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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World

green view grey sky april 2020“And, yet Another Beautiful Day in Tuscany” I said to my man, as we set out on our walk around the edge of the garden.  I actually say this every day and it’s true, no matter what the weather, there is a beauty in these hills that can’t be hidden by storm clouds or even foggy mornings.

grasses on slopeThis morning, Sunday, I couldn’t help but notice the change in the long grasses covering the slope below our house.  It wasn’t long ago that it was covered in wild flowers, now the grasses have taken over, yet they are beautiful in their own right.  Soon, they will be strimmed away by our landlord, but meanwhile we will enjoy them.  Everything is so lush and green.

Under the oak tree    8am and it was warm enough to sit down under the European Oak, which is now our shady spot for the summer.  It’s amazing how beautiful the underside of a tree can be!  Yes, I know, we have been on lock-down for two months, but this has only helped us to become even more aware of nature’s beauty.  Already the garden was teeming with bees and birds; the Acacia Trees were buzzing and the Bee Eaters were sitting at the top having their breakfast!  What a fabulous display.  How is it that the Bee Eaters don’t get stung?  That’s another Google search for later today.

may-dayMeanwhile, Italy has passed another celebration day without the usual celebrations!  May 1st celebrates the successful completion of all the preparation in the fields for an abundance of fruit and olives in the Autumn and, the start of Summer.  At least the fields and ortos (vegetable gardens) have been busy over the lockdown period; food and wine production in Italy cannot stop for a virus.  Officially called La Festa dei Lavori (workers’ Day) it is also a public holiday.  This time last year, beaches, parks and public gardens would be packed with Italians and their picnics, this year rather more quietly spent at home in the garden or on a balcony.  How did you spend your day?

640x427x20180925_toscana_AR5_0674.jpg.pagespeed.ic.kgvtuMSfN4And so, tomorrow 4th May heralds the beginning of the easing of lockdown here in Italy.  This will be a nervous time for many, including me, hoping that people continue to be vigilant, as nothing has changed other than reaching a point in time when some things needed reopening.  We can visit with our family this week!  Now that’s great news, but we are still supposed to wear our masks (a legal requirement) and keep to a safe distance…..  We must still carry forms that are filled out saying why we are travelling and the reasons remain limited.  Essential shopping, doctor, hospital and visiting parents.  You can now go for long walks or runs but starting from your front door, no driving to beauty spots or parks for your exercise.    More shops will be open, but this will not change the way we are doing things, I am happy with our local grocery store and farmacia (chemist).  It will be June before we will see any resemblance to normality; restaurants, hairdressers and salons, my three longed for destinations!  But we are amongst the lucky ones, despite my long greying locks and need for a pedicure.  Thank you once again to Tuscany and our local Italians for keeping me sane and to my man for his wonderful sense of humour. Foto Alice Russell for Toscana Promotion Turistica.

OK, I need some inspiration for Sunday lunch.  Ah, yes, I bought some fresh asparagus yesterday, add cheese and roast potatoes and Bob’s your Uncle!  But first a nice chilled glass of Italian Chardonnay in the garden, that’ll postpone the need to cook……

Have a great week wherever you are in the world and stay safe.  Everything will be alright!

Salute June x

Visit my book site at My site

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

Needless to say, I hope you are all doing well, we are OK here and actually enjoying life.

Books unreadHowever, both my man and I, who are normally avid readers, have not been able to concentrate on a book for weeks!  Given so much quiet time, this is something I’m finding difficult to grasp.  I have also been trying to get back into my fourth novel, as my heroine Joanna Wilde, is currently left suspended in Havana, waiting on my instructions!

download-4-1.jpgSo yesterday I re-visited a short story, which I started writing some years ago.  It’s supposed to be a thriller where the people and animals in a nearby Italian town, disappear completely without trace and the panic this creates for outsiders.  So I get into chapter two and I start seeing lizards everywhere and in particular a green and yellow one, which starts speaking to my main character, turning the whole thing into a comedy!  Well, this will not do.  My man hates the idea so I have ditched that project for the time being too!  Lizard foto euroland.com

SHOT16_997-1-150x150.jpgNow, one exciting thing happened a couple of days ago; my James Lakeland clothes order arrived, hurrah.  Well, everything fitted, despite the extra weight around my middle!  So, I have my new charcoal grey outfit for the concert in June.  Now we have to wait to see if the concert can still take place…….  I’ll let you know one way or another in May.  Now I am waiting for the arrival of my new passport, but that’s another story.

