Anyway, especcially 2 of those days, Sunday and Monday of this long bank holiday weekend (Bank holiday because it was Ogni Santo, the day they honour all the other saints they've forgotten about during the rest of the year...) were particularly bad. The rain was relentless and torrential for about 48 hours. Whilst I had heard tales of 'heaviest rainfall on record for the region' and landslides, deaths and floods - pictures on TV reminded us of the tsunami in Indonesia - living on top of a mountain where it all slides off it hadn't quite sunk in how bad it actually was.
So this morning it finally brightened up a bit and the wind had dropped. Having been indoors for 4 days we needed to find some fresh food, but Susan also needed to go to the hospital in Sarzana (nothing serious, personal problems, so mind your own business!). So instead of walking straight across to our land we took the much longer detour via Sarzana, a round walk of about 30km. Everything really turned autumnal now.
The river looked well swollen after all that water:
Finally we arrived at our land and we were crestfallen! Landslides everywhere! We've had a couple of minor slides before, but never anything like this:
The endives looking into the abyss, but the Russian kale is safe
Our compost heap is only just holding out.
An olive half buried.
Stud, the male kiwi nearly got uprooted just as he finally took some root.
Aubergine plants in mid-air... The root underneath is from a nearby olive tree.
As I say, it could have been worse. About 10% or so of our terraces are affected. Because we've got so many trees, the roots held much of the soil in place, but we'll be shovelling a lot of mud in the next few days... Apart from Stud no permanent plants were damaged and the broad beans which have just started growing are completely fine. Some of my cardoons were buried under mud, but more survived. A part secured after a previous small landslide held as did the excavation at the base of our Earthship. There are a couple more cracks which will go if there's another downpour like this, so I might have to shore them up too. All just before the olives are ready to harvest...
On a completely different note, we spotted these berries on our walk today:
They look a little like mottled redcurrants, but grow on trees like this:
Oh and fianlly a little language lesson: if you are a bit of a gambler and find yourself in Italy make sure when asking for a casino to put the emphasis on the final o, i.e. casinò. Otherwise you will be directed towards the nearest house of ill repute! In the phrase 'che casino' - what a brothel - it's more to mean what a mess.