Speaking of Dreaming: My House in Tuscany

This weekend, I re-watched Under the Tuscan Sun and it reminded me of a week about a year ago where I had my own private “Women Writers” movie festival. In addition to Tuscan, I watched My House In Umbria and Swimming Pool . By the time the “festival” was over, I was convinced that all my writing-related woes (and quite a few of my other problems) could be solved by living in a villa in Tuscany or the south of France. I got pretty specific.

In my dream, I live in a centuries-old house, with deep stone walls, high ceilings and a view of the uncluttered countryside. It is just a 20-minute stroll to the village and I walk there to shop at the market a couple of times a week. (ed.: as old houses and the terrain in southern Europe are not exactly wheelchair friendly, I’ve convenient changed my walking ability status – I’ve already placed myself in Tuscany or Nice, so what’s a bit more messing with reality?)

I have an almost-overgrown garden, with a nice stretch of lawn, large shade trees and a crumbling stone wall lined with lemon trees. In the nooks and corners of the garden are beds of vegetables and herbs, only slightly chewed up by small delicate snails. I cook delicious meals with sun-warmed tomatoes and olive oil pressed in the area. My friends and I have dinner around a large roughly hewn table in the kitchen and we talk long into the night over bottles of hearty red wine.

A little ways down the road from my house is a small dairy farm, run by an older man with a face as wizened as a winter apple and his large, silent son. I buy their cheese or barter it with writing services for his family history. (ed.: I suddenly speak fluent French/Italian) In the morning, I sit in my garden and eat the cheese with large chunks of heavy bread while the cats chase the birds. (ed.: I am no longer lactose intolerant) After breakfast, I tilt my head up against the early morning sun and drink my coffee while listening to the world wake up. (ed.: in real life, I don’t drink coffee and getting up early is against my religion) When my coffee is finished, I grab an apple off the tree behind me and go to my office, where, in between gazing out the window, I write a brilliant novel.

In my dream, it is always late summer. The sun is still warm, but hangs lower in the sky, casting a deeper golden glow over everything. The nights are getting just getting a little cooler, but in the daytime, summer clouds float across the sky, casting their shadows on the ripe fields below.

Who couldn’t write in setting like that?

Sadly, the closest I’m going to get to this bucolic scene in the foreseeable future is my new box of tissues, which sports someone’s idea of mass-produced Tuscany. Who knows… it might be inspiring.


Anonymous said…
Lene -- can I come and be your gardener? I'll be the robust woman of nondescript age with dirt under her fingernails, who has an earthy sensibility and keeps you informed of the comings and goings in the village, including the intentions of the large, silent dairy boy...
Anonymous said…
and congrats on your blog!
Anonymous said…
This has been going on for ten days and no one told me???!!!??? And GAWD I hate Blogger, which just blew away my first post, won't recognize my password, bars visitors from backing out of blogs and otherwise reduces me to keybord thugee. Nevertheless, I will swallow my rage (large, lumpy, with thorns.) Not because of any inherent decorum or civility, but because you described feeding "friends" dinner around that wonderful table and I don't want to disqualify myself first visit. (Would the English expression "pipped at the post" apply?)

Instead I'll just set my fantasy lace-knitting down on the rush-bottomed chair and step out to stroll through the warm and fragrant blog. Feel free to refill my wine glass while I'm out... -- rams
Anonymous said…
Welcome, Lene, and thanks for coming on-line -

Want more pictures of spring and Mojo, and definately want more dreams of wonderful places -

Looking forward to every post -
Anonymous said…
Hi Lene -

Stephanie sent me over to bug you; I'm glad she did because now I have another excellent blog to read on a daily basis, instead of working (heeheehee!)

And I'm with you on the "Tuscany" dream - but since I've already renovated one house, I get to move into the nearest centuries-old villa that does NOT need rehabbing!
Anonymous said…
Not lurking at all, here I am saying hello on my first visit. I was sent here by the Yarlot, along with, I'm guessing, hundreds of others.

Last week you had issues. This week you have tissues.

You probably won't remember, but I said hello to you and your tiger socks at Stephanie's book launch.
Anonymous said…
Of course, you can't move to Tuscany/Nice without taking your very best friend and offspring (like the movie). After all, we need to keep an eye on Milk Boy.... By the way, I would love to see you climb an apple tree.

Nice to see more people join in.
wrtrmaus said…
What a great post, I have similar writing dreams.

Yet another visitor from Harlot-ville, have fun with the new blog.

Holly said…
Oh my gosh....I have that dream. Maybe we're neighbors in dreamland. :-) Nice blog.
Anonymous said…
You had me at the first cuppa.
Anonymous said…
A little altered reality is always good for the soul. Thank you for sharing your dream; I am constantly amazed at how dreams can lift the spirits and make the world a different place.

I too was lead here by Stephanie, who I have recently discovered, and am happy to have found my way here.
Anonymous said…
Another Harloteer here. You're a great writer Lene, I wish I had your talent.

I like your blog. I'll have to add you to my favorites.

I'd love to come to Tuscany with you. I grew up on a farm, so I could help with the bountiful garden........

Think about it.
Carol said…
May I be one of those friends sitting around your rough-hewn kitchen table? I'll bring my knitting, promise to make you tiger socks occasionally, and cheer loudly and long when you finish your great novel.

BTW, since you are editing reality, I'd like to be taller, thinner, less frizzy hair, good eyes ... (I'm sure you know the drill!)

Nice meeting you on-line.

Beautiful dream. Keep dreaming.
hornblower said…
Reading through your archives & this post was so lovely. Here from the Harlot, btw.
Looking forward to more!
cheers from Vancouver
Eileen said…
I'm reading archives too - do you get notifications?
Here in northern Italy we have loads of lactose free cheeses, in every ordinary supermarket. And even gluten-free cakein an ordinary cake shop or hotel restaurant :-)Luckily wine is both!
Lene said…
Eileen - check the top right sidebar to sign up for notifications. And northern Italy sounds like bliss!

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