I couldn’t get out! there was no way the car would make it through a meter of snow up on the hill above Bellaugello Gay Guesthouse, here in snow bound Umbria, central Italy. Although the snow is not particularly thick it has been wind-blown and as you can see from my last post the road has impassable. A phone call to Francesco, a good friend and neighbour with a pioneering spirit and rugged tractor and he soon made away with the snow allowing me to head for the nearby town of Gubbio. I am so lucky here in Valdichiascio, I have wonderful friends who look out for me and in a crisis are always keen to help.
I hardly remember seeing the shops so devoid of produce, it was like late on Christmas eve, shelves empty, no choice whatsoever. Hardly surprising when you consider Rome has experienced its biggest snowfall in 27 years, the capital is under a blanket of snow, temperatures in Torino and Trento reaching minus 30˚ autostrade and airports are closed, trains if running are all desperately behind schedule, it is an unbelievable amount of snow. We have been putting crumbs and seeds out for the wild birds. Unlike wild birds in Scotland they have not touched the string of peanuts, locals inform me that they are more used to being given dried pasta, so the windowsills each have a liberal sprinkling of grattini 113, the tiny pasta I sometimes use for broth, let’s see what happens. I have been keeping the pumps running on the swimming pool, thin sheet of ice form, but is easily broken, and when the pumps run the water expels the ice, I have drained all the pipes in the garden, come the thaw it will be interesting to see which one I forgot!
But today I woke to blue sky and sunshine, yes there is still snow, and it is beautiful, very beautiful, and as it melts it will help us with our summer water supply, six months from now I will doubtless be writing about drought!