On slopes

For those of you who have been to Bellaugello Gay Guest House you will already be aware that the house sits on a south facing hillside, a slope, commanding big views over the Chiascio valley and down the Apennines towards the neighbouring region of Abruzzo.  The position is, in my humble opinion (and the opinion of many guests) utterly magical.

One of the delights of buying a house on a hillside is the possibility to create a terraced garden, lots of different levels, plants that creep from one to the other blurring the terraces and spreading wonderous mixtures of fragrances and colours.  The other bonus was to be that living and working here with all the climbing up and down stairs every day I would have an amazing butt.  After five years here the garden is wonderful, but the butt is not!

Recently we have been having a spell of unseasonally warm indeed hot weather, it had been glorious, guys soaking up the sun buy the infinity pool, the garden bursting into colour, the greens are intense, generous and bright.  Interspersed with the sunshine has been rain, light rain mostly at night, until yesterday….

The rain started at midday, and steadily became more and more intense, until at ten o’clock last night it was a deluge.  By midnight I was outside clearing land drains, at one o’clock the drain at the car park entrance was taking all the water from the public road, to the extent that it could not cope, water was running down the drive, the car park, and into my porch.  Soaked to the skin I went to inspect all around the house, it was not cold just extremely wet.  To my horror the ground behind the swimming pool was a lake of mud, the public road drains were not working and water was cascading down from the road down the slopes behind the pool.  Fortunately in our building project we had put a land drain behind the swimming pool, so the dirty water did not reach into the pool, not even over the paving, for the builders were wise and had incorporated a slope facing away from the pool back into the hillside.

This morning life was hectic, putting the drive back where the drive belongs, mopping up in doorways and brushing down terraces, up and down the slope, the last trickles of water still coming from the road above the house, shame the commune do not maintain the roads and their drains where not blocked all slope the wrong way, water carries everything down the slopes and it is up to me to carry it back up the slopes, such is life!

This evening as I sit for the first time today, scribbling at my computer in my kitchen window I look out over lush green fields and oak woodlands, each dappled with bright sunshine, glinting windows lit up by the sun on the distant houses across the valley, big cumulo-nimbus clouds puffing their chests out over the azure sky, peace has returned, the birds are singing once again.  There is more rain forecast but hopefully not another deluge, and yes, the iphone says sunshine tomorrow!