I like cleaning my floors. I like getting up close to them, on my hands and knees, and feeling the cool strength of them in the early morning. I like to see the scratches and dents that have come from all the life that moves over them: smiles where I remember dropping the Creuset pot, or dragging the armchair out of the way so we could have a dance party; wonder about the dings that got there without my knowing. Rosewater or lavendar oil sprinked into the bucket, there is something very Zen-aroma therapy about cleaning my floors.
We've been fixing our floors. In some parts of the house we had new hardwood installed. There are no more holes, or tired, old painted linoleum, or uneven surfaces. Just one uniform swath of dark wood, but in a way I miss the old scratches and dents. I don't know these floors... yet.
I did my best to start imposing my life on the new, gleaming wood this weekend. There wasn't any dancing, but there were old friends gathered around the table. It was a good start. And while I was busy making a tagine, I sent my girlfriends out in search of Éva, and some wine.
She sent them home with a bottle of this Barbera. Have you ever tried a Barbera d'Alba? Barbera is the grape and Alba is the region in northern Italy where it grows. It's kind of the Italian answer to Beaujolais: unpretentious, light and crisp, lots of red fruit with not much in the way of tannins, and a good lift of acidity. We drank it slightly chilled; it went very well with the pre-dinner snacks of melon and prosciutto, fried haloumi and grapes.