Redstart fledglingBack in our lovely garden my man found a little Redstart fledgling, which had obviously had an aborted first flight.  It was standing exactly on the spot where we like to sit with our aperitifvo, so being all heart we stayed in to give the parents a chance to feed it and encourage it to fly again.  We have had a great number of Redstarts this year, oh and the first cuckoo is now here in one of our trees.  We’ve not spotted it yet, but then they are difficult to see.  The fledgling had gone in the morning, thank heavens.

93771534_687478362006920_6486612021075771392_nOne sad thing to tell you, our big and normally beautiful Ash Tree is in trouble.  Only a quarter of the tree is in leaf, the rest looks dry and quite frankly dead.  It really needs an experienced tree surgeon to sort it out, but not during lockdown.  My man has had to move our park bench under the European Oak to get the shade needed for viewing the outside world.  If you know anything about Ash Trees, do let me know.  But hurrah, our English climbing Rose is in full bloom and there are masses of buds too!  And, the perfume is to die for, so that’s good news.

Anyway, last night we enjoyed a two hour drinks party on Skype with our good English Friends who live in Surrey, UK.  There was no shortage of crazy hats and weird glasses on display.  He knows who I am talking about.  I apologise for the terrible ‘Devon’ stories, that did not come over so well as they did last time I told them.  You know, ‘I wouldn’t start from here, if I were you”  and the ‘Wood Splitting Axe’.  Anyway, it was good to speak and have a laugh with you guys.  Stay safe.

Well, I think that’s it for now.  Time to think about aperitivi.  It’s still nice and warm in the garden, so let’s go for it.

Have a good week, everything will be OK soon.

Salute June xx

PS Have you read my books yet?  Now’s a good time!  go to my site

35973101_10156419065890917_7876909049508265984_nThe_Man_in_Black_Cover_for_KindleMy books.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World

Extract from my Easter Weekend blog 2019.  ‘Yes, it’s that time of year again, Easter Weekend and the Tourists have poured in from every part of the globe.  Cars and mini-buses are cruising past our Old Monastery Farmhouse with big-eyed faces staring out of the windows.  Then there are the walkers.  As we are surrounded by agriturismo places to stay, it’s normal to hear the sound of footsteps on the gravel track and wondrous voices in many different languages.  But, we don’t mind, as this weekend heralds the run up to summer and it’s a pleasure to see and hear visitors enjoying themselves.’  

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Easter Saturday 2020 – Who’d have thought that one year on, the above would be so strange to read, as we have been on lockdown now for a month and it’s amazing how one can get used to it.  We have set up a nice place to sit at the front of the house under a big brolly, as the sun is hot and I need to be in the shade looking out.  It has been so quiet that if a vehicle does roll past it’s usually agricultural, but it still has my man and I looking at each other with a frown on our faces.  My man usually says “Whose that on our track?”  Of course it’s not really ‘our track’ it just goes past our front gate.  It’s a gravel track, which is perfectly normal in this region, but is now kicking up dust due to the dry weather.  We also see the occasional blue light of the Carabiniere cruising past looking for Lockdown law breakers and believe me, they mean business!

20200412_111947Back to today.  We had a postal delivery this morning from the commune di Certaldo, which contained four face masks!  I must say I was impressed.  Earlier this morning I was in our local village of Fiano, waiting in a short queue of six for groceries and everyone was wearing a mask.  The queue swelled to about twenty before I went in and as is the way in Italy, a big circular queue was formed on both sides of the road, keeping a careful distance from each other but close enough for everyone to chat and greet friends.  We always know who will go in before us, it’s the same in the doctor’s surgery.  Rossella, my lovely friend who served me this morning, gave us an expensive bottle of Prosecco as a Easter (Pasqua) gift.  It’s wonderful to be looked after so well; my shopping is also carried to the car!  I wish I could hug her.  Breaking News – we have been informed that the lockdown will continue until 3rd May, not unexpected.

