4 August 2013


Today I am grateful for my thick stone walls. 

The tenor has gone into the mountains, away from the heat. My other guests have headed for the caves at Pastena. Zacchi, Piccolina and I have opted for a quiet time listening to piano music and researching laptops and tablets. Today is rather warm...

I left the thermometre on the rail against the house, where it is usually in the shade. I noticed (when rescuing cooked washing) that it was in the sun, and registering 49°C, so I moved it in case it burst. An hour later it is still showing 40°C in the shade.

Inside the house it is a pleasant 26°C and a fairly constant temperature despite cooking lunch earlier. The vaulted ceiling is four and a half metres high, and takes up a lot of the heat I imagine.

I read that we have a strata of African sand over all of Italy, adding to our heat wave. Next Friday is supposed to be our hottest day. If today's "cooler" predicted 37 is really 40 in the shade on my north-facing hillside, what will Friday bring?

Earlier I read a health warning about the temperatures arriving between 5pm and 7pm today. I'll let you know if it gets worse, but for now that gentle 40°C in the shade has a sea breeze coming with it, through the gap in the hills across the valley, and I am sure that P, Z and I will survive. 

Today I really am very grateful for the metre thick stone walls that were giving me grief with rising damp only a few weeks ago! 

Update: It did get up to 41 (in the shade) at around 5.30pm, but not higher. And now, at 9.10pm, it is still 33°C. Needless to say the dogs had a shorter-than-usual walk this evening. And my fitness programme? Forget it! 

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