|"Countryside, Arpasu de Jos" by Hilary J. England, 11" x 16" oil on primed cardboard panel|
Still laying under that twisted old tree after I finished my painting, and watching the birds and butterflies was my idea of what Heaven will be like...I set my painting out into the light to dry, and watched as the butterflies floated around it, as if they were trying to enter the painting. It was fascinating. After a while, I broke from my reveries, and Ilie returned from the village, and since Nataliya was still working away, he grabbed his fishing gear and we lumbered off along the river, which was lovely. I waded out into that cool, mountain river as we bantered back and forth about the different fish and Romanian pastimes, and then he brought me along to a most amazing waterfall, with tons of shale, which I know was a real hotbed for fossils. So, as he fished some more, I explored the shale, looking for a fossil or two, but had no luck there.
After a while, we headed back to see if Nataliya was done, and as the sun was now scorching hot and bright, headed back into the village. We hung at Ilie's bar for a while, ducking the heat and loudly discussing politics as more and more artists filtered in to avoid the heat, and from there walked a few feet to the village restaurant, where they had prepared us all a Romanian feast! Lots of meats, their signature mici (Romanian sausage), pickled cucumber salad with tomatoes and dill, and plenty of local wine and some kinds of local fruit liquors that are apparently VERY strong (strong enough to knockout punch a few of the artists later on...LOL) and so we had a very long, very leisurely, very filling dinner punctuated by more loud and rowdy political discussions, and of course, art and culture. I took a few of the sausages I couldn't finish outside to a local stray dog, she looked so thin and sad, and she was very happy to have them. She rewarded me with some licks and a tail wag, and I knew she must have some pups by looking at her, so I was happy to help her.
We took the train back to Sibiu, arriving back at our apartments by 11 pm, at which point I was so exhausted, I just kind of crawled into bed and instantly knocked out....but, as always, I woke up about five hours later, and here I lay, haha...it's OK. I'm used to it. Sleep is like a capricious little sprite for me...sometimes I catch it, but most times, it just leads me on a merry chase. Maybe tonight!