Catkins on oak April 2020Easter Sunday – Anyway, this will be the first Easter Sunday lunch without our daughter and family for some years.  But we have arranged a video call for midday.  My man and I went out for coffee again, or rather did a circuit of the garden and stopped off at our front door for coffee.  Everything is a rich green, despite the lack of rain and smells wonderful as my man did a lot of strimming yesterday.  The climbing red English rose is close to bursting it’s buds and the European Oak has revealed it’s catkins!  We heard the first cuckoo and think we saw the first swallow.  Apparently the swallows hit turbulent weather over Greece last week so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

Fiorentina Iris march 2020Lots of geraniums have survived the winter under covers, they look a bit straggly, but we cannot replace them until the lock-down ends.  Still, some are in flower already.  Oh, and the Florentine Irises are blooming, and the ancient Oak Tree, which guards our gate, is once more leafed up!  So nature carries on regardless; we are so lucky.

Oak tree April 2020I must say that I have been very impressed with the way technology has brought all the delights of Easter onto our computer and TV screens.  Church Services (if it is your thing) family get togethers and drinks with friends!  We tend to treat the Easter Weekend as a few days holiday, as we work with the UK system, our clients being mainly based there.  Here in Italy, most food shops will be closed today and tomorrow as normal.  But it is a very strange time…..

last-supper-photoMeanwhile, if you want to visit the original Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci you can do a virtual tour by visiting Leonardo

Well, must dash off.  The family are about to arrive on Skype and I must  put some lipstick on.  Oh, and set the scene for my man and I to do our bit on screen.

Easter Monday –  Did some tidying of the garden pots this morning and watched Andrea 052312219-cb6e68a2-5e17-4e2c-bd14-1b443df911e6Bocelli’s video on You Tube, recorded live in the empty Duomo in Milan.  If you want to feel the real emotion that exists here, watch it on  youtube

Meanwhile, back in our beautiful garden, which we have always appreciated, even more so now, an early morning arrival was a young fox.  Hard to tell if male or female, but very friendly and inquisitive.

FoxyFrom my dressing room window I saw it slinking toward the shrub where I think Phil the Pheasant’s hens are hiding out.  I threw a stone, which is a pretty one I collected from the garden some years ago; it bounced off the fence and rolled onto the lawn.  Instead of running off, the little fox rushed over and grabbed it in its mouth, then started playing with it like a puppy.  I said ‘Buon Giorno’ and it sat down and gazed up at me, obviously fascinated.  My man managed to get a foto, if a little out of focus, but you can see how young it was.  Beautiful.  So, we are not short of visitors!

So, today will be the last of the sunny weather as we are forecast rain.  But that’s OK because we need it.  Our landlord, lives half an hour away and due to the Lockdown has not been able to come and strim the outer reaches of the garden.  So my man is attempting to go that extra ‘mile’ and do some of this for him.  Yesterday, exhausted, he fell asleep in a deckchair with his cowboy hat over his face!  He woke up feeling dizzy from sleeping in the hot sun!  Bless him.

Well, we have no plans today, so I will cook us a nice lunch to make up for the cold offering from yesterday.  We actually had Caprese (buffalo mozzarella and sliced tomatoes accompanied by Fetunta (toast rubbed with garlic and drizzled with extra virgin)  Now we love this, but my man grumbled that it was Easter day and he had hoped for a nice veggie roast.  So I will cook that today!

Have a really good week and please stay home.  We are now on lockdown until 3 May, it will be alright.

Salute and stay safe, Amore June x

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

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

mixed blossomsYesterday, I would have been blogging to you but we had no internet, which is so crucial for any communication, writing and work-wise.  So, I start the working week with this blog.  I am no stranger to working from home.  Over the last sixteen years, I have become very experienced in commuting between Italy and London.  As technology improved further, I could spend more time in Tuscany where my man and I both have comfortable working offices.  Video meetings have become the norm and of course email has virtually replaced hard copy mailings.  But there is nothing quite like face to face meetings and perhaps a nice lunch with a client.  But these pleasures must now go on hold.

the house early morningAnyway, here in our lovely little bit of Tuscany, on the edge of Chianti, we are safely tucked away in our country home.  This foto was taken as the sun was rising on the opposite side of the house.  We have had two weeks of glorious weather, so much so that I have actually got a bit sunburnt!  Spring plants and trees are changing daily and we now make a point of walking the boundaries in the early mornings, to marvel at how life in the wild still goes on unhindered by any viruses.  Young fruit trees, fig, mulberry and pomegranate are in blossom, as are numerous shrubs that remain nameless due to my lack of knowledge.

Bench viewSlopes of wild flowers and fungi, our English Climbing Rose looks very healthy and the bees are going into overdrive.  Yesterday, we enjoyed an aperitivo before lunch and watched the dance of the Swallow Tail Butterflies swirling around the Lilac Tree.  So, the best thing I can do is send you some Foto’s to remind you that if you have not yet cancelled your holiday in Tuscany, do consider postponing instead.

