Wednesday 26 July 2017

One of those days

Spoke to soon about the annual water leak. I noticed yesterday that despite the drought there was water on the road outside our house and after investigation Mr FF confirmed that it is indeed our pipe. While he was up at the meter, which is in a deep pit that the water board refuse to enter so we never get a correct bill, he found we had another leak up the mountain. I dread the thought of him having to dig up the road because the leak may not be where the water surfaces, it makes me so cross that the water board are rationing the supply to the village but will do nothing to help locate leaks despite having the equipment to do so. Then this afternoon Theo our shy black cat returned after almost a week with the most horrendous neck wound. He took some food and had a little wash afterwards, which I take as a good sign, but he's in quite a state. It looks like he might have had an abscess the puncture looks deep but clean so I do hope he's going to be ok because we can't get near him to help. Some evil creature has been eating our peas, we were so looking forward to them, as a change from courgettes and tomatoes, not only have the pods been eaten but many of the plants have been devoured. There was quite a large footprint in the soil and sizeable holes dug, I really would like a wildlife camera to see what happens down in our orchard when we're not about. To complete this forgettable day we had a tremendous electric storm with welcome heavy rain followed by unwelcome hailstones the size of marbles that turned the landscape white. More garden devastation, I worry for the grapes and olives in the valley not to mention all my seedlings and terrace pots. As they say it never rains but it pours, Italy has gone beyond that big style but I have every confidence normal sunshine will be restored and everything else will be resolved. Not like me to be so positive, its been a funny old day. Don't ask me why blogger won't allow me to space my text, no matter now many returns I insert everything stays in one paragraph,

Saturday 8 July 2017

About the cats

Still only three, Crema Grigio and Theo. there were six that we left them last November with a lot of dried food,an automatic dispenser that Mario filled regularly and a little house to sleep in. We didn't intend to leave them so long but works in the penthouse dragged on into May. In March this year Giovanni and his wife returned from winter in Rome to their lovely house above us and of course the cats sensing company moved up to join them. Mario passed the remains of our food and some more he bought to Giovanni who took over the feeding and provided the family with a nice place to sleep. All was going well and we had regular positive reports. Then Giovanni and his wife, I have been told her name but I can never remember it, returned to Rome for a month and did not make provision for the cats. I wish we'd known we could have got Mario back on duty. When they returned to the mountainside only two of kittens and Theo were still here. We have guessed at all sorts of possibilities and looked around the area for the missing ones but there is no sign. It seems strange that three siblings who were devoted to each other, the two here still are, would split up. Rosso the third kitten was the most friendly, he was a delight and would be adopted easily. The mother we can understand going off if she had new babies and Marzio the kitten from two years ago had turned into an unneutered holligan he could be in Sicily by now. If three could survive without regular feeding then surely they all could. So we have to accept the family has reduced. The kittens are brilliant, they have relaxation to an art and have remembered all the naughty things they did last year, play fighting under the sofa, sleeping on shelves, constantly unpacking my knitting bag. Crema even managed to remove a ball band and unwind a full 50 g of sock yarn, turning it into an almighty tangle that kept me occupied for some time. I am so glad we had them neutered last year and delighted they are still here. We plan to stay in Italy into the Autumn but already I am fretting about leaving them again, they get cross enough when we go out for the day.

Sunday 2 July 2017

The other side

We spend so much time sitting out on our terrace, eating, reading, chatting, snoozing and just gazing. Most evenings we sit looking across the valley to the mountains opposite ours and see lights twinkling on the horizon. I made enquiries and found that the highest village we see is a small place, population about 1000, called Rocca Massima. On Friday we went to visit having called at the opticians en route as I accidentally sat on and bent Mr FF's everyday glasses. They were fixed quickly and at no cost. Rocca Massima about an hours drive away was a delight, perched high on a ridge with views back across the valley to our mountain on one side and down to the sea on the other. Little traffic free streets and steps wound round past beautiful houses with so many pots of flowers, cats sleeping on door steps, old ladies sitting at windows. We wandered around and came upon a group of six men who had dragged a table onto the street and were tucking into a massive pan of pasta, complete with plastic dishes of pasta on the ground for the cats. We greeted them and they asked if we'd like a glass of wine, we declined explaining we had a drive home, they wished us a good walk. I was totally charmed by this pretty mountain village and it's kind people. Now when we sit out looking across the valley to the horizon and see the lights come on I know exactly what we are looking at and what a wonderful place it is.