Sunday, June 3, 2007

Blog beginner

I have hi-tech kids but I am a very low tech person, so I am not sure what "posting a blog" means--hmm, am I going "out there" or sending myself a message? Anyway, I was just in Canada to see my wonderful but very spread out family--and David and Kate both said I should write a blog --is that one or two ggs?-about my life here in Lucca. So here goes:
I am an historian. I first came to Lucca, a little walled-city in Tuscany, for a year in 1997 while I was researching my doctoral dissertation. It was a completely new experience. I had limited knowledge of Italian (I am a bit better now) and believe me, some of those 16th century hand-written documents are pretty difficult to decipher. Daily life consisted of long days in the state archive and long evenings sorting out the day's findings. The days in which the archive was closed I explored the city streets and walked the wonderful Renaissance wall that took 100 years to build. I bought an old Fiat Ritmo which had the engine with the power of a lawnmower in which I chugged about Tuscany with my dog Chelsea as my companion. She at least is bilingual. We made good friends in that year, some of whom I still see. The next few years were spent working first as a teaching assistant, then as a lecturer and then a professor in the States and Canada until in 2005. During that time I would come to my lovely Lucca during the holidays for a week or so for research into various projects--and to catch up on food, wine and fashion. Then in 2005 I decided that the time had come to fulfill the dream I have had for a long time, which was to live in Italy. My children were very supportive and really liked the idea of a parent with a place in Italy!! So here I am. watch this space! Mary


Anonymous said...

Wow! Hey there Mrs. Hewlett aka David and Kate's mom. (Can we call you Mary?) We (I'm not multi-personalitied, I'm speaking for us many fans of your great kids...LOL)anyway...We think your kids are awesome and if they came from you than you must be awesome too! You'll get plenty of responses from 'the fans' and it should be cool to know how adored your children are. It must be awesome to live in Tuscany. We'd all love to hear all about your adventures!!!

Purpleyin said...

Yep, you're out there on the internet now (and it's just one g for blog) :D

Good on you for taking the step to move to Italy - must be daunting but it sounds so inspiring a thing to do. I look forward to hearing about life where you are - never been to Italy (not had much chance to travel yet, but I'm still young) but would love to know about it, particularly any cool historical facts/legends. I did my degree on anthropology, archaeology and art history, hence that sort of stuff fascinates me, and Italy seems to be a hub for it all. :)

Arlessiar said...

Hello there! I hope it's ok that I say hello, because I mainly found your blog because of your children who convinced you to start it (I guessed as much *g*). I'm a great fan of David and his work as an actor, and when I saw Kate on Stargate Atlantis I was also pretty impressed! I met them both (Jennie was there too with little Jeremy) at a convention in London earlier this year, and they were very nice, just like I imagined them to be. And very funny. And typical siblings. :-)
Congrats, you raised them very well, because from everything that I saw and from what I read about them and by them, they are two mighty fine human beings.

Anyway, it's interesting that you live in Lucca, which seems to be a very neautiful place. My parents went there in 2000, they spent to weeks in the Tuscany to celebrate their silver wedding. They brought back lots of photos, among them many from Lucca. My mother was so impressed with that place that she now calls a little stuffed animal (a dog) "'Lucca". :-)

I admire it that you decided to move to Italy, that's a big step. But I guess it might be a tad easier when you fall in love with a place before you move there, like you did.
I wish I was that brave to just go and travel somewhere and follow my heart. I lack the courage to do that. I also still think about starting a dissertation, but I'm still undecided. After I finished university I was glad to be able to start working, but now I find myself fascinated again by the idea of taking the last step and doing my doctorate. Doesn't make much sense for me to leave the country for that though, as I studied German literature and linguistics. *g*

I'm looking forward to your blog entries and everything you can tell us about the place you live in and about your work. And if you have one or two random funny and cute stories about a certain actor's childhood, we'd all be pretty excited to hear them, too... ;-)

MushyPup said...

Greetings from the internet! Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging. I think most of us will have found you from your daughter's site (her link entitled "My Mum Has a Blog" was a dead giveaway); and the rest of us are ardent followers of your son's career. So do feel at ease among all the 'extended family' you've inherited.

You live a life that, from the outside, certainly sounds idealic. There's so much rich history in that part of the world, the depth of culture must be mind-boggling at times. I'm looking forward to reading about your journey through it and in it and all the observations you make.

I think you'll meet some interesting people here in cyber-land, and probably make more than a few friends. The world is about to become both much smaller and much larger for you all at once. Enjoy!

Oh, and feel free to share any embarrassing stories about your kids' growing years. No really - *feel free*. ::: evil chuckle :::

Shawna said...

Hello, and welcome to the internet. You've already got a bit of a built-in fanbase, you know, what with having two such talented and amusing kids.

I do have one question, though. I noticed your use of "an" before "historian" rather than "a". As someone who notices words and language, I've always wondered about the propensity for some people to use that word, as "history" starts with an H, which is a consonant. It never made sense to me to use "an" before that word...unless, of course, you speak with a British accent, or some other accent which doesn't pronounce the H in such which case, I suppose it makes sense.

Sorry, I know that was totally random, but I do tend to be that way.

Kathy said...

I've been to Lucca, as part of my tour of Tuscany 3 or 4 years ago.
I love that part of the world, its beautiful. I hope to go back someday. You're so lucky all the chianti you can drink!
I hope you stick to the blogging.

Fran said...

