Before I start, first of all thank you so much for all the kind comments and good wishes. I am coming out the other side from the flu, slower than I hoped but faster than might have been. I really have appreciated all the lovely comments from people along the way (if sometimes rather blurily through a flu haze…)
This summer we were fortunate to be able to return to the Dolomites for a week of high-level holiday walking. There are many things I love and find inspiring about visiting here, and one of them is the pride in work and a job well done, drawing on local traditions. And nothing symbolises this more for me than the blue apron.
You can’t fail to notice that this same blue apron (with slight decorative variations) is worn by many local people doing all sorts of different tasks. It’s worn by men and women alike -in the kitchen, the garden, the workshop, on the farm, at the shops.
This year we saw it worn by two men maintaining the high level walking paths (putting in drainage channels); by people out scything their meadows – yes, some people there really do still do this by hand; by the man running a rustic mountain cafe; by women and men tending their gardens; by the man in his garden chatting to some passers-bye about his rabbits.
So when I saw some in a shop, well I had to buy one to bring home. To use, of course, with pride as I go about my work in the kitchen (and maybe sometimes in the garden).
To be honest, I already had one, bought a few years back and much used, and I was looking for another to use when that one is being washed (I tend to get a bit floury when baking, and have a bad habit of wiping my hands on my apron. Which come to think of it is what it’s there for, so maybe not a bad habit after all) .
So it was the perfect thing to bring back, along with my memories, my photos, and the sheer inspiration from just being there and watching how people go about their lives drawing on years (centuries?) of tradition.