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crossing the threshold + offal

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16 years ago, my man and I decided to buy a pile of rocks in Tuscany. No roof, no floors, no stairs, an old tractor in the cowshed, a toilet al fresco... it was the most exciting thing we had ever done and would change our lives forever.
Our plans, however, met mixed reviews.
“How ridiculous! You'll lose a fortune. You can't trust Italians, you'll be ripped off.”
“Why do you always complicate your lives? There are some lovely new developments with sweet little gardens just outside London. You could move in straight away.”
“No thanks, it's not really our cup of tea”, I protested.
“Your cup of tea, you're too young to know what your cup of tea is!”.
Too young? Actually, the implication was I was too reckless and stupid. My heals dug deeper into the mud that surrounded our ruin.
Then there was the reaction from those who had already bought a house in Italy. The people who really knew what they were talking about.
“Listen Kate, if you genuinely want to go ahead with this, fine. Just let me give you two pieces of advice. One, never buy from the dodgy guy on the other side of the valley and two, for God's sake make friends with the hunters.”
Well, we did buy from the dodgy guy in the valley.  And to the outsider, he did seem like a second-hand-car-salesman-on-speed but to us, he brokered the deal and we shall be forever in his debt.
And for years, I have smiled and never complained when middle-aged men dressed like Rambo have strode across our land. I have finally relinquished my urban ways and learnt to embrace the regular wild boar hunts. I have learnt to tolerate their primeval screams at seven in the morning and relish them leaping around the woods like Amazonian tribesmen.
I've even learnt to gracefully accept their most gruesome of gifts.
Last Sunday, Sergio (faithful neighbour and hunter extraordinaire) arrived clutching three plastic bags and a string of sausages. Two bags were full of wild boar, the third, saggy and bloody, was set to test my townie ways.
“I killed him this morning. So I got to cut out his liver. I thought I'd share it with you.”
His face beamed with pride. He straightened his back, puffed out his gargantuan shoulders and waited for my reaction.
Trying not to gag, I managed a “Grazie mille”.
“Open it then, it's so fresh”
My husband looked at me, it was one of those 'crossing the threshold' moments. As I bravely plopped the seemingly still pulsating offal onto the draining board, my old life flashed before my eyes, cocktails after work, designer sales on the Kings Road, sushi in Soho...
“Delicious!”, I exclaimed and raced off to hang up my Miu Miu and Pradas! 

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Paula 01/02/2012
Kate a joy to read as always! Great start to the year, keep up the good work! When are you going to pass your hunting license ???
lisa 31/01/2012
hi there! i am a vancouverite from british columbia living in florence italy! what a crazy fun coincedence! i just found this blog and am so inspired! this is one of my future dreams! i am writing a blog all about learning to dream, heal, create and be AMORE! lets please keep in touch! this is soooooo AMAZING!
Sheila Smith 30/01/2012
I've been following your blog on facebook for some time now. How wonderful that you went after what you wanted and eventually through your own hard work, determination and no doubt many sacrifices along the way, now live a wonderful life in Tuscany. If I was 'many' years younger I would love to do what you have done. Well done to you both ... enjoy, but then I'm sure you will.
Shelagh 30/01/2012
I love reading your blog and daily stories and hearing of the adventures in Italy. I can't wait to go and see it myself. We live in British Columbia on Vancouver Island, it is so beautiful, but I bet it's nothing compared to the land of my ancestors. Best wishes, you're doing very well, good for you to standing up to the nay sayers lol. Shelagh

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