Posts Tagged ‘cobwebs’

Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World

20181122_083438Just five days to December and it’s the time of year for colder damper weather, which in itself creates some of the most breathtaking scenery and camera shots here in our little bit of Chianti.  Early morning mists fill the valleys below us and as the sun peaks through we witness shafts of sunlight breaking out from the mist and spotlighting the thousands of cobwebs covering just about everything!

20181122_083752Then the sun rises a little more and shines on nearby properties, but the mist has not risen yet so we get these ghostly looking apparitions.  It’s important to stand still for a while and watch the vista changing as the mists start to gradually roll away.  Beautiful.  So then we drive to Fiano, our local village, for coffee at La Dispensa, which means going higher up still into brilliant sunshine.  The drive back will be views of fog filling the valleys over Certaldo and looking like a great white lake.

2018-11-21-10-09-13.jpgWe relax with our coffee and read the papers, greeting the locals as they come and go.  On rainy days they joke with us saying that we have brought Tempo Inglese (English Weather) with us!  But what is this?  In the paper I read that there has been a miracle in Pisa; The Leaning Tower has straightened up by as much as four centimetres over the last twenty years!  It seems that consolidation work carried out between 1993 and 2001 has resulted in this unexpected turn of events!  Well that’s good, but if it keeps going, will we end up with the Once Leaning Tower of Pisa?  All those tourists that travel long distances to have their foto taken looking like they are holding the building up with one hand, yes what of them?  I guess they will instead come to see the Miracle of the Tower that moved!

2018-11-22 09.23.36Anyway, another article in the paper caught my eye, and something close to my heart or should I say waistband, Pecorino Cheese.  I don’t just like cheese, I absolutely love it and it is the only thing stopping me from becoming vegan.  Pecorino is the most popular cheese in Italy for everyday use.  It ranges from very young and soft to a hard mature version, a bit like the texture of Parmesan but the taste is different.  I love it for the fact that it is not cow’s cheese, which I avoid.  When we first arrived in Italy, I had to find an alternative to English Cheddar, particularly for cooking.  Pecorino hit the button and more!  Can you buy Italian Pecorino in your country?

2018-11-19 08.19.48And, what about the Italian fashion scene for the run up to party time?  Well, firstly  chunky footwear is in, even with the most feminine smart couture!  NeroGiardini

2018-11-11 09.23.43I was always a stiletto fan until the knees started complaining, so if you are following the younger women in the British Royal Family, you can still wear them and that can be your excuse.  Otherwise, if like me you are crazy about everything Italian, perhaps not.

And, so to the big glittery C.  Yes, Christmas is everywhere already.  Festive markets in all the towns and cities.  Also, Opera and Theatre with a festive edge.  We will certainly go to some of these; I’ll report back when we do.  What are you doing this festive season?  Do let me know what you are up to!

Meanwhile, I am working on my ‘Buy real books for Christmas, you can’t unwrap an e-book’ campaign.  See my own books at June’s Site

Well, time to get back to the day job and don’t forget to buy your advent calendar.  I love them.

Salute June x










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Buon Giorno to all my lovely Loyal and New Followers

Wet misty morning viewed through cobwed to the lower terrace. Photo P Finnigan

Wet misty morning viewed through cobweb to the lower terrace.
Photo P Finnigan

My man and I woke early this morning, despite the fact that it is Sunday, and found thick fog obscuring our view down to the valley.  We got in the car and my man said, “That’s interesting, we are one minute earlier than yesterday and four minutes later than the day before.  Oh, and we have done eighty-eight thousand miles!”  “Well, thank you for that….” I smiled.  Don’t you just love him?  Desperate to find sunshine, we drove further uphill to Fiano for our morning coffee.  Hurrah, there was the sun, smiling down on this little hilltop village, so we relaxed, read the papers and greeted the locals, who were all dressed for Sunday, mostly in fashionable track suits.  On our return to our little villa, we were still fog bound, however, my clever man noticed some incredible cobwebs and took a misty picture for you.

autumn Vines through Paolo's window. Photo J finnigan

autumn Vines through Paolo’s window.
Photo J finnigan

Wood fired grilled Porcini mushroom. Photo J Finnigan

Wood fired grilled Porcini mushroom.
Photo J Finnigan

Earlier in the week and before visiting a possible new property, we popped into Paolo’s Ristorante C’era una Volta, where Porcini Grilliata was on the menu.  The larger Porcini mushrooms are really delicious if cooked over an open fire, which is how Paolo grills all his food.  Yummy….  It was a lovely warm sunny day and we sat in the picture window where we could see the Autumn vines stretching away in all directions.  My man glowed with contentment as his Pici alla Pecoraia (thick spaghetti in a pecorino cheese sauce with sweet baby tomatoes) arrived.  I just love to see him enjoying himself!

Daniel joins us for coffee. Phew! L Nazione.

Daniel joins us for coffee. Phew! L Nazione.

Then yesterday, Saturday, we dropped down to Certaldo and Bar Solferino for coffee where we were joined by Daniel Craig, looking absolutely gorgeous in Armani and flashing an expensive watch.  Yes, I know, not really, but a girl can dream.  We then went to see another potential country house that turned out to be an apartment with a shared garden; I don’t think so.  So far I have viewed seven possible new homes, and we may have found the ideal place not far away from where we are now.  Watch this space!

