So Paul set off for the UK to stay for a week with his father and renew his Passport. Paul left a long detailed list of instructions of daily tasks that needed to be undertaken in his absence.
Kay is an early morning riser, while I tend to be a bit of a night owl, and I am known for being a tad sleepy in the mornings !!! So Kay volunteered to do the early morning tasks – which were letting the dogs out of their kennels.
Then there are a lot of chores concerned with the daily maintenance of the swimming pool in order to keep it in a tip-top condition for all the guests. Overnight the pool pump circulates and filters the water taking the majority of the debris that has fallen in the pool in the course of the day. Inevitably some of the debris sinks to the bottom, so Kay carried out the early morning maintenance task of connecting a flexible hose to the pump creating a siphon to allow sunken debris to be “hoovered” from the bottom. When the pump has switched off on the timer for the day Kay removed and cleaned the filter ready to start the cleaning cycle again in the evening.
Then she would get the washing machine going, as here it can be a bit like a Chinese laundry with the amount of sheets etc. We have purchased a super duper washing machine that takes loads of up to 12 kilos, and Kay had things well organised and soon had the washing hanging out on the line to dry.
Then she would proceed to mix up the dogs food ready for their supper in the late afternoon.
Sometimes the staff that work behind the Delicatessen counter in our local supermarket kindly put aside any off-cuts of ham, cheese and salami for us to supplement the dogs dinners. These we have to laboriously chop up into small pieces with a pair of scissors.
By around 4 or 5 pm the dogs are normally beginning to have rumbley tummies and are keen to remind us that it is nearly feeding time.
We laid out all the dog bowls, 10 in all now. The number of spoons of the doggy dinner mixture depends on the sizes of the dogs. It was a little more complicated as the vet had given them all various tablets, so we had to make sure who got what, but we soon got into a routine. 3 dogs are kept in an enclosure near our caravan, and the rest are in another fenced area behind the house.
Once the food had been delivered and eagerly consumed we spent some time giving the dogs a fuss. Kay has really taken to Monty, Henry and Bella, and often enjoyed their cuddles and vice versa. Kay has taught Monty to say “please” by putting up his poor. Henry is quite partial to sharing a cup of tea and a biscuit with Kay, and Bella is just so affectionate and will launch herself on to your lap for a cuddle at the slightest provocation.
Kay, Bella and Henry
Kay and Bella
Kay, Henry, Bella and Cara
As Kay is such an early riser she tends to need an early-ish bed time, so at around 9pm we would take the doggies some bed time biscuits to encourage them to go into their appropriate cwtches. Normally this went to plan, however one night I could hear a bit of a commotion and realised that Bella had somehow escaped from her kennel. It turned out the catch on her kennel door had come adrift. By this time Kay was already snoring so I had to Skype Paul for advice. Fortunately he had left some screw-in eye fixings in a little plastic tub on the dresser behind the computer, so I was able to find them quickly together with a pair of pliers. I tried to screw them into the wooden door and door post whereby I could thread through a piece of wire and twist it to secure the door. Perhaps this sounds easy, however when carrying out this operation whilst holding a torch was somewhat of a challenge, but fortunately I managed it.
The next morning Kay could not comprehend what had happened and it apparently took her ages to unwind the piece of wire, as I had wound it around so many times – I had been so determined that Bella would not be able to escape yet again !!!
One morning a fire started on Monte Marano behind Tre Cancelle, there was a strong breeze which was fanning the flames.
I immediately rang 115, to alert the Fire Brigade. Then two members of the Corpo Forestale arrived, it seems that they had just been in the area and were coming to investigate the cause of the fire. They informed me that in the case of a wild fire it was better to call the Corpo Forestale on 1515. They immediately summoned a fire fighting helicopter Amazing the helicopter , which carried a large bucket slung beneath it, arrived within 10 minutes and began to douse the flames. It proceeded to carry out numerous such trips until the fire was put out. The Forestale police seemed suspicious that the fire could have been started intentionally, as it is unusual for fires to start so early in the season. They took an official statement from Kay as to what she had witnessed throughout the morning. Let’s hope we don’t have any more fires this year in our vicinity.
We had a big fire that engulfed our wooded hillside last August. You can read more about it here.
All photos by me © Louise Shapcott
Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy