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

The continuing adventures of June Finnigan, her Man, and Farty Barty the cat.

Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

Well, where to start? How about the beginning of the month? Err yes, you say, but then some of the most exciting and frightening things happened later in the month, like the Earthquake! No, it was nothing to do with my man’s amorous intentions, we actually did experience a nasty tremor several times in one day in the middle of December. One minute I was happily writing, the next me and my desk were wobbling about like we were on a jelly. At the same time, my man was sat outside on a heavy wooden bench that shook whilst he was eating his breakfast cereal.Farty Barty the cat, dashed outside in the hope that the horrible rumbling sound might be left in the kitchen! We heard later that people nearer the epicentre, we were around two miles away, stayed outside overnight in case their houses crashed down on top of them. Fortunately the Italians are very familiar without outside catering, and hundreds of barbies and outside pizza ovens got lit that night.

Meanwhile the country itself was going to the dogs. The big rubbish bins that we had been using for years disappeared in favour of some silly little coded plastic ones. The trains were on strike, in perfect timing with our grandson returning home from his English school for the Christmas holidays.

Then there was the general strike and businesses started to fold under the pressure of high taxes. Posters of the Prime Minister Matteo Renzie went up and the words below said, in Italian of course, ‘Renzie has wet his pants!’

We believe it had something to do with his still being in nappies and too inexperienced to make adult decisions like saving the country from ruin!

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Now for the good news. Our social life went up several notches as we attended our first Thanks Giving Supper hosted by the lovely celebrity American cook Judy Witts Francini at Ristorante Latini near Certaldo. We were delighted to be presented with the most delicious veggie dishes especially prepared for us, as the normal fare is roast Turkey of course. Then we went to the opening party of ‘La Bottega Del Buon Caffe‘ in Florence where we were forced to drink champagne and meet some very interesting people including Anna and Cristiano. Anna is the editor of a lovely newspaper called ‘Florence is You‘.

Also during December, we dined out at Osteria Sosta di Pio near Poggibonsi, with a new Australian friend at Ristorante ‘C’era una Volta’ at Luccardo, with Anna in a veggie and biological restaurant in Florence called ‘La Raccolta,’ which is also a mini-market and with our lovely Bavarian friends at their home across the valley on the earthquake day.

Meanwhile, we made some small improvements to the villa with the addition of a new off-white kitchen dresser from IKEA. It looks really nice, but the four hours it took to finally put it together was horrendous! Never again, I said to my man, particularly as lunch ended up black and frazzled in the oven. But the other addition was no problem at all, and is a lovely oil painting that arrived from Mark Loman, a superb artist from my hometown of Exmouth in Devon, and depicts the old Tudor property known as ‘Mols Coffee House’ in Cathedral Square in Exeter. My great grandfather owned the lease of Mols up until the 1930’s where he had a fine art restoration business.

Christmas for us is the one day of the year when my man cooks. He needs supervising, however, he turned out a delicious meal of nutty stuffed red peppers topped with scamorza cheese, roast parsnips (brought back from a trip to England – we can’t get them here) and potatoes. Yummy. Then boxing day we bootled off to our daughters new home between San Gimignano and Voltera and had fun with presents and an amazing hot chocolate fountain, into which we dipped fruit, biscuits and cake. Mmmmm.

And finally, back to the land of wine and women, where Silvio Berlusconi continues to strut his stuff. With the present government coming under severe criticism, he is rising from the ashes again like a phoenix. Earlier in the month he proposed a new currency to tackle the economic crisis. This is not to replace the euro, but to exist alongside it. The notion of rejecting the euro has become very popular in Italy, so SB is definitely rebuilding his popularity.

By the New Year I had almost finished my latest novel ‘The Bolivian Connection’ and 2015 was looking very good indeed.
Hoping you also had a great Festa and can look forward to a Very Happy New year.

Amore June x

Have a great month and don’t forget to visit my blog, Junefinnigan's Weblog and my Amazon 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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