Yesterday started off cool but sunny, an ideal day or so I thought to rake up yet more dead leaves in the garden here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House. On with the gardening kit, a stout pair of boots and good gloves, and soon gigantic piles of leaves were in evidence in the driveway, lawns and paths. It has amazed me just how many acorns the oak trees shed. Now I simply adore the two large oak trees on the west lawn that in the summer give so generously of shade, however this year they have produced a multitude of acorns which are really tedious to rake up.
Not deterred and wishing to make the place look a bit tidier I set forth to sweep them all up. All was fine until mid afternoon when the wind picked up, and picked up, and picked up…. All of a sudden more and more leaves cascading down from all the trees, the Christmas Tree that I have put on the upper terrace swaying unnervingly in the ever strengthening wind, and then the power went out.
The lights came back on but flickered like cheap Christmas tacky lights, my immediate thought probably brought on by the visit yesterday of the boiler specialist was how much damage was being caused to the sensitive electrical equipment, control circuitry, pumps, and those ‘energy saving’ “long life” lightbulbs. Anyway I needn’t have worried as a large green flash lit the darkness, the main distribution cables well below the house had either been knocked to the ground or shorted in some fashion, but boy was it scary, the image of night fire warfare weapons sprang to mind. All around darkness, punctuated by flickering street lights in Colpalombo across the Chiascio valley.
Now I have been blogging about just how nice the weather has been this autumn, it has been idyllic, sunny and now indeed snow is forecast for Christmas – yippee the sauna will be utterly dreamy, but last night made up for all the good times. I have never before known wind as we experienced last night. Power out, telephone out, mobile signal very intermittent, internet – of course dead! Luckily with underfloor heating the suites and my house stayed warm, and candles we had a plenty, and then the rain started. Reminiscent of an autumn day on the Isle of Harris in the outer Hebrides of western Scotland – horizontal and so strong.
Another flash, this time like green sheet lightning and two further explosions below the swimming pool,surely my beloved pool could not be damaged, how could the pool lights flash on when I had closed the circuit breakers? On with the waterproofs, welly boots and power torch. Thankfully not the pool, how did I know? as I approached the pool the ground below lit up big style, again a green light, the main power cables…. thankfully not my problem!
The saga continued until 3am when power and cell phone were restored – or so friends told me this morning by the superfluity of missed calls they received at that time. Today I awoke to sunshine, luckily minimal damage, a very large old willow tree down by the spring snapped off at about 4 metres above ground was the only significant tree down, branches everywhere, lawns again carpeted in leaves and to my utter dismay a swimming pool full of sodden leaves. So I passed a pleasant sunny afternoon once again fishing leaves out of the swimming pool, maybe it is time to consider an ugly pool cover!