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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers Around the World,

Did you miss me?  So sorry not to have sent you a blog last weekend, but I can only blame it on losing my creative writing hat and spending too much time drinking wine in the sunshine!  I also wanted to send you happy news and as I no longer have access to the coffee shop and the daily newspapers, I found myself getting rather brain-dead.

Phil the pheasant.jpgBut that’s all changed!  We have been inundated with visitors that don’t seem to understand how important it is to stay at home.  Firstly, Phil our resident Pheasant, has invited two hens to stay and was flaunting himself below our bedroom window this morning.  He’s obviously feeling very randy as he was fluffing his feathers up to give the impression that he is twice his normal size!  When he started jumping his startled hens, I had to look away, what an exhibitionist!

The lack of humans in the countryside has encouraged deer out into the open, I hope we might get sight of a herd of Cingale ( wild boar) too.  Below us is a field sown mainly to meadow hay and is proving very popular. Yesterday a lone deer made his way across the field and dissapeared into woodland, we both felt that this was unusual and hope he has not been chased out of a local herd.  The mind tends to over react at times!

download.jpgMeanwhile, the garden is full of visitors including the stunning and musical Hoopie.  The disturbed earth around our new compost heap seems very attractive to them.  Also a pair of Jays, numerous wood pidgeons flocks of redstarts and many other birds whose names escape me.

2020-04-04 18.25.06And, on the subject of Compost Heaps, we are very proud to have completed our very first version of one, yesterday morning.  This then created the need for a wine break before lunch.  It is rather shameful that we have only just created one after having spent most of our lives living in the countryside with good sized gardens.  My beautiful Earth Mother daughter has been growing veg and using compost heaps for years.  I am not the greatest of cooks and she asked me very seriously on WhatsApp ‘What are you eating Mum?”  “I can cook if I have to!”  I snorted.  “Oh, I thought you might have ordered a flow of ready made meal deliveries!”  She chuckled.  Cheeky monkey.

OK, back to our wine break and I know I have mentioned the dance of the Swallow Tail images.jpgButterflies before, but they were back and getting very close to where we were sitting.  Out of interest we had previously looked up their lifespan and were astonished to read that in butterfly form they only live for ten days!  As one almost alighted on my man’s chest he commented “So, they have only ten days to work out if they are male, female or transgender.”  He said very seriously.  “Mmm. I think that one is female” I grinned.  Foto it.123rf.com

Anyway, we are managing to enjoy working from home, beating the boundaries and checking for new rosebuds, before at least two home-made espresso coffees and breakfast, talking a lot of trivia and drinking good wine.  The forecast is for sunny days for at least the next week so that’s good news; we have even had to start watering pots that are now uncovered!

1180_LynnMargolisPhotography-318-520x400Well, I could waffle on but there is one thing I want to mention.  London based James Lakeland, who is the brother of an English friend, designs beautiful women’s clothes that are made in Italy.  Like many fashion shops, he is really struggling at the moment.  He has managed to pay his staff so far and has now reduced his prices so low, you have to get on-line and start buying!  I have placed an order, so that’s my next concert outfit sorted, god knows when it will arrive here in Italy (Italy’s postal system is unpredictable), but it is worth it to support at least one deserving fashion house.  James also delivers worldwide!  Foto from James Lakeland Blogsite.  James lakeland

So, enough for now.  I have promised my man a veggie roast lunch, which will take me a while to prepare.  Needless to say, can’t wait to return to our local restaurant, oh, and my hairdresser.  I have an inch of grey roots creeping over my scalp.   It’s unnerving.  A few days ago my man said “Whats that shining on top of your head, oh, it’s not silver paper it’s ………”  He has Peter Pan Genes, still dark blond and, due to the lack of hairdressers, is sporting a long 70’s hairstyle.

Hope you are all safe and well.

