Poured with rain this morning but turned into a part sunny,part cloudy afternoon. The views from the house across the valley towards Todi still take my breath away after three years of living here. The towns and villages sit perched on little hills above the mist banks that sweep up from the Tiber - quite , quite breathtaking. Scotland was, and is, beautiful but in a rugged elemental way. Here everything has the imprint of millenia of human habitation and care.
Boyz worked with me out in the grounds for part of the afternoon. We still have the fire going in the drawing room so there is a constant trail too and from the woodshed. Wilf likes to nestle down in the long grass and 'guard' against potential threats - his little brother just nestles down and goes to sleep.
The economic news has been dire today with stock markets in free fall, HSBC raising £12.5 billion of new cash ( will it be enough?) and AIG losing $61 billion. On the surface Italy seems oblivious to the downturn with the politicians in Rome saying all is well. The reality is rather different with foreign tourist bookings for the coming season down substantially. This will hurt all the small family businesses that are hugely dependent on the seasonal influx of northern European cash. The more optimistic among the locals expect the strengthening dollar to lead to a huge influx of wealthy Americans. We shall wait to see !