We had the highest temperatures in Italy yesterday and more of the same is forecast for today. The naturally relaxed tempo of village life has slowed to an almost comatose pace in the face of the searing heat and burning winds.
To get our work done while it's still cool we were up and out at four thirty - Wilf walked contentedly alongside me through the fields while I checked for heat damage on the trees and he checked determinedly for rabbits. The sun rose a little after five casting an angry heavy brown then orange glow across the sky. Digby didn't join us on the walk but settled by the grass at the front door grumpy that he hadn't been allowed to sleep on. In this heat the two boyz are kept outside in the cool until eleven and then brought inside until the mercury slumps again in the evening. They seem to have been able to shift their sleep patterns so that the major 'doze' occurs during the hottest hours of the afternoon. We have been less succesful in changing our schedule to cope with the heat and the 'font' and I wander round suffering from what seems like sleep deprivation.Getting to bed at one and getting up again at four was fine when we were 20 but 30 years on it's a bit taxing.
Thanks for your replies about the emergency services. Most of you would expect the police or ambulance to show up within 5 to 10 minutes and even those of you in the remoter reaches of the mountain states would expect help in half an hour or so. Here, things are different. The government is cutting back its budget for the police yet again. The nice young carabinieri officer showed up on Monday night to say that the number of officers was being cut by half and that they might not be able to deal with incidents so quickly in future.The 'font' was not pleased and pointed out (with what I detected as an element of froideur) that it took 49 minutes for them to get to us the last time ( for new readers see the April 8th post to understand why this is such a big issue ) so how could it possibly take any longer? There is a lesson in this. When a governments borrowings exceed the countrys GDP then an ever greater slug of taxpayers money has to go on paying interest on the debt and less and less is available for basic public services. Italy with debt to GDP of 110% is already way down the slippery slope, I hope the British government wakes up to the effect of printing money before it's too late and the same thing happens.
Digby is down by the side of the pool perfecting the art of snoozing and Wilf is licking out the 'fonts' breakfast yoghurt carton - always an amusing sight. It's now 8.30 am and already getting too hot to do much more although Wilf is signalling that he's game on for a spot of ball throwing before the tarmac melts.
Why,oh why did I agree to a dinner in Rome in this heat? Me thinks the restaurant for tonight will be chosen not so much for its food but for the ferocity of its airconditioning.