Tony is working very hard at renewing the website on his first book. It tells all about our Tuscan adventure (1989-2002) when we became “farmers”? “Chatelains”? Call us what you will… we spent quite a number of years restoring a medieval farmhouse and once that was done we ended up with 12 agriturismo apartments, a master house and a winery…We had never renovated such a huge project before, never hosted paying guests before, never made olive oil before and certainly never made wine before.
The book is Catching Fireflies, published by Random House. Why catching fireflies? Because it was probably what led us into this folly in the first place. It was early summer, we were driving back from a magical dinner in the Tuscan countryside with a couple of friends. Suddenly I thought I could see little pinpricks of lights winking at me. The rest of the party asked how many glasses of wine I had had. But Tony obligingly stopped the car and switched off the headlights. It was one of those sublime moments that happen so rarely in one’s life that it stays engraved on your mind forever.
There were two poppy fields on either side of the road and hundreds of thousands of pinpricks of light were flashing on and off as they moved about in complete silence enveloping us as they weaved around. We were entranced, and could only talk in whispers as they landed on us and continued to flash. It was so dark you hardly knew where earth finished and the firmament started.
The website should be ready soon. Watch this space! – Mira