Salute June x

PS  Have you read my books yet?  Now’s a good time!  Visit my site at My site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DSCN3433This is a very difficult time of the year for me, but a truly exciting one too.  Difficult, because my head is full of song lyrics as I am practising daily for my up a coming concert and this has the effect of drowning out all the other things in my brain that I need to focus on too!  Exciting because it’s the time of year to get back together with The Rock Chick Band and to make fabulous music!  My man has to keep my feet on the ground and to remind me not to forget simple things.  I keep a hard copy diary.  It’s big and red and sits on my desk and cannot get lost like a cell phone or accidentally deleted like an electronic one, things I am prone to do!  The repertoire is now finalised and our first rehearsal is on Sunday.  Email me at june.finnigan.virgin.net for an invite to the concert on 21 June here in Tuscany.

download-1.jpgMeanwhile, a visiting fox has discovered the fruits of our mulberry tree, but Phil the pheasant isn’t happy with that.  He has been noisily complaining and shooing the poor thing away.  I am also worried about the fox turning on Phil in a stand off.

250px-Fasan-male-1347.jpgPhil is quite formidable and frightening when he’s angry, but he would also make a good dinner for a hungry fox and it’s family and, he has a family of his own to protect in our garden!

porcupine1On the subject of wildlife we had the rare sight of the shy porcupine run across the track in front of us the other day.  Unlike the UK, we do not get a lot of road kill, but nevertheless it can happen.  So we were glad to see it in time.  It’s surprising really, what with the fast and crazy driving in Tuscany, that we don’t see more poor dead creatures.  We often see deer and cinghale (wild boar) cross the road, sometimes whole herds, which is fabulous to see.

20190608_110617Anyway, what next?  Ah, yes.  We have just celebrated something very special in our local village of Fiano.  The local school children worked with potter Terry Davies and The Caba Association Culturale, to create ceramic tiles to line the  front of the steps of the amphitheatre in the Gardens of Fiano.  I am so impressed with this cultural innovation and the children are so proud.  The steps were unveiled after a grand brass band performance.  Screen shot taken from Terry Davies facebook page. Terry was one of the first people we got to know, all those years ago, when we arrived in this little bit of Chianti.  He makes wonderful unique pots and ceramics, exhibiting all over the world.  You can visit his workshop and showroom in the countryside between Certaldo and Bacio, but why not visit his website for lots more info first.  website

2019-05-13 09.14.16Now back to the subject of Made in Italy and the first things to spring to mind, well mine anyway, is fashion and handbags.  In the local papers I spotted two beautiful images that I loved.  The colour red always gives me a lift and it goes with anything, so here is a beautiful shoulder bag from Felisi to drool over.  website

20190608_091538And what do you think of this frock?  I think the simple cut and the gorgeous harbour scene print is so eye-catching and irresistible.  Pop it on I say, head for the coast, then simply take a stroll.  You’ll be turning heads for sure!  You’ll need to click ‘find a store near you’ if you want to buy from this collection.  Website

Well enough of that, I’m still searching for an Italian hunk of the month, so if you have a nominations let me know!

Have a great week and do drop me a line.  Your summer reading can be found on my website at my site

Salute June

(Wildlife fotos from Poke Community, Living in Italy and Tierdoku.com) 

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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World,

Well, how are you?

Firstly, you will be glad to know that I will not be mentioning Italian Politics, other than the fact the country remains ungoverned due to no agreement to form a government.  So it looks like we can expect another General Election!  Enough.

2018-04-08 15.55.55So, to much brighter things and especially to our beautiful Tuscan Garden here on the edge of Chianti, which is now full of flowering tubs.  Yes, the weekend was glorious and we were able to get all the pots planted up with colourful flowers.   The grass, or green weedy stuff, was mowed and we sat out in an evening temperature of around 24 degrees centigrade to admire our hard work.  Now it is raining and is likely to do so all week.  A little sad for the tourists that have started arriving in their droves.  But hey ho, life eeez good, life eeez now!  Foto J Finnigan.

2018-04-07 18.13.22Now I must mention the Star of Jerusalem, which is an herb said to be helpful to people suffering from depression, when taken in oil form.  They pop up all over the ‘lawn’ and are really pretty.  I have just read that these lovely plants are the bane of landscape gardeners as they spread like crazy.  Well my man likes them so much, he mowed around them, bless him!  What would you do?  Foto J Finnigan.

