Wednesday 30 September 2009


How wonderful to have so many tools for recognizing and feeling textures!
Our fingertips, tongues, skin, lips, the soles of our feet - the manifold possibilities can make life an adventure in terms of textures.

Have you, for instance, ever touched a snake? In case you have not, do you wonder what they feel like?

A friend of mine had a pet boa. The animal was still a baby and measured only about half a metre in length. One of its favourite resting places was inside the sleeve of my jumper, when I was visiting my friend.
Since it was still only a little boa, and not heavy, I didn't mind it hiding in my sleeve. The smooth and dry warmth felt actually nice against my skin; it was like having a second, somewhat slimmer and slightly scaly, arm in there.

The other day, I stroke the back of a big fat carp in a pond in the castle grounds of my home town. The carp there are, I suppose, older than I am, and their skin is a bit rubbery, firm and smooth, but a little slimy. Actually, I had expected to feel the scales, but that wasn't so.

Small birds like sparrows and tits have often sat on my hands for feeding, and their tiny claws tickle the sensitive palm and fingers; a good method to practise self-control, because giving in to the tickling sensation means the birds get scared and fly away.

Fabrics like satin, silk and cashmere are, unfortunately, not part of my everyday outfits, but when I do wear something made of such luxurious quality, I truly enjoy the sensuous feeling all day.

Polished wood is something I can hardly keep my hands off, and a chestnut that has just fallen off a tree and is still shiny and newborn is irresistible.

On the rare occasion that I make pizza (believe it or not, my pizza is really good!) or any other dough with yeast, I indulge in feeling the smooth, soft, warm texture of the finished dough, and usually knead it for longer than it actually needs, just because it feels so nice.

Oh, I could go on and on about this - there are so many other wonderful textures that I have not even mentioned yet - but those few who read these excerpts from my mental library know that one of my continuous fears is to be boring, so I better stop


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