The stretchers were made for us by the very kind village falegname (carpenter) and we would order dozens at a time. We prepared grounds to the precise instructions in Doerner and coated the canvases by candlelight as the Summer passed into Autumn and Winter.
The house had no electricity and so we gradually used the gross of candles bought for us by my father. When those candles ran out, eventually we found a supplier in Terni of very big alter candles which gave off far more light. In October and November, in order to try and keep the temperature at night above freezing in the room which we used for eating and sleeping, we turned a big plant pot upside down and had a candle burning inside. It raised the room temperature sufficiently to make life bearable.
Life was very frugal for us as at that time as Jim Callaghan, the Chancellor in the Wilson government, only allowed each individual leaving the country to take out £50 in sterling apart from some petrol coupons.
We went to Italy in an old Southport Corporation Ambulance loaned to us by Ken and Sandra Baguley (Liverpool Collegeof Art friends) and which my father had filled with £100 worth of food and chandleries.
We succeeded to survive and produce pictures for seven months.