Hi Mary! My name is Fran. I am looking forward to hearing more about life in Tuscany. I went to Rome back in High School on March break in the early 80's but that week is a big blur. From what I remember I really enjoyed the sites, sounds, and food of Italy.

I am a fan of David and Kate. Actually I have only become a fan of there's in recent months. Three months ago I discovered Stargate Atlantis and have now seen a few of the movie's that David has been in. And I did see "Noble Parasites". David and Kate are fine actors.

I would be interested in knowing a few funny stories about David and Kate growing up. So feel free to share here. Really we fans do not mind, honestly. Evil Laugh. :)

NZ_Jackie said...

Hey, Mary. Can we call you mary? I found your blog through Kate's Blog, and I thought I would leave you a message.
I would love to go to Italy, but my sister went there a few years ago, so Ive seen it in Photos and the like.

I love history and would love to be an historian, but I dont have the paitence for it...

Well, gtg now, Hope to see another post soon


M said...

Dear Mary,

I envy you living in Italy. I visited Florence and Pisa in February of this year and fell in love with Tuscany!

I had never been to Italy prior to this year and was just in awe of everything. As you can imagine, I am rather envious that you live in Lucca! How glorious... When my flight to Pisa was diverted to Genoa, I thought oh woe... but then Genoa turned out to be a beautiful place...

One day I hope I'll get the opportunity to visit Italy again - perhaps I will go to Naples and Rome.

I hope you enjoy your stay in Canada. Never been there myself but heard that it's lovely!


May from Sydney, Australia

Kath said...

Hi Mary!

Welcome to the world of blogging. How awesome it must be to live in Italy. I've never been, but it always looks so beautiful in the movies.

Hope you had nice weather in Vancouver. It rained the entire time I was there in March.

Your kids are pretty cool. Looking forward to hearing more about Lucca.

Kath from Baltimore

Teknikal said...

Hello Mrs Hewlett!!!
So this is where Kate and David get their Awesome-ness!!.Wow I've never been to Italy (Im just a stones throw away- Ireland).Keep Blogging (2 G's in the middle i think..just the plural)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
apmc4cb said...

Congratulations on your first Blog!

iB said...

Welcome Mrs Hewlett..
Whoa, I love Italy. Should come there again (Vienna is in sight of Italy.. =) )

Hope we'll hear/read from you soon..

Live Out Loud said...

Congratulations on your first post and on your kids too. They're very talented and an absolute joy to watch. I found your Blog through a post by a member of 'A Dog's Breakfast' and am glad I checked it out.

You've reminded me of my Aunt in Canada. She's a History Professor and she loves it.

I'd love to hear more about Italy as well as any funny, i.e. embarrassing stories of your kids...

Skein said...

Nothing much to say besides: Love the title of your blog!

Take care

firefly827347 said...

Hello, Mrs Hewlett, my name is Philippa, I live in Scotland and I am 17. I would just like to say what fantastic children you have. I am a huge fan of Stargate Atlantis and I absolutely love David's character. Kate was just as fantastic in her role and I look forward to seeing more of her next season. I hope you are just as proud of your children as us Stargate fans are, they both have a huge fan base.
Thank you ver much for giving me the opportunity to say this, I look forward to reading the next entry in your blog. :)

Vee said...

Welcome to the blogosphere (is that a word?)!

I am a fan of both David and Kate and I think it is neat that they got you into blogging. That is how I got into it as well. Darn family. So pesky. :)

Anyway, I have never been to Italy, but it is my mom's favorite place on the planet and I look forward to reading all about Lucca.

Diana said...

I admire you for taking the chance to live out a dream. I think I would have been frightened to move so far away from family. I'll be sure to check out your blog from time to time. While not a historian I am a history buff and I enjoyed reading about Lucca.

KaziWren said...

Hello, Mrs. Hewlett!

I'm also happy to see yet another of the Hewlett family blogging. You son and daughter are wonderfully funny people. You raised them well! I can only imagine the Mom stories you could share about those two! =]

A historian? How lovely! I fancy myself an archaeologist and historian (total beginner), but nothing beyond simply loving those two fields from afar.

I look forward to reading your entries. Oh, and please continue to add pictures so that we may all live vicariously through you.

Warmest regards,
Trish in Texas

Namiko said...

Oops, for some reason Kate mentions your blog, but there's no link or mention of it on David's site. Hm. (Not that I'm trying to get David into trouble or anything!) But welcome to the interweb, Mrs. Hewlett! As a librarian, I love reading about archives and dusty old documents and ephemera -- Lucca sounds like a dream! Hope to hear more about your interesting life in Italy -- obviously the apples don't fall far from the tree, as they say. :)

Jessica said...

Hello Mrs Hewlett,

My name is Jessica, I'm french and I studyingenglish literature at Nice University in the South of France. I live near Italy and my father family in fact is italian from the Piemont, settled there in the same time that Napoleon came there.

I can imagine how hard it can be to study old italian texts, I speak fluently italian and read some old texts at school as "L'inferno" by Dante and it was quiet difficult.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Mary! It's Elizabeth B., an old friend/historian back from U of T days. I was just at RSA in Chicago and thinking about you and asked some folks for your address in Lucca. Nick passed your snail mail address to me but I have temporarily misplaced it. So I Googled you and came up with your blog on Lucca. I would really love to see you again. I have been in St. Louis for a while but am moving back to Bologna at the end of the month, together with my three year old, and we will be back with Paolo again too. We would love to have you as a guest anytime. We hope to see you again soon!!! Please e-mail me at