The continuing adventures of June Finnigan, her Man, and Farty Barty the cat.
Now you probably think that life in the Chianti Hills in Tuscany is very quiet and relaxing. Well, sometimes it is, that is as long as we are not being shaken by an Earthquake, which is so violent that you sleep walk out of the villa and take refuge in the car! Yes, the first week of March greeted us with an almighty rumble and a nerve racking hour sitting in the car, waiting for things to settle down. When we gingerly returned to the villa we were lucky enough to find only little bits of masonry on the landing that had fallen out from between the ceiling tiles.
Then the following night the tempest hit. Horrible strong cold winds that rattled the shutters and brought down trees.On the way to Fiano in the morning, my man could not move a small tree blocking our way, so he broke off the top brittle branches for kindling and drove around it. Then a bit further on, in a little hamlet, a huge Famiglia tree had come down on top of a local man’s workshop, only just missing his house. So a large group of people were standing around trying to decide what to do. They waved us through a small gap and we carried on for our morning coffee. At Laura’s bar/alimentare in Fiano, we read in La Nazione newspaper that there were trees down everywhere and even a church steeple had blown off!
By the weekend the wind was still cold and strong, however, our beautiful yellow blossoming Mimosa tree had survived, so we took Laura a nice bunch of the blossoms on the Saturday, as the next day would be Festa Della Donna and it is traditional to gift the flowers to deserving ladies. On the actual day, Sunday, we dropped down to Certaldo and Bar Solferino for coffee. We gave the delightful Caterina a bunch of Mimosa too, as she is also lovely and always serves our coffee with a beautiful smile.
On the subject of lovely ladies, I would like to give a special mention to two other girlies who are very important to me. This is very relevant, as come April and May, lots of weddings start to happen in Certaldo Alto, which is the Historical Centre of the town, up on the hill. So, whether you are about to become a bride or not, here are my two girlies of great importance. Firstly, my beautiful hairdresser Sandra, who has looked after my red hair and rock chick image for ten years now. She also keeps my eyebrows perfectly shaped. Sandra can be found at La Parrucchiera, Via Fabiani 1/D in Certaldo. Tel 0039 334 1217 437. Then I must introduce wonderful Irene who does the best manicure and pedicure in the region and she can be found at The Estecicamente, Via Trento 28/B, Certaldo. Tel 0039 0571 66087. My hair, hands and feet are very important to me, particularly as they are the only bits of me, other than my face of course, that I put on display. In this respect, I am not fully Italianised; if I was I would also be displaying my cleavage, which I can’t quite bring myself to do. Most Italian women remain sexy for life, and have no qualms about displaying their attributes well into old age!
But enough of that. In the third week of March we were celebrating La Festa del Cioccolato, yes you guessed it, the Festival of Chocolate. Siena’s Piazza del Campo was filled with hundreds of stands selling variations of the theme and a train carriage travelled the region, stopping at all the little stations, where chocolate fans could board the train and drown in the stuff!
Then the Six Nations Rugby gripped the country, well some of the country, as the Italians are football mad and the Rugby following is much smaller. We were rooting for both England and Italy until the latter was beaten by Wales by a terrible 61 to 20. We desperately need some investment into Italian Rugby as they struggle with only the basic facilities here!
The last week in March heralded the arrival of my wonderful sister-in-law, who came to do all the Spring Pots. So at last we marked the end of the winter by removing the covers from all the tender plants, visiting the local garden centre and turning the terraces back into that heavenly place full of colour and heady perfumes. Farty Barty the cat was back stretched out on his favourite bench, and all was well.
Finally, my new novel ‘The Bolivian Connection’ was nearly ready for launch and by the time you read this, it will already be up on Amazon where you can buy the paperback or download the e-book. It is book two in the series the ‘Continuing Adventures of Joanna Wilde.’ I am currently writing book three, ‘The Italian Connection,’ so watch this space!
Have a great month, don’t forget to visit my Amazon Author page and if you do buy a book, I would be delighted if you could return to Amazon and leave a review. Thank you so much, you lovely people!
Salute June 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 novels, 'My Father, The Assassin' and the "The Bolivian Connection" are available on Amazon.