Someone who clearly knows what they’re talking about once said you should try to do something new every day. It’s a nice sentiment, one I’d love to live by, but it’s really not that easy. In fact, I can’t honestly remember the last time I did something for the first time. That was, until this weekend when, suddenly, I was overwhelmed by a deluge of ‘firsts’…
The first snow of the season
Wonders will never cease; the weather forecast was actually correct. The first snow of the winter arrived right on schedule on Saturday, making the Langhe look even more magical than usual. We went for a long walk, threw snowballs and sat by the fire drying off, warming up and drinking Barbera. We even ate some mince pies that I brought back from a recent trip to the UK. If we’d had a bit of Take That playing in the background we could have been in an advert for a cheap supermarket.
My first Italian emergency
As the snow came down thick and fast the silence was broken by a series of ever louder popping noises, followed a few minutes later by a siren. The golf club down the road had caught fire. I slid my way awkwardly down the hill and was greeted by the sight of a row of carts, a Renault Scenic and half a building going up in smoke. I stood around for a bit, coughing and pretending to be useful, but in the end sloped off home. My first Italian emergency!
The first blogger to meet Mrs Sensible
At that exact moment, fellow blogger Pecora Nera turned up. I’m not saying his arrival and the fire are linked, I’m just saying it’s a remarkable coincidence, that’s all. Draw your own conclusions. He and his wife popped over for a glass of wine and in the process I became the first blogger ever to meet the long-suffering Mrs Sensible. I’ve been sworn to secrecy about her true identity, but I did manage to take a surreptitious snap without her noticing…
My first Thanksgiving
I never would have expected my first Thanksgiving experience to be in Italy, but sure enough, on Saturday evening an American friend invited us over for a big Thanksgiving dinner. It turns out it’s kind of like Christmas, except you substitute roast potatoes, parsnips and pigs in blankets (I once had a birthday cake made entirely out of pigs in blankets, but that’s a story for another day…) for various far more American items, such as corn pudding and sweet potatoes with honey and cinnamon. It was delicious. Thanksgiving is now my second favourite national holiday.
There was a rumour going around that we would each have to stand up and give a speech about what we were thankful for. At another Thanksgiving dinner earlier in the week this had apparently resulted in various emotional outbursts, tears and lots of hugging. Here’s mine: I’m really thankful that in the end we didn’t have to stand up and say what we’re thankful for (I’m English. We don’t do that sort of thing), I’m thankful to have been invited to a Thanksgiving dinner with some great new friends and I’m really thankful we weren’t treated to the Thanksgiving classic that is mashed sweet potato with marshmallows.
The first one up
I don’t mean to boast, but I’m pretty sure I was the first person in the whole of the Langhe to get out of bed on Sunday morning. It had been a late night, but I wanted to get some photos of the snow before anyone else was around so I forced myself out into the cold. And as I drove around on deserted, snowy roads I was delighted with my decision and willpower. It was beautiful.
If you want to see some more snowy photos from my painfully early morning, check out our facebook page.
My first tartufo bianco
I’ve wanted to try white truffles for a while, and on Sunday I finally got my chance. I ordered carne cruda in an osteria in Alba and it came piled high with truffle shavings. I’m happy to report that I quite enjoyed it. It tasted earthy but delicate at the same time. There were definite hints of mud in there (not something you would usually want your food to taste of), but it worked.
And that’s it. My first ever weekend of ‘firsts’. Next weekend will be my first ever trip to Chamonix, for my first snowboard of the season. I could really get used to this first lark.