Sunday, November 06, 2005

What's in your saddlebag?

When you ride off to put the sheep out to pasture, what do you carry at your side? You're looking at two to six hours of ovine overseeing in the remotest meadows of darkest Molise.

Water: 1.5 Liters of it. On a hot sunny day you need it all.
Lunch: Always delicious. Sometimes even better, like today, when I had two egg-and-cheese sandwiches, two apples and a janiform kiwi. The cheese is home-made (with milk from the farm down the road) scamorza --think dry mozzarella; actually, it's a bit too dry for my tastes, but excellent fried inside of an egg! Homemade sausages, bread from the wood-fired oven and my god, the ricotta is to die for (and I met a man who did, too). I don't even think it could be stuffed into manicotti shells: they would burst from the overwhelming goodness.
Reading materials: T.S. Eliot, Poesie. It's a Not-Quite-Complete Works (how could they omit the Four Quartets ?!) with facing-page Italian translation that I bought at the street fair in Larino many weeks ago. Sometimes Crime and Punishment, for the second time. I first read it at the last farm, in the archaic and unsigned Penguin Classics translation.
Instruments of composition: Notebook, stylish black LAMY (note that if you click on 'My LAMY', you get an error page: the correct address is this) fountain pen, utilitarian ballpoint in case of rain.
Instruments of melody: Pennywhistle in the key of D by Feadóg. I've been picking out some new songs, but I can't quite remember how 'Blackberry Blossom' goes.
Instruments of communication: cell phone -- so much for the romantic isolation of the shepherd in the mountains. Used to call for backup in case there are more than twenty-three sheep rustlers. I can handle any number less than that, with the three-to-five large and ferocious fluffy white Maremma sheepdogs and the yellow plastic shepherd's cane of righteousness that draws down lightning from Heaven.
Instruments of torture: Fuses to scare off menacing canines.

What's in your saddlebag, or would be, if you had one?

1 comment:

silmarillion said...

Integral bread and mascarpone;
John Donne's Poetry;
my cell phone;
my other cell phone..... ;
my faber-castell graphite set; fabriano paper.....