In the early hours of the morning, when your house is lost in autumnal mists, and everything around you is so quiet and motionless that the landscape and its creatures (including humans) seem to have gone into hibernation, there’s nothing better than the low-altitude flight of a helicopter over your roof to jolt you back into reality.
I recognized immediately the blue aircraft used by electricity engineers to verify that recent snow has not brought down branches over their landlines. They swooped down low over Gamone to get a close look at the various lines, then they disappeared up over the slopes on the other side of Gamone Creek. Their visit lasted no more than half a minute: a short lapse of time during which Fitzroy and I—and no doubt the donkeys too—wondered whether we might be under air attack by the forces of a hostile village. Thankfully, our visitors did not stay for long. Helico fuel is expensive, and this is not the right time of the year for sightseeing.