It is October and there is change in the air. Weather is cooler but not cold and there are even fewer visitors, but now there’s a threat of another lockdown. Here we go again!
On the 1st of October it was nice to see the tower in Scalea (Torre Talao) lit with pink light to mark Breast Cancer month. This is close to my heart as my mother died of breast cancer 5 years ago. So, here’s my opportunity to say, please check yourself out and if there is something not to your normal get it seen by your doctor, I know it can be more difficult now. But just keep trying.
Thought you would like to know that Torre Talao was built in the 1500s by Carlos V to protect the area from the invaders. The large rocky mound it stood on was previously an island but now it is on the coastline. It is basically the symbol of Scalea along with Centro Storico (historic centre). I am ashamed to say that we have not visited it yet. We must do so!
One thing that has changed for us is that we seem to have acquired a cat. The first Saturday in October we were sat outside in the evening as it is still very warm. We suddenly heard very loud cat like cries from the other side of our gate which we don’t use very often and is covered. So, we opened the gate to see what the noise was about, expecting a cat who was very injured or something.
What we saw was a very thin and small cat who didn’t look injured but was obviously very hungry.
First, I gave him a bowl of water and he lapped that up very quickly so I filled it again. Then we thought we should give him something to eat. There is no one around in our complex now, so not sure who else would feed him. We didn’t have meat but did have some cheese. I know we shouldn’t feed cheese to a cat but he wolfed it down. Poor thing indeed. He was very affectionate to us so was obviously used to people but it looked like he hadn’t been fed for several days maybe longer. Also, we hadn’t had much rain by then so water was not exactly free flowing. So we stayed outside with him for a bit then went to bed and left water overnight for him outside.
The next morning, he was still there crying for more food, so we decided to get some proper cat food from the supermarket as we didn’t really have anything to feed him. And basically, since then he hasn’t really left. There was one time where there was a loud bang from one of our window fly screens that rolled up suddenly where he disappeared for a couple of hours. Then we found that he liked to hide under the stairs down to our cantina.
We asked around and put out a photo of him onto the local Facebook group but no one has claimed him. I have also felt around him for a microchip but cannot feel one. We will get him checked out at the vets of course.
Over the past few weeks he has changed. He has gained 1kg and now is a bit more happy to wander around but he is still skittish with loud noises, mainly created by John doing things around the apartment. Thunder and fireworks don’t seem to bother him though which is good. He is not as affectionate as he was, only when he wants feeding. He now plays which he didn’t do but can be a bit too rough. I guess as he is a young male cat, hormones are kicking in. We have bought all the usual cat things, bowls, toys, tray etc.
Anyway, we have called him Freddie. Here is what he looked like at first and now. I think he looks a little better.
Visitor friends came to Scalea
People have actually been able to visit Scalea, despite lots of flights being cancelled. We know quite a few people who wanted to come but were unable. Luckily a few made their way here. Tony E’s son from the UK, Steve stayed with him for 2 weeks. We met up with him a few times. Unfortunately, the weather changed on his first week where it basically rained all week. Luckily, his second week was much better so him and his dad could explore around in the sunshine.
They both stayed with us for a night, which was great, we sat out on the terrace until it was dark, I made a ragù and we watched a movie, 1917 in fact, and had a bit to drink too.
Angela and Tony’s daughter, Natalie came from Sweden for a break. We didn’t meet her on her previous visit a few weeks ago, so it was great to meet her on this visit. She came to ours one Friday and we went to her parents’ place the next. More great times were had.
Also, we met Jenny and Ola from Sweden. They have just bought a beautiful, renovated apartment literally opposite us across the valley in Centro Storico. We had a meal with them at lunch time at a restaurant called ViGri and then went to their new place for drinks on their balcony. I have to say more than a bit of wine was drunk that evening. As their balcony faces west, they have the luxury of the amazing Scalea sunsets which we saw when we were there.
“Oh no!”is all I can say
As I have mentioned before we have had some rain, horrendous downpours of rain in fact. Unfortunately, this has impacted on our property. It rained pretty much for a week and suddenly our bathroom was leaking water from the ceiling. Quite a lot. And water was dripping from pretty much everywhere above us. We thought it was the communal staircase at first as tiles are coming loose and the dripping was only in the bathroom. But the water was dripping all over outside where it never dripped before and it didn’t stop when the rain stopped. We just couldn’t work it out.
We asked Giuseppe (the builder we have used) to see what he thought. After a look at the damage in the apartment he asked if we had a ladder and had a look at the balcony upstairs. Wow! What they found was basically a swimming pool being slowly filled with the rain that we had. With a closer look, the only drain of the balcony was blocked by some material which completely stopped the water draining away as it should. Because it was there for however many days, it seeped through the tiles and into the structure of the building and as we were underneath there was only one way for it to go. Yep through to our apartment.
They took the blockage away and the water drained down the drains like it should have done within minutes. The initial force of the water flow disconnected some of the guttering, but that was easily put back together once the flow was less severe. Now we must wait for everything to dry and hopefully claim on our neighbour’s insurance, if they have any. We are still waiting to hear on that but now we have paint bubbling and flaking all over one side of our apartment in our bathroom and our bedroom. All of which was painted last year. Nightmare!
After the rain stopped, we decided to go to the old town of Belvedere Marittimo. To be honest we didn’t think of going there, not entirely sure I knew there was an old town, but Tony E and his son Steve went there and liked it, so we thought we should. It is very nice place, we spent some time there had a coffee and ice cream and then some time on the coast. Belvedere old town is very high on a hill with remnants of a castle overlooking amazing views of the mountains and sea. Belvedere translates to lookout which I think is very suitable.
Here’s some photos
October brought back Italian lessons. Unlike before when they were held at the middle school, they are now held at the old Tribunale (courtroom) because of Covid-19 restrictions. From the outside the building called Palazzo di Giustizia is quite grim but it was OK once I went in. Obviously, there are fewer chairs and they are spaced out. Also the lessons have now been staggered so it seem that only 2 people are in a class and only last for an hour.
The new DPCM from the government was introduced 25th October.
Now we must wear masks outside as well as in shops. Our temperatures are taken when we first go into an establishment like shops and restaurants. But the biggest new is that bars, restaurants, pasticcerie (pastry shops) and such like must close at 6pm unless they do takeaway. Also, during the time that they are open, they can only have 4 people to a table. So that means our Sunday night at restaurant Il Corsaro is a no-no. Maybe we can do lunch time but only 4 of us to a table is not great.
So, no more evening meals until at least 24 November I think, hence the lunchtime meal with Jenny and Ola. We shall see if anything improves, but I am not holding my breath.
Oh we still do not have our Italian driving licences and our paper permission certificate expires today. Oh well at least the UK EU one still stands until 31 December 2020. Only 2 months to go.
Finally, I just had to share a photo of Angela’s cat Mio. I just love his eyes, he reminds me of Puss in Boot in the animation Shrek 2. I thought I would will leave you something nice.