2020-03-22 20.59.43We are very fortunate to be living in a beautiful converted former Monastery Farmhouse.  It is quirky, yet comfortable.  Our landlord had an artist come in before we moved here to paint this gorgeous mural on the sitting room wall.  So in the picture, you can see the view from my armchair, which we can enjoy no matter what the weather is doing outside.

Stag beetlePreparations for our rock concert on June 19 continues, in the hope that restrictions will have lifted sufficiently for us all to get together again.  Stefano, my lead guitarist, has approved the repertoire, so we will have eighteen great rock songs for you.

We were impressed to read that thirty-seven skilled medics from Cuba have come to Milan to help with the crisis, all experienced in dealing with the Ebola in Africa.  Also Russia is apparently sending medical help!  You will have read enough about the virus in Italy, so I don’t think I need to elaborate further.

The Stag Beetle on a rose bush in the foto, is carrying on regardless!

So, wherever you are in the world, we wish you good health and happiness.  Do stay at home as much as possible, it is such a very serious situation.  Please stay safe.

Salute June xx

Visit my website at My Site

 

 

 

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

I can’t help it, I love Christmas and this week’s blog is all about the festive season.

80829576_10158062617268083_4358564233961537536_oIn our local village of Fiano a few days ago, my man and I left La Dispensa after morning coffee and was shocked to find a car parked with all four wheels on the road.  The road has a white line along it, which is generally acknowledged as a ‘loading line’.  To avoid parking on the line the Locals park half on the pavement thus avoiding having their wheels touching the line.  The pathways are so damaged that it is accepted that pedestrians walk on the road, which is smoother anyway. I said to my man “Look at this, a car parked on the road which means I will have to walk around it!”  Without batting an eyelid my man replied “Must be a foreigner!”  I was heading for our lovely village ceramic shop to admire the Christmas window, you must come and visit it!  I just love festive window displays79644037_10158062618658083_6113954265900777472_o

Back in La Dispensa, I had been reading the papers and looking for some interesting Rock Concerts.  Then I noticed a poster for a local concert in Marcialla on 21 December in that lovely little theatre called Teatro Comunale Regina margherita, yes, the one with the lovely soft red velvet seats!  Now it’s not all rock, but it looks like a great band with a whole range of instruments.  It’s headed up by the very popular Fabrizio De Andrè You tube who has a lovely way with the acoustic guitar.  Perhaps we should all go?  Book tickets Here or telephone 055 807 4348.

79443472_10158062619528083_4770250404199923712_oNow I can’t remember Fiano having it’s own Christmas Tree before.  There is a magnificent one down in our local town of Certaldo next to the Festive Ice rink, which you may also like to visit.  But in Fiano?  Well here is a photo, unfortunately the main piazza is also a carpark, so I could not avoid getting a few cars in the picture too.  But it certainly brightens things up!

80452156_10158062620413083_4149055072132661248_oNow here in Tuscany the conversation is rarely without the mention of mangare, eating.  My man and I popped into Ristorante C’era Una Volta in Lucardo yesterday as he wanted some more pasta with tartufo Bianco (white truffles) before the season ended.  I fancied the risotto and Paolo’s recipe is beyond delicous.  Zucca Giallo, Salvio e Ricotta Affumicato, which translates as Pumpkin, Sage and Smoked Ricotta Cheese.  Heres a foto to make your mouth water.  Mmmm, it’s only 10.45 in the morning but I could eat some more right now!

79098403_10158062622593083_4600733954901803008_oWhat did I hear you say, did I promise you four December Hunks?  Well, here they are, four beautiful Italian guys all dressed up and ready to go to your Christmas party or posh do.  Which one is yours?  I’ll get up and dance with any of them, it is nearly Christmas after all.  Which reminds me, I must get some mistletoe this week.

Now don’t forget, if you have bought all three of my books below, you are entitled to a free signed short story book called The Man in Black.  Just send me a copy receipt or a foto of your books.  It’s my treat for Christmas and to thank you for buying my books.  I love my readers.  Email me at june.finnigan@virgin.net.

Just in case next weekend proves difficult to get a blog done, may I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and exciting New Year.  Do get in touch.

