Saturday, December 16, 2017

Villa Mia


I'm reading Under the Tuscan Sun right now. This is my third start (maybe fourth) in the last 10 years or so. I enjoyed the movie so I bought the book when I saw it on the "buy 3, get one free" table at a bookstore. 

I finally got to a point that I don't recall having read. This morning I learned that the fig flower resides inside the fruit and a certain kind of wasp burrows itself inside the fig to lay its eggs. If it doesn't succeed, that's okay, it has at least pollinated the flower. If larvae has been deposited, ooh-la-la! According to Wikipedia (yup, I had to learn more), a mature male mates with a female then proceeds to peck its way out of the fig so that all the females can escape. The male, now wingless and, no doubt, quite spent promptly dies. May he forever rest in joyful peace knowing that he did his job well.

Frances Mayes is the author of Under the Tuscan Sun. For those who never read the book or saw the movie, Mayes wrote about her experiences restoring a villa in Tuscany during her summer months off from teaching in San Francisco. So far, she has romanticized creating a vision from abandoned chaos; eating simple, but elegant, Italian fare outdoors; respecting old and abandoned trees still bearing delicious fruit; removing thick, gnarly tree roots from under stone walls; discovering old-time wells; and, yes, even hiding in bed as a thunderstorm lingers over her villa. I'm not even a third way through the book.

While I was reading about the figs and Mayes' discovery that some of the trees on her property produce the oh so expensive pine nuts, I glanced up now and then to the view of the backyard. Bright blue sky . . . new cedar (or is it redwood?) fence . . . the branches and leaves of the apple trees, lemon tree, avocado trees, and pink geraniums dancing with the light wind . . . the swaying of the chimes, Slinky, and other things hanging from the apple tree by the patio. . . . I'm living my own version of recreating a villa in Tuscany.  Magnifico!

P.S. That's not my view from this morning. It's what I would see if I looked sideways as I stood in the view that I saw through the sliding door window this morning.



8 comments:

  1. I first saw this film by accident, flicking through the tv channels for something to watch. It was about half an hour in by then but I kept watching and liked it so much, especially as some of it was filmed in Positano in Italy, a place I've been to more than once, and I actually bought the dvd so I could watch it right from the beginning. I was going to buy the book but then I read somewhere that the book is nothing like the film, it concentrates more on the food and rambles on a bit - books about food don't interest me so I decided not to get it. I'd be interested in an honest and candid opinion once you've finished reading it, it could change my mind. Great photo by the way, it's lovely :)

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    1. I'll be sure to let you know, Eunice, either here or at your blog. It may be awhile though.

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  2. Altough to late... nevertheless every much sincere, many congratulations for your birthday and all the best wishes for you for many more years to come!

    ABC-Wednesday

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    1. Thank you very much, ABC Wednesday. Never too late. I love birthday greetings any day of the year.

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  3. I love books set in 'foreign climes' that also let me learn new stuff too. Many decades ago I learned that the 'milk' of an unripe coconut tastes lemonade-ish.

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    1. Now I want to taste the juice of an unripe coconut.

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  4. You have created such a beautiful world . . . I'm sure grateful you share it with us.

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    1. Thanks,G. I'm adapting and modifying the Mama's yard into ours.

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)