August In Tuscany: ‘Bruto Tempo’ And Sunflowers

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

Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers.

Well, in a nutshell, August was the month for ‘bruto tempo,’ bad weather, which ranged from temperatures of 39 degrees and 90 percent humidity to violent thunder storms and heavy rain. On the bright side it was the month for big fields of lovely yellow sunflowers with their faces following the sun, and silence. Yes, silence. The very word makes me feel calmer and relaxed.This is because for two weeks in the month a big chunk of the Italian population went off to the sea, al mare, or to the mountains to escape the heat. So the fields around us were empty of workers and the big heavy tractors that roar past our villa several times a day.

But let’s look at the start of the month, ah yes, the second most popular man in Italy (debatable), Pope Francis, was out blessing the multitudes in Rome and reaching out to the divorced and remarried saying that the door is open to children of these families! Well, how kind I don’t think. Perhaps he is worried about the dwindling numbers going to church, considering that the Italians are divorcing right, left and centre and often going to England where it as it is so much quicker to get one. What’s your view?

The most popular man in Italy (tongue in cheek), Silvio Berlusconi, seemed to be out of the news all month. No doubt he’ll be back with a vengeance after the August break, so watch this space.

Meanwhile, unlike the Italians, my man and I carried on working from our studio in the villa or hot-desking at the garden table. I made a brief trip to England, sorted out some family business, bought another new handbag, found a wonderful artisan coffee shop in Wells, Somerset called ‘Strangers with Coffee’ and high tailed it back to my lovely bit of Chianti as fast as possible. On my return, I updated myself with Facebook and found that a video of me had been posted. I was telling a group of houseguests about my trip to ‘Mole Valley Farmers’ in Devon to buy a ‘Wood Splitting Axe.’ I had not realised how funny it was until I played the video. If you want to see it, you’ll need to join my Facebook page as I can’t seem to move it to YouTube! If you have any idea as to how I can move it, please let me know.

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On the 15th of August we all celebrated Ferragosta. This is the start of the two week annual holiday when shops, offices, bars and restaurants close and the towns and villages are abandoned. The motorways are jam packed with escaping Italians whilst the sad continuous inflow of desperate refugees continues to reach our shores.

Meanwhile, back in our lovely terraced garden my man spots something happening across the valley through his vintage binoculars that weigh a ton.

He hands them to me and I see that the strange wooden structure, which has been going up, hidden at the top of a vineyard and some distance down from the road, has been invaded by around fifty people. “Ooh, I say, maybe there’s going to be a party, perhaps we’ll have some music wafting over soon!” But within fifteen minutes, they all trooped back up the hill and disappeared. A few days later we tried to find a way down to this structure from the road, however, we ended up agreeing to disagree on where the track might be and headed down to Certaldo for coffee instead. It was a Saturday morning and there is usually a busy farmer’s market in the main piazza, but not this time, they had all gone off to the seaside instead!

Thankfully, at this time of year, we have some favourite places to go that stay open including ‘Bar Solferino’ in Certaldo and ‘C’era una Volta’ restaurant in Lucardo near Fiano.

Well, for us August was the month for big iced filled glasses for our aperitivi in the early evening, a beautiful artist’s light created by the grey skies that bring out the amazing colours you don’t see in bright sunshine and of course amore. My man and I get to spend a lot more time together in August as his business trips to England are postponed until September. The month ended with the crowning of the lovely Miss Toscana (Tuscany) and we wish Francesca Bandini best of luck in the Miss Italia contest.

Meanwhile, Farty Barty the cat spent the whole month moving from one patch of shade to another, sleeping and eating. Oh yes, I did manage several chapters of my current book ‘The Italian Connection,’ so that was pleasing.
Well, things are currently a little cooler, so that’s a relief and the grape harvest (Vendemia) is now in full swing. I’ll tell you all about that next month.

Have a great September and thanks for dropping by.

Salute June x

PS don’t forget to visit my author site on Amazon.

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.

Junefinnigan's Weblog and my Amazon author page.


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