Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

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

Well, we finally made it over to Tavernelle for lunch, after far too long staying closer to home!

It was lovely to be back at Osteria La Gramola and to see Massimo and Cecilia again.  We became friends years ago, even meeting up in London for an Italian meal whilst they were on holiday.  Massimo is front of house whilst Cecilia, an award winning chef, does all the creative and delicious seasonal meals in the kitchen. Cecilia made some home-made gluten free Pici especially for me, that’s fat spaghetti, tossed in pepper and pecorino cheese; it was absolutely yummy! The Pici pasta recipe originates from Siena. http://www.gramola.it

The walls of the restaurant are covered in paintings by Patrizio Landolfi, a brilliant local modern artist.  I fell in love with his David Bowie picture, but he gets very high prices for his work world wide.  His original Bowie selling for around seventy- thousand dollars to a Canadian billionaire!  One day, when I have sold a lot more books, I will treat myself to one of his very small pictures…….http://www.patriziolandolfi.it

What next? Well, the weather has turned and it is cold, yes cold! We have a quilt on the bed now and I am wearing cosy slippers. I know, you imagine my looking like a rock chick all the time. You’ll be glad to know that I never stop thinking like one. And, we have had some pretty scary storms over the last few days too, lots of thunder, lightening and rain. What! I hear you exclaim, you were thinking that Tuscany was the land of wall to wall sunshine; go on admit it. No, we have four definable seasons just like northern Europe; whilst the climate has become less predictable, you can be assured of a much less damp atmosphere during a cold weather and when the sun comes out it is never a watery one, always bright and hot! Also, the light here is very different. Most mornings the countryside takes on a 3D effect, each tree and ridge becomes clearly defined, as if you were looking through a telescope. it’s quite breathtaking, but difficult to photograph. That’s why artists come here in droves, hoping to capture that special essence of Tuscany on canvas. We are so lucky!

Ah, my man has just wheeled the air conditioning unit out of the sitting room, clearing the front of the fireplace! So, we can look forward to lighting the log fire soon! I love a log fire, but we will try and wait until October at the earliest!

Well, enough for now. it is Sunday and whilst we love Italian food, I prefer that the Italians cook it! So, I will do spinach and feta Ceci pancakes for my man, who loves them and if my man is happy then all is well with the world.

Have a great week and do stay safe. Drop me a line and tell me about your part of the world. june.finnigan@virgin.net

Salute June x

PS Visit my website at http://www.junefinnigan.website

Read Full Post »

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

As the UK heads for a so called second wave and the rest of the World is on red alert, here in Italy there have also been some increases in cases. However, restrictions have remained in place throughout, the surgical type mask is recommended and wearing one remains a legal requirement. Absolutely no gatherings of people are allowed and you should check the new tight rules for travel. Nevertheless, some people have become a little too relaxed, which has put me off going to the restaurant for a bit! But I would rather be in our little bit of Tuscany than anywhere else! For all the latest covid information in Italy go to http://www.salute.gov.it/portale/nuovocoronavirus/dettaglioFaqNuovoCoronavirus.jsp?lingua=english&id=230

At our last visit to Paolo’s at C’era una Volta Ristorante, my man enjoyed a delicous Spagetti al Pomodorini. It’s the sweet locally grown baby tomatoes that make it so special and tossed with olio and aglio (olive oil and garlic), lovely.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed Baked smoked Scamorza Cheese over potato and sun dried tomatoes; another electric Italian mouthwatering combination of flavours! We’ll be back there soon, just taking a little break!

Well, today is Sunday, the temperature is dropping and it’s raining. My man donned his cowboy hat and highwayman mac, to go up to Fiano for coffee. He complained that he was having to wear long trousers too, poor thing. But I’m somewhat relieved. Another couple of weeks and we should be free of mosquitos, which means we can sit outside in the early Autumn sunshine, without my being attacked by the little monsters!

