The snow from last week did not last long and was soon replaced by more rain. Big rain! Bad rain! The first inkling that the rain just a couple of days before Christmas wasn't just some more rain was when we received a phone call from our friends Pam and John as they were on their way to their holiday home on the other side of the valley. They were asking for advice how they'd get home as most roads in the valley appeared to be closed. The last part of the journey which should have taken them half an hour took them 5 hours!
Christmas Eve and Chistmas Day we spent quietly at home, not listening or watching any news and hoping things would just settle down by next time we went out. Although we had already discovered that a rough unpaved road down our hill was blocked in various places due to landslides and various houses had been cut off from the outside world.
On Boxing Day we were invited for lunch with friends up the valley a bit. As we took the car out we discovered that 2 more roads down our hill were also closed for the same reason, including the main road down. So we took a little side road over the hill towards our neighbouring village of Caprigliola. The road was bumpy but passable, but when we got to Caprigliola it seemed eerlily quiet... Subsequently we found out that the village had been evacuated, because it's in danger of falling off the mountain. It has stood at this place for over a 1000 years with it's bulky Medieaval fortification walls! As we finally made it down into the valley it transpired that the only road up the valley apart from the toll motorway was also shut in 2 places.
After all that I was getting very aprehensive what we would find once we managed to get back to our land, and with good reason. Today we finally got over to Arcola, where our plot is situated. The town itself was caked in stinking mud, presumably due to a broken drain pipe. The last time I smelled anything like this was in the slums of Bombay during monsoon season!
Then the first glimpse of our land:
This is actually mostly the plot next door, which has been neglected for years, but a lot of what came down on their side swamped the edges of our land.
This reapir from the last landslides didn't withold the next avalanche.
And new landslides developed taking down another kiwi plant with it.
The foundations of my earthship are buried and a pear tree fell over it.
Some of my broad beans buried under mud.
It's not entirely clear any more where the border between our land is and next door's. On the plus side many of their invasive brambles have been buried in mud too...
Under that are the remains of Eva the sweet fig tree...
most of our land as seen from the (messy) neighbour's side. Our bit is below the red line. You can clearly see the scars in the earth.
Now is the time we should be planning for next season, collecting manure from our neighbour to apply to future beds. But what can I do? For the moment the rain has let off, but for how long? The earth is beyond saturation point. I don't know which beds will still be horizontal next week. All of the 18 terraces have been affected somehow by either bits broken off or bits falling on it.
I feel like thowing it all in...