There was a strong southerly wind bringing sand and clouds over to blight of the 1st which turned into a full scale gale. Lemon pots blew over shedding their fruit and the kiwi support wire snapped but Mike took the car canopy down though the bamboo cane snapped in half scratching the bonnet. Rain followed as well as plunging temperatures, both welcome after the fiery heat of the previous month. There wasn’t even an inch of water but the plants revived, dust settled and near normal temperature resumed, to the mid 30’s so eating outside was a pleasure again. Then the heat returned into the upper 40’s and beyond and we had to cover the rhubarb and pumpkin patch with a sun shade as they were drying out and had to be watered 3x a day. Poor Mach1 was so hot he wouldn’t eat during the day and snacked at night in the cooler hours but he lost a lot of weight.

We were saddened to learn Mr Alan England passed away. Although ‘rivals’ in the two-way radio business for many years it was his company Telecoms Facilites Ltd that bought our radio communications side of our trade out when we decided to emigrate.

We went to sell unwanted items of gold and silver at a jewelers who specializes in clocks as two items were pocket watches, and one of the “we buy gold’ places, they made us a good offer which went to pay off the tree trimming work.

On the 15th Attended a friends girlfriends art exhibition in Citta della Pieve along with the “nights of blue, red & white” celebrations of music, food & literature evenings. She’s a very good copyist, has a thing for Degas, and her botanical studies are wonderful ,( but unaffordable even if we had the wall space) her charcoal sketches were also very good but some of the acrylic work showed flaws in hands and feet which are an artists hardest parts to get right, but as the works covered almost 20 years you could see how her style and method had changed over the time.

Swapped the lights we bought from the secondhand place last year, that have lounged on the floor for almost 6 months, with the 3 lights we don’t want to leave with the property. Naturally the one we thought was going to be easy turned out to be a complete nightmare at the top of a stepladder for 2 hours and the one perceived to be the most difficult was done in a few minutes flat! While in step ladder mode we also removed the curtains and rails that we put up before the new windows with shutters went in and just never got around to taking down again. Their removal makes the rooms look brighter despite never hanging in front of the shutters.

The kitchen tap stared to leak. We had a spare so swapped it but the flexible fitting were a different size, went to get new fittings, then had to go back to the shop and get reducers. 3 days, lots of water and swearing in 3 languages, we got the mixer replaced. Thankfully we have all the tools and despite lack of instructions we worked it all out otherwise it would have been a 200 euro bill.

Then the post office decided to add interest to our over heated and stress lives. It started when we placed an order for printer ink with Amazon. We got a notification they had been sent via post Italia on a 3 day recorded delivery and we could track the progress on line. Baring in mind that our post is now running Monday, Wednesday and Friday one week and then the alternative week its Tuesday and Thursday although the village Post Office is only open in the mornings of Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But it arrives so infrequently we’d no idea where we stood on delivery days. The tracking said Tuesday about 1pm but received a very late email from Amazon to say the Post Office will deliver on Monday this message arrived on Tuesday. OK go down to our post box to find a recorded delivery notice that we where not at home at 12.30 when they tried to deliver. In fact we where sitting in the kitchen, windows open, listening out for vehicles and the bell but there had been no sound of vehicle or signs of an attempt to get our attention.

The recorded delivery slip from the hand held computer stated the parcel is now held at Citta della Pieve Post Office. OK off we jolly well go on Tuesday morning to CDP to be told by the manager behind the counter its with the postman and he’ll be with you today. He wasn’t.

OK not to worry we will wait for Wednesday post, open gates to show the postman he or she can in fact drive up to our front-door. Had lunch at 1.00 pm still listening out for delivery of post, popping up and down like yo-yo’s when we heard a vehicle pass by. No sign of any vehicles so around 4pm went down to close the gate. There was another computer slip in our post box saying they’d failed delivery at 1.30 pm, now we are both looking at each other thinking are we going crazy because neither of us heard any sounds of post van arriving at our gate.

This delivery slip states it will be left at Ponticelli local Post Office where we can collect it. ,HURRAH we thought Friday, off we jolly well trot to visit our village Post Office. We wait in turn to be served hand over the various bits of ticker tape and the guy calls it up on the computer holding the package from Amazon in his hands, yes we can see it, it does exist so close and yet so far.

So wait for it, this "twit" , the same one seen up in town on Tuesday, tells us that the computer says "NO" and he cannot release the parcel until the 24th which is next Monday!

I looked at Peggy and in the immortal words of Victor Meldrew said " I don't believe this".

Placed our property with the local estate agency that sold us the property 12 years ago, 1 in Arezzo with connections to Christies international, 1 with USA links and one in London who put us with Rightmove and lots of free on line sites to attract international buyers over the summer months hopefully. There was one agent who said the road will be very noisy, so you will have to reduce your price for a quick sale. He has no idea. For 2 days we had jets screaming over head, hunting dogs with bells, owners with whistles and blanks being fired off as they trained them up passed the house into the countryside, tractors clanking screeching as they bail and plough heaving up huge dust clouds obscuring everything and Ponticelli Rock at full tilt for 4 nights belting out. No we can honestly say we can't hear the vehicles on the motorway at all! We haven’t elected to go with the clot as we’re in no hurry to sell. Some have the idea they can take the Brits for a ride as we must be desperate to avoid Britexit complications. We have an on line brouchure that links to many free international site we are promoting on: iz0jub.wixsite.com/tuscan-views

From drought to drown and of course this is the day that Chrsities agent turned up, a day early, and the man with lift and saws to trim the cypresses, a week late! Riccardo from Romolini took piccys, said he'd like one of the drive when done and was away 20mins before the thunderstorm erupted overhead, unscheduled. We dashed about getting cushions in but they'd got quite wet and the poor lad doing the trimming had to give up. He returned after lunch cushions back out and the grumbling and spitting started again. He had to return a second day, we suspect he'd have to anyway as its taking longer than planned as they said 2 men and 1 lift but his dad's off doing something else, they adjusted the price accordingly to 60 euros an hour. Unfortunately to get at the trees at the back, all but 2, he had to take 12” of fence out and remove a dead tree too. It took 14, and the cost is in the hire of the lift as its worth 30k. They also appreciated that they could leave the tractor and trailer in the car park safely rather than have to take it back and forth. We did the tidying up bit and as the lavender had finished and been battered by the rain we cut that too so smelt of pine, lavender and wet leaves, we do get all the fun jobs, although it only took 3 days to move and the fence repairs and sorting out the dead tree another 3 days.

A very large cricket came to stay in the kitchen having taken a liking to the breeze from the ceiling fan. It sat for two days on a beam over the cooker but as we were eating salads most days it wasn’t worried by heat or the extractor fan, then it decided to live in the basil plant on the windowsill. It was very well camouflaged and gave me a bit of a turn when a leaf began to walk up the plant out of the corner of my eye one day. He’s very well camouflaged and almost ended up in the pasta!

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