I have been goofing off! Foraging mushrooms in Sicily, which entailed eating a lot of mushrooms and other food, and walking blissfully through a series of magical woods, poking at things with a stick.
We met dear little black pigs and peered into their caves, picked up hazelnuts, chestnuts, pistachios and walnuts from the ground, and gazed entranced at musical processions of goats going to be milked, shepherded by huge gentle white dogs.
We drank pomegranate juice in Taormina, saw Greek/Roman amphitheaters (one was unmarked in a back street), ate the best arancini ever and found chanterelles, porcini, hedgehogs and a further 212 species. I have made twenty new friends, and strengthened one old friendship.
This was a glorious refreshment, and I did do some research and keep up with work while I was there. I scouted linens, and I took my Daily Bag with me on a testing-to-destruction.
It was perfectly secure clamped under my arm, light and capacious, and survived being dumped on floors in planes, hung over chairs in restaurants and around my neck in dicey restrooms. Orkney is tough, and came up smiling. I am pleased.
It was fascinating how many people commented on my linen clothing and linen bag - they know their fabrics in Italy! I wonder if it will be the same in Piedmont next year, for truffles… I can hardly wait.
Blissful to walk through gloriously damp green fragrant woods.
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