Hi I'm Miranda, and I live near Lake Trasimeno. My husband Dan is a painter who gives art lessons and I'm a writer. I've written around 20 books published in maybe ten languages, most of them about crafts and interior decoration. The most recent two were published by Transworld, called 'Getting to Manana' (about our decade in Andalusia) and 'Cinnamon City' (about buying and restoring a riad in Marrakech) respectively. The latter was a Daily Mail Bookclub Choice, December 2005, and is called a best-seller by Transworld. They are now both ebooks, which is v exciting.
I escape from my computer by teaching yoga three times a week - you'd think after doing it for 10 years I'd have the perfect figure, but strangely, it hasn't happened.
We live a somewhat Bohemian life on the Umbria/Tuscany border, in an old converted farmhouse on a huge nature conservancy farming estate, with three rescued cats (one found in a ditch, one in a tree and one flung from the window of a passing car) and a dog, Laika, (whose previous owner wanted to make his fortune as a juggler in Valencia). This is definitely country - with woodland, porcupines, boar, black squirrels, nightingales, badgers, dust, deer, elderly mountain bikes for hire and a fishing lake on the estate.
On foot you can amble to swimming pools, tennis courts, great walks, a grocer, baker, bar, post office, pharmacy and restaurant whose excellent chef used to cook at Eton.
By car you can get to Divin Peccato restaurant (q.v.) in Panicarola, to il Pescatore bar by the lakeside on Trasimeno, take a boat out to eat on Isola Maggiore, eat at Piccola Trattoria Guastini near Montepulciano, and taste wine in a million different places.
My dreams are to 1) Go to the Jaipur Music Festival this autumn or to do resist printing with Natalie Gibson in spring (website hidden) 2) to do another yoga teacher's course on some palm-fringed beach 3) successfully turn my two new books (one about moving to Italy and one is a romantic novel) onto ebooks.
Hosting: informal, chatting, red wine for me. I'll do station pick-ups and returns, take you to bigger supermarkets, the lake and local hill towns if I can think of a good reason to go myself, otherwise I'll charge for petrol. Ditto, you can do washing, log onto the internet.
Carpe diem is my motto. Do it now, whatever it is.