So, I turn to the Italian fashion pages and drool over the new Autumn look. Do you like faux fur? This is the rage at the moment, I’m not too keen. So, I find myself inevitably drawn to the Luisa Spagnoli collection. The Autumn look here is to die for, but prices are back up to their original level. For some not affordable, others might consider it an investment. I just adore this gorgeous velvet frock and am so tempted; hum, need to sell a few more books first! But oh, I see she still has a lot of stuff in the sale, many lovely things as low as half-price, yay! Anyway, why not pop over to the site and window shop like me. Who is your favourite designer? https://www.luisaspagnoli.it/

I promised myself that this weekend I would go downstairs to my Sound Studio. I am waiting for some more backing tracks to arrive, so I can practice singing as if the band was with me. I must chase these up! Now that the covid thing has raised its snarling head again, musicians are having to think twice as regards newly planned concerts. So, streaming has to be the big thing for Autumn, some of the big stars are now organising live concerts on-line, which you buy a ticket for. Otherwise it’s about getting a proper job, as someone close to me suggested…..

Well, its now turning humid, which was inevitable after the rain and my man has decided against working outside. I will skip the studio, which will be too hot now and do a bit of voice exercise in the kitchen as I have my practice tracks there as well.

So, what are you up to this weekend? Do drop me a line either at the bottom of this blog or email at june.finnigan@virgin.net. Oh and do visit my website at http://junefinnigan.website

Have a great week and please stay safe.

Salute June x

Read Full Post »

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

Now, some of you already know that I am a Director of a London based M&A Team, that is Mergers & Acquisitions. Well, like most service businesses, we have been working remotely since March, we just happen to be lucky enough to be locked-down in Tuscany. I’m mentioning this because I realised yesterday, Friday, that I had missed sending you a blog last weekend, I’m so sorry! But who’d have thought it, we have become so busy in the business without face to face meetings, that I have had to put aside finishing my fourth book and concentrate on our new clients! I actally spent last weekend in my home office! So my new target publication date for ‘Assassin’s List’ is now Spring 2021!

But don’t worry, you are far from being forgotten, without some creative writing and particularly to you, I think my head would explode! Meanwhile, all around us the Vendemia (grape harvest) is at its height. The noise from the great big harvesters, has filled the air and the clattering of the emptied grape trailers bouncing along behind tractors on the hard rutted track, as they come back for more. These big automatic harvesters have been in use for many years, particularly with the larger Wineries. But there are still many small farmers who employ hand pickers and provide holidays for tourists who want to join in. In return for your labour, you will usually have great platters of typical tuscan fare provided for lunch. Do you have any grape picking experiences! visit http://www.chianti.com

The lovely luscious dark purple Sangiovese grape, which goes into the Chianti wines is grown in this part of Tuscany on the edge of Chianti itself. Driving past Villa Bacio this morning, the air was full of the perfume and small streams of residue purple juice had flooded across the road, filling all the cracks and spilling over the edge into the fields. It seems only yesterday that the last Vendemia was under way!

As regards other seasonal fruits, there are still some wonderful sweet fresh figs to be had. You need to know your trees though as some can be very bitter. But at Paolo’s C’era una Volta Ristorante, I was served up the most mouth watering sweet fruits direct from his own trees, with local pecorino cheeses. Delizioso! Down in Certaldo this morning, the fruit and veg market was very busy, loads of fresh produce and, I’m glad to say, everyone still keeping a distance and most wearing masks. But I missed seeing the Artisan Market in Via Giugno with the lovely crafts and products from all over Italy. My man told me about this later, the crafty devil! He knew that I would be there all morning if I had known! Unknowingly, I instead spent half an hour having a pedicure and manicure with my beautician Irene, whilst my man went off for his favourite pastry at Jam Caffe, no doubt with a smirk on his face! But now I am a happy rabbit with beautiful feet and hands. I have chosen a purple varnish again, to match the colour of the Chianti Wine in my glass!

On our return home, my man unlocked the front door and I barrelled through the beaded fly-curtain. My man let out a shout and said “Stick insect alert!” Apparently one of these stunning creatures (Bacillus Rossius) was attached to the curtain which, I could have easily injured. But all was fine, he took a foto and a short while later announced that it was eating a live shield bug! Funny, I thought they only ate leaves, but hey, nothing new really surprises us here in Italy! Everything gets eaten.

