Sunday, October 21
Early snow in Positano
During the night cold Arctic winds arrived and swept across town causing the temperature to drop dramatically. On the balcony of the closed up house below us, the doors of a metal cabinet had been left open, and clattered and banged with every strong gust, causing us to sleep fitfully, startling awake every few minutes or so.
At some point during the night the rain started to fall, lashing and furious, turning the valley below us into a raging torrent of mud and water that poured down the mountainside, almost drowning out the howling wind.
In the morning we reluctantly left our warm bed to find snow on the mountain tops and the front room awash with water. We moved the furniture, tied up the dripping curtains, mopped and swept frantically, but it was no good. Water was literally pouring in through gaps in the window-frames. Buckets and bowls were placed on the floor in various positions and rapidly began to fill.
At 11.30am the electricity went off. I prepared lunch, thankful that we had a gas stove and wondered if the lights had gone out all over town, or just in our area. I called a friend, Mel, who was sheltering in a nearby restaurant. "I couldn't bear it at the house anymore. The lights kept going off and water was coming in through the windows. I'm staying in the restaurant for now."
I called another friend, Chiara. We were supposed to be meeting up for dinner later in the apartment above her. "Chiara, are you at home? Have you got power?"
"I'm up in the apartment, its flooded! We're trying to mop up the water but it just keeps pouring in. We've got power at the moment, but it keeps going off. Hopefully it'll be OK for tonight."
I hung up the phone and lit some candles, Carlo got out a dusty pack of cards and we played for a while. The wind outside was blowing the rain horizontal against the windows, and the cat had buried herself underneath the bed covers in disgust. Skye asked if she could watch TV and I passed her a colouring book, moving the candles nearer to where she sat.
I thought back three days: Dad sat outside the front door, soaking up the sun in just a pair of shorts. It was now 8 degrees, pretty much as cold as it gets here, even in winter. Whatever the weather, I still wanted to go out to dinner tonight so I dug out the long forgotten wellies, dusty after months of abandonment, checking to see if Skyes still fit her. Carlo left the house in waterproof trousers and a yellow fishermans sou'wester. I dressed Skye up warm, ignoring her protests and demands for sandals and strappy tops. It wasn't going to be a glamorous evening, I thought, as I tucked me jeans into my wellies, tied my hair back and pulled up a hood, slipping my waterproof jacket over my coat.
The summer has made a hasty exit this year.
at 5:47 PM