Masino,the one I love the most?

I couldn’t go on Friday as I had some lessons and the weather forecast was pretty grim anyway.Today’s journey too began under dark forbidding clouds but at the same time with that special golden light you often get with thunder-grey skies.

After a pleasant journey I arrived right outside the gates and entered to try and use my FAI ticket. Unfortunately, as is usual with FAI they’re lovely people but their organisation isn’t up to scratch. I think they need an ITC expert to organise the way they deal with ticketing. But anyway they were really nice ladies, and they laughed at all my jokes as well.

For once I attended the talk, sitting on bales of straw (very countrified) It was about urban greening to try and compensate a little for the way we’ve taken over animal habitats.The big problem is that you never really know what to do. The lady who grumbled about pigeons in town was politely reminded that WE feed them in public squares to take our instagram pics thereby encouraging them to keep using the city centre as their larder! What we don’t seem to realize is that Nature is not always benevolent. Trees lining our roads (or anywhere for that matter) are beautiful, give your spirits a lift, purify the air and keep you cooler, but at the same time, unless tended, might just fall on you and are therefore hated by local administrations. Personally I believe that all life is an adventure so you have to factor in some risk.What do you think? The speakers were absolutely top notch and very approachable. (Prof.Adriano Martinoli zoologo dell’universit√† di Insubria, and Daniele Meregalli del ufficio Ambiente FAI)

There were possibly just a few fewer exhibitors this year, but as always prodigal with their helpful expert advice , and I got info on my hydrangeas and clematis, more or less all I needed. It was hell not being able to buy trolley-floads of plants as I usually do, but I honestly wouln’t know where to put them. My garden is crammed with plants which to make matters worse, now, after several years, need dividing.

And I ate polenta and mushrooms. I managed to sit at a table (instead of on the grass) and struck up a conversation with a nice couple from Vigevano who gave me tips on good places to eat tartufi and bagna cauda. People are just so nice here, it must be the flowers, the perfumes, the air. I also sampled some liquor and at last I’ve found out what rosolio is! Apparently it’s made with real rose petals like Turkish jam, and drunk in tiny glasses. Very grandmotherly.

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