2018-04-08 10.12.43Meanwhile, the legend that is Bob Dylan was in Florence on his Italian leg of ‘The Never Ending Tour’.  He performed his first tracks seated at the piano, starting with ‘Things have changed’ his voice in excellent form and singing to a packed Mandela Forum.  His visit to the city was very low profile and the reporters were unable to find out where he was staying or anything about his itinerary outside of the concert!  Well, good for Bob, I say, privacy is everything.  Did you go to the concert?  Do tell me about it, as I could not get a ticket!  Foto La Repubblica.

2018-04-08 10.11.54Back in our local village of Fiano and over morning coffee, I noticed in the paper a mention of World Book Day, which is apparently on 23rd April, so we must remember that.  I’m not sure how one is supposed to celebrate this, other than perhaps buying or reading a book.  Mine are always available of course, assuming you like romantic thrillers and adventures that take you around the world.  Supporting an author is a good idea, me in particular!  I will be in Wells and Exmouth in the  West County of the UK the week beginning 21st May, so if you have a book group or any other club where you would like me to visit, do drop me a line.  Visit My website   I would love to meet you. Foto La Repubblica. 

2018-04-08 09.58.27Now, I think I should mention, if you are coming to Italy and hiring a car, that the roads have never been as bad as they are now.  The recent cold snap, after a few days of early spring weather, has made things considerably worse!  The roads have never been particularly good here, however, we are now reading about it in the papers so things have seriously deteriorated!  In the UK, the local authorities would have paid out millions to drivers for the damage to their cars over the last year, here in Tuscany it’s accepted as the norm.  As we currently have no government, what can we do?  So, I recommend a high wheel based car, particularly if you are visiting me.  Foto La Nazione.

2018-04-08 13.56.40Well, enough of the grumbles, there is a lot to be grateful for, like good restaurants!  With our local one being closed for ten days, we decided to go back to another favourite in Tavernelle, which I may have mentioned before.  I’m talking about La Gramola.  It is newly refurbished with big modern paintings on the wall, and has a fresher and more spacious feel to it.  Thankfully the chef, Cecilia Dei, has not changed and we enjoyed a really delicious meal there on Sunday.  I had Crostini di Cavolo Nero (black cabbage on toast) followed by spaghetti con verdure.  (seasonal vegetables.)  Just to remind you, La Gramola also specialises in gluten-free.  Let me know if you are visiting and perhaps we’ll take you there.  Foto J Finnigan.  Visit La Gramola at Website

Well, must get on with the day job.  People to see, places to go and deals to be done.

Have a really great week and do drop me a line.

Salute June x

Ps.  Visit my official author site at June’s site

2017-05-07 17.25.58

The Trilogy – The Continuing Adventures of Joanna Wilde.

 

 

 

 

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Happy New Month to all my friends around the world

So sorry, but will not be blogging for a couple of weeks as am in England sorting out a family bereavement.  Hoping you are all enjoying life as I will be, as soon as I’m back in my little bit of Tuscany.

Oh, just to say, have finished my third novel ‘The Italian Connection’ and it is currently being edited, so watch this space and make sure you read the other two first!  They are also ideal for Christmas!!!!

Salute June xx

Visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

My current Books. Foto J Finnigan

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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers

Rugby victory for Italy! La Nazione

Rugby victory for Italy!
La Nazione

Yesterday evening my man was jubilant!  Many of you know that we are a great Rugby family.  Most of our men have played rugby and our grandson has followed suit.  Why was my man so happy, well Italy had just beaten South Africa, a very strong team, 20-18.  So, Italy goes from strength to strength and considering Rugby is not the country’s first sport, which is football (Calcio), this is very pleasing indeed.  The new coach, Conor O’Shea, seems to be making a big difference and confidence is high.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil senza (without) palm oil. La Reppublica

Extra Virgin Olive Oil senza (without) palm oil.
La Reppublica

Anyway, what about things closer to home in our little bit of Tuscany?  The subject of pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil is on everyone’s lips in the caffè bar.  Are you aware that this beautiful nectar is being sold around the world, some claiming that it is pure when in fact it is ‘watered down’ by palm oil!  Now, this should be shown on the label, so read the very small print and make sure you get the real stuff.  You can always come to Tuscany and buy fresh from the producers if you fancy a little break!

Carlo and son Simone behind a pile of lovely panettone at Bar/pasticeria Fiorentino. La nazione.

