At the beginning of the week old was for the pasta madre –mother dough- started by a Sardinian family almost 300 years ago. We were given a small piece of it as a gift at a Victorian afternoon tea event in the public gardens last Sunday, on the condition that we bake with it and take care of it- refreshing it regularly, with a precise weight of water and flour. I feel reasonably confident about the baking part, but I’m not so sure how well I will do with keeping it alive in the meantime, given my terrible track record with plants… Let’s hope my dough fingers are more effective than my green fingers.
Later in the week, old was for the nail polish I finally, and rather reluctantly, removed more than 2 months after my last pedicure in Beirut. It felt symbolic and slightly sad, like removing one of the last visible traces of my life there. At first I thought it wasn’t going to come off at all, especially not with my eco-friendly nail polish remover, clinging stubbornly on, just how I have been hanging on, unwilling to let go of the city. But after 20 minutes of hard work, almost as long as it takes the girls at G-Spa salon to do a complete pedicure, my toenails were naked again, looking less confident after losing their double coat of coral conquest ( finally the right colour, after 3 watermelon-tangerine-salmon years of searching), but at the same time stripped bare and ready to begin again.
And since neither the mother dough or my toes are particularly photogenic, old is also for this heart, in front of a dilapidated doorway on a Tuscan hillside, where the way of life feels older than the orchards and the olive trees and all of us.