… and the lessons learned:
September is usually glorious here in the Lunigiana. October too, but there might be a couple of threats to any left over gloriousness from the Weather-men’s latest forecasts. Those guys like to get our hopes up for rain, assuaging nothing with smiley alternatives of warm temps, sunny Italian skies. The difference between the two months of Summer & Fall are the progressively falling night-time temps and the Spring-forward-Fall-back time change towards the end of October. Halloween. They dress up here now and go door-to-door. The Dogs and I hide. Then, Puppy barks at the kid induced-fracus outside the front door and our cover quickly disappears. Fruit for treats. Yuck. The kids are savvy enough to remark… No Milka-bars? Another and way more important conversion from Summer to Fall, from September to October to November, are: the days are shorter. Gads. With that Fall-back business, it is DARK OUT at 5:30PM. And the second and more devastating result is the unavoidable consequence of less day-light. The stone walls of il Poggiolo radiate less sun-nourished heat ‘cause there’s less of it. In other words. it’s cold inside!!!… NO HEAT!!!
When You and I discussed re-building il Poggiolo way back in double-nought 9, we pretty much hovered over the same point on the same page of the same map, i.e, maintain the house as it was-upon-a-time. La Casetta would have a fireplace and radiators, the Apt. Azzurro would have only a fireplace and La Casa Grande double-nought. Why do we need heat in what was a hay barn and now, perennially, Our Blue Cool Summer Residence. Our equating the Dogs and Me. You sleeps in his own Cool Terracotta BR… which does have heat. Nice of me to have organized it for Mr. Freddoloso. But it gets chilly in La Casa Grande towards the end of October. We seek to resist. The Dogs try but moan that lack of snuggling warmth, burrowing deeper into the already completely-shot 50’s wing-back chairs to compensate. I have to go to sleep with wool track-pants and a sweater for night-wear. Yes, we resist until the thermometer on the electronic naptha-heater shows an electronic 14C… 57F. When that temp is registered, the Dogs bark at me. They know these things instinctively. Nothing more to do than to relocate giu’.
Off I scuffed to enter La Casetta and set the thermostat at a pleasant 20C. 30 minutes later I scuffed back to check on things. WHAT? NO?? NO HEAT??? Oh, cruel fate. I called assistance immediately. I hold it to be an iron-clad rule never to deal with electronic or mechanical contraptions. I’m afraid they’ll bite. Too young & white wine soaked for that End. The Gentle and Kind Electrician… who installed the delinquent machine… on the other end of the mobile line said… Sure, tomorrow. No Problem. I have done this enough not to ask… Not tonight? Had to bribe the Dogs to keep their complaints to themselves with sardines in with their croquette. They obeyed. Good for them.
What happened to everything, anything you could just stab the ON/OFF button and the darn thing would bubble and burp into action, no matter the task? Now, you need an instruction booklet… IN ENGLISH, PLEASE!!!… to read that there is foreplay required before you may stab the button. Thanks to the ENORMOUS FAVOR I gave Our Builder back in double-nought 9… and to You and me too for avoiding an unsightly column to hide a water heater’s ventilation duct-work right at an already iffy staircase… I must trudge up to the Esseccatoio to carry the HEAVIEST METAL LADDER ever manufactured in the ENTIRE WORLD down the ramp to La Casetta, up the already iffy staircase, unfold the ladder in the minimum space allowed for such maneuvers and once done, single-handedly, climb up by myself and without assistance to steady the ladder up and into the crawl space to check on what-in-the-f**k is off with the water heater. Gosh. What do those tear-drops symbols mean? The red light, I know about. The lack of electronic purring? Not.
The day after, in the morning… because I called to bug the poor Gentle and Kind Electrician to come ASAP. I wanted to take a necessary shower… the Dogs were noticing I smelt a bit gamey…the key message were those tear-drops symbols. Meant the lap-top-for-a-heater was out of water. Really? But, but, but, doesn’t that just happen? A long pause then… No.
Thing still didn’t purr. No burps either. Me and my staff of one… and guess who really knew what then was to be the issue?… descended from on high, down the iffy staircase, to check the thermostat, where it all began the day before. New set of symbols, too. It was gently and kindly pointed out to me that the empty symbol resembling a battery actually was ripe with info. Gosh. Empty meant dead. Scoured all three of our houses for 2 AA batteries with no success. I was convinced we had scads of them but, no. Silly me, I live with You. I bid adieu to the Gentle and Kind Electrician with his assurances that once the brand-spanking new batteries have replaced the d-e-a-d ones, ALL WILL BE WELL WITH THE WORLD AGAIN. And you know, it was. The Dogs and I relocated to La Casetta, warm, cozy, happy, ready for Fall and/or Winter, however they hit.