The Sicilian and I were treated to the most delicious feast yesterday evening by our friends and neighbours Emma and Harry. Emma is half Italian, so intense green fresh pesto and crisp bread were followed by an array of wonderful antipasti and salads, finished off with the lightest gluten-free hazelnut cake. The highlight for me though (apart from the wonderful company of other neighbours, Claire, Andrew, Mhairi and Phil), was the most heavenly sgroppino - the combination of sorbet, limoncello and prosecco both refreshing and indulgent all at the same time! With every sip came a flood of memories, wave after wave of ricordi, the little campo where I lived (Santa Maria Mater Domini), the morning cornetto I'd buy on my way to college, the evening spent on the roof of the Palazzo Ducale watching the stars above and the tourists below, being sneaked in the back door of La Fenice before it was destroyed by fire ........ My brief encounter with Venice pre-dates The Sicilian and if he hadn't captured my heart I might still be there today. It was my first real love affair and one that has endured. I can feel it calling me, and every time I wear my beautiful antique Venetian glass beads made by the astonishingly talented Attombri brothers, I know that I will be back there one day sipping sgroppino with my beautiful friend Margherita.
And by chance, it was those very beads I wore last night along with my newly finished dress. I promised a quick snap, so here it is, collar and all. No Venetian beads today, the sun is out and so are my homemade hand-dyed wooden beads.
And with such a sunny day here at the cottage in the woods, I've been planting bulbs, seeds and tubors - poppies, sunflowers, echinacea, dahlias and aquilegia - who knows what will come up this year! And with the book finished and the yarn stash significantly reduced, I had a quick glance at my fabric stash from last summer.
With so many pretty cottons and tana lawns I only wish I could join Eirlys Penn on her forthcoming course, making summer necklaces from wooden beads and fabric scraps at Crockadoodledo, Larkhall, 10.30-1.30pm, Thursday 29th March. Another time, I hope, but in the meantime I'm already working on a few ideas of how to put these to good use - happy days xxx