Meanwhile, I am currently working away on an exciting ghost writing project.  It is a thriller based on a real life story and is a fascinating and topical subject.  But do not worry, you will not be forgotten and my weekly blogs will go out without fail.  Also my monthly column in Expat Focus, the on-line magazine for, not surprisingly, expats!  My book, ‘The Italian Connection’ will now hopefully be published by the summer of next year.

Pre-lunch drinks on the upper terrace. Photo J Finnigan

Pre-lunch drinks on the upper terrace.
Photo J Finnigan

And finally, it is so important to have that relaxing aperitivo in the early evening.  Also a nice drop of wine before lunch in the garden.  We have been lucky enough to enjoy several lunches outside this week.  When the sun comes out the middle of the day is quite hot, despite the chill in the air.  I know, we are so lucky!

Well must get on, more writing to do, places to go and people to see.

Have a great week and do drop me a line.

Salute June x

PS Do visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

'My Father, The Assassin'. Book one in the series.

‘My Father, The Assassin’. Book one in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection' Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

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Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

English Park Benches on our upper terrace. Photo P Finnigan

English Park Benches on our upper terrace.
Photo P Finnigan

People who come to visit us for the first time, always ask where we got our lovely wooden benches that are carefully positioned to enjoy our panoramic view.  Well, they are a pair that we bought in England back in the 1980’s and they have moved with us to every home we have lived in.  So, ten years ago, they came with us to Italy and my man lovingly oils them every year and patches up bits of rotting wood with Sugru and other things.  The bottom of the legs are vulnerable to damp so we keep them standing on small round and very hard pine cones.  It would be a very sad day if we were to lose one of these treasures.

Now I try not to talk about bad Italian drivers too often, as it is much the most common thing to mention, and sometimes boring.  However, on Saturday morning my man drove us down to the market in Certaldo, which is thirty minutes in total there and back.  Within minutes of starting out my man started to groan, then the expletives started.  Now we rarely use the F word but this day it was warranted.  I made a note every time my man shouted out to other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists on that journey, not that anyone could hear him from inside the car.  OK, here we go.  “What the f…; that cyclist didn’t even look!”  “What the hell is that fecking idiot doing?” “Does that plonker have a death wish?” “Am I an fecking car, or what?” “Go on, back out why don’t you, I’m only a bloody car coming down the road!”  “Get your dog on the inside, you idiot!” “Take your fecking time, why don’t you?”  (to two women gossiping in the middle of the road and ignoring my man), “Look at that idiot, he’s right up his bottom!” “Oh, you’re turning right are you?  What’s wrong with using your fecking indicator?” I may have missed a few.  Needless to say, my man did not enjoy his drive, however, the coffee and pastry at Cafe Solferino in Certaldo was worth it!  The smile was soon back on his face.

Inedible fungi in our garden. Phot P Finnigan

Inedible fungi in our garden.
Photo P Finnigan

Last week was very wet, however, this brought forth some beautiful fungi in the garden and of course lots of Porcini are in the markets and veg shops.  White truffles are still being found and the other day we spotted two truffle hunters and their dogs.  Why, we asked ourselves, are they wearing camouflage clothes?  Can the truffles see them coming without this gear on?  The other thing is, there are shooters about, so wouldn’t it make sense to wear the same bright orange jackets the shooters wear, to avoid getting shot?  But then I’m just a simple English girlie with, what I consider to be, a little common sense.  But the Italians are very strange in the way they take risks, every year hunters get shot and killed, but hey ho!

Hot Chilli Peppers drying on Paolo's balcony. Photo P Finnigan

Hot Chilli Peppers drying on Paolo’s balcony.
Photo P Finnigan

Back at ‘C’era una Volta’ ristorante, Paolo  sold my man a small truffle (Tartufo) as he wants to take it to England today for a friend.  It is now packed inside dry risotto rice in a sealed glass jar, which is also encased in bubble wrap.  It’s not just protecting the truffle, it’s also trying to prevent the incredible pungent smell from creeping out into his suitcase!  On Paolo’s balcony, where you can dine if the weather’s right, he has also been drying the most beautiful hot chilli peppers that he has grown in his own veg patch (Orto).  Mmmmm.

A jewelled cobweb in the early morning mist. Photo P Finnigan

A jewelled cobweb in the early morning mist.
Photo P Finnigan

Over the weekend, we have woken to a view of thick fog after the earlier rains and subsequent sunshine.  As you know, we always go out for coffee in the early morning and yesterday spotted some wonderful spiders’ webs glowing in the fog, with tiny jewels of water droplets hanging off.

Now what next?  Ah yes, you are probably waiting to hear about Silvio Berlusconi’s latest exploits.  Well, I have to tell you that I have just started reading his biography, so things are a little historical at present.  Don’t sound so shocked, he is an historical figure, you know!  Give me one more week and I’ll report, not only some fascinating snippets from the past, but also a complete up date.

So, for now.  I wish you a great week and see you soon.  Don’t forget to drop me a line or visit http://www.amazon.com/junefinnigan/author

Salute June x


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