A month in the country


Sussex fieldsFirle, 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.baby FinnFinn, 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.

nanna in her homeGiuseppina, who inspired “Tuscan Roots”. 



About Angela Petch

Bit of a story dreamer, published six books. I love my little family and in no particular order afterwards: Italian culture, food, wine, walking everywhere I can and especially in the Apennines, East Africa, tennis when I can, reading, reading and more reading. So much to discover still before I die.
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6 Responses to A month in the country

  1. Finn is absolutely adobable! So many good thoughts to savor in this post! Words are what makes the writing process so fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela Petch says:

      Without words what would we be? I can’t paint, so words are my escape and a way of making sense. Thanks for reading, lovely Jena. x


  2. A lovely time for reflection. Sometimes distance in writing is important.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Angela Petch says:

    Grazie mille, caro amico. I have translated books of world war 2 diaries and washing machine instructions, amongst others. And I heartily agree with you about our valuable time for writing from our hearts. Translations are expensive… but maybe one day… talking of which I cannot stand the Elena Ferrante books translated into English.


  4. Great point about translation, Angela. I get the same question frequently and absolutely agree with you in spite of twenty years as a translator. I look at it this way, why spend two long years translating my book when I could write another one or two in English? If one of my books ever is worthy of translation someone will get paid to do it! Finlly, i discovered Calvino first in english. years later, I read the same ‘Invisible Cities’ in Italian and at once realised how much more subtle and enjoyable it is in its original language.
    i enjoy your blog and never miss reading it! well done.
    best wishes
    John Broughton


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