Salute June x

PS Books are not just for Christmas, they are lifetime companions.  My site

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

2019-08-24 09.30.51.jpgNow, this time of year is all about being out there on beaches and in Piazzas having great music concert parties.  If you also happen to be Lorenzo Jovanotti you will find your party will become a mass of sand stomping fans, as far as the eye can see.  Simply known as Jovanotti, Lorenzo has taken to the beaches this year to hammer out his fabulous music and to put across a little more politics than he has in the past!  He has gone from wearing silver alien suits to the scruffy pirate look and the fans still love him.  In an interview he was recorded as stating ‘We have more intelligence than democracy.  Young people, don’t be afraid of the world!’  Javanotte is hugely popular here in Italy.  Beach Parties

2019-08-24 09.18.02Back in our little bit of Chianti where things have been nice and quiet due to 90% of Italians being at the seaside, we relax over coffee and the newspapers at La Dispensa in Fiano.  Yesterday I found a lovely story about the romance and secret marriage of two Italian Partisans, right under the noses of the Nazi’s, in 1945.  I love to read these kinds of stories.    Detail of the romance and marriage of Tullio and Theresa have only recently been unearthed and the article was written by novelist Maurizio Maggiani.  His books can be found on most online outlets, but mostly in Italian at the moment. You will also find a little bit involving wartime Partisans and Romance in my third novel ‘The Italian Connection.’ My site

2019-08-23-09.47.031.jpgMeanwhile, it’s been a busy week for the the lovely ladies lining up for the Miss Toscana (Tuscany) final.  And, the winner is the beautiful Chiara Gorgeri!  Methinks she may not be happy with this picture, obviously taken form a lower position from where she is standing, giving her thunder thighs and big hands!  On the subject of big hands, did you notice that Michelangelo’s Statue of David has hands too big for his body?  Sorry, I digress.  But now my mind has wondered off even further!  There are a lot of really hunky handsome men in italy, so why do we not have Mr Italy contests,?  It all seems rather one-sided.  What do you think?

2019-08-21 09.03.18And, back to the real world, last week I said that the Italian Government is about to implode and as anticipated the long suffering Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti has resigned.  He is absolutely fed up with the bickering between the coalition parties and in particular cites Matteo Salvini as the main culprit, quote ‘He has been irresponsible and dangerous’ and many will agree.  So what’s on the cards?  Another election I guess.  Watch this space.

Well, enough already.  Time to think about Sunday lunch, to go out or not to go out that is the question.  I”ll go and look in the fridge first…..

Hope you are enjoying a good weekend and have a great time in the week to come.  Do drop me a line at the bottom of this page or email me at june.finnigan@virgin.net  I love to hear from my readers.

Salute June x

Ps visit my website at My site

Pps We wnt out for lunch……again.  I just can’t help it!

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

Yes I’m back and busy catching up on the news and events in our little bit of Chianti and beyond.

2019-02-08 08.52.41In February, It is possible to fill one’s diary with events, particularly Art Exhibitions.  I love galleries, they have a sense of calm away from the madding crowds, unless you go on the opening day, which I avoid.  Whilst drinking my morning coffee in Fiano and reading La Republica, I noticed an article about finding Italy, that is historically, in Art form.  Just look at these fabulous pictures by Italian greats that include Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Francesco Hayez and Federico Zandomeneghi painted between the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  They really bring the era alive.  This Grand Exhibition is open now through to June.  Visit The Website

2019-02-06 09.13.41Then I saw another article and a completely different medium; the modern work of Maurizio Monti.  What draws me to his paintings is the intense colour and the combining of the beauty found in the female form and flower petals.  A sort of fairy like fantasy that reminds me of book illustrations done in the 1930’s.  His exhibition is at Florence Art Gallery now until 23rd February.  Do try and go!

2019-02-05 09.20.13Meanwhile, this past week has been all about the Sanremo Music Festival.  Yes, it happens every February, a ‘so very Italian’ music contest to find the best singer of the year.  You either love it or hate it.  However, this year it was co-hosted by Claudio Baglioni who is celebrating 50 years crooning at the microphone.  I have to say, he has aged rather well, despite the white hair he is looking and sounding rather good.  If you hang on a minute, I’ll pop onto his website to get you some more info.  OK, I’m back.  Now to be honest, whilst he is hugely popular here in Italy, his music is not quite up my street.  Despite that, I think we can award him the longevity medal and nominate him aging Italian Hunk of the Month!  Google Sanremo 2019.

