Changing places in hospital!

We called the hospital to find that Davinia is definitely better this morning, the doctor confirms she had food poisoning not a virus and would like to keep her until tonight. As I leave the house with Christopher he is sick and is feeling awful. I have the volunteers working in two different locations today so I drop Christopher in the hospital and pick up Venetia who has not really slept at all, but being a doctor I know she is used to going without sleep.

Joanna has her driver reroute to Panjim and picks us up to go to Rachol, and we see bee-eaters, common kingfishers, fruit bats and so many more on the way. We are met with the most delicious breakfast of local bread with curried chickpeas which Venetia devours. Father Mario offer to show her the seminary farm where they grow all their vegetables and also keep pigs.

The journalists have arrived and are waiting for us, but considering the events in the night I think we are not doing too badly as we are only fifteen minutes late. We discuss the approach to the cleaning process for the next half hour, and Rhea together with Eveny are giving the cloud on the top right hand corner of the painting where we need to remove the thick badly oxidized varnish and balance it with the rest of the sky. We test several solvent gels to find the one which is responding best; the girls are removing one layer at a time, they are very cautious as they are not familiar with that area.

Jo is working on the sky which has been over cleaned previously above the repainted sky around King Sebastian’s head. He is familiar with this as he has worked only on the sky so far and so knows how unevenly it is coming out. I oversee him preparing a very light solvent gel together and testing it. He is much more at ease with the solvents because of his chemicals business. Joanna has been given the horse’s head to bring back to life, she is very excited. She is an expert on cleaning and I know she will do a great job.

Dipti is interviewing Father Menezes as we clean the painting in the background. We are not allowed to have the fan as it’s too noisy, not allowed to open the windows, and the carpenters are making a racket replacing a ceiling (one of many) destroyed by termites. The result is that we are already melting – what’s new!

Venetia appears with a smile – she had a brilliant time on her visit to the gardens and offers to apply the gesso in the missing areas – a task that would keep her busy for the next month or two, if she weren’t going back to the UK in a few days.

Back in Panjim we meet with Anna, Naomi and Sally after their long day in the Archbishop’s Palace at our usual haunt Sunaparanta (great pressed juices, best cakes…) and exchange notes on what has been done, and what has not yet been done because….

Now it is 5.00 AM and nobody has been sick so far!!!!