If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

02 November 2005

Cinghiale and Mosche and Nebbia, oh my!

Today, I am enroute to France.

Aaaah, so breezy and casual sounding, "today I'm enroute to France". Yeah, well, let me just erase that picture of tranquility from your mind. A 5 hour drive that took 8 due to vicious traffic and driving rain, racing to get the car returned before they close, a marginal airport Novotel (oh WHY are those places so miserable?!?!), a 4 am wakeup call, jockeying for a seat on the 6:10 am flight to Paris, where I'm currently cooling my jets (bad pun intended) in the painful Charles deGaulle airport for 5 hours waiting for my flight to NY, then on to DC.

So it's another travel marathon starting. And truthfully, between the fruitflies and the regular flies and the giant holes being gouged in my lawn by the wild boar (cinghiale = pronounced cheen-ge-ah-lay), and the early onset of the weird fog season, that's not entirely breaking my heart. Sometimes even paradise is just a foggy place overrun by insects. They didn't name it "Under the Tuscan Fog... " (I'm sure that's the sequel, really...!)

That's the thing living with nature - you kinda take the good with the bad. The stunning sunsets and crisp fall days are always balanced out. I have become a champion flyswatter, and have basically become numb to the constant buzzing. Apparently it only lasts until the first freeze, which can't come soon enough for my taste.

The cinghiale, while endearing in so many ways as you hear them out the windows at night snorting around rooting for acorns, truffles, berries, whatever... they can do a BOATLOAD of damage to a lawn. Whole sections just ... torn up by hooves and snouts. Whew. Now that I've seen the darker side of the cinghiale, I don't feel the slightest bit badly when hunting season comes around. Hear me now, believe me later, cinghiale: tear up my lawn, and I'll have you stewed for dinner. And you'll be yummy.

And as for the fog -- nebbia: on a clear day, I can see for more than 30 kms off my ridge. On a foggy day, I can barely see my driveway. Thankfully, at my elevation it clears usually around noon, though the lower 'town' proper has been shrouded for days on end this past week. Creepy, really. The middle of the day in an otherwise charming medieval town suddenly seems like something out of an Edgar Allen Poe poem. People bundled in coats and scarves to stave off the damp, though the thermometer says it's actually quite lovely low 60s. I have never really lived somewhere in my adult life with a 'fog culture', and boy am I getting an education. It takes on a life of its own ... truly insidious, moving constantly, licking at buildings and trees. Looking out onto a fogged in valley in just the right light is like looking down on an ocean. And just as fast as it arrived, it can vanish. Turn a curve or go through a tunnel, and you're in or out of it. Fascinating, really.

The Renaissance Artist is home while I'm away; had a chance to have dinner with him the night before I left. Too much grappa and Irish folk songs later, it was good to see him. Funny, isn't it, how you enjoy people differently 'in couples' vs. 'out of couples'? But that's a subject for another post.

For now, it's my traditional offering to the travel gods: a double shot of Airborne and some Zicam, and I'm off.


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