Lunch at home as we were too sweaty and scruffy to face anyone we knew, as ‘the locals’ think we are weird enough already, because we are doing the painting ourselves. With temperatures reaching 40 degrees (in the shade!) this is being done in my underwear and Jamie is wiring up the lighting in the lounge and landings dressed similarly ( in his own underwear, not mine, I hasten to add!) It has been like this for several weeks and for the locals it is the main topic of conversation. The streets at early afternoon and swelteringly hot, are populated by the occasional tourist but generally no-one ventures out until early evening, in search of the merest hint of a breeze. One plus is the fabulous selection of lovely fruit and veg. Red peaches and golden apricots for a fruit salad; a fragrant melons for quenching the thirst , a huge lettuce and some really ripe red tomatoes from Sicily. We have begun to collect our own too, topped up by a gorgeous basket of produce from our neighbours vegetable patch, as a welcome-back gift.
The basil in the garden has grown enormous and I have frozen some but in this heat a refreshing tomato, mozzarella and basil salad seems appropriate. The sage also looks very healthy so maybe some veal escalopes with sage and lemon for supper later in the week with lovely tiny, ribbons of green beans, courtesy of our neighbour too.
The tomato plants are growing well and are now supported on tall canes, kindly supplied by our builder’s brother. He is intrigued by our black tomatoes called ‘Nero di Crimea’ which we bought in a Veneto market. They are actually a dark purple and look like baby aubergines. The English lavender plants are also bulking up and hopefully will cover the ground soon. Had to weed the other day and I am a bit concerned about when we are away as they grow so quickly but as long as the irrigation system helps keep the main plants and our precious Seville orange tree from drying out.
Our local blacksmith came round this morning to discuss the quote for various iron work that can now be completed. This includes hand rails on the stairs, banisters going up, safety rails on the upper windows, a security grill on the kitchen window and last but not least, the railings around the new balcony and restoration and replacement of the pergola above it. Work on the iron canopy currently supporting our superb bunches of grapes, will have to await their harvest and the autumn when the leaves have fallen and we can see more clearly what is necessary.
Walking back from the park from walking Daisy, gave us the excuse to pop into Saltapicchio for a Mojito cocktail and a green concoction, for Jamie, that smelled and looked like a cucumber face pack, before walking back for our supper. Lots of friends were there but we were too tired to follow on to supper with them and the town was buzzing, but it has been a long day. There will be a concert in the Duomo (Cathedral) this evening at 7pm. The musicians are from London and called Lux Aeterna. The programme will feature Vivaldi, Tallis, Elgar and some others and is free, so looking forward to a relaxing evening of culture in the cool, marble interior of the church and maybe sitting on the lovely old oak pew that was donated by our friends K and G before they returned to ‘sunny’ Cornwall.