Carlo and son Simone behind a pile of lovely panettone at Bar/pasticeria Fiorentino in Montespertoli. La Nazione.

Meanwhile, and in the run-up to Christmas, our part of Tuscany has been running a Panettone making contest, and we were really pleased to read in the paper yesterday that our good friends at Bar Fiorentino in Montespertoli have won the accolade!  This ‘Derby Del Gusto’ is a popular event each year and my man always takes two of the fig and walnut versions to England for friends and associates.

Grilled Porcini caps at Montalbino. Foto J Finnigan

Grilled Porcini caps at Montalbino. Foto J Finnigan

Ah, then there’s the subject of Porcini mushrooms.  Still available in the shops, markets and restaurants the big grilled caps are to die for.  My man and I went out to Trattoria Montalbino for lunch on Thursday.  This tiny family-run place is in the middle of nowhere but not far from Fiano.  They specialise in fungi and the husband goes hunting for fresh porcini and truffles.  When the season is ended they still manage to do some wonderful dishes with the dried varieties.  Visit Trattoria Montalbino, Montespertoli on Trip Advisor.  Table bookings – 0039 339 3695 121

Simple Minds in Tuscany. La Repubblica.

Simple Minds in Tuscany. La Repubblica.

And, not to forget for all you rockers like me, touring bands this week have included Simple Minds and Aerosmith.  Oh, and for all the teeny boppers we are also currently hosting Justin Bieber.  I just popped off to check out Simple Minds on YouTube and there’s some great stuff there.  You may remember their number one hit ‘Don’t you (forget about me)’ in 1985.  The Scottish band was heavily influenced by Roxy Music.  Now Brian Ferry I can watch him perform anytime!  Aerosmith?  Well they are just brilliant in my mind, but tickets seem to be sold out the minute we hear about these bands; hey ho.

OK, time to go, cooking lunch at home today (Sunday) as two-thirds of the local restaurants are closed for winter holidays.

Have a great week and do drop me a line.  I love to hear from you!

Salute June x

Visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

My current Books. Foto J Finnigan

My current Books.
Foto J Finnigan

 

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Short Stories

The Man in Black

The Wrong Side of the River

Frenchman’s Creek

Bosun’s Trophy

Reality

Irish Tails

Children of the Spaceship Arcangel

Without Trace

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Short Stories

The Man in Black
The Wrong Side of the River
Frenchman’s Creek
Bosun’s Trophy
Reality
Irish Tails
Children of the Spaceship Arcangel

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Poetry

The Racquet that turned
Black Dog
Darling Bosun
Early Drinkers
Grey dog
Hunter dies
The Wayward Son
Through My Window

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When I started writing this novel, I had no idea where or what my target market might be.  On completion, it was obvious that it would appeal to women rather than men, mainly because the lead character is a woman and because there is a strong unrequited love theme running through most of the story.  I also realised that it would appeal in particular to educated women in their middle years who can relate to being independent both mentally and financially.

 

Joanna, my heroine, is a strong successful businesswoman who, in her mid forties, decided that she had had enough of city life and returned to her country roots.  She is also a single mother who raised her daughter alone. She enjoys the best things in life yet, is not afraid to get her hands dirty in the vegetable garden. She enjoys being a woman and likes to be treated as such by the men in her life.  She also has a great sense of adventure and is not afraid to take risks.  If I were to loosely compare her with another female character then It might be Joan Wilder in ‘Romancing the Stone’.

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Current books

‘My Father, The Assassin’.  A romantic suspense story of a forty something heroin seeking the truth about her father’s past.  Joanna Wilde travels from Devon to Malaysia and discovers lost love and the terrifying world of the indiscriminate assassin.  Published in January 2013

‘The Bolivian Connection’  Joanna Wilde furthers her adventures in Bolivia where she is expected to take over her dead father’s ‘Assassin’s for Hire’ business.  She sets about dismantling the organisation at the risk of her own and her daughter’s life.  In progress

‘The Italian Connection’  Joanna seeks a new home in Tuscany, only to discover that her dead father’s organisation had also reached this ‘bello paese’.    She befriends eighty year old Isabella and meets retired partisans that have an horrific story to tell.  Will Joanna finally put the ghost of her father to rest?  In progress

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