Meanwhile, September is turning out quite nice. The house is cooler as the nights are now longer. Temperatures are still at a high of 33 centigrade after lunch and will be for the rest of the week, but there is also a bit of a breeze. Tourists have thinned out a bit now and the schools are open, but we have not seen the usual grey heads that are traditionally here in September.

Well, must get this blog edited and the fotos put in for you to enjoy. Once again, sorry for missing last weekends blog, I’ll try not to do it again!

Wishing you all a really good week and please stay safe. Visit my website at http://www.junefinnigan.website

Salute June x

Grape fotos chianti.com

Read Full Post »

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

Storm clouds over Tuscany, pinterest.

Well, the rain is thundering down on our Tuscan country home. We also had storm force winds yesterday and more are expected. It’s difficult weather because we are having to deal with high humidity too. A digger driver spent the whole of last week digging drainage channels in the valley below us; it’s amazing how canny the Tuscan contadini (country folk/farmers) can be about the weather. Do you consult your local country folk or fishermen/women on the weather forecast?

Meanwhile, we are thick with tourists. No obvious English or American yet, but we don’t really want to encourage them! Covid remains a worry here, although our area on the edge of Chianti has been only slightly affected, it’s the visitors that are the problem. Many are not bothering to wear masks and those that come to the restaurent wearing them, take them off at the table, which is fine, then go brain dead and get up to go to the loo or take fotos without putting them back on again! My man has to restrain me from shouting! But hey ho! This did not stop me from enjoying the first Giant Porcini Cap of the season, grilled over Paolo’s open fire! Wonderful!

Anyway, life eeez good, life eeez now!. We met up with our beautiful daughter and granddaughter at Jam Caffe in Certaldo for coffee in the week and my man had his favourite pastry, Pastina Arancia. Our granddaughter (15) was telling us that her return to school is likely to be on a part-time basis, the rest of the time studing on-line. Her last term was all on-line and she did very well without the nomal distractions of friends. Tuscany has so far provided excellent schooling this way, but obviously the face to face social interaction is important too.

Our Grandson (nearly 20) has just signed up with a South East Rugby Club in England for the coming season. At the moment, the club is only training on Thursdays, but he is very glad to be there. He was desperate to play English Rugby after having played in both Italy and France. As most of you know, Rugby in Italy has much room for improvement including proper investment into facilities and pitches. We are delighted for him!

Back here in our Tuscan country garden, Phil the pheasant is looking so much better and we have been reliably informed by a friend in the know, that his dissapearance and bedraggled return is because the males need to recover from the mating season and moult at the same time. Thank you Hilary for that snippit of knowledge! And, we have another resident, found by my man, curled up tightly in our entrance hall in a nook in the stone steps. A young skinny viper and whilst immature, we don’t really want him inside the house! So he was gently swept out the door and has taken up residence under an earthenware pot outside. foto Animalia.bio

Meanwhile, I’ve been sorting out my music repertoire and am ordering more backing tracks, but this time in the correct key for my voice. Also, we have ordered some better lighting for the Sound Studio from IKEA and whilst I was online, I thought I may as well order more bookshelves, a bathroom cabinet, two bedside tables and more lamps. I know, naughty indulgences! Deliveries here are now fairly reliable if you live in Tuscany and there’s nothing like a bit of shopping therapy to brighten the day! Some of the pricing is also amazing. We bought this great non-intrusive floor lamp a few weeks ago, for just 15 Euros on-line at IKEA.it! What do you think?

Well, I think we will pop out to Paolo’s for lunch again today. I had a funny moment yesterday, forgetting that I had planned to go out to eat! My man came to find me and could not believe that I had forgotten. But he’s always happy to eat a home, bless him.

So, time to get the fotos added and do an edit. I do hope you enjoy my waffling, I blame it on the heat and humidity.

Have a great week and do drop me a line, I love to hear from you. Visit my website at http://www.junefinnigan.website

Salute June x

Read Full Post »

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

I was shocked to see my new British passport arrive this week? Why shocked? I hear you ask. Well, I had given up on ever seeing it, especially as I was reliably informed it had been posted from England on 28 April! It seems that the secure courier had returned hundreds to England due to Covid as they were not able to safely ask for signatures! Now OK, but wouldn’t it have been nice, despite the shortage in staff at the passport office, if they had sent a mass email message saying that had happened? It would also have saved me several telephone calls and waiting in queues! So, where am I off to now that I’m free to travel? You ask. Precisely nowhere, I reply, but that’s not the point is it? And, I prefer my old foto and can’t read any of the small print in the new passport. But then I am waiting for new reading glasses……. Grumble, grumble.

