Home » A Month In The Life Of An English Writer In Tuscany – January Reflections

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

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

I love the start of a New Year, particularly in our little bit of Chianti. There is a lot of pruning and tidying to be done in the countryside and by mid-month the only sounds to be heard, were the snipping of vines and the relentless muted conversation of the contadini (farm workers) from the slopes below us. By the end of the month, much of the woodland had been cleared of debris opening up beautiful new vistas for us locals to enjoy on the way to our morning coffee in Fiano. I discovered that the man in charge of the workers at Villa Bacio, which owns vast tracks of land around us, is called Lorenzo.He is the spitting image of the singer Mick Hucknell, so I was a little disappointed to find out his real name!

From my own point of view, I am glad to report that the necessary discipline for getting on with my novel ‘The Bolivian Connection’, kicked in at the start of January and my heroine, Joanna Wilde, is currently in La Paz about to hear the reading of her late fathers will. If you have read ‘My Father, The Assassin’, you will know that her father was a pretty evil character and made his money by way of assassination and other dastardly means. It’s all getting rather scary now!
Did you know that Italian children love fashion and start wearing black as soon as they are walking? They also like glittery things; pastel shades are definitely out!

We celebrated our granddaughter’s ninth birthday on 5th January and I decided against buying her clothes. Well, the reason for this was, I wrongly assumed that she would love some glittery hipster cords and matching cardigan for Christmas that were very Italian. Whilst she has lived in Italy most of her life, she is English and into things like horse riding. So, she exchanged them for some jeans and a sweatshirt! My man said that I was going through a ‘definitive challenging period’ and should concentrate on getting all the fiction out of my head and into type. Not only was I buying the wrong presents but also dropping things, drinking too much wine, eating too much cheese and chocolate and suffering from short-term memory loss! Yes, I am safer in the world of fiction…

January is Farty Barty the cat’s month for amore. He is semi-wild and at this time of year, he pops in only occasionally to eat and sleep. It was also strangely sunny and balmy up to mid-month, so he occasionally stretched out on our English park benches in the sunshine.

Back at Laura’s Bar/Alimentari in Fiano it was a Saturday morning, no newspapers and black hat & smart tracksuit day. The locals talked about all the bad things that happened to them on Friday 17th January, which is considered a bad luck day in Italy. My man was feeling a little grumpy, being halfway through the month without eating sweet pastries or drinking alcohol and, referring to a gossiping black hatted, grey track suited, high-heeled lady he commented, “I bet she’s been storing up her conversation all night!” Don’t we just love him?
Meanwhile, in our lovely terraced garden we were delighted to find a beautiful cerise January Rose and a purple Florentine Iris in full bloom! Even one of the cherry trees was starting to blossom and daffodils were just poking their heads above ground. The air smelt good in January.

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And so to an update on our hero Silvio Berlusconi. At the end of the month I saw that Wikipedia had updated SB’s page and now reads, ‘SB is an Italian Politician (really?), entrepreneur (yes), media tycoon (yes), frequent criminal defendant (not in his view), and convicted tax evader (wrongly he says), who has served three times as prime minister (yes, sort of). It is important to remember that he is considered a hero by many, and idolised by your right-winger as a man to look up to. If one ignores the fact that he is virtually challenged, possibly…..
Well, enough of that, I must get back to Bolivia and rescue Joanna. Thanks for reading, have a wonderful February and I’ll see you again in March.

Salute June xx

PS You can currently download my E-book ‘My Father, The Assassin’ by J W Finnigan from Amazon, for less than half price! Please do be kind enough to leave a review if you have already read it. Grazie Mille x

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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