Firle, East Sussex
I’ve had a month in the country.
I’ve been in Southern England, and away from Tuscany where I usually find myself in July and August.
There hasn’t been much time to write, but in between looking after toddlers and a very pregnant daughter during a heat wave, I’ve had time to ponder.
About words. For example, our word country can mean both nation or countryside. There are the same nuances to words in Italian. Paese means both the nation and it also means a town. If you ask an Italian where he is from, he will usually answer first with the name of his home town or village. “O paesano”, is something you hear when two Italians discover they are from the same place. Paesaggio from the same stem, means scenery. But there’s a completely different word for countryside – campagna.
I’ve often been asked why I haven’t translated my two Tuscan novels from English into Italian, but being able to translate properly, to do a book justice, a translator needs to know about nuances in both languages. And I’m not fluent enough in Italian.
I was away from Tuscany to help welcome a little person into the world. Finn was born on August 1st. A brother for four-year-old Luca and two-year-old Leo. They are all “adobable” – Leo’s way of saying adorable. He’s at the start of his word-learning life. I jotted down a few comments my young grandsons made during my month in the country. I even wrote a short story once I was back here in Tuscany, based on a question Luca asked me. “Granny, do moths have friends?” He asked me this, after a moth died. I’ve sent it off for publication. Fingers crossed.Finn, four days old
This blog is a bit of a ramble. Forgive me.
As I said, my month provided me with an enforced break from writing. And I think we all need to step back from routine. I didn’t have a rest when helping my young grandsons, but my mind had a break and I have renewed enthusiasm now and lots of ideas.
Before going to stay with our eldest daughter, I visited my Italian mother-in-law. She now lives in a Home as she is suffering from Alzheimer’s and I was afraid she might not recognise me. But she did. And that was a blessing because there are days when she is extremely confused. So, the start of my month was spent with a ninety-two-year old and the end of the month was spent with a new born.
Life whizzes by. Let’s make the most of each and every day.
Giuseppina, who inspired “Tuscan Roots”.