A Month In The Life of an English Writer In Tuscany – November Reflections

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

Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

Now you will have heard me mention before that here in beautiful Tuscany and indeed throughout Italy, the Italians will always find an excuse for a Festa.

At the very end of October we were celebrating the Day of the Dead when half the population was found parking all the way down the road below the cemeteries. Then in the evening they dressed up in amazing costumes that bore absolutely no resemblance to Halloween. The theme in our area was animals or cartoon characters!Then in the first week of November we celebrated La Festa per Il Nuova Vino è Pane Olio. You can probably guess what that is, yes that’s right, the Festa for the New Olive Oil and Olive Bread. This was held in Montespertoli, one of our occasional favourite haunts for an aperitivo on a Sunday. These festas and more besides, mean that work grinds to a halt and often spreads into the following day too. Sadly, the olive harvest was pretty poor this year, following disease and insect infestation, and now we are seeing whole olive groves being cut down. Hopefully, they will be putting in new saplings soon to compensate.

Meanwhile, my man was groaning about the English cold he had picked up in England or on the flight home. “I hadn’t got rid of the last one and now I’ve got another one!” He groaned. Of course the weather here was not helping. November was swamped with heavy rain, thunder and lightning storms, resulting in yet more landslides. Farty Barty the cat refused to leave his kitchen chair and was carried out more than once with his claws still firmly gripping his cushion! It got to a point where we were beginning to think that the Roman Gods had decided to punish us poor humans for doing something awful. Then on one weekend, as if by magic, the hot Mediterranean sun popped through the clouds and we were out on the upper terrace again enjoying aperitivi and lunch! “Ah, this is the life!” My man was heard to sigh as he stretched out in his chair. And he was quite right.

Back at my desk, I had a really good month hammering away at the keyboard and my current novel, ‘The Bolivian Connection’ is on target to be finished for editing before Christmas. I must say that I am really enjoying sorting out Joanna’s dilemmas, as she and Dominic try and outwit an Italian female Assassin, who is on the run and trying to kill them. Ooooerr…..

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Meanwhile, at Laura’s Bar/Alimentare in our local village of Fiano, I arrived one morning at seven. I know, it was really early for me, however, I had just dropped my man at the station in Certaldo as he was off to the airport to do a bit of business in London. Laura had already been ὰ piede, on her feet, for four hours as she has to be there to greet the bread and pastry deliveries and then open at six. When I got there, it was interesting to see a completely different group of people compared with the nine o’clock crowd. These included workers who start early and mothers with older children who were about to catch the buses to middle schools in nearby towns like Certaldo. I love to people watch, don’t you?
A bright light in our month was the arrival of our beautiful nine nearly ten year old granddaughter. She came to stay for a long weekend and we had a great time eating in restaurants and back home playing board games, including ‘Sorry’ and ‘The Game of Life’ and also ‘Pick’up’sticks.’

She is English, but lives between Siena and Volterra and as she has attended school here since she was three, is completely fluent in Italian. What did impress us though, was her amazing reading of adult English books, this will be partly thanks to her English parents! Thankfully, like her granny, she loves to read. Most Italian kids are completely glued to the TV or computer screen. But it’s the same everywhere, I guess!
So, last but not least, let’s catch up with the gorgeous Silvio Berlusconi. Back in the land of the filthy rich SB had sold Mario Balotelli, the AC Milan striker, to Liverpool having described him as a ‘bad apple.’ He told his players to stop playing like the Liverpool striker and get themselves inside the box. Meanwhile, SB was doing his best to be constantly ‘on the box’, gradually lifting his profile back to where he believes it should be! His popularity is gaining ground by the day.

Well, enough of that. A have a heavy business workload and my book is calling me. As this column will go out in December, may I take the opportunity to wish you all……

Auguri è Buon Natale!

Salute 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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