#EmptyShelf 2016 #31: Under the Tuscan Sun by @francesmayes (Bantam, 1998)

After attending a course in Cornwall with Travellers’ Tales in 2007, randomly attending for something different to do, then realising that I knew nothing about the genre, I stocked up on a few appropriate books.

I started reading this a couple of weekend’s ago at a friends, as she had the same book, then came home to pick up my own copy of Under the Tuscan Sun… and I really enjoyed it. The author (is/was) an academic in the States, who turned a difficult time in life into opportunity, and purchased a run-down place in Tuscany – the book follows the travails and delights as they make the most of their “vacations” in Italy… which sounds like hard work and a lesson in patience, but paid off as they were able to sit back and enjoy (albeit with lots of farmwork continuing) … as I’ve been painting my new place, in a determination to get it done, so I can relax and live in it, I hear echoes of that … and a reminder that it doesn’t all need to be done at once!

I’ve enjoyed a couple of trips to Tuscany – both as a Tour Leader with Oak Hall .. one of my fave pics from that trip (blog from second trip):



Voluntary Tour Leader, Oak Hall

I LOVED tour leading for Oak Hall. I had taken 3-4 holidays as a guest (always ski holidays, I’d never done a summer trip), and got in touch with the intention of doing a  ski season. Having visited “The Manor” for a week, I offered to stay another week, but then found myself zooming home for my passport, and the next day in Switzerland, cleaning Chalet Jungfrau (130 guests!). One of the most exhausting weeks of my life (part 2), but also exhilerating!


As my plans for my Round the World trip kept changing, I returned for some summer trips:



I am planning on taking a rest from Oak Hall for 2010 as I concentrate on finding work, combined with setting up my own business: Digital Fingerprint.