Keys and more keys Nov 2017 The 1st we held a Halloween lunch as it’s a bank holiday being ‘All Souls” and everyone could make it. We had a special spooky menu and carved a bought pumpkin. The stuffed peppers had faces and so did the baked apples. Everyone joined in with the silliness donning spooky specs and complimented the black napkins with shiny copper bats flying on them. Only goes to prove we get battier as we get older.

To get everyone around the table we had to add a section and move the main one so removed the carpet and then had a shift around. That carpet is now under the 3 piece suit in front of the fire and the smaller rug is now in the library where we mainly sit in the winter when not in the kitchen. The old trick of placing ice cubes in the indentations the table had made worked and you’d never know they’d ever existed.

The fine weather continued right up to the second week when much needed showers came in so we could stop watering at last. Along with the cloud the temperatures also dropped from mid 20’s to a low 10c so we lit the fire in the main room and kitchen to keep the house warm and tucked the lemons away in the porch in the north end of the house. We had a visitor who came to bask in the sunshine. The adult doe stayed for several hours, didn’t seem hurt or stressed she just sat and dozed form about 11.30 till just about 4pm when she just wandered off. Just getting away from the boys who are bellowing and showing off perhaps.

A few days later and the weather changed from occasional drizzle to chilly winds along with the threat of snow, fortunately it never arrived. Faced with the reality of winter approaching ‘Bertha” our wood fired heating system was started up and the promise of nightly up to the chin soaks made up for the daily log delivery by wheel barrow done every morning. The duvet was added to the bed. Can’t complain after such a long summer of almost 8 months! With the dark nights/ late afternoons approaching Mike decided to research new virtual flying clubs in the USA to fly with and I dug out some cross stick projects that have been stored away for the last 15 years or more to get on with over the dull days ahead.

Ann made here second move in 3 months up into town where we hope life on the flat and attached garden, owned by the church as part of the old seminary, close to all services will suit her for a while until she makes the final decision as to where she wants to be for the future. Was supposed to meet up with Ann in the 3rd week one morning to be introduced to the furniture movers, we bought a unit from her and are sharing transport costs as they'll then be taking the last of her big stuff up to the new flat. We delivered a corner unit for her last week when we measured up the one we've bought so saw the new place. Its small but has a nice cottagy feel. However she got locked out when the door closed behind her as she went back to the car for anther load. With a friend she managed to hunt down the priest, along with half the citizens of CDP, all over town to find he'd left the spare keys in a bar, which was closed! Chased up the owners opened up and then found as she'd left her key in the lock the spares wouldn't open the door. Neighbour comes out to find what is going on? Says no need to dismantle hinges and lifts the door up and pulls releasing the latch, e voilà open. They know she's arrived. We loaned her a cat bed as the moggie has ousted Gida, the Labrador, from hers and she looks forlorn on the tiled floor at Ann. Cat sleeps all day very content but gets up and cries at 1am to go out then howls for 2 hours, Ann almost at end of tether! We put the remaining items on Subito (an on-line newspaper) for her and an old mate she used to commute to Rome on the train contacted her and has opted for 2 items for a flat he's setting up to rent out. Hoping he may want a bed or 2 as well if she remembers to ask him.

Anyway, back to the plot, Ann rang to say find the yellow van at Quo Vadis, she was off to sort the boxes at the old flat after locking up old house. We met van and they boys lifted and shifted the unit into the house and guess what Ann has the keys! We gave them the cat bed as they were going back to pick up Ann’s larger stuff next. Found a key that fitted so was able to put the accumulated items on table into unit and get sorted, the Portmerion looks great and much better than stored away in draws and boxes, then met at the old flat to collect things in bags to take up to the new flat and collected the missing keys. She was all moved, if not sorted, into the new place which is very snug and warm before the month end. She maybe down sizing but we've not the hang of it yet.

The last week went from late autumn to winter with lots of wind, frosty mornings when the temperature dropped to –3c but mild and bright days reaching into the high teens and even low 20’s but when it rained, it made up for the year long draught, which we consider is now officially over. The large oaks turned golden and russet, the lime trees went yellow and intermingled with the green of the olives it’s a glorious sight who needs Aspen! The last day of the month brought a dusting of snow on the top of Mt. Cetona, very festive, but it only lasted a few hours as we enjoyed a bright sunny day.