Up with the sun and walking in the brisk morning air the kilometre and a bit back to the turning off the road.
A steep initial rise way from the house has me puffing hard and thinking–“Well, OK–this is doing me good.”
I hear a bounding and a breathing behind me and imagine the wolves are coming for me or at least an energetic wild boar.
Then a white furry streak is leaping round me, nudging me “Buon Giorno!” in a most friendly fashion.
It’s Alba of course, our friends Keith and Helen’s Maremmano [Tuscan] sheep dog, ready to guide me to the road.
“Not far now, just round the bend you’ll see, I know it well….”
She hears a scrabbling in the fallen leaves (there are boar tracks everywhere) and dives off the path, disappearing into the undergrowth and I lose her.
“Alba! Alba!” Oh no…! I’ve lost their dog–they’ll never forgive me!
Shows how much I know about dogs.
Back at the house, I’m doing my post-walk stretching on the terrace and as I bend there’s that black nose again–nudging me .
“Here I am!–thought I’d got lost?–silly!”
We arrived here in the Tuscan hills last night to help with the last couple of days of the olive harvest; our job–to sort the leaves and branches from the olives–as best we can.
The real work is done by Keith’s team of five–working an eight hour day.