New years eve we went shopping and it was almost impossible to park and get around it was manic, busier than the shop before the 25th but no one can say why unless it was just everyone getting out of the house and meeting up for coffee. Called in on Ann on the way home as she's sent an SOS of things that had stopped working, she wasn't too well as she had a slight head cold. The water pump wasn't working because there wasn't enough water in the cistern to float the float to activate it, so that was OK. The torch had a dicky connection and after re-fitting the batteries in and out several times it bust into life again and she'd found a packet of chocolate digestives she'd forgotten to give Mike for his Xmas pressy, so easily solved. Un packed, ate lunch, got wood in and chose clothes ( tried on till found stuff that fits) for the theater and Annie's birthday, had bath and collapsed into bed We kept mach1 in until we couldn’t hear any more fireworks but he disappeared until 10.30am the following day and arrived distressed and very clingy so we wonder if he found either wild animals or dogs that had been frightened loose on our land and they’d chased him 1st January Friday 5.30pm we were at the theater in CDP s there was a new years day concert that Annie's friend had organized, 1 mezzo-soprano, 1 alto, 1 tenor 1 baritone 1 pianist, who took turns to sign carols, opera, ballet and musical songs. The one we loved was Silent night each one sang a verse in their native language, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese Italian and the last verse in German. There was also a group of lads from Gambia (who they'd had a job getting apparently) we expected traditional costume and songs but got jeans, trainers and a single bongo drum and a bit of a stomp by each lad. We suspect they dashed out the back door and are in the back of a lorry headed to France as we type. It was over by 7.30 and we ambled home to supper. We said if they had more at this time instead of a 9pm start ( as if they every started on time!) we'd go more often as we could enjoy a meal out too. The only unfortunate occurrence was the dotty old lady who shared our box got 2 calls on her cell phone and when she did eventually switch it off it played another tune loudly.

Saturday 2nd was Annie's birthday lunch with her beau Robert, Carol & John from the Uk who are driving her back on the 5th, Ann -feeling a bit better- Jean & Nello and us. Annie had almost canceled going to the UK for a month as 3 properties have been burgled and the one between her and us was trashed as well but a friend told her about "trustedhousesitters" who are mostly retired bods who will house and pet sit for nothing. She has a couple of ex doctors from Cambridge arriving tomorrow and all they ask is access to use her car, but she's going to give them cart blanche to freezer and cupboards and when she gets back will offer them to stay on and use the place as a base if they want to explore Italy more. As a host you pay 70euros to register on the website for a year and you put in the dates you want someone to sit and they contact you and they've been police checked and lots have reviews given by those they've sat for too. Something to keep in mind. And it was our first rainy day for months!

6th there was a show of “Befana” a good witch with gifts for the kiddies in the town and a free concert in the church than on the 10th we were invited to lunch with friends to celebrate their dogs birthday.

Jean mentioned something called Putlocker9 where she's been watching new films on line (she plugs her lap top into the tv to watch) its free and looks interesting for a wet afternoon or evening. Brian purchased an Amazon fire box to access thousands of internet channels to get away from his SKY contract. Linked by wi-fi to this gadget that plugs into his TV he can even speak to the gadget to search for programs. Our TV is so old it doesn’t have the HDMI port needed, in fact it doesn’t have an USB port so we’ll continue watching Freeview on the computer.

The weather continued mild and with a strong Sirocco wind we hit 28c on the 11th so that week we ventured into the woods and recovered some trees that fell over the last 2 years in storms, sawed up and stacked for next years burning after they’ve dried out. Then the strong wind became a gale overnight blowing our glass oil bottles by the house all over, smashing one large one to smithereens, but no other damage caused. We left 2 very large trees that will need chain sawing for another attempt. But planted roses that had emerged from the bottom of their pots into large holes dug by porcupines. Despite all this mild weather we’ve got the central heating running as we know the cold will arrive and we need to be ready for it.

The comune was all a twitter and agog when a farmer ploughing discovered a 4 metre square hole with an Etruscian tomb in Ponticelli. It has been untouched for over 2500 years at least and the experts promptly moved in along with several different sets of police to ensure no night-time raiders made off with the contents. Clarita Natalini’s team excavated a corridor leading to a dromos, or stone double door, and found a rectangle-shaped chamber containing two sarcophagi, four alabaster marble urns containing remains, and grave goods including pottery, miniature votive vases, two intact jars, and a marble head broken at the neck. One of the sarcophagi had been marked with the male first name “Laris” and other inscriptions yet to be translated. The other sealed sarcophagus had been covered with painted plaster. “Unfortunately a collapse which occurred in antiquity damaged the plaster. The inscription is now lost in thousands of fragments. Piecing them together won’t be an easy task,” Despite the damage, the 2,300-year-old painted coffin, which weights 3 tons and is more than 8 foot long, is still sealed. “We expect to find another skeleton inside,” Natalini said. A mysterious marble head, clearly broken at the neck level, has been also found. “It portrays the beautiful face of a young man. We do not know yet its meaning. Perhaps it was part of a statue that honored one of the deceased,” Natalini said.

Apart from grave goods, which include pottery, miniature votive vases and two intact ceramic jars, likely used to store food for the afterlife, the archaeologists found four urns with remains. Made from fine grained alabaster marble, three of them are finely sculpted. The lid portrays the half naked deceased with a flower necklace reclining on two cushions as if at a banquet. He bears a patera, a shallow ritual offering dish, in the right hand. The use of alabaster marble, the style of the burial and clues from the inscriptions suggest the burial belongs to an aristocratic family from the nearby Etruscan stronghold of Chiusi, Natalini said. “We will do our best to display the tomb’s content to the public in a close future,” culture council Carmine Pugliese told reporters.

The sarcophagi and the other grave goods have now been moved to a museum in Città della Pieve in order to conduct restoration and further study.

I got back to my sewing project, Mike ventured to the market and helped me select glass beads for it as he has a very good eye for colour and contrast. Having got home we did a really good job of selection but how to start is now the issue.