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.


  1. we have had a little snow here twice this fall, but it melted as soon as it hit the ground. That's just how it's supposed to be this far from the equator, but snow in Campania in October?!

  2. Yikes! We had sun and high of 23C in Pickering, which is very odd for eastern Canada, but that's global warming for you! I hope the sun will shine for you tomorrow.

  3. ok, i'm glad it's not just us. it's super cold here in Corsica too. wouldn't you know, i'm about to go on holiday too. figures.

  4. The summer left you guys like a thief in the night!
    It too turned quite chilly here in Seoul this Saturday but thankfully yesterday was a little warmer and sunnier! Great for this photographer, now that I working on a project for a British designer. I hope that it gets warmer for you!


  5. We were just in Amalfi about a week ago and the weather was great. Except for the day we arrived and the day we left..apparently the day we came in - that night before they said it stormed worse than it had in 40 years or something. Looking at the photo, it is hard to believe we were laying on the beach in the sun just a week ago. Stay warm and I hope you get the water out!

  6. This is some freaky weather! I live in Connecticut, the state between NYC and Boston, and was in the high 70's Sunday and expected to be up there later today.

  7. The same cold arctic winds that hit Positano during the night between Saturday and Sunday hit the Maltese Islands exactly at 4.00 o'clock in the afternoon of Sunday. We were still basking in the sun and an hour later we had to put on our coats. No Autumn this year.... Spring Summer Winter.

  8. Zounds like you had a dark and stormy night, sorry about the flood that's just the worst and not having slept well to boot! Can you not purchase some all weather stripping for the gaps in the window frame like we do here.It comes in a roll and you take of the paper on one side and stick it to were there are gaps in the window frame etc. Here we buy it at the hardware store, were they sell ladders and nails and home repair stuff any thing like that in a larger city near by? Keeps the window howls out too! Keep on going.Take care . Nell

  9. Wow, water was coming in through the windows?! I agree with Nell - weather stripping!

    Stay warm and dry!

  10. What crazy weather....! It's unusually warm here in the Northeastern part of the U.S. Today we're going to see 78!!! Stay warm and safe. :)

  11. hasty exit for sure - it's freezing up here in Tuscany - I think it may be a chilly winter! We're already bundled up in down blankets walking around the house!

  12. Break out the Scotch! Always a toasty treat. Hmmm, is there an Italian equivalent - Sambuca perhaps? In any case, pls stay warm, healthy, & happy!

  13. Hmmm...I could use some of that artic wind here in hot-humid-all-year-round Miami. Not so much about the rain and the lack of reminds me of our hurricane season good!!!!
    Stay warm and safe.

  14. wow is that snow on the mountain already?

    I wish we had some of that snow here. the fires are really bad this year and it's going to be close to 100 (F) degrees today.


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