But on a much lighter note, we are pleased to see the restaurants busy, only because our few favourite ones need to recover from a four month lack of income. Paolo at C’era una Volta in Lucardo, is rather pleased as he is busy serving both locals and tourists again. I confess to our going to Paolo’s three times this last week, somehow I keep losing the way to our own kitchen and pretend to be disorientated, so eating out is a better option! (Ha,ha)

Now we sometimes meet some nice tourists, who will want to talk from a nearby table. We are British, but have lived in Tuscany for sixteen years, so we are an odd combination of being Italianised and speaking the language (badly) but with English features. My man could also be from northern Europe as he is tall and fair-haired. Some years ago a rather snobby English lady who owns a property close by, but lives in England, introduced us to her friends at arms length and said, “These are the Finnigans, err they live here….” Now, if you are an upper class Brit, you don’t ‘live here‘ you just own a property, put in a housekeeper and make occasional visits! So they quickly turned away and talked amongst themselves!

But yesterday, we met a really nice Italian couple from Piedmont, near Milan, who were visiting their daughter here on the edge of Chianti. For some reason the wife wanted to know my man’s age, so he tried to fox her by saying the year he was born, without the 19 in front. But the husband was too quick and worked it out. “Oh,” he said looking a little shocked, “you’re……….!” The wife leaned forward and looked a little closer at my man’s face and said “Have you had a face lift?” That was hilarious, but my man is related to Peter Pan and his hair is still dark blond and thick; he does look a lot younger!

Meanwhile, back here at our converted monestary farmhouse, Phil the Pheasant has returned to his former noisy self, after having been missing for around two weeks and then returning with a very disheveled look about him. Phil is wild, but we think of him as one of the family as he came with the house. He looks much better too, his bright colours have returned, so that’s a relief.

Sadly, our wildlife pond is now completely dried up due to the lack of rain. It is a protected one, surrounded by fencing and trees, hosting a wonderful collection of toads and attracting lots of birds, small animals and insects. We are now desperate for some heavy rain, but we are only expecting a little as the high upper 30’s temperatures are expected for another two weeks at least! The countryside is now burnt to a crisp!

Oh, lest I forget. Did any of you local readers spot a black long-haired goat trotting along the road? It looked pretty wild, like this foto but scruffier and not the slightest bit stressed when we drove past it. This was a couple of weeks ago, no sign of it since! Foto file.scirp.org

OK, time to think about Sunday lunch. My man has requested roasted potatoes, bless him, how can I refuse when he looks at me with those gorgeous blue eyes. He often offers to help in the kitchen but I am better on my own as I am so impatient, so I usually decline the offer!

Anyway, I do hope you and yours are well and safe in your little bit of the world. We continue to wear the masks, cleanse our hands and get spaced out. (Well you know what I mean!)

Have a great week and do drop me a line; I love to hear from my readers.

Salute June x

PS Visit my wesite at http://www.junefinnigan.website

Read Full Post »

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

wine-windowI am firstly going to take you to Florence as there are two things I want to tell you about.  Firstly, have you heard of the Wine Windows?  These medieval windows, of which there are more than 150, have re-opened to serve wine to the tourists!  This is most appropriate, because back in the late Middle-Ages these windows were created to serve wine to the people of Florence due to the Buconic plague or Black Death, that had swept across Europe, wiping out half of the population!  So these windows provided protection for the winery owners whilst at the same time serving the much needed ‘Italian Water’ to the populace.  There is actually a society that keeps all the windows registered and looked after.  At the following site you can find all the windows and where they are.  Fascinating stuff!  Wine Windows

