Today began with a lot of hoes. Seriously, Paolo presented us with three hoes – two skinny ones and a third larger one. He walked us to his new vines, planted last February, and instructed us to weed. Lucky me, he handed me the big hoe. Too far? OK, I’LL STOP THERE.
But really, I’m building that muscle because it takes a lot of arm strength for these tools! I think back at the Y I could only bench the bar. It was just as strenuous as pruning the hazelnut trees, except we were standing at the top of a hill, and could catch a nice cool breeze. There is something really satisfying about slamming a hoe down into the dirt and dragging out all of the bad weeds. Toward mid-morning it became sunnier and really dry. Every time you hit the dirt, dust would come swirling up around you. You don’t even think about how much you are breathing in, there’s really no way to avoid it. I know what you’re thinking. I’m just going to say it – dirt nose. THE WORST. My whole face still feels like it’s clogged with dirt! (Thanks, Dad, those eye drops were KEY!)
Before dinner, I tried to get a picture of Arco for you. But it was like he knew I told on him to everyone and didn’t want me to have a good picture to go with his bad behavior. I followed him around for twenty minutes with my camera, as he chased crows, rolled around in the clover, checked on the fig trees, sniffed the neighbors driveway, and every single time I got close he ran off to complete his next task. He was so obviously avoiding me. He spent ALL AFTERNOON with us in the hazelnut orchard, lying under the trees next to me, so the fact that he was suddenly very busy gave him away. So sorry, this is all I have:
Don’t let his charming good-looks disarm you and don’t even THINK about scratching behind his ears. Or feeding him fontina cheese. I did and you know how that ended up.
I must get going so a quick list:
1. At dinner I told everyone the story about winning goldfish at the Bloomsburg fair, and how two of the guys (who will remain unnamed, but you know who you are) put their fish bowl on top of their micro-fridge and couldn’t figure out why their fish kept dying. Paolo misheard me and thought I said my friends microwaved their goldfish. To eat. The look on his face was priceless.
2. I’m off for the weekend to Santa Margherita. It’s about two hours south of here, by commuter train. I almost certainly will not be updating tomorrow as I will be too busy eating several flavors of gelato and lying on the beach.
3. Dinner tonight was risotto. Nommity nom.