Sole e mare , lots in the papers this morning about both as I sat enjoying a coffee at Galante. It is a blustery cloudy chilly day 16C ( 60F) and the supermarket area of Galante is full of rather confused looking British holiday makers in summer dresses, bikini tops and men in shorts and polo shirts. June has been, apart from our 6 day hot spell, an iffy month at best and it seems amazing we have been to the beach just twice and swum once . In fact after this last week of cold evenings I feel sorry for those holiday makers that are up here in trulli with swimming pools, though hopefully they are of that hardy British stock that leap into the English Channel and shout back to all on the land “warmer than the Med “.
So what about the sun. Well it seems that Puglia is hot in one way at least and that is solar power. Indeed we are so far ahead of every other province now that it is no longer worth publishing figures. Already 3,000 acres are under panels with another 4,000 acres about to suffer a similar fate. The papers are beginning to say that it all seems a little out of control. The applications pending box ( or store room more like) will place another 100,000 acres under panels and that doesn’t include wind turbines that are now sprouting up all over the place. There seems little in the way of planning permission needed to get an application approved and the grants under the government plan CiP6 scheme are generous. This is especially true if you have capital sloshing around to buy large tracts of land plus the panels and the connection to the grid. It is even more profitable if you have capital that you can’t declare and need to launder and I guess playmates, you can guess as well as me who might have a load of drug money in a sack they need a way of converting into spendable cash. Who better than the government to convert it for you. It hasn’t been helped by the governor of Puglia not signing up to the 2010 change in land act that would have allowed people to buy farm land and build onto up to 10% of the land . His “green” policy of not signing ( the only province not to do so) has meant agricultural land has stayed very cheap as the only thing most of it is good for is poor vines or solar panels. Enter the mafia with their solar panel plants.
So those of you looking to buy now have another question to ask the estate agent. How many applications are there in the pipeline for solar and wind acreage near the house. A small light at the end of the tunnel is that on Thursday the State police raided the environment ministry that handles the applications and took all the approved ones away. They too have woken up to what might be going on it seems and that, shock horror drama, some politicians might be in on the scam as well. No surely not.
What is rather fun is that Puglia , as I said , leads the field and the one place with loads more sun hours per year Sicily is way down the field. I take that to mean the mafia boys are actually all NIMBYS ( not in my back yard) at heart . ” Let’s go make Puglia an offer they can’t refuse but I don’t want those eyesores near me – capisci ”
And the sea part ? Well that has to do with sewage waste purifying plants in Trani, Andria, Molfette and Barletta emptying into the sea. But hey it is Sunday and sewage waste is not a topic for polite conversation especially as we are busy cooking Sunday lunch for a crowd of Italians.
So the Stones performed at Glastonbury last night. My son, almost exactly 50 years after I first saw them live, was there . It was by all reports great . Tonight he returns to a friend’s house where all ten of them burn the clothes they have been in for 6 days, hose each other down and only then are allowed into the house for showers ! Ah to 24 again !!
This is what the Stones closed their act with. Now everyone join in with the woo woo .