I know I said the next one would be about wine…But, given the circumstances (which have actually changed very little) and the fact that I have been a bit under the weather for the past 10 days…
May the 4th (be with you) marked the first day that lockdown restrictions have been eased here in Piemonte, as in the rest of Italy, as opposed to being tightened. Yesterday’s launch was, no doubt, more of a first test flight than another Apollo 11, but it was still significant: it definitely felt a little like one small step, one giant leap – yes I am going to keep this metaphor going as long as I can reasonably manage, and then a bit longer.
We are now allowed to go to a café to get a coffee to take away – no standing at the counter, sitting-in or even -out yet. We are also permitted to travel within our own region, rather than just commune. If you are from one region and have been in lockdown in another, you can also return whence you came. And you are allowed to visit family. But not friends yet. So, as I say, one small step.
As I drove across the bridge out of Alba yesterday, I could see the vineyards of the Roero on my left and, a little further away, the tower of Barbaresco to my right. And I welled-up. It has only been two months, yet it was moving to be able once again to see these old friends. Though it may feel like half-time – or perhaps time to get back in the command module for the journey home (I did warn you) – I suspect that we may only be the end of the first period of a basketball match (in space…). We’re probably nearer the first-quarter break than halfway, and we may have a problem, Houston, but we’re still in the game. This is classic extended metaphor-mixing.
Of course, to a degree, we are in a kind of suspended animation as we wait to see the effects of stage two – will we be able to fire the boosters and head for home, or are we to remain each untethered on our own lonely spacewalk as we orbit the planet normal, cut adrift and floating aimlessly, our life-support systems unable to take much more of this, captain?
Right. Even I’ve had enough of this now…I’ll do a post about wine next, I promise! In the meantime, here are some films about going to the moon – we might be in the gutter, but some of us are dreaming of the stars!