The continuing adventures of June Finnigan, her Man, and Farty Barty the cat.
Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers
Here in beautiful Tuscany, the first week in October heralds the buying up of loads of winter plants to cheer up the pots that are now in need of refreshing. So on the first Saturday morning, we dropped down to Certaldo’s fruit, veg and plant market to check out our lovely plant lady. She loaded us up with trays of clematis, pansies and heathers and threw in a few freebies as is her wont.I managed to avert my eyes from the once a month arrival of the traders selling handbags, shoes and chocolate, concentrating on the need to get back to my desk to write the next chapter of ‘The Bolivian Connection’ which was burning inside my brain.
Back at my keyboard, I was agonising over a scene I had written which gave the impression that one of my evil characters, a female Italian assassin, was a pathological killer. I finally changed the murderous act to something she regretted, but deemed necessary. I felt much better after that!
Back in the garden, my man had been working really hard, tidying and trimming, the air was heady with the smell of grass and hedge cuttings. We do like to take an aperitivo between six and seven in the evening, and there’s nothing nicer than a freshly planted and pruned terrace to sit in.
By the second week, the tourists where thinning out, however, there are always the diehards that arrive for the olive picking and to savour the cold pressed olive oil. Green, white and orange nets were spread out under the trees and the harvesters’ raised voices could be heard trying to outdo each other with the volume. The Italians all speak at the same time and I have yet to work out, even after ten years here, how they actually absorb their companions’ side of the conversation. But it has been a hard season for olives, insect infestation and disease has devastated many groves. This year we were forced to buy a three litre bottle from the Coop; it’s actually very good but it’s not local and that’s a great shame. Here’s to next year!
Then some good news; the Tartufo Bianco (white truffle) hunts were finding a glut of fungi. So, at every opportunity, we were whizzing over to Paolo’s at ‘C’era una Volta’ restaurant for Tagliatelle al Tartufo, I’m dribbling just thinking about it. My man bought a nice sized truffle from Paolo and packed it into a jar of rice, then took it to England for a friend.
He was stopped at Pisa and asked to open the jar. The smell was so strong that the Italian security guard could only smile, give an understanding nod and wave him through!
Mid-month, whilst my man was in London, my thoughts turned to my next rock concert. It’s a long way off, being in June of next year, but I really wanted to add a few new songs to the repertoire and so played a lot of loud rock music. Farty Barty the cat has got used to it now and just buries himself deeper into his kitchen chair cushion with his paws over his ears. I like to use the kitchen as the acoustics are good and have set up my iPod and speakers there. Fortunately, my man does not cook, so rarely comes into the kitchen when I am practicing. Anyway, I have now added Alice Cooper’s Poison to the repertoire.
The last two weeks in October were really wet. I started to feel quite melancholy with the lack of sunshine. However, at Laura’s Bar/alimentare in Fiano, I was cheered by Benedetta’s talk of Halloween and her costume, which was based on an ornamental chicken, you know the one with the fluffy ball of feathers on its head! The Italians love to dress up and this year’s local theme was birds and animals. What this has to do with Halloween, I can’t think, but they all looked amazing if a little crazy!
Meanwhile, the gorgeous Silvio Berlusconi has started to get more media coverage. You may recall that he remains the leader of the political party, Forza Italia. He is currently promoting the legalisation of Civil Unions between gays, but not marriage and is holding up Germany as a model for his plan. It only seems like yesterday that he was quoted as saying “Better to be passionate about a beautiful girl than to be gay!”
Well enough of that, must get a few more chapters of ‘The Bolivian Connection’ under my belt as I have a Christmas deadline!
Ciao June xx
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.