Now what’s this?  Veganism seems to be taking over the world including The Vatican.  Mind you, my Italian translations are not always perfect but I am sure I just read that The Pope has been offered money if he makes Lent Vegan!  Well who am I to comment on this?  I am almost a vegan, other than my love of cheese (sorry).  This has something to do with Paul McCartney and other celebrities.  When I find out more, I’ll let you know……

2019-02-06 18.13.52Anyway, this time of year in Tuscany is great for sunsets.  Also the air is cold, but clean and fresh.  And, when the sun shines it’s possible to sit outside in direct sunshine, as long as you are in a sheltered spot protected from the wind.  So life eeez good, life eeez now!  Foto J Finnigan

Am currently working hard on my fourth novel ‘Assassin’s List,’ which continues the Adventures of Joanna Wilde.  Do let me know if you spent any time in Havana during the mid-1990’s, I would love to talk to you about it.

But, for now, it’s time to conjure up some Sunday Lunch.  My man needs some comfort food.

Do get in touch, I love to hear from my readers.

Salute June x

My website

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

January is a funny old month, here in our little bit of Tuscany on the edge of Chianti.  Whilst a lot is going on, it remains a difficult period to organise restaurant lunches and visits to galleries.  January is considered a time for closing down for a bit, until the return of the tourist season in March.  Hey ho!

2019-01-19 09.11.17#1But otherwise, it being the season of fashion, last week was the mens’ time for strutting their stuff, this week has had the newspapers full of Bimbi Pitti (children’s) fashion.  Now I am a little out of touch with children’s fashion outside of Italy, but here the kids are very fashion conscious and from an early age.  Black is very vogue and apparently styles are currently being influenced by the Rock Music scene!  Well, at least the Bimbi will be growing up with a taste for good rock music; I hope.  Addio to the pastel shades we kids were adorned in, and that’s not a bad thing methinks.  What do you think?

xbirrao-dell-anno-2-680x454.jpg.pagespeed.ic.qat_nctg3gSo what else is going on? I hear you ask.  Well a great news magazine to follow, particularly for Florence and surroundings is The Florentine.  I’ve mentioned this publication before and I follow it regularly, it’s also in English and can be subscribed to online if preferred.  Events include HOPS/Brewer of the year, (there is and increasing number of micro-breweries popping up in Italy) A shop Vintage event and International Ice skating Awards. Busy, busy.  The Florentine

And there’s a lot more stuff going on here locally.  If you are interested in our local village of Fiano, go their Facebook page at Alfiano Fiano.

2019-01-20 09.24.52OK, what next?  Oh yes.  The children returned to school last week and much is being talked about regarding the state of the buildings.  Some students went out on strike as the temperature in the classrooms were as low as 10 degrees centigrade!  Of course, we are now formerly in recession here (again) so spending on the essentials is not always happening.  In today’s paper was an article about a survey of the under 18’s. The new young people (Giovani) mostly love school and their teachers. They have had enough of disputes and want to get on with preparing for the future.  My man and I arrived here nearly fifteen years ago and so a whole new generation has grown up during that time.  Fifteen years ago, society seemed thirty years behind us Brits, but the new Giovani seem to have caught up and cut the time difference down by at least half.

2019-01-18 09.30.55#1And moving to the much older generation, which includes the Peter Pan of politics Silvio Berlusconi.  Yes, Silvio is back!  At the age of 82, and as leader of Forza Italia, he is campaigning for the March elections for the European parliament.  This assumes it hasn’t fallen apart by then, the parliament that is!  Anyway, Silvio has a way of putting a bit of colour back into the world of politics.  You either love him or hate him, either way, it makes for an interesting time.

Meanwhile, I am cracking on with my latest novel, Assassin’s List, which is taking my heroine to Italy and Cuba.  If you have any experience of visiting or living in Havana in the mid 1990’s, I would love to hear from you.  Exciting isn’t it!

OK, have a great week and do drop me a line.  Oh and visit my author site at My Site

Salute June x

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Benvenuti and Welcome to all our Lovely Friends and Followers around the World,

My man and I are currently humbugging as we have failed to shake off a really niggling virus and cough.  So we are both exhausted, can’t light the fire as the smoke will irritate and our brains refuse to function!  And, I am forced to curl up on the sofa and eat chocolate!

Xmas TreeSo creative writing is out I’m afraid, and I can only send you my/our Warmest & Fond Greetings for the Festive Season.

Here is a pretty picture to Keep you going.

See you in the New year!  Enjoy!

Salute June x

My site

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