Thursday, September 24, 2009


Autumn has come very suddenly to Sicily and as I write there is sheet lightning in the Scicli direction. We have now had two days of nasty storms and late last night there were some quite terrifying thunderclaps.

Everybody seems to be feeling low and all attribute their mood to the changeable weather, in particular the fact that nobody knows what to wear. Not a few are also suffering from the cervicale, a seasonal ailment if ever there was one.

I had been watching the women for signs of the cambio di stagione [seasonal wardrobe change]which is really indicated by what length of sleeve they are wearing but this year the change seems to have been forced upon us during the past few days. [Usually a kind of telepathic decision is taken by the women in unison so that they all appear nonchantly sporting their autumn finery on exactly the same day.]

Ironically, although there has been lots of water outside, there had been none inside for the 48 hours from 7 pm Tuesday to this evening: Yes, the water supply ran out again and this time I couldn't even call the Water Office to order a cistern refill as their phone is rotto [ = broken, which is, at least, a variation on their usual theme of "cut off for non-payment of bills"]. When I pleaded with our water lorry driver this morning, he agreed to deliver a tankful provided I go to the office to sign for the order tomorrow. You can imagine my relief when the lorry turned up at 11 am, but this, alas, was short-lived, as when I tried to turn the tap on, still nothing came out! Then my neighbour informed me that there was something wrong with the motor which should pump the cistern water around the building and as I left for work she was looking for an electrician. I arrived home at 8pm with stiff limbs and not much hope of a bath tonight but oh, joy of joys, the motor was pumping its little old heart out! Never was a wallow in bath foam more appreciated, reader.

This gloomy day has been brightened by two lovely and completely unexpected gifts: Cotognata [quince paste] from Lucia, who informed me in all seriousness that she "only" made 10 kilos of this delightful autumn preserve yesterday

and a jar of pretty, beautifully perfumed soaps from Rosa's daughter.

I think I'll have another bath!


James Higham said...

This water situation is a total pain in the neck, isn't it?

j said...

What lovely gifts! Very generous.

We have had a LOT of rain here too.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Mary said...

I hope you're all feeling better now. I know what you mean about freakish weather. In Sydney, we've just experienced a major dust storm which turned the skies blood-red for several hours. Quite eerie I have to say.

Bev said...

When I visited Sicily in 2006, an unusually hot year that lasted into November, I had the impression that the women dressed according to the calendar and not the weather since almost everyone had donned tall boots. I felt completely out of place with my summer wear and sandals.

Lucia said...

I'm so glad that you have such good people around you! Great gifts and oh how nice to have a tubby!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

And a pain somewhere else too, James! Hi, Jennifer. Yes, they are lovely. Have a great weekend, too. Hi, Mary. Oh, gosh, that must be eerie and frightening! Hi, Bev. Yes, they do usually dress according to the calendar. As we often get a prolonged summer, [un'estate di San Martino] none of us were expecting a weather change in September! Hi, Lucia. I am blessed, indeed, in my friends here. I so needed that soak!

Leslie: said...

What wonderful friends! A bath and gifts - all at once! Lovely!

Minnie said...

The water supply - or, rather, the non-supply - must be a well-nigh unbearable problem. The kind of thing that ruins even the most rapturous mood/day. And happening while the skies are tipping the stuff down outside can't have helped.
The bath must have been a blissful relief. And the presents look fab!

jmb said...

Ugh. It never ends this water problem
Word verification, hydrot. LOL

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Leslie. Yes, bliss. Hi, Minnie. The water problem really gets me down, especially when it runs out and you have no idea when they are going to deliver. I lack the pazienza for it. Hi, jmb. We are supposed to have piped water within a year. Why do I fear it might be even worse?! Lol re "hydrot".


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