Happy Place: A Room of One's Own
Meeting Point: Kefalonia, Greece
A room of her own, at a friend’s house. This is the Happy Place of Francesca. I would have never expected this from someone who lives in Kefalonia. However, there is no shortage of surprises in the life of Francesca. Maybe the island could be the happy place of visitors, but surely not hers.
On a summer evening at sunset, Francesca tells me her story of a thousand adventures. I meet her in her majestic house among hills, woods and sea views. A place of art, writing, late dinners and, for me, of precious encounters.
Francesca, a life of constant searching, of centring. At the age of 18 she is gifted a suitcase, and at the age of 21 a tent. A life made up of: “but where are you now?” or “where do you live now?” Always at other people’s home and never in the same house.
In love with art, active in the feminist movement. She meets her first husband in the UK and lives between London, Rome and Belfast. In the summer of 1981, destiny brings her to Kefalonia, where she finds the love of her life, Dimitri. The main local artist of the island. They build this house on the hills, and between ships and planes, Francesca keeps commuting between Rome and Kefalonia.
For Francesca the island is claustrophobic. Citizen of the world, constantly searching for something perhaps impossible to find. She leaves the house in Rome and buys one near Milan, where she was born. This is the story of a woman who travelled all over Europe only to return to her roots. For her, Kefalonia is not her happy place, rather a chapter in her life.
The Story of a very strong, brave and generous woman. Tired of being scattered around. First a communist, then a Buddhist, she now finds herself praying to St. Joseph.
The Happy Place, where she is comfortable, is at a friend’s house. Here she can rest. Especially at an English friend’s, who has created a room just for her.
Of Francesca, I keep the courage and the free spirit. For me, the great adventure of our journey around the world starts here. Aware that this will also be the search of My Happy Place.