I drafted a blog a few weeks ago about an amazing map I’d just bought which shows all the vineyard walking paths in the Langhe. I quite like maps you see, and this is a really good map, so I thought it deserved to be written about. But then I reread the blog and realised that it was ridiculously dull. I tried to jazz it up a bit, I even gave it the headline “Walking in a vintner wonderland’, which I was overly proud of, but there was nothing I could do to save it. It was dreadful.
Having decided the map was no good for writing about, (or perhaps I was no good for writing about the map) I decided to use it as a map instead, and found a nice circular walk to the east of Barolo for Otto and I to try out.
Things started out well, the path heading steeply up into the woods before eventually opening out into a long vineyard track promising great views out across the vines to Barolo. Except that just before reaching the vineyard it got a bit muddy. This wasn’t your normal, sticky mud though, this was slippery, icy, Bambi-flail-inducing mud. And I flailed. My feet were flying everywhere, searching in vain for the tiniest hint of any grip. But there was none. I was going down. I reached out, grabbing at weeds, at grass, at branches that weren’t attached to anything, but nothing could separate me from my rather muddy, undignified destiny.
Getting back up was no mean feat either; I fell at least another three times as I tried to clamber to my feet, though I’m officially counting it all as one fall, in case anyone asks.
Five minutes later, on the relative safety of the dry vineyard track, I started scraping the mud off my legs and arms. I had to walk back through the town, past bars crammed with tourists enjoying their Sunday evening aperitivi and I didn’t want to scare anyone.
It was then that it hit me. The map was gone. My new favourite map. My only ever favourite map! It must have slipped out of my pocket when I fell.
I retraced my steps back down into the woods to look for it; I couldn’t just abandon it. And sure enough, there it was, lying in a muddy heap next to a mess of footprints, handprints, knee prints and what looked suspiciously like an imprint of my face. But I couldn’t get anywhere near it. I tried hooking it with a stick and in a moment of desperation I even tried getting Otto to retrieve it, but he just looked at me like I was mad and trotted back up to dry land.
So that’s it, the map’s gone, and so is the map blog. Although I guess this has now been a blog about a map. Has it been dull? Maybe a little, but you should have read my earlier effort.