23 agosto 2012

The tremendous heat

The tremendous heat continues. Temperatures are in the mid- to high 30s, with not much respite at night. The cats lie around in shady corners barely breathing and Maxim has dug himself a cool pit in the bank. In the hottest hours after lunch the whole countryside has a stunned air. It's almost impossible to work in such heat but here I am, chained to my computer and attempting to edit a book on design. Not getting very far.

The drought has reached emergency levels and the Comune are cutting off the town's water supply from 5pm to 9am every day. Our own mains water cuts off during the morning, when the main tank that serves our area has run out, and starts again sometime in the middle of the night, when the main tank has filled up again. This is enough time to fill up our holding tank — 1,000 litres of water, enough for a day if we (and the rental guests) aren't bothered, two days if we're careful. Today the water never came back and we were down to our last couple of hundred litres, so I phoned the Comune, who said the main tank must be empty. They fiddled around diverting some pipes or something and later told me that our water was back on. It wasn't, and we were starting to get alarmed about how much longer we could feasibly go without flushing the loo or washing. So they sent a very charming man from the Protezione Civile with a just-big-enough tank in the back of a pickup!

Luckily for the veg patch we have access to the spring water that collects in Mario's troughs, though there's less of it this year and Mario uses most of it on his own veg patch via a Heath Robinson system of pumps, cables and hoses plus extensive use of duct tape. Whereas I lug watering cans about and manage to be the only person to have muddy feet in a drought.

15 agosto 2012


Now that we've had the barn fixed up, Cassie has her feed in there and from my studio with the window open I can hear her munching her hay. A comforting sound, if surprisingly loud. The other side of the barn is now the games room, with ping pong table and darts board, not nearly so interesting to me as the dirt floor and profumo di cavallo of the horse's side, but that's probably just me.

We're in the middle of the hottest summer for about a thousand years, hot on the heels of the coldest winter. I haven't blogged for months and months for a variety of reasons but mainly because I've been busy and because the longer I left it the harder it was to recommence, but here I am now. I'll keep it short and sweet. More tomorrow!