In the villages, towns and cities of Italy, ladies and indeed gentlemen put on their Sunday best of an evening and stroll up their main street or piazza. They are there to be seen, to have an icecream and chat, often dressed in their finest Gucci (a flurry of Italian past-times all in one walk). Our tribute to La Passeggiata in Hearthill is the stroll back to Sallies. The Wellies replace the Gucci alas.
The romantic in me loves that we have a field named ‘Sallies’, named as far as I can gather after a lady who once had a cottage there named Sally (Funnily enough) in the late 1800’s. It is exactly a quarter of a mile from our red gate and it has been a Passeggiata of sorts for us, the newest generation of Brosnan’s, since 2009.
Generally, our Passegiata starts out as an escape from the house, a venture out into nature, a ‘wearing them out before bedtime’ or simply a walk out of the madness for Mommy. Sometimes, it involves actual work when cows have to be accompanied back the road when grazing there. Even then it is relaxing saunder with cows whose tummies are full and whose udders are empty and therefore not in a rush back to pasture. I cherish the memory of Summertime when the living is easier.
This morning’s stroll took myself and and young Master Daniel back the road. For the two year old whose vocabulary is widening by the yard and whose curiosity is awakening in every step, the walk back to Sallies is a wild adventure. Our entourage also extends to our two farm dogs, Sammy and Pepe, with the occasional cat wandering along too. There are times, like this morning, when the stroll home is not always as carefree. One of the strollers had to be cajoled into leaving an interesting corner of a field having found a family of ladybirds and so the the quarter of a mile home seems more like a marathon to a mommy who is getting heavier by the day.
Our stroll is an exercise in manners, learning to wave to a passing neighbour whilst also being lucrative with blackberries on offer and wild flowers for picking at various stages of the year. This Passeggiata is a nod to my favourite Italian pastime, in appreciation of ‘La Dolce Far Niente,’ the sweetness of doing nothing which in itself is so much. Adapting to life as a country girl has meant a slowing down in pace, strolling alongside seasonal changes and understanding the value of the country childhood where children chat with animation about new discoveries with the freedom to run around a much loved field.