A Month In The Life Of An English Writer In Tuscany – April Reflections

The continuing Adventures of June Finnigan, Her Man and Farty Barty the Cat.

On the first day of April, and right on cue, we heard the first cuckoo of the year. Swallows swooped in front of us as we drove back from coffee, and Wood Pigeons began building a nest in one of the fir trees next to the villa. Spring had definitely arrived.

By some small miracle, we managed to grab Farty Barty the cat and take him in his red cage to the vet. He had a swollen knee and was due for his jab; or so I thought.Our lovely lady veterinaria said, in Italian of course, “He needs antibiotics for his knee, as he has been fighting and his jab is not due until May (Maggio); thirty Euros please.” My man was not happy, accusing me of getting my Marzo’s (March) and Maggio’s confused and worrying over a small swelling which was no worse than many injuries he’d had over his six short years! “And it cost us thirty bloody Euros,” he groaned. So, we then paid 13,50 Euros for the antibiotics, took Barty home and gave him his first dose, then he disappeared into the wild for five days, by which time the antibiotics had gone over the use-by date! Arrrgggh…….

In the second week of the month, my man went off to London to do a bit of business. In the afternoon of his departure the doorbell rang and I hung out the bathroom window, as one does, and thought ‘Wow, one gorgeous man leaves and two arrive and one of them is clutching my novel!’ They were both Italian, tall, handsome and dressed head to toe in Armani.

The tallest one flashed a dazzling white smile and said “ We would like to invite you to a meeting in Certaldo.” I was flushed with excitement and asked if it was a book reading or signing. I asked if they spoke English, as I wanted to be sure that I was understanding this correctly. He took the book from under his arm and held it up, and to my horror I saw it is not my book but a wedge of orange leaflets. “A book reading, Signora, we read the book of Mormon… Please you come to a memorial for Jesus Christ?” Jesus Christ!” I echoed swallowing my disappointment. He opened a leaflet to show me a picture of a very American looking Jesus, so I smiled gracefully and ask him to pop in the letterbox beside him.

Of course, April was the time for Easter preparations. Pope Francis was performing in Rome and was so hands on with his adoring fans, that I half expected him to ascend towards the heavens then belly flop into the crowd like a rock singer!

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Back in our local village of Fiano, Laura’s bar/alimentary has two Easter raffles. One is in aid of the Hospital Car Service and the other to support Fiano’s Football Club, so I feel obliged to buy tickets for both. I pray heaven that I don’t win any of the prizes, I tend to be lucky with draws, as the huge Easter egg and fruity lemon patterned tea/coffee set is not for me. In Montespertoli on Easter Sunday, the churchgoers are spilling out into the piazza clutching traditional olive branches. Those wanting to be a little more discreet, had them sticking out of their back pockets or handbags, and the men did too.

April was to prove a difficult month for the gorgeous Silvio Berlusconi. Firstly, he was caught on camera clutching his…..well, vital bits. Then he gaffed again; he provoked outrage over the subject of Germany’s lack of acknowledgement of the existence of World War Two concentration camps. This originally started in 2003 when SB took a swipe at his then foe Martin Schulz, suggesting that the German should apply for a part in ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ as the stupid German guard, Sergeant Schultz! Martin Schulz is now president of the European Parliament and the centre left candidate to lead the EU Commission. So they are head to head again…….

Anyway, overall it was a very good month. In the garden Wisteria, Jasmine, and Night scented Stocks filled the air with heady perfume. One could almost get drunk breathing it in. We also enjoyed many warm evenings outside with aperitivi and good conversation.

I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings and do drop me a line.

Don’t forget to visit my author page.

June Finnigan is an English expat who lives with husband Paul and Barty the cat in their lovely villa overlooking the Chianti Hills, in Tuscany.

June is a published Author and her first book 'My Father, The Assassin' is available on Amazon.

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