The new mayor came to the house to discuss his plans for marketing the comune's olive oil. He was due at nine and arrived,prompt by Italian standards,at ten thirty.In other words just in time for a cup of coffee. Making coffee is one thing I can do well in the kitchen .Years of trial and error have instilled in me a knack for knowing which levers to pull and which dials to turn on our proud looking Gaggia machine in order to produce a to die for espresso. The 'font' is highly suspicious of our little vaporetto believing its unforecastable tremblings, strangely vulgar gastric rumblings and sudden discharges of super heated steam to be a precursor to a dreadful kitchen catastrophe.
Anyway, the mayors latest idea is for a marketing campaign to enable Americans and Brits en masse to adopt an olive tree. The idea (as far as I could understand it) is for foreigners to pay €100 to nurture a tree and then pay a premium to buy oil from it. Four years in Italy have taught me to keep my impressions to myself so I smiled non-commitedly throughout while trying desperately to drive the words hare brained from my mind.
As I sat and listened I couldn't help but remember that when I was a wee boy growing up on a Scottish island olive oil used to be sold in small glass bottles by the pharmacist as a way of removing ear wax. The good god fearing west coast folk would have sooner died rather than use it for cooking. This was a memory that I chose not to share with the mayor who I'm sure believes (as do all Italians ) that anglo-sassones operate under the thinest veneer of culture - scratch it at your peril. Thank heavens the 'font' had reminded me to dress up - if the sindaco had seen me in my Hawaiian shirt and sun hat his prejudices would have been confirmed.
The two boyz spent much of yesterday chilling. We played ball (a lot), cut more vines,added to the swelling pile of cuttings,and checked for holes in the irrigation system. When I'm on my own the two of them sit by the farm gate in quasi guard mode. From the tone of Wilf's bark I can tell whether 1) he's bored and wants company 2) his little brother has got the ball and he wants it back now! 3) a porcupine is wandering past 4) a car is coming down the hill or 5) there are people about. When I hear bark #5 it is time to go and see what's happening.