Missing Italy quite a bit. The look, the feel, the buildings, the landscape (the one euro roadside espresso, the food, the food, the food.) So I was delighted to wake up the other morning to a thick soupy fog shrouding the neighbourhood. It was Piemonte in winter. I took my crappy little camera and drove around the block.
The fog lifted but the rain did not. I decided to keep going anyway with making the vegetable beds. Pep’s tractor ploughed over the cow poo I’d collected, and then we threw around some limestone dust, gypsum and blood & bone.
Then I set about heaping the dirt into beds. The size of the task and the shock of the physical labour made me very unreasonable and I had a little conniption part way in, attributable certainly to too much dirt, too much rain and an appalling lack of fitness for the task. The work of peasants ain’t for pansies. After the episode that Pep now (repeatedly) refers to as The Hissy Fit, I asked nicely for some help in moving the mud.
Progress is such a mood improver. I whacked up the volume on Ray LaMontagne (lyrics!) and settled into a nice daydream about his identical twin brother moving in around the corner as I started putting out the rock I’d collected from my hills.
Rock is heavy. The tops of my thighs are bruised and grazed – a testament to overenthusiasm and an underestimation of the weight of various kinds of stone. But I think it’s not only worth the work but is in keeping with the northern Italian feel of the neighbourhood and the rusticity of things.
I’m halfway there and will finish it this coming week. If it stops raining.
Special thanks to Pep and Langley for standing me.