Give by Loenzo QuinnSecondly, I was really taken with the installation of a beautiful sculpture in the famous Boboli Gardens in Florence.  It is called simply ‘Give’ and is the creation of  Lorenzo Quinnard.  Lorenzo had always wanted to have the honour of placing a sculpture in these gardens and he will tell you a lot more about this on his website.  I love the fact that an olive tree has been planted in the centre symbolising peace and love.  He also made the hands that appeared to be reaching up from the canal in Venice, holding up a building!  Lorenzo Quinn

band-relaxedMeanwhile, back in our little bit of the Chianti countryside, I was itching to get down to my sound studio to do a bit of singing.  You may recall that my man and I had tried to work out the technical side of things, linking the synthesiser to speakers and mics etc.  Well, the good news is, we seem to have it up and running.  To make things perfect I need to download backing tracks in the correct key for my voice.  Now, you may not be aware that each song will need a different key.  My voice is quite low and some songs, designed for men, are OK.  But most aren’t.  So I was delighted to get an email from ParisMusic this morning telling me they can adjust the keys on downloads without any problems!  Hurrah!   We have decided to go ahead with next year’s concert on 18 June 2021, with or without an audience.  Fingers crossed; I’ll keep you posted!

images.jpgAnyway, lets bring you down to earth and talk about wasps!  Here in Tuscany, this time of year is the busy building of wasp nests (Macro of wasp) and they can be a real problem, trying to set up home in the most inappropriate places!  My man found a nest attached to the outside of the kitchen door of the appartment downstairs, where we have the Sound Studio and Gymnasium.  So last night around 9pm he donned protective clothes and went down to spray it.  Now we hate doing this, but we have both been attacked in the past as they keep a sentry outside just waiting for anyone getting close!  I was relieved when my man returned unscathed and this morning confirmed it had worked.

download-1.jpgSo, what next?  Well, we are now overun with tourists, mostly from northern Europe: Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Austria and some French.  Most are being strict with their face masks and distancing in our local village of Fiano, but I can’t speak for the more popular tourist hot spots.  Meanwhile, the locals are very busy using up the glut of tomatoes to make passatta, including my daughter who has run out of jars and is scrabbling around for more.  The countryside is pretty noisy, with constant strimming of the dried grasses and squeaky tractors cutting the meadow hay below our farmhouse.  We hear laughter from nearby swimming pools and the cicada’s continue to chirp away.  But it is far too hot to stay outside, between 35c and 39c this week.  So we batten down the shutters, turn on the air conditioning unit and fans and settle down to work in our studios.  But life eeez good, life eeez now.

OK, need to get back to the day job now, but will be thinking of you all.  Please stay safe and well!  Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers!

Salute June x

PS Visit my website at June’s Site

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

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

2017-08-13 09.26.28

Archive picture – Packed like beached sardines on the Tuscan coast. La Repubblica.

Phew!  there’s no other word to describe it.  I’m talking about the weather here in Tuscany, of course.  August is traditionally a hot month and this year is no exception; many Italians have still rushed off to the seaside and up into the mountains to try and find a cool breeze, despite the restrictions.  But many haven’t.  I was talking to a very bronzed Italian friend in the village last week and he had no intention of taking his family to the beach, his tan was achieved working in his orto, vegetable garden.  There is considerable concern over the way people have been letting their guard down and what with the crazy tourists, its all a little scary.

download.jpgSo is Italy safe?  I hear you ask.  Yes, it is safe, perhaps less so in the north, just as long as you continue to take those all important precautions:  masks, hand cleansing and distancing.  Follow the rules!  My daughter was in her local town here in Tuscany, trying to go to the farmacia (chemist) and there was a crowd of tourists milling around with no masks and no distancing!  She had to shout to be heard when she asked them to give her room to get through!  It was so bad that the polizia (police) had to get out a loud hailer and ask them to put on their masks and to spread out!  Some people are just ignorant and others, quite frankly, stupid.  So it is down to you to remain safe and avoid busy tourist spots if you can!  Tuscany is so full of beautiful culture and countryside, it is not difficult to find many quiet and less touristy places to go.  The tourist industry is slowly recovering, but you will still find many lovely self-catering properties, like nearby Villa Il Pozzo with vacancies.  Villa il Pozzo

Peachy BreakfastAnyway, enough of that.  As I write this blog I am enjoying a delicious breakfast bowl of fresh fruit and some scoops of Mozzarella di Buffala.  The peaches are currently to die for, I love this time of year for the fruit and also new potatoes.  I have to admit that my man and I do eat out a lot at lunchtime.  I find the heat too exhausting to cook.  We have an air conditioning unit, but we still need fans as well.  So we remain grateful to Paolo at Ristorante C’era una Volta in Lucardo for his coolish dining room.

