Lizards in the lounge and snakes in the pool - August 2016 The month start was hot sticky with thundery interludes. The grass had slowed but still needed the odd trim, done between 7 and 8pm as it was too hot before then at it hit 50c on the window thermometer by 10am. We spent so much time indoors we lost our tans.

Illness dominated the beginning weeks with a friend having fallen and needing an operation to replace her shoulder joint, Mach1’s tail flared up despite the new antibiotics and I had a difficult day when I think I passed a gallstone, not fun at all.

Despite having the doors shut, in case of the marauding tom got in the house again, we had an influx of lizards. Daily we had to capture and release the critters back into the garden. Mach1, surprisingly was uninterested in helping although he’s responsible for the Manx lizards that abound outside. On top we have had a daily baby adder in the pool, not sure if it’s the same one each time, but it swims well and rests on the robot cable until rescued by net. Mike got the fright of his life when he started running water to shave when a fat green lizard climbed out of the sink plug hole. I had washed just fifteen minuets before and there were no creatures in the bowl then. It took some catching but we eventually managed to release it outside.

We panned to go to the Citta della Pieve night to celebrate the flag where various things began at 6pm, exploring the underground tunnels, 3 bands playing 40-50’s, 60-70’s and 80-90’s, art & dance exhibitions, beer tasting, lectures and so on but the day before it was suddenly canceled. Sadly a local lad of 21 threw himself under a train and the service was to be held in the cathedral on the Saturday so the Comune canceled the event. The 10th is the night of the falling stars and several of the local wineries held a tasting at a hill top borgo where several of the old houses have been renovated as holiday lets and there is a 1 star Michelin restaurant. We didn’t eat there but watched for the falling stars, saw a few but saw lots of planes and a satellite passing overhead.

August 23rd at 3 am a 6.2 earthquake hit the lower left corner of Umbria and Marche, Rome in Lazio felt the shocks and two days later they were still looking for survivors. We being over three hours drive away, the town most affected was in Noccia 80km south of Perigia in the mountains, never felt a thing but lots of family and friends not aware of he distances involved phoned, skyped, texted and emailed to ensure we were safe. We were touched and naturally responded as soon as we were aware of the crisis having left early to collect friends from Perugia airport we had been unaware of the earthquake. The fault line runs up the central mountain range and we are way to the left and our area was considered earthquake free zone until about 10 years ago when the whole of Italy was designated as a risk area.

In 10 short seconds 80% of the old town had been reduced to rubble, 150 missing and roads collapsed making the work of the rescuers even more difficult. The prime minister announced that the 3 towns devastated would be rebuilt but it could take years a Aquilia that was struck down in 2009 is still having work done to it.

On the 28th we all went to the Contadina sagra in Fabro. It was very noisy with a live band playing accordions, drums and saxophones, the food on offer was traditional pastas and roasted meats but having seen all we wanted to we decided to go on to Palazzone for pizza instead.

The last 2 days of the month were heralded by thunder and lightening, of all colours and types that prowled around our hill for several hours, knocking off the electric for a while making the flashes from front and back more spectacular. The pool was replenished with water, dropped 4 degrees to a cool 20c and had a scattering of leaves and dust on the bottom to be cleaned between shows.

Readers who submit articles must agree to our terms of use. The content is the sole responsibility of the contributor and is unmoderated. But we will react if anything that breaks the rules comes to our attention. If you wish to complain about this article, contact us here