Life here in Lazio goes on much the same and you probably don't want to hear much more about the sunshine, the outdoor life, home grown tomatoes, meals out etc, so let me update you about some of the more mundane aspects of being here.
We had another financial scare from the Italian authorities when we received a demand for 480 euros plus a fine of another 300 euros for unpaid community charge back in 2008. They said they wrote to us about this in 2011 but didn't receive a reply, we never received the letter, so they wrote again 3 years later, I'm saying nothing. Anyway we were able to find our receipt from 2008 and we owe nothing, which makes a nice change as we seem to have forked out quite a lot in fines over the years.
We have a leak on our water supply. For some reason the meters for the 4 houses in our road are high up on the hillside behind us and we are responsible for the pipes that run down to our houses. We were alerted when a neighbour who lives above us called to say there was water on the road and sods law it seemed to be our pipe. Mr FF fixed this leak by digging down at the roadside and finding the problem but our meter is running even when the supply is turned off at the house. Finding where this second leak is seems hopeless, he could probably dig up half the mountainside, I think he may be as he goes up there most days for hours on end. Giovanni, the neighbour who is in his 80s is kindly helping, and providing huge quantities of his delicious grapes too.
Marzia our kitten is doing amazingly well. It soon became clear that she's wants to join the local feral pack. Weeks ago she started to resist being fastened into the cellar overnight with Lisa, making a big fuss, crying etc so we decided to let her sleep on the terrace. The first night I was awake worrying and up at 4 am checking she was ok, she was on the pillow I put out tucked in between her mum Lisa and her uncle Theo. The 3 of them are inseparable and the 2 adults put up with a lot of abuse, being attacked, jumped on, all in a good natured way. I really didn't know what to do for the best when we leave, certainly Theo and Lisa survive the months without us and come back to the house when we do. Even if we could find a home for Marzia I wonder if she might not be happier living outside with the others presuming we can make some arrangement for them to have shelter and food. I'd like to get her sterilised before we go but I think she will be too young allowing for us to be here after the operation to give her care. Meantime she gets bigger and smarter every day and is a delight to have around, she is in great condition and has definitely had a good start in life.
The olives are turning black and though we don't have a great crop we should get some oil. We have friends coming to visit in a couple of weeks and then it will be November, our Danish friends will have left, the nights will be dark and we shall start to think about the drive home, but not just yet. Sunshine and tomatoes a bit longer please.