535346_251400000000_01_base_4Well, yesterday, just as the heat was getting to me in my studio, a Luisa Spagnoli email dropped into my inbox announcing a 50% sale!  Now, buying directly from an Italian designer, and Luisa Spagnoli is one of my favourites, can be expensive depending on your purse strings of course.  So a 50% sale is always something I can’t resist at least scrolling through.  Her models are mostly smiley or looking reasonable happy, so that helps too.  But, they are very tall!  I am your typical English wilting rose, five foot three and short waisted, so I have to be very selective in what I buy.  Midi length on me is ankle length, jackets and tops can come down to my knees, which is not the look one really wants to achieve.  I have recently managed to buy three frocks on-line from Next and M&S that actually fit and drop to a midi length, which I like.  But take a look at Luisa’s sale, if you love beautiful fashion, you will love her sale!  Luisa Spagnoli

cover-issue-2Back on the subject of food, there is nothing nicer than a big family lunch.  It also helps when you have a daughter and granddaughter who love to cook and they arrive at your house with a two course meal ready to serve!  All I had to do was lay the table beforehand.  This family get together was an extension of my daughter Sharon’s birthday as we did not get to see her on the day.  Sharon is the joint editor of EnvyItaly an upmarket luxury travel magazine, which can be downloaded on-line or bought in hard copy form.  I absolutely love this publication and if you have not aleady got a subscription, do take a look! EnvyItaly

OK, time to get this blog honed and off to you.  I will be cooking a light lunch as I just cannot face going out into the stifling heat today.  I am also supposed to start an alcohol free month as of now……

Have a great week and do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers.  Also, do visit my website at My site

Salute June x

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

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

My feet.jpgYes, it’s yet another Beautiful Day in Tuscany and I’m feeling very chipper. Last thursday I finally returned to my lovely estetista Irene in Certaldo, for a manicure and pedicure. Now in normal times this would not be something to post that was really newsworthy, but when I look at my feet now, it’s like a gift from heaven! For me beautiful hands, feet and hair are so very important. What with my being famous in Fiano, I have to look my best! It’s also to do with that ‘feel good’ factor, which is so important in all our lives. What do you think? Things remain strict here in Italy, you know, masks, hand gels and distancing wherever you go, but this gives me much more confidence about going to these places.

0-1Now whilst this is not strickly about Tuscany, you will probably know that Italians love music and in particular Rock Music. I live in the music world here and many friends are mourning the passing of Peter Green at the young age of seventy-four. He was considered to be one of the UK’s greatest guitarists and was a co-founder of Fleetwood Mac.

0.jpegOn a happier note the world is celebrating the 77th birthday of Mick Jagger, hugely popular with Italians and who always includes Florence or Lucca on the Rolling Stone’s European tours.  More are planned for 2021; Rock On that man! The brilliant drawings included for both these guys were done by UK artist Gary Wing, whom I follow on Linked-in. I also own an original of his, not a musician, but my lovely cat Farty Barty who went up to the cat concert in the sky three years ago. Bless him.

downloadMeanwhile, back here in this beautiful part of Tuscany, we are not far from Toscana Resort Castelfalfi, a favourtite haunt of our son-in-law who is a keen golfer.  They have opened their new Country Club House and restuarants that look very inviting.  I am reliably informed that for people staying there, there are a few things not quite ready yet like the swimming pool and spa centre.  However, the re-opening will be welcomed by those who enjoy  luxurious facilities and a 27 hole golf course in the most breathtaking Tuscan setting.  Website

My man surveys his landAnd, what else?  Oh yes, on the subject of travelling, I hope you have a passport, because I don’t!  If I have to be marooned anywhere, it would be here in Tuscany of course.  This is fortunate because, having applied for a new passport last April and being told it was on the way at the end of that month, it never arrived!  You may already know that due to the Covid thing, there is a backlog of thousands of UK passports.  I only found out a couple of weeks that the secure delivery service given the task of bringing UK passports to Euopean residents, returned a whole batch of passports to London!  Meanwhile, Easyjet, in their effort to reward frequent flyers, like my man, made him a member of their exclusive Flight Club.  Unfortunately, they stupidly registered me as the member and not him.  So when I rang to change a flight free of charge, which is one of the benefits, they said no, we would have to pay £60!  So here we are, me with no passport and my man without a decent airline.  But we don’t care about that, life eeez good, life eeez now!  Here is a picture of my man gazing at the Tuscan countryside and dreaming of returning to the UK, I don’t think!

