July In Tuscany: How To Keep Your Cool

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

Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

Well, there was no other way to describe July other than baking hot, stifling and humid. So much so that at times it felt like the oxygen had been sucked out of the air and replaced with a sleeping drug. Despite this we had a lot of fun moments.

In the first week my man decided never to wear his cherry red Doc Martens again.This was after witnessing the arrival of two riders of a beautiful Harley Davidson wearing the same boots. No, it was not the fact that they were bikers, it was the horrifying realisation that under their helmets were two really meek and mild middle class Italians from northern Italy! My man was so upset to see the new kind of people wearing his favourite brand, he wrote a short story called ‘The Day I stopped wearing my Doc Martens’ which I published on my blog site. I felt for him.

This same week, we drove to Certaldo for coffee on the Friday and found everywhere closed in preparation for La Festa di Tomasso. Thomas is the patron saint of Certaldo. The celebrations were to start around six in the evening, but as always the Italians like to milk every opportunity for a day off. The piazzas and vias were lined with covered stalls, but unmanned and covered over in the morning. Meanwhile, once again, coachloads of bewildered tourists walked through a ghost town and then took the funicular train up the short steep hill to Certaldo Alto, which would not be waking up until the evening!

By the second week the conversation in the caffé bars was all about how to keep cool. Farty Barty the cat had worked out a clever system of slowly moving his sleeping spots around the garden, depending on the height and angle of the sun. We, however, were juggling with wide open windows at night, moving the air-conditioning unit upstairs, which proved ineffectual and electric fans. I kept a towel permanently around my neck as I hammered away at my current book! Watering the garden had become a daily chore, yet at this time, most of the plants and shrubs still managed to look good and healthy.

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Sadly, in the third week, I shared my morning coffee with the late Omar Sharif, who had gone up to join those other twinkling stars in the sky. He was only a picture in La Nazione newspaper, but I raised my cup and thanked him for that wonderful film ‘Dr Zivago’ which I must have seen at least ten times. On a brighter note, Tuscany was rocking with music festivals in Lucca, Pistoia and Florence. Great acts included Mumford & Sons and Sting, who has an estate just a few valleys away from us. Smaller concerts could also be heard echoing around these Chianti Hills, just like my own did in June. If you are in Tuscany on 25th of June next year and would like a concert invite, send you email address to june.finnigan@virgin.net

Then to our great joy, the third week brought some relief from the stifling heat as thunder started to rumble, the birds stopped singing, the cicadas stopped cackling and a massive wind started to blow from the east. But, O Dio, this turned into a terrible hurricane taking our heavy based canvas brollies over including their stands, ripping one quite badly! When the wind finally dropped, I drove to Certaldo for my must have coffee fix and to visit the car wash. I only just got inside Bar Solferino when the rain started to hammer down like stair rods. The road outside was flooded in just a few minutes. The only good news was that I had saved fifteen euros as the car got a really good wash at the same time!

Later that day, may man returned from a few working days in London and I was so relieved to be back in the arms of my amore. I really needed a hug.

I had survived the hurricane, massive flooding, three electricity cuts and a tooth extraction! But I had left the broken loo system, the dragging door (this happens a lot as the ground below us moves every so often shifting the doors, gates and windows) and the clearing up of the garden after the storm to him. He was very understanding, bless him.

Meanwhile, back in the world of the filthy rich, Silvio Berlusconi finally agreed to a divorce settlement of 1.4 million euros with his ex-wife Veronica, I’ll read that again. No, that should be 1.4 million euros a month; oh, that poor woman, she had asked for a lot more apparently! Then SB ended the month discovering that escort girl Patricia d’Addario, who had written a book about her their sexual relationship, was turning it into a film. Funny that, he has always claimed never to have paid for sex. Then finally, he was overjoyed I don’t think, to be sentenced to three years in prison, for bribing an Italian senator. Well, this all keeps our very popular SB in the headlines, and bad news is better than no publicity at all!

Well, time to go stretch my little legs before thinking about an aperitivo and lunch. It is Ferragosta today, yet another festa and the start of a two week August holiday. I’ll tell you all about it next month.

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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