Ali Matteini

a life creative

That which is aflame, that which is afoot

Never thought I’d be happy to say I’m ready to roll on into the year of the goat, but…man…the year of the horse had far more kick than whinny.

By December, I felt like I’d been set aflame, partially incinerated, and come out the other side only to – well, think of peeling off the shreds of wind-chapped  skin on your lower lip just that little too far. I’m certainly not the only one who had a dragged-through-the-hedge kinda year and 2014 was certainly speckled with shiny promising things, sure, though a good portion of my year was aaaarrrggghhh.
2014 taught me that no good deed goes unpunished, and left me certain beyond reasonable doubt it was preferable I’d rubbed my eyes after slicing chillies.

So, firestained but intact (mostly) I feel well and truly ‘phoenixed’ – the best I have for a long while.
And while I don’t do New Years resolutions anymore – tempting as it is to vault off the pony into whimsy good intentions – I will layout a couple 2015 certainties.
This is what I actually have smelting:

That which is aflame:

My keyboard. 13,000 words in 4 days and six weeks to write a novel.

Photo on 17-01-2015 at 6.50 pm

Me n some werds


The winter sun. Over me and my Etruscan as we beach ourselves on a Spanish island in February. Oh gods, YES!


the gran canaria that lives in my dreams…


May. One whole month silversmithing and printmaking in the Renaissance City.





L’argento! Silver! Finally. Deadlines have been fixed: the studio will be up and running on the 1st of March.

foxton's fox

foxton’s fox

Other good shiny things include new ideas for the enoteca opening hours, ESL teaching and the tourist season – all with ‘paring back’ in mind. Trimming off that which I do not need in my life, the ‘failures’ I’ve learnt from, the “no thoroughfares” followed well and truly beyond their dead ends. Less faffing about. More sticking to my road.
Slow learner, me, but it’s all about the process they tell me.

That which is afoot:

In other news… meet our fresh familiar, who followed us on our walk below the bridge, on one of those shitty, angsty days that can only be fixed by taking a walk together, with December naked and in yer face.


gold-dusted kitten of the sun

Poor little baby was hunched up on the stairs below the bridge, shivering. The claws of his hind legs were worn down. Normally the cats around here freak out and take off if you go near them – with good reason, I hate to say it but there are plenty of cat-haters in town – but this little bean shot down to greets us, accompanied us on our walk, had a poop in the forest and yowled for us to wait for him, then followed us all the way up to our palazzo.
We asked around and he didn’t belong to anyone, so we let him follow us up the stairs and into our lives.
He couldn’t have come at a more needed time.




An absolute delight, he sleeps behind me like lumbar support while I write, sits on command and doesn’t whinge- though he is a bottomless pit when it comes to food, which we put down to rough beginnings. As you can see, he’s found himself in a good paddock.



bello tonto




Oh, his official name (besides Bimbo, Micio, Tonto, Basta, Getoffthetable)?
Scott Parker.


2 comments on “That which is aflame, that which is afoot

  1. Angela Highstead
    January 18, 2015

    Good morning Ali,
    How expressive your prose. 13000 words in 4 days- I’m exhausted already.

    After reading your little piece I thought of Buffy Sainte-Marie. A Canadian-American Cree singer-songwriter, musician, visual artist, pacifist and social activist (indigenous folks issues) of the 1960’s. I heard her interviewed once and she described her creativity as, “a monster that lives inside of me and won’t leave me alone”. She wrote Universal Soldier (Donovan made it a hit) after witnessing wounded soldiers returning home from Vietnam.

    May 2015 be all that you hope for. Enjoy the sunshine in February. 38deg yesterday and I can’t wait for the feel of a little ice on the face and some grey, misty days.

    Love to Marco and a big hug for you.

    Lots of love,

    Angela x

    Sent from my iPad


    • Kittykatmandoo
      January 18, 2015

      Buongiorno Ang! Creativity is definitely a monster, an imp that becomes tremendous when not fed…much like the cat.
      Happy new year to you and your family. May it be strabiliante 😉
      Lots of love,
      Baci ed abbracci,

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