So because I had the dentist at 7 o’clock this morning I spent the night in Turin at the in-laws and because they only have one guest bed now in order to accommodate the howler I kipped on the sofa so it wasn’t the most comfortable of nights, that coupled with getting in at 1am after band practice and the early start means I am today quite knackered.
However sometimes being in the city is good for me, it makes me appreciate all the more being elsewhere. The day started off very warm and muggy, one of the those days when there’s no difference between being inside or out. So the transformation from sleeping lump to lump breathing on balcony was only one of movement. On the plant laden balcony at the in-laws the first thing you notice, apart from the jasmine on the balcony itself if the strong smell of lime trees. It’s everywhere really really strong which at 6 o’clock in the morning is an excellent way to start the day in a city. Now at the Vignassa the normal morning movement is carried out by tits, finches, jays, buzzards, sometimes ravens which although nice is not as visibly remarkable as in Turin. Here it was the crows and the magpies, 6 magpies in the courtyard below the house and dozens of crows seemingly trying to annoy the magpies which dominate the morning. The magpies especially bouncing all over the place and fluttering up and down when the crows arrive and then bouncing some more. The thing is they none of them seemed to actually be doing anything. They just seemed to be having a good time. All in all a good start to the day.
Brekker too is different, normally I don’t have breakfast with anyone but this morning I had it with a strange woman who claims to be my wife, eating biscuits spread with nutella and drinking tea out of a bowl in true Italian style. It’s something of a mystery to me why Italians insist on drinking their tea or milky coffee in a bowl. I can drink liquid fire but can’t resist more than a fraction of a second with hot things in my hand so drinking hot tea from a hot bowl is impossible and tea must be hot in my opinion. However I managed it.
So after the dentist I rode the scooter back up to Torre Pellice. This was fun: 9 drivers picking their noses in, 42(!!!!) drivers with mobile phones clamped to their ears, 2 guys on scooters without helmets numerous dead cats not a single member of any of forces of law and order to be seen, one speed camera and all in only 50 km. The ride was brilliant. I am not a speed nut and 80 is plenty fast enough for me so you get time to look at things and above all smell things. The predominant smell most of the way is lime then muck, the occasional rotting corpse diesel fuel and a funny wet dog smell which must be a plant because I smelt it quite a few times. It’s also weird how the temperature is much cooler when the road runs through maize fields so as there is a lot of maize it was zip up zip down most of the way.So when I got back to the house, as the strimmer is at the mechanics and as I couldn’t be bothered to scythe I spent the rest of the day with my new bill hook, cleaning up a wall which was covered in brambles and bloody honeysuckle. Hate the stuff. Lovely smell but every waft you pay for in extra yards of creeping stem. They used to make rope out of honeysuckle in the past and I can see why, tough stuff it is. Still I persevered and after two tractor loads of cut stuff the wall now looks presentable. When I took my t-shirt off this afternoon it looked like a grim smiley - two patches of sweat for the eyes under the arms, a vertical strip between the old pectorals and a horzontal one tending towards down across my stomach. It more or less reflected my mood at the end of the day, flies flies flies. 2000% humidity and lots of biting things in the honeysuckle. Not a happy bunny (but not that unhappy either).