A Month in the Life of an English Writer in Tuscany – March Reflections

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

Benvenuto to all my Loyal and New Followers

On the 2nd March, I returned to beautiful Tuscany, after a brief visit to the London Author Fair, loaded up with a bag full of leaflets and new ideas for marketing my books. I quickly cracked on with my second novel ‘The Bolivian Connection’ and by the end of the week had enthusiastically written two more chapters. Over coffee in Fiano, I told my man about the cost of having my books translated into Italian and that they calculate the price on the number of characters, not words!“I’m surprised they did not want to weigh the book, they weigh everything else here in Italy!” he groaned.

The first Saturday of the March is ‘Festa Della Donna’ when lovely yellow Mimosa flowers are presented to all female family and friends. Unfortunately, warm weather in February had encouraged the Mimosa to bloom early, and it was difficult to find any flowers that were not yet going over. However, this did not dull the festivities and we girlies were all greeting each other in the village, with ‘Auguri’ and ‘Buona Festa!’

Whilst I was away, my man had spent time in the garden and everything was looking beautiful. I was desperate to take all the covers off the more fragile plants, however, waiting until the beginning of April is recommended, as the weather is very unpredictable in Tuscany at this time of year. A big problem then, was the hatching of the vicious caterpillar called ‘Processionaria,’ that shoots poisonous spines from its back if under threat, and is dangerous for dogs and cats. However, by mid-month, we were watching the mating waltz of four Jays, directly in front of us over the steep valley below, and the arrival of giant ants, dragonflies, and butterflies flitting and dancing together. We also spotted the first baby fig on our fig tree. My man called me down to the garden one morning to show me two newly emerged Giant Emperor Moths that had attached their little legs below one of our garden security lights, where they had kept nice and warm overnight.

Earlier in the month, the doorbell rang and my man answered to a nice chap who said, in Italian of course, something about a blessing at the church. We have lived in Italy for ten years and have gradually learnt Italian; however, knowing only eighty percent of the language can be perilous! I clearly heard my man say, “I won’t be here, (he was off to London) but my sister will be and she might be interested.” Now the sister and our niece arrived the day before this event, for a weeks holiday. So I suggested that we pop up to the church, purely out of curiosity, as we had not had the chance to look inside yet. It has been closed ever since we moved here. Ten minutes before we set off, the doorbell rang and I hung out the window to see the nice chap with a Roman Catholic priest in all his regalia and purple sash. “We have come to bless the sister,” the chap called. The elderly priest was smiling. “Err, did you say bless the sister?” I queried. “Yes, your husband said we should call.” I could hear the sister and niece, giggling at the bottom of the stairs. I apologised to the two nice men and said there had been a misunderstanding.

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“What about you, would you like a blessing?” The priest was losing his smile. “Err, I’m Methodist….” I was shaking my head. “Our religions are similar; I can give you a blessing!” Finally, they realised that I was a hopeless case and went away.

Meanwhile, what of the gorgeous Silvio Berlusconi? Early in the month, rumours were rife, that he was thinking of selling his beloved football club AC Milan, which he denied. Quote Quarz News ‘Would you buy a used soccer club from Silvio Berlusconi?’ By mid-month, the undaunted SB was planning to run for a place in the EU parliament. This was slightly hindered by the fact that he did not hold a passport, handed over to prevent him fleeing the country, and that he might be under house arrest at the time. Then, O Dio, Italy’s highest appeal court upheld his two-year ban from public office, after which he ‘auto-suspended’ himself from the ‘Federation of Knights’! Described by many Italians as ‘Il Cavaliere’, he will now have to get used to being plain old Mr Berlusconi. Poor SB, when you are only the sixth richest person in Italy, ones’ choices can be very limited…

Well, must get on with the novel and look forward to seeing you again next month. Don’t forget to visit my author page and do drop me a line.

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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