To mark my closing of the B&B (available now just to my PATREON patrons, and for long-term stays when I am travelling) – I’ve put up some folders with all the photos from my first years in the house… you can view them via the links below.
It’s a profoundly empowering and rewarding thing, having documented this journey, and looking back on the intensity of 5 + years of house renovations and struggle to bring a dream into reality.
Lots of other people coming to Guardia have a very different relationship with their properties: paying for workmen to do the labour, stocking up on furniture from Ikea, popping off back to the US when it gets cold…
I wouldn’t change my path for anything: not the bathing with a pan of hot water, in a bathroom the same temperature as the minus 20° outside; not the frequent running out of money altogether, and having to just wait and hope that some more would arrive, before investing in another €3,50 bag of cement; not the lonesomeness of being the only foreigner in town for the first years, and not even speaking the language; not the frustrations and sweating, dust-laden labouring; not the emotional outbursts about whatever anxiety was tipping me closer to giving it all up…
All these experience give contrast and value to where I am now: all of the pains and struggle are like stitches in the rich fabric which now clothes me; all the hard, hard work to make the house beautiful and harmonious and functional, none of that would feel like it is really MINE, if I hadn’t done it myself. My presence is deeply ingrained in the house, and it means that, though I’ve had moments where it has overwhelmed me completely, where it has felt totally undo-able, there have always come moments – usually shortly after each despairing period!- where it has come good again.
I’m sharing all these photos both to give an idea of the scale of a thing like building a vision, but also to show that all magical things involve hard work, involve sacrifice – in fact, I really feel that, the bigger you want to grow in your life, the more of that you have to do!
I’m in a vastly different position to the ‘expats’ of Guardia, many of whom have thrown money at a property, grabbed furnishing for it, and quickly become distracted by gossip and drama, ego and competition…
The hard work is also the energetic value, meaning and connection with my home: strenuous as it was at times, the harvest at the end of all this tilling is so much more than I could even have dreamed. It is so important to toil; so so very important to make effort, and focus on the highest goal.
And it’s so important to start out in the first place for a dream like this – I left Scotland with only a prayer: I literally prayed – or rather, I kind of told the universe to ‘sort it out for f****’ sake!’ – for my own magical creative container: my own home.
The universe doesn’t obey with a ‘here you go’ response to our ‘give me’ demands, but it most definitely does reward honesty, transparency, tenacity and hard, hard, hard, work – and positive thinking.
More than ever, I think we do as well – I think that more and more, people are rewarding others who have deeper values, and who work towards the magic and good stuff and the good of the collective, rather than rewarding greed and egoism. The world order can’t change overnight, but it will change in tiny steps, through collective heart and cooperative consciousness – and that’s where we come in, with our dreams and love and grit and determination.
Thank you again, and always, Guardia and your people, for supporting me to bring this dream into reality!
Tante belle cose, Clare xx
Keep in touch via PATREON
Buy paintings via ETSY
Join the Real School of Art mailing list at RSOA