Well, enough of that.  Time to get this blog off to you and get back to the day job.  Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers, or visit my website at My site

Have a great week.

Salute June x

 

Read Full Post »

under the oak treeWelcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World,

Well, despite the need for facemasks and social distancing, we are thoroughly enjoying our early morning walks in the Tuscan countryside.  We have had some heavy rain but mostly sunshine, so the trees and plants are looking lush and green.  The farm labourers start work at around six in the morning now, as it’s a very busy time of year, strimming and clearing out the hedges and gullies.  So by the time we are out they have been working for two hours and are stopping for their coffees and pastries!

QuercetoWe have developed a liking for Il Bar Querceto, which is an easy walk for us.  They serve up the most delicious LavAzza Espresso and you get free biscuits too!  You can sit inside, but it is tiny, so for social distancing it is a maximum of four people.  The bar is rather beautiful with an inglenook fireplace and wall murals.  Over the fireplace is a painting of Oak Leaves from where the name of the bar is derived, The Oak Tree is called Il Querceto in Italian.  And, where is this bar?  Ah, now that’s our secret, can’t have the place filling up with tourists, now can we?  We still pop up to Fiano once or twice a week for coffee but things have yet to return to the easygoing breakfast visits we made every day before lock down.  However, there is a lovely new assistant called Ullie, who works from Monday to Friday.  She is Austrian and is trying to learn Italian; so we speak in English…..

Mozzie curtainsThis last week we made the decision to go to Brico and buy fixed framed mozzie curtains; Tende per Zanzare.  We bought three and allowed half an hour for each one as they have to be assembled and cut to size if necessary.  Three hours later we had managed to put together one in the kitchen, it was worse that putting together IKEA furniture and the instructions were severly lacking!  We worked out the hard way about measuring the opening!  What the instructions did not say was to reduce your upright measurement to cater for the plastic foot on the uprights and curtain roll container at the top!  Fortunately everything can be cut to size, but what a headache.  We have two more windows to do, but we’ll leave them till next weekend!  Phew……

TomatoesWell enough of that.  We have been enjoying lunch at least twice a week at Paolo’s, that’s Ristorante C’era una Volta for the uninitiated, and coming away with loads of Zucchini as his vegetable garden is overloaded this year.  Our daughter says her sweetcorn are five foot high and she doesn’t know what to do with the huge quantity of tomatoes!  There is a limit to the number of bottles of passatta she can fill!  So it’s a good year for the Tuscan ortos (vegetable gardens) and the fruit and veg markets too.  So, no need to grow my own, I just love it!

Well, I have a busy week ahead, what with the pedicure, manicure and hair colouring.  It’s so good to have everything opened again.  My poor feet are desperate for attention!  I must also try to relax after waiting on the phone to Easyjet for half an hour, trying to sort out the fact that they had given my man a frequent flyer ‘Flight Club Membership’ which means free flight changes, only to find that they had registered it for me and not him, even though he is the registered frequent flyer and has a Plus Membership number, so they would not make his changes free of charge!  So it’s bye bye to Easyjet, they have now completely blotted their copy book!

Well enough of that, must get this blog off to you and get back to work!  Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers.  june.finnigan@virgin.net or visit my website at My site

Salute June x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World

Zanzare huskSo sorry, but unforeseen circumstances prevented me from blogging last weekend.  But you’re not forgotten and here is a beautiful picture of the discarded husk of the reborn Cicada!  We found lots on our garden bench this last week.  Enjoy and I’ll be back this coming weekend.

Stay Safe, wear that mask.

Salute June x

Contact me at june.finnigan@virgin.net or visit my website at My Site

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: