Here at Gamone, certain leaves confirm by their color that it's well and truly autumn.
But the recent weather has been splendid. I'm too far away from the sea to go bathing, but I don't suffer unduly from that privation. I've always remained a little wary of the sun, sand and surf ever since my childhood experiences of getting severely sunburned at Yamba. If ever I were to go bathing today at a sunny beach resort, I would be obliged to wear constantly some kind of hat. So I guess my surfing days are over. Meanwhile, the dogs and I are perfectly happy here in the mountains.
As usual, Sophia spends her nights inside the house, in her vast wicker basket (lined with a new hessian mat purchased recently at Ikea), while Fitzroy sleeps outside, in his self-made bed beneath a wisteria and a wild rose bush. In a July blog post [display], I included a photo of Sophia occupying Fitzroy's splendid abode. Meanwhile, during the warm season, Fitzroy uses his luxurious kennel solely as a dining hall, where he can eat calmly, with no danger of having his food stolen.
Of a morning, when I open the kitchen door, Fitzroy leaps with joy to find Sophia and me emerging from the house. For months, he used to jump up at me, in his typical manner (which I've never tried to discourage). These days, I'm thrilled to discover that Fitzroy's morning bounds are aimed exclusively at Sophia. It's the presence of his great-aunt Sophia that provides Fitzroy with the enthusiasm to start off a new day, just as his prancing and gentle biting seem to wake up aging Sophia, who growls with mock anger, while snarling sufficiently to let the young male know that she's still the chief of their two-dog pack.
In this beautiful season, I learned this morning that my great friend Tineke Bot slid on a rocky ledge in her magnificent botanic park just up the road, and broke a bone in her left shoulder. So, I've spent part of the day lending her a hand.