Nightly storms helped with the watering but life was complicated by the pool robot failing. Had to dismantle and reassemble twice and had to order liquid rubber sealant to ensure motor for wheels and impeller were kept dry. Several tree branches were brought down and instantly used to repair fences that also brought over by the high winds. The lavender , which had been a wonderful sight, was cut back after the bees and butterflies had enjoyed the flowers. We discovered a surprise in the stems and left her in her web, so a small clump was left for our visitor despite being frightened half to death when she was discovered. The heat didn’t slacken off noticeably and one of our thermometers broke having hit the 50c+ too often for the bimetallic spring to recover.

Talk of being scared half to death the storm season arrived with a bang and lightening that was not only multicolored, horizontal, vertical but multiple. The locals seemed to think there was nothing to worry about but as we were sitting under a canvas tent supported by a lot of metal with a band playing electric guitars with microphones on a metal based stage, we were not so sanguine. The sagra of the goose is one of the best, we tried pici with goose ragu, sliced steak with small onions in balsamic (sort of sweet and sour as they’d been pickled in the balsamic) and mixed starter selection, sweet proscutto ham, melon, goose pate on toast, salamis etc.

Thunderstorm (no2) was over head and had us huddled together with cat on the bed with fingers in ears and today we've had a difficult day, the pool robot stopped again, just as the pool needs her most as it filled with leaves. Had to resort to manual cleaning of storm detrius and sucking up the dust & and sand from the bottom using long pole device isn’t easy and less so now we’re not as fit any more. Started to re-grout the tiles around the pool & finished as an unscheduled storm with down pour arrived and has undid most of the work. So the following day back to square one and in the night another thunderstorm arrived waking us at 5am and no-one got any sleep after that. There was a strike so close to the house we had a static discharge off our copper flue in the kitchen - not amused at all !!

The thunder and lightening seemed to be daily occurrence, getting on with jobs was difficult especially re-grouting the pool tiles, painting the metal chairs, varnishing and mowing. We were startled to see a vertical rainbow over Fabro where they were getting a deluge (the odd colour on the right is the rain), before it arrived with us.

We changed the gas boiler maintenance company as the one we’ve always used got slower and slower to arrive and we saw a new person each time who wanted to sell us something, even if it was just a washer or insurance policy. The new smaller company are not only cheaper but more efficient and helpful and do not do a hard sell. Like everything the money saved was quickly spent on other repairs, but that’s life. It was a month of fixing things, a loo cistern, replacing water pump, waterproof socket covers (its been a year of water replacement parts), the Wi-fi link to XP was constantly cut off by the software and it took 3 frustrating weeks to sort out, not enthusiastic about XP.

On the plus side the weather was kind on San Lorenzo’s day, 10th, but the best day that we had a clear sky was the 12th to see the meteorites that fall this time every year. We didn’t get to dealing with the outside jobs until almost the last 10 days of the month due to the heat, it cooled off long enough to get the black metal work painting done, and cutting up old fence bits we’d replaced for burning. The robot had been checked, tested and rechecked and we decided the main timing board had failed so eventually found and bought another from an on line Italian supplier for the same cost we’d imported ours 4 years ago. It works out that after 2 seasons its easily paid for itself in electric and chemical savings, not to mention time taken to clean the pool each day.

Plumbs, apples, peaches in abundance but the grapes were a disaster. Taking a bunch of split and withering grapes to a friend he diagnosed an American disease that although we’d sprayed, it was too early at the wrong bits nor for long enough. Still we got enough to make a typical Tuscan red grape bread and a green grape cake, the sugar counteracted the bitterness of slightly unripe fruit. The walnuts started to fall early and the squirrels got to over half before we did so we have 3 trays drying in the sun which should give us a 3rd when we get to cracking them when they’d dried.

A second heat wave arrived soaring back up to the low 40s during the day and 22-25 at night, the promise of rain early next month came as a relief, but we do still take time to admire the incredible blue skies. Complaining about the weather is universal and not just a British habit.

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