August. There have been wildfires in the countryside and fires of a different kind close to home. The lack of rain and the stifling heat, as the title eludes to, has made it almost unbearable at times, especially where work is concerned.
In fact, it has been so hot these days that work starts at around six a.m. and finishes at eleven.
When I first moved to Italy, it was difficult to accept that Italians didn’t work in the afternoon; now I understand why... You have to lie down in the ‘cool’. Well, it's not exactly cool when the temperature inside can reach 33 degrees Celsius, but it's the coolest place you'll get. Even the swimming pool water is hot. Now, this might not sound like la dolce vita, and for the past two year's it hasn’t been, in all honesty. But in the past, taking a nap in the day meant being out at night, eating, dancing, listening to music and meeting people in what are known as 'White Nights', where the streets are lit up and people have fun. I long for those summers again….who knows, hopefully next year.
The heat also makes work quite a challenge. As a voice over artist, I have to sit in a dark room with no air conditioning because of the noise it makes. It only takes a few minutes before I’m gasping for air, like a fish out of water. Thankfully, work slows a little at this time of year, but when clients like Armani need their work finished before the Ferragosto holiday, it has to be done, heat or no heat!
In summer, cooking and eating also takes on a different form. The outdoor kitchen is put into action, and eating al fresco is the order of the day.
An outdoor kitchen was another thing I couldn’t get my head around until I moved here. But adding any extra heat inside the house is madness; so the outdoor kitchen philosophy is a genius invention.
My outdoor kitchen is the rustic kind. A galvanised steel tub as a sink, a wooden work surface, a small gas hob and now my new multifunction cooker (which I’m in love with already). The one thing that makes my outdoor kitchen less than ideal is the cats. With about 12 of them, maybe a few more, you have to have eyes in the back of your head or else food disappears. The cats stay outside, they're for vermin control only, but that’s a story for another time.
My new multifunction cooker came about because of another unfortunate ‘inferno’ incident. I left a wooden chopping board on the hob (with my previous) multifunction cooker on top, something I’ve done for years. Only this time, the knob must have been on slightly….. I went outside to bring in the washing and got distracted. Twenty five minutes later, I returned inside; the house was full of smoke. Thankfully, no real damage was done, but I learned another enormous lesson; just because you’ve done something for years doesn’t make it right.
These are my summers now, and I love them, but it hasn't always been this way. As you know I’m Becoming is about finding the person I was always meant to be….if you’re interested in how things used to be, here’s a link to another post.