All posts filed under: Life

view from Monte Grignone

A world unfolding

Last week, after tunneling under the squat heft of Monte Bianco, and with the cloud-tangled peaks of its French facade in our wake, I watched two alpine cows tumble together in a meadow by the side of the road. The white of their bellies blurred with the brown of their backs, and it seemed that they were locked in a play fight. How amazing, I thought. But as we drew closer to the dancing cows, the image corrected itself: it was just a small windmill turning furiously in the strengthening wind. We were going home. To the home beyond the hills and mountains; far from the Alps, and the Pre-Alps, and the green, terraced footholds that wrap around Bergamo like a frilly collar. To the rushes, reeds and washes of East Anglia and the flat swathes of the Cheshire plains. Driving across France – wheels on earth, dogs in the boot, rain belting the windscreen – was a physical process of connecting the two: our Italian home and British one. A week ago, this journey Read More

Memories of spring

I’ve written a poem, and as that’s something I rarely do, I thought I’d share it here. In the midst of this parched and listless summer, it’s a reminder of the soft, dewy spring. While I’m here, let me say that everything is good, even if the endless sun has found me impatiently hopping from foot to foot, watching the clouds for rain. We’ve been busy. In the past month we’ve been to Venice (to talk to a man about a wedding), and the Lake District (to eat a 10 course tasting menu of dreams). And in two weeks we’re going to the South of France. It’s been a good summer. Memories of a Spring Each week I watch the quiet journey of spring along the A-roads leading from the North West to the east East. The furthest east that you can go. The place where elderflower grows too fast, blooming and bursting and heavy with scent, foaming from the side of the road, always drying up too quick to make cordial. Next year, next Read More

Saying goodbye

On our final night in Venice, we paid one last visit to Osteria Ruga di Jaffa. The owner, Alvise, gave us a bottle of sumptuous olive oil as a goodbye gift, sparking a discussion from the men at the bar about the best way to use such a treasure. Their parting words: “just please, please don’t cook with it”. We then took a walk along Riva degli Schiavoni towards the Giardini, stopping along the way to talk about how it feels to be leaving; both of us staring blindly at the iridescent sheen of Saint Mark’s, having seen its domes from this vantage point so many times before. From Via Garibaldi, we burrowed into Venice, following a half-remembered route home. The bells tolled midnight. Dom said that perhaps he could live here forever – I replied that I need to leave and then come back to know that for sure. I thought about that again the other day, while eating my lunch on a bench in Bungay and looking out over the flooded marshes: The best thing about leaving, Read More