Hello lovely friends! Despite a few clouds overhead today, temperatures are decidedly Spring-like so I am feeling quite happy and frisky at the thought of the coming season. I had an opportunity to go to Florence on Friday to meet my friend Michelle and there too, signs of Spring were everywhere, the most prevalent being Easter preparations. Chocolate Eggs perched around every corner! Michelle, who lives in Calabria, is also one one of my editors and it was such a treat to actually meet her in person after corresponding through email and facebook for so long. We had fun traversing the city with her two year old daughter and even managed to find a really tasty hamburger for lunch.
The winter in Montepulciano passed swiftly. I was busy studying at the scuola guida, and then taking the written exam for the driver’s license, which I know sounds like no big deal, but oh it is! The amount of material to memorize is really unbelievable, especially when you think about how bad the drivers are here. How did they all get through?? In the end, I passed and happily without any errors. I am now preparing for the driving bit. Even though I have been driving for 30 years, the practical exam here is still worrying as you have to be ready to identify parts of the engine etc as well as parallel parking and stopping on hills. And you can’t use the handbrake which is how I learned so many moons ago. But even if it’s a challenge, when I finally have my license in hand I know I will have so much more freedom! Then I just need to find a car that is cheap and cheerful!
Other than that, my winter has been filled with writing and teaching English. As much as I enjoy getting back to work in the Spring, I do love my students and having the time to focus on my writing. Well Seasoned in Tuscany is chugging along and I hope to have it done in the next couple of months.
I also used my downtime this winter to start running… after a 15 year hiatus. I found a program called from Couch to 5K and started out quite slowly running and walking and now am happily managing 5 kilometers three times a week. I had forgotten how much I enjoy running and doing it here in Tuscany with this gorgeous landscape is enough to get you out of bed even on the cold and rainy days. I do have to walk some of the hills at times–I love Montepulciano but it is definitely a challenging terrain. A huge thanks to my running gurus Elizabeth and Erin for answering all my stupid running questions and basically being my cheerleaders!
I have my first day of work on Tuesday at the winery and then a few sporadic days in April and full time in May. I am so looking forward to seeing friends who come down every summer.
I hope everyone has a wonderful, renewing Spring!!