Sunday, 17 June 2012


Tuesday afternoon, and time for a post-lunch snooze on the altana. Clear skies, just warm enough, an afternoon for not doing very much at all. Except I notice that it's clouding over a bit and the wind is whipping up enough to make reading the paper rather more hard work than it ought to be. This is a bit irritating, but once Caroline is ensconced in the sun it usually takes a natural disaster of Biblical proportions to force her indoors, so I assume we'll be there until sunset or until a stray gust whips the altana into the lagoon. But then there comes a point (at which I should have been properly scared) when she agrees with me that, no, this is not much fun, and we retreat indoors. And that's it. It's quite windy, it rains a bit, but it doesn't seem anything out of the ordinary.

And then the next day it turns out a proper, actual tornado has hit some of the islands. Sant'Erasmo, the agricultural island, took the worst damage. It seems at least a dozen houses lost their roofs, crops were wiped out, and the damage is running into millions of euros.

Also hit was the island of Certosa, which we pay a visit to on Thursday afternoon.  Like a number of the smaller islands it had hosted a monastery for centuries, was turned to military purposes during the Napoleonic/Austrian period, fell into disuse, and started to be reclaimed during the late 20th century. It doesn't really serve any particular purpose, but it's a pleasant green space and a refuge from the crowds on the main islands. Nobody lives there except the inhabitants of a small hotel, and a colony of wild goats.

A number of trees have come down, but it doesn't really seem all that serious. And then we reach the side of the island opposite the Lido, and it's apparent that it really has taken quite a beating.

Sad, yes, but Nature will sort it all out in due course. And - if you're a goat, at least - there is something of a bright side in that all those leaves are now easier to get at!

To end on a happy note, here's a picture of a friendly and soon to be very well fed little goat :-

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