Have we 2 strays? Mike swore the cat he saw looked like Freddie, a pale tabby and I said darker like Mach1. One night we closed external doors because of a draft roaring through the bedroom and trapped a stranger in the house. Freddie retreated to the top of a display cabinet looking horrified, while a stray double of her was charging up and down stairs like a mad thing, wailing like a siren. Re opened doors, put some food outside, waited 30 mins and exit small cat. Our cats began to behave strangely, Freddie retreating inside, PK spraying all and sundry and Mach1 beating up anything that moved so we made the decision to keep windows and doors shut so the freeloaders had to hunt or move on to eat, a long month of opening and shutting doors on demand ensued.

Mike was delighted that after a year Spinmaster replaced the radio controlled plane I'd bought as a birthday present that didn't fly. A copy, allegedly, of an airhog ww2 plane. If it was as un-areodynamic as the scale model they must have driven the plane onto high ground and pushed it off cliffs onto invaders, as it flew like a brick! It was perfectly designed to crash from ground or air, having been catapulted manually to give it encouragement. The replacement, Stunt plane, got off to a good start but worryingly it was supplied with 2 spare propellers.

Collected our leather coats from a wonderful family shop in Sarteano. Mikes old coat had a complete new liner and mine needed a “patch” fitted over a cut on the back shoulder section which I'd made. It took a while, as we'd said we weren't in a rush , but worth the wait as the total cost was 40 euros. We went on to see an estate agent with a reputation of speaking plainly. She said not to promote the house until 2017 as the market is a bit flooded with property and things are still on the slow side, as we're in no rush, but to hand the info around our preferred agent in case it fits a buyer and if they're prepared to meet our huge asking price because we've had to add the capital gains tax and fees on top. Normally the agents fees are around 3% + vat (22%) and the capital gains is 21% difference between the rateable vale and sales price and the total extra cost with a 5% commission (as quoted by one agent who has a joint UK agency) would add over 150k! So in 2017 advertise it and adjust price. Makes sense to us.

Friends, who we thought we'd not see for a few years due to family circumstances, were able to drop by for a night to catch up, before driving on back to Wales. When ferries, tolls and fuel not to mention nerves are added up driving is not for the faint hearted and in a camper van not cheap either.

We had the pool opened, the pump returned repaired and the timer replaced, nothing lasts for ever, and amazingly the boarder, although loose in places was still attached, for how long....but we'll let it fall off in its own good time as the water only reached a chilly 24c in the first week due to the nightly thunderstorms and temperatures dropping to an autumnal 10c. So the pool opened at 19c and took a week to get to 23c, too chilly to do more than a quick plunge. Then around the 15th it picked up with the most amazing sunset announcing summers return and a return to watering and poisoning the acacia sprouts that seemed to grow overnight to 2 feet high. Our bought nectarine produced 5 good sized fruit and we were astonished to find the flesh inside is almost white, but sweet.

A family friend not seen for 40 years contacted us to say and a friend would be passing by on their way from Rome to Lucca and could they drop in to say Hi in September. I doubt either of us will recognize the other but this will be our third unexpected visitor this year.

Talking with friends about passports we thought we ought to dig ours out to see when they expired and to our shock they finished in February of this year, how to replace turns out to be a bit of a saga. In the past we could have gone to the consulate in Rome but that closed 2 years ago, so posting old ones to Paris but no that finished last year so the only option is to download a form, pay £102 each, post to UK and wait until the current debacle (allow 3 weeks turns into 6 months), thankfully we'd no plans to leave Italy this year .

The lavender was huge, chest hight, but due to the weekly storms it fell over and the budlia's, now 12 feet tall, both need trimming back before the month end and still grass cutting. We were saying despite muttering about Mr S not doing the road last year now we are glad as we'd have spent 1k only to have it eroded by all these storms so we'd have to re-do it again in 12 months. Things do work out in hind-sight.

Went back to get our MOT stamp and dug up half the chaps gravel. I'd noticed an "Angles Trumpet" bush growing in the car park and asked if I could have a seed pod when ready, "Take as much as you like its a weed!" so I have 7 plants and hoping some survive, not supposed to be winter hardy , but we'll see. Tomatoes just turning and plumbs colouring but as hard as nails, although something (squirrel?) picked one and carried to the washing line lawn.

Made pickled shallots and a cork "Bagno" sign and managed to blow up the glue gun! But found a cheap one in a Chinese shop at only 7,50!, so back in production, Mike not convinced but it doesn't look tacky.

Had to dash off to the vets as we thought Freddie may have been stung by a hornet or something as she was off her food and panting a lot. Originally we thought she was just over hot but she was no better the following morning and hadn't eaten for 24 hours, that we know of, and was acting sleepy. The vet thought she may have fallen out of a tree so he said leave her for an x-ray and will let us know by phone. We said do what ever was needed but when he called he seemed to think think she'd been hit by a car and would not survive the operation, so there was no choice but to let her go. Despite only having her company for 3 months we'll miss her lap cuddles, dribbling and cheerful chirruping call.