Tuesday, 6 March 2012

"Round its roof hung a gutter as wide as a human thigh. Here whatever fell from the sky fell in abundance. There was no other man-made structure in sight. ("Anatomy of a Disappearance" Hisham Matar).

And now the snow has gone.  It is hard to believe that such snow ever fell here at all.  Though in its wake much has been ruined.  Towns are impassable, where the structure of palazzos in their centre, has been weakened and threatens to collapse.  Young olive trees planted last spring, have withered entirely, having been buried in snow.  Much older, well established trees have been bent and broken by the weight of snow.  Fallen branches litter the roadsides; men are at work everywhere lopping precarious branches or repairing road surfaces ruined by over eager (perhaps inexperienced?) "ruspe" (snow ploughs).

Our structure has proved itself sound.  The roof has held solid and the chimneys stand proud and valiant.  The new copper gutters gleam in the sun.  These gutters have a dimension and an almost-beauty which English houses, their roofs wired with sorry strands of black plastic, can only envy.

The next stage of the project will be the re-construction of the kitchen.  Men are already at work!

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