If I line anything up in a row, it can make me smile, sometimes even laugh.
Now, don't be alarmed and let me explain...
It was foggy today. My skin and every one of my bones was damp and cold.
Fog in Australia means 'its a bit overcast and dewy but it will be a lovely day'. Fog in Piemonte means' its thick and covers the whole region and it will not lift for weeks'.
So we did what the Piemontese do. We worked.
We emptied our fienale.
A fienale is an old stone building close to the main house where previous famers used to keep their animals. Our fienale's old stone walls have soft white fluff oozing out of them, the gentle evidence of concrete cancer, and blotches and rough patches where previous owners have badly plastered them. But it is also a haven of earthiness. Mixed in with the damp smell of wet dirt is a raw animal smell. It makes my nose want to smell. I can smell a farmer damp with hot sweat as he hoists hay into the pigs; I can smell the pigs, steamy but clean as they push against each other inside their pen.
Our fienale was full of 'things'. We weren't sure what 'things' exactly except that there were a lot of them. They lined the space, floor to ceiling and promised treasure and discovery.
Amongst the treasure, we found old garden tools, old wine making equipment, old gates and doors and old farming equipment. And old furniture.
It took us all day to drag everything outside and find a better place for it.
The furniture was placed along the driveway while we poked and prodded it trying to assess its value and potential for restoration. We went for lunch and when we returned in the afternoon, the furniture had taken on a personality. It was loitering in our driveway like youths wanting to make trouble. It was a group of friends who had come to visit. It was a group of strangers on their way to somewhere else.
Regardless, it made me smile.
I smiled through the fog and felt warm.