The Space Shuttle , brilliantly illuminated by the setting sun , flew across the sky last night followed ten minutes later by the Space Station. We haven't seen a cloud in the last week and the nights are clear and just perfect - we are lucky to live in a part of the world where there is very little light pollution and so we can see the stars in every direction .
In the village activity, which is leisurely at the best of times, has slowed and the summer doldrums have set in.The high point of the day was the arrival of two cars with Belgian registration plates which parked (within the painted parking bay lines so clearly not locals) in the Square outside the church. Inside 30 seconds of them ordering coffee at the counter,the news got around that they were two families from Brussels and that the driver of one of them, the big black Jaguar covered in chrome, works for the European something or another ( precise details are never of paramount importance in village life ) and that they had rented a local villa for the summer. There could be no doubting that they were northern Europeans as they sat for an hour, pale skinned, on the cafe terrace exposed to the direct, and surprisingly fierce sun - there will be sunburn and regrets this morning. .
For my birthday evening I was paid (unannounced and unexpectedly) a visit by the mayor and then ten minutes later the head of the local Carabinieri. I don't know whether the visitors came for a glass of champagne or from a genuine interest in our recovery from the robbery - anyway it was delightful to see them. Italy can be disarmingly charming.
This morning the balloonists were up and out early with thirteen of the tender craft hovering in the skies over Todi.The two Troubadors were in fine fettle for their morning 'rosh' and are now settled in the shade of the courtyard waiting for the first visitors of the day.