The 'font' is away for a few days so yours truly and the two boyz have been left to fend for ourselves over the weekend. Recognizing my singular incompetence when it comes to cooking the 'font' has left prepared meals in the fridge and all that (theoretically ) needs to be done is to turn on the oven and set the timer. Wilf and Digby followed me into the kitchen last night and sat looking forlornly as I attempted to follow the set of simple instructions on the kitchen counter - in the process turning the haven of quiet culinary efficiency into a disaster zone. It didn't take Wilf long to recognize the full horror and enormity of what was happening and that the chances of scrounging anything edible were non-existent. The dejected look on his face said it all.
This morning we've all been out in the fields checking on the irrigation system and making sure that the water storage cisterns are full. The episcopal records in Orvieto show that a farm has been operating on our little hillside since the 13th century and probably for far longer. Somehow,this intense cultivation over the centuries of a pattern of small sheltered fields has enabled man and nature to find a balance and coexist quite happily. As I stood at the farmgate this morning with the boyz at my feet two eagles were circling overhead calling out with their muted little whistles - a call quite out of keeping with such a large and imperious bird - while flocks of swallows and house martins were wheeling and circling in the sky. At the next door farm the sheep were strolling out into the fields, bells tinkling, while the flocks of geese were argumentatively milling in the farmyard. You have a sense here in deepest rural Italy of of a nature 'self fed, self kindled, like the light' in which we are just a small transient part.
The two boyz have spent twenty minutes of quality time playing the mind numbingly repetitive 'splosh' game with me by the pool and are now settled down, happy and tired, under the shade of a pine tree for a couple of hours of contented rest.