noticed that she was already late for the supper with her friends. She said goodbye to her old granny and left the house with a niggling feeling that she might not be able to finish was she had started there.  

The night with her friends finished very late and the next morning she woke up with a pounding headache that was admittedly ‘self-inflicted’ since it was not only tea that she drunk the night before. Still in her pajama’s her mom sat her down at the kitchen table, made her a big mug of strong coffee, three sunny side up eggs, with crispy strips of bacon on the side, and a big slice of wholesome brown bread and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. This was the best recipe to get the hangover out of her system.

While Pip went back to bed, her father went for a long walk along the shoreline to collect driftwood. When Pip had finally recovered she found her father in the barn making a cabinet out of all the driftwood he took home from the beach. He mumbled that it was for granny to store all her 3D objects in. That evening Pip took the cupboard to her grannies house and they placed all the objects 
nicely and orderly into it This was also a new source of inspiration for Pip’s stationery collection.

The next day Pip jumped into her car and drove back to the city. The journey back was a time when she was able to think things over in her head. During the drive Pip felt immensely inspired to make a stunning wallpaper collection as well as having a lot of inspiration to use the design ideas that she had gained from seeing the beautiful naturally aged driftwood, and to implement Mother Nature’s design onto some of the bags she was going to make.  

Also, whilst driving it occurred to her that with all the products she designed, she could easily decorate the big part of her house in the city;

The bedding collection to make a cozy bed with cushions, quilts and pleads. Plenty of towels for the bathroom, including a peignoir to spend a lazy Sunday morning in, reading a newspaper. The wallpaper she was about to make would look beautiful on the walls and maybe in the inside of her cabinet to really work well with the porcelain she had in there. made every dish look like a chef’s delight. Next to that she had notepads and, to jot down every idea that seemed worthwhile.

On the other hand there was still so much to do, She was about to make  a bag collection, including bags for travelling on a journey around the world, for a weekend away, or just a simple evening bag. Table linen,  Moorish tiles and paint as well as exquisite cushion covers made of felt, wool, silk, and heavy velvet would also be very nice to create as well as cabinets to it all in!

So all in all, Pip has many ideas fuelled by much desire to create her ultimate collection, the question now remains as to whether everything will be become reality. To be continued in next episode of Pip’s remarkable life.

Love and kisses