I made a cake to impress when we invited 12 friends for lunch. As we had a glut of strawberries and rhubarb I made this strawberry mouse cake that worked quite well. The sides would have looked better had the fruit been more uniform but home grown, and bought for that matter, are you take what’s ripe now.

Yet more food as we went with Ann to Celle sul Rigo Pici sagra for the first time, after voting in the regional elections, trying to get the ex-mayor of Assisi into Perugia. This chap organized the parking, road system and enabled coaches, private cars and bikes to access the small town without huge tail backs or ruining the city so a clear candidate in our book for Perugia’s council. The sagra was very well organized with a bus ferry the visitors to the central piazza held in the central piazza, the tent to pay with the menu, then they gave receipts for the pasta, meat course, vegetables and drinks. Ann got the chips which we shared in the pasta queue then Mike went to get the wine and Ann snagged a table as they were filling up fast. In 15 mins we had steaming trays of pasta and sat to eat them with a couple from bologna. We estimate at least 1000 people will eat there over lunch and supper today Afterwards we walked through the town taking in the outstanding views back to the car and on to San casio degi bagni for ice cream.

Sadly we had to take PK to be put to sleep. Despite rallying after the abscess and infections after the bite in December he suddenly lost his appetite and started to drink a lot of water, then the weight simply fell off him in under a week. We tried fresh chicken, tinned sardines, mackerel anything to tempt him but 2 bites and he was done. It turns out he has a tumor and it was time to let him go.

Looking around we decided that having a computer in the Larder was a bit odd, so we swapped tables around and moved the computer from there to the library which now looks like a study. Amazing how such a simple change alters so many perceptions. The garden drinks trolley was then wheeled into the larder after Mike re-painted the wall we’d not seen for 8 years.

The garden continued to bloom and put on a show better than we’d seen for several years and fruit trees look to have a good crop on them too.

We moved the computer from the "Pantry" to the library some work needed in the pantry before things need putting in but computer up and running, as you can see. The Wi-Fi works, Mike turned the transmitting station around and tweaked things a bit and its just as good as before. The telephones have to stay in the pantry by the door so no I can't hear it.

Talking of which, while transferring things up, down and around the bell at the gate went. "Hi its Luigi Ratti", the chap we got the pool tiles from. "Mr Sofia needs to speak to you and can't get an answer, are you in?" we said we were home all day and would get the phones working asap. Mr Sofia arrived at 6pm with daughter and grandson (Lorenzo) she gave us a large Flaming Katie as a thank you for the birth gift we dropped off a YEAR ago. Very active kid, walking and plays football but is very shy so didn't utter a word (they do talk at 12 months don't they?). The upshot was Mr S wants to sell the unique historic apartments with views to astonish, near our old olive grove, from CDL across lake views to Perugia, We said we’d meet up when Mike is flying out that way.

Mike had his first flight booked for a year and as we arrived in Il Solomeo there was a church processional, incense, the Madonna held on a decorated platform with celebrants following. The police held the traffic back so we did a U turn and took another road to get to the air field and we arrived at top speed and were polity requested not to do so again even if late.

Mike flew the new airplane from Corciano, over lake trasimeno to Chuisi and just beyond and managed to get Stephano – the trainer – to take some photos of a friends property they flew over before turning back and landing just 40 mins later, it seemed longer for us both. We grabbed a bite to eat at the newly renovated Torta al testa before we visited the castle Mr S will showed us his portion of this very important building with built in solid walnut cabinets and wardrobes (wow). He's up to his ears in work, Rome & all over, his wife and he pass like ships in the night and his daughter is also busy so would we find a select agent in the UK. So it is possible to make a website in the international "mode" (English, metres/feet and style, as we understand things) YESTERDAY as he needs to move it on and get the property next-door completed and sold on too (project B as we understand things). It was a lot like being hit by a focused hurricane and we're certain we didn't understand half of it. So I'm going to put a rough guide to what we think is wanted together, try to find a prestigious agent in the UK or portal and see if its what he wants to promote (English/Italian ideals).

We had a series of incidences: 1) The electric failed for 7 hours on the Friday 2) The water pump capacitor blew 3) Sunday no water, when we opened the reservoir tanks there was a film of oil on the top, flooded the chamber to pass the oil over the top to clear it out and dashed off to make appointments.

Its odd but when we have people due to stay we always get water issues and we should of had parents here just 2 days ago…. The pump was in the water reservoir that feeds both house and pool. We hoped, as its only us most of the time, we could fill the pool via a hose and just rely on the mains supply for downstairs, but as soon as the farmer or neighbours take from the system our pressure collapses and the gas boilers wont fire up so no hot water, so plan b.

The pump replacement was a bit of a saga but we went to ETI specialists in plumbing, where we got Bertha, and walking in saw a huge “out of the water” pump. Its a fairly new idea as most people don't have the room or are using in water pumps in bore holes and the plastic versions are not strong enough for our situation plus the price is 3x the other sorts. What they've supplied us with is a smaller version of the one we spotted by the door and does up to 10 persons - he nearly fainted when we said we had 7 shower rooms- but we qualified it by saying a max of 4 persons to use showers). They were very kind and we all scribbled pictures to communicate position, size, location etc. They were un-surprised by the oil, its around the motor and electrical bouncing puts a heck of a pressure on the system and the gasket may have a small hole....but as the” in water” pump costs at least 100 euros more and to refurbish the one that failed almost as much it was no contest, why pay a little less for an out of warranty 6 year old unit?

It did take an afternoon and morning to fit, plus another dash back tot he suppliers for connection reducers as we’d not realized we were dealing with 2 different sized pipes, 35mm into the reservoir, 25mm to the house. Mike replaced a rotting electrical box, re-routed the wiring to make it neater and we cleaned up everything on the 1st afternoon. The following day we put the pump, pipes and controller together and fitted it into the reservoir chamber on a bed of polystyrene to keep it above and spills and the risk of freezing is reduced too.

So just repaired before our friends were due to arrive and the weather had one last storm, deluge and high winds the night before then it was melt down all over Italy with temperatures back up in the mid 35c’s We were glad to get back to watering the plants, mowing and strimming after 7pm. What a month!