Posts Tagged ‘Bee Eater’

25th April.  The Festa Della Liberazione March in Certaldo. Photo J Finnigan

25th April. The Festa Della Liberazione March in Certaldo.
Photo J Finnigan

Benvenuti to all My Lovely Loyal and New Followers

Last Saturday was a very important day for Italy as we were celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Allied Force’s final flushing out of the  German occupation.  Whilst different parts of Italy were freed a little earlier or later, it is the 25th April when that event is celebrated.  Now, I found this very emotional as I watched the parade in Certaldo.  Old boys struggling along and in wheelchairs.  The band was followed by every generation from the few remaining Partisans through to their great-grandchildren.  Also marching were representatives of the fire brigade, ambulance and of course the police and army.

25th April.  Home grown local fruit and veg in Certaldo. Photo J Finnigan

25th April. Home grown local fruit and veg in Certaldo.
Photo J Finnigan

The main piazza was full of colourful stands selling fruit, veg and crafts.   As the sun was quite bright and over-head, the stall holders and their products were in the shade, so getting a good photo was difficult.  However, I did manage to take a few nice ones.

I am currently writing my third novel entitled ‘The Italian Connection’ and a couple of years ago I interviewed a Partisan in Montespertoli, as I intended using his story in the book.  Gianfranco was already in his late-eighties and was a young man when the occupation began.  He told me a story about how he lost close friends and hid in caves and other peoples’ houses for months on end.  He is immortalised in the book, so I will let you know when it is published and hopefully before Christmas.  Very emotional stuff.

Remembering Saturday lunchtime.  Beautiful. Photo J Finnigan

Remembering Saturday lunchtime. Hot and sunny. Beautiful.
Photo J Finnigan

It is Monday morning and hard to believe that Saturday had been so hot and sunny.  The wind is currently howling around the villa, it is raining and everything looks grey.  My poor man is in bed with an English virus, having returned from London last Saturday evening, and Farty Barty the wild cat is curled up tight on his kitchen chair, which is a sure sign that the bad weather is not going to disappear very quickly.  But the good news is on the weekend we saw Hoopies, swallows, Jays, and heard the first Cuckoo and Bee Eaters!  Yes, Life eez good ninety-nine percent of the time!

Silvio at AC Milan Photo Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Silvio at AC Milan
Photo Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

So what is Silvio Berlusconi up to I wonder?  Perhaps he can cheer us up.  Ah, just as I thought, SB appears to be close to selling 75% of his shareholding in Milan football club to a Chinese consortium including Hong Kong’s Richard Lee.  The one billion euro takeover bid is expected to include Silvio’s daughter Barbara.  Hang on a minute, I’ll read that again!  Ah yes, that is ‘to include Barbara continuing in her position as club director.’  Mmmm, there is also a whisper the Chinese Government is playing an instrumental role – see, what did I tell you?  They are everywhere…..

Well, enough of that.  I must go and see if I can encourage my man to eat something, poor thing.

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

Salute June

PS Don’t forget to visit Amazon for my current books.

My Father, The Assassin.  Book on in the series.

My Father, The Assassin. Book on in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection'  Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.


Read Full Post »

Benvenuto to all my Lovely Followers,

Yes, its pretty warm at night now and we are at last throwing off the sheets and sleeping with the windows wide open.  Mosquito nets are essential, of course, that also help to keep out the giant hornets and lizards.  These are both fascinating creatures, but not when one is trying to sleep!

Simon Baker, aged 44, Ausralian Actor.

Simon Baker, aged 44, Australian Actor.

My poor man is struggling with a painful tendon in his heel.  Last week he popped into Guys Hospital in London to check it out and there wasn’t a lot they could do for him.  So some rest, some exercise and an ice pack.  Over coffee this morning at Laura’s Bar/Alimentare in Fiano, he was reading the La Nazione newspaper and commented “It says here that the Tartufo (truffles) from San Miniato (the original ancient capital of Tuscany) is said to be an aphrodisiac.”  Oh good, I thought to myself, if he’s thinking about sex, the pain in his foot my not be as bad as I thought.  Meanwhile, I am musing about who might play the male lead Dominic, in the film version of my book ‘My Father, The Assassin.”  It may prove difficult to get Daniel Craig (sighs) however, I do quite like the idea of Simon Baker, assuming he could beef his muscles up a bit.  What do you think?  My man interrupts my thoughts again, “See that huge fat guy who’s just gone out for a cigarette, he’ll have a problem with his weight if he gave up the smoking…ha, ha….”  I put on a serious face and looked away.  At the next table we are amused by Sig Rotund holding court with three local ladies, “He’s the Mayor of where he lives,” my man chortled.  Then in strut our too lovely lady carers from Georgia, arm in arm, in their brightly clashing market clothes and happy smiles on their faces.  Here in Tuscany, we have a lot of live in carers for the elderly, and often from the former Eastern Block.

