Four Blogging Years Later

Four years ago on this day I began blogging. I had previously contributed some photographs to my Facebook page but had not started serious blogging.  Thanks to Debra Kolkka (see her blogs at  and I started this harmless hobby. Now 1502 posts later am I still enamoured of the activity?

Blogging may not only be of interest to others for it holds a fascination to oneself when reading accounts of what one was up to in the past. Even four years begins to feel like quite a long time. This is what I wrote in on March 7th 2013, interspersed with my comments today in italics

A morning’s work in Lucca

Posted on March 7, 2013

Today, 6th March, I went to Lucca where I read Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost” to my second media class at the scuola Da Vinci (where I have been a “lettore di madrelingua inglese” for several years). I had simplified the text to suit the class’s level of English. An enjoyable morning was spent and I could see the children thoroughly interested in this timeless story.

The contract for the school has now finished. It was an enjoyable and enlightening experience and a fitting conclusion to my school teaching in Italy. Coincidentally, yesterday a friend, whose excellent guidebook to Barga I’d added some suggestions to, stated that one of the guests at the property she lets to visitors turned out to be Wilde’s grandson, Merlin Holland!

Not so enjoyable was getting to Lucca: first a scooter ride to Fornoli station (30 minutes) in icy rain and then a train journey down the Serchio valley to Lucca. Still rain, rain, rain. Fortunately the school is nearby (San Concordio).

I would add that the weather hasn’t changed. A dramatic thunderstorm with hail assailed us last night and caused an electricity outage.  I’m glad I’m not going anywhere fast this morning although the weather has quietened down somewhat.

After the lessons I met Maestro Francesco Cipriano, the editor of Lucca Musica, the free monthly magazine which gives all the news about what’s happening in the music scene around Lucca, who presented me with his delightful “Le Novelle di Tommaso” – a musical based on stories he told to his grandson. The first one is titled “La volpe e il pulcino” (the fox and the chick) and the last one is about dinosaurs. The beautifully produced book comes complete with music score and CD of a recording of his work.

I still keep up my relationship with Francesco since I do the English versions of the programme of music events in Lucca for his LuccaMusica. Unfortunately, however, the magazine is now only available on line at since funds were not forthcoming to keep the paper versions going. I do hope, however, that the paper version will return as it is a lot more accessible than just reading about events on a computer or smartphone screen.

This is going to be a big week for Lucca (and Francesco) – lots of events and concerts (including Bocelli and a performance of Beethoven’s 9th) are part of a bid for Lucca to become Italy’s second UNESCO city of music. It certainly deserves to become one.

Unfortunately Lucca has not yet become Italy’s second UNESCO city of music although it continues to deserve to be. I doubt few cities the size of Lucca have such a cornucopia of music events which range from every genre from world-music through jazz and rock to classical.

So there we have it. Will I still be blogging in a year’s time? I’ll find out when March 7th 2018 arrives!

Today I’ll go down to my orto again to see about preparing it for spring planting. Here are some views of my last visit before several dismal days of rain descended upon it.


9 thoughts on “Four Blogging Years Later

  1. I very much enjoy your blogs Francis. Congratulations on your 4th anniversary. I am in Lucca until the end of March. It’s been a while since we spoke at Bar Italia. If you are coming to Lucca it will be good to see you again, so do drop me an email.

  2. Congratulations Francis. Please keep writing, you have a lovely blog. I look for it every day. I enjoy your news of local events and love your appreciation of the arts.

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