“Are you going to mention in your blog, that I had lunch with the Countess of Wessex in London last week?”  He changes the subject.  ‘Well, of course,” I say, “along with thirty odd other ex-servicemen who were carefully selected from the Union Jack Club membership?”  “Err, well yes, I guess so,”  he smiles sweetly and I just love it when he does.  Yes, my man did enjoy a lunch with Sophie, who turned out to be very nice and sat at my man’s table for the main course, then moved on to have her dessert at another one.

Pashion Flower Photo P Finnigan

Passion Flower
Photo P Finnigan

Earlier in the week, I was driving through the tranquil Chianti countryside, which, as many of you will know is a crop farming area; mostly grapes and olives.  We regularly see dog walkers, but for the first time I came across a man walking a young cinghiale (wild pig), not on a lead, just happily trotting along inside a fenced vineyard with his man!  Things having now calmed down after the concert, I am also noticing the birds and wildlife again.  I suppose I never stop doing this, however, the last few days I have been acutely aware of the increase in the colourful bee-eaters, swifts and swallows.  In the garden we are enjoying a second round of wisteria blossom and new passion flowers – lovely.   On the lower terrace we have a little grapevine which is producing a lot more grapes this year, we are not sure why, perhaps it’s the incredible amount of rain we have had over the last month of so.

Grapes on the Lower Terrace Photo P Finnigan

Grapes on the Lower Terrace
Photo P Finnigan

It is now Monday morning and this blog should have gone off to you yesterday.  A raging storm is pounding the villa and the electricity keeps coming and going.  I made a list yesterday of things to do at my desk.  I may have to switch the computer off shortly, if the storm doesn’t get any better.  So, that means skipping a lot of that list until later.  But we don’t care about that.  Life eez good, life eez now and as my man likes to say, it’s the best option.

Did you hear that something has at last gone right for the gorgeous Silvio Berlusconi?  He has won his court appeal against his conviction for under age sex that would have put him in prison for years!  One has to remember that the young lady in question was seventeen at the time, which is under age here in Italy.  So, no doubt SB and friends will be celebrating with more bunga bunga parties, however, girlies make sure you can prove your age before you go through the door, he won’t take this sort of thing lying down again……

Well, enough of that and its time to get back to my work list.

Have a great week and see you at the weekend.

Molto Amore

June x

PS Visit my author page at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan and do drop me a line….




Read Full Post »

Buon Giorno Ragazzi

Welcome to another weekly blog and con piacere to all my new followers!  Today I will be talking about Burning Hats, Bee Eaters, Rain, Acacia Trees, Jasmin, Silvio Burlesconi and ‘My Father, The Assassin.

The exiting event of this last week was my man setting light to his hat when he was still wearing it!  He has been helping our son-in-law (genero) prune, clear and burn the debris from the olive trees.  He was in charge of the bonfires.  Now one has to be careful not to let the fire spread and fortunately the land was fairly damp.  However, bits kept floating upwards and what goes up must come down.  He smelt something burning very close at hand and could not identify it until some rancid smoke blew done over his face!  Then he realized he was on fire and grabbed his hat just before the flames started on his hair.  He still has a handsome crop of hair, so that was a relief!  Sadly, it is goodbye to his ancient green jungle hat that he wore as a young Marine…..

Some good news.  Just about all of our feathered friends from North Africa are now here, including the beautiful Bee Eater.  The birdsong is fabulous, even at night.  In the garden and countryside the Acacia trees are dripping with white blossom and starting to send their snow flurries of seeds drifting slowly through the air.  Soon the roadsides will look like we have had an overnight snow shower.  The Jasmin is particularly lush this year, and the perfume is to die for.  We have had quite a lot of rain this last week which, with the help of warm sunny breaks, has encouraged every imaginable wild flower to burst through the grassy banks.

Bee Eaters in Acacia Tree


And how is our gorgeous friend Silvio Berlusconi doing? Mama Mia, his tax fraud conviction has been upheld on its first appeal!  He says his conviction is politically motivated and he is expected to appeal to Italy’s highest court.  Slip in a few gold bars here and there, that’s what I say…..

Back in our local village of Fiano, I am very excited to tell you that Milko, our local Stationer (Cartoleria) has placed his book order for ‘My Father, The Assassin’.  I’ll start with three, he said, what cartons I asked, no three books and we’ll see how the tourists take to them!  No silly comments please….  But we don’t care about that, Amazon is doing a reasonably good job.    Run your cursor over to the right of this page and you can buy one now!

Well the weather is now gorgeous and it’s time to organize pranzo in the garden.  Then we can look forward to the beautiful light display put on by the Fire Flies this evening.

Buona Domenica x

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: