Posts Tagged ‘Enrico Letta’

Benvenuto to all my loyal and new followers

Readers Digest 1973 cookery book photo J Finnigan

Readers Digest 1973 cookery book
photo J Finnigan

As you all know, I am not the greatest cook, however, as San Valentino’s Day was looming I decided to find my vintage 1973 Readers Digest Cookery Book, which had a very musty smelling recipe page for Mushroom Strogonoff.  Now, if you carefully weigh all the correct ingredients and follow the instructions to the letter, what can go wrong?   The Basmati rice was perfect, the sauce looked creamy and delicious, I had added a drop of best quality chardonnay and the mushrooms were cooked to perfection.  Now in these old books, dried mixed herbs were in everything, however, here in Italy the dried herb mixtures are a little different.  So when I sprinkled some dried mediterranean herbs in, it never occurred to me that there might be a problem with that.  It was only when my delighted man took his first mouthful and smoke came out of his nose and ears, that I knew something was up!  “Oh my god he yelled, what are you trying to do to me!”  Well, I am used to making mistakes in the kitchen, but this was terribly disappointing.  “Never mind” I said, my face all red with embarrassment and hot spicy herbs, “I’ve made us a lovely creamy desert using the rose petal sauce that our good friend Paolo the chef gave us!”  My man is incredibly patient with me over the subject of food, however, he responded through deep gasps for air with “I love the smell of roses, but

Paolo who made the Rose Sauce, shaking a bottle of frozen crema di limoncello.  Photo J Finnigan

Paolo who made the lovely Rose Sauce, shaking a bottle of frozen crema di limoncello.
Photo J Finnigan

I’m not sure about eating them…..”  So I presented the gorgeous looking rose perfumed creamy desert.  He managed two mouthfuls.  “I’m sorry June, I know you’ve tried really hard, but I don’t like it…”  I was also finding it a bit rich and realising that the lovely sauce was obviously meant to be used in tiny quantities, so I gave up on the fourth spoonful.  “Let’s open that new bottle of Vin Santo” we chorused, and then got out the game of ‘Sorry’ to take our minds off the food thing.  Well, we downed two glasses of Vin Santo each and thoroughly enjoyed the board game.  So it was a lovely evening after all.

The following morning we are back at Laura’s Bar/alimentari in Fiano , where I had bought the mushrooms, and everyone is rolling around in hysterics as my man describes my cooking.  Fortunately, I don’t really mind being laughed at, but secretly would love to be up to the amazing standards of some of my blogging friends!

Last Wednesday, we bade farewell to our friend Simon Moodie at his funeral in Certaldo.  Many of his friends are musicians and as the grave was being filled in (by a JCB!), we played and sang some of his favourite rock songs which he had particularly asked for.  He would have loved it.  Addio Simon.

Mimosa in our February garden. Photo P Finnigan

Mimosa in our February garden.
Photo P Finnigan

On a much lighter note, we are delighted to see our Mimosa tree already in full blossom.  As the mornings start to get lighter my man is looking forward to getting up at six and doing a couple of hours gardening before going out for coffee.  We do have a fabulous terraced garden and I can’t wait to bring all the pots back out from under the polytunnel.  We will wait until the 1st April though, as past experience has seen the weather change dramatically in these Chianti hills during February and March.  We have been incredibly lucky with the weather so far; quite a bit of heavy rain, however, temperatures are currently up around the 17 centigrade mark!

Henry Winkler, The Fonz and Matteo Renzie, The Prime Minister... Photo Il simplicissimus

Henry Winkler, The Fonz Vs Matteo Renzie, The Prime Minister…
Photo Il simplicissimus

You have probably picked up on the international news, that Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta resigned after a vote of no confidence.  Well no surprise really, everyone was complaining that the so-called reforms were not happening fast enough.  However, our friends in Fiano all seem to like his replacement, the current Mayor of Florence Matteo Renzie.  He will certainly get the female vote, and quite a few guys, as he is young and handsome and rides a bicycle to work.

Well enough of that, I’ll update you on Silvio next time and meanwhile wish you all a very happy and exciting week.

Salute June x

PS  Don’t forget, there is currently a huge discount when you download the e-book ‘My Father, The Assassin’ by J W Finnigan from Amazon or Firstchapters!


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Merry Christmas x

Only at www.firstchapters.net 

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Benvenuto to all my lovely loyal and new followers,

Last Wednesday our legna (firewood) was delivered by our local man in his Ape (pronounced Apay), my man bought some rods and a brush and he swept the chimney on Thursday morning.  My man enjoys this kind of thing, but the brush was too large for the last quarter of the chimney and a very red-faced, puffing ex-commando, uncharacteristically admitted defeat.  “Virtually nothing has come down, so I’ll dash to Certaldo and get a smaller brush” he announced.  However, it was 12.35 when he left on his ten minute journey and yes, you guessed right, the ferramenta had closed at 12.30 for pranzo (lunch).  So we agreed that a three-quarter clean was probably good enough and lit the fire that day.  Thank god we were right and what a pleasure it was to have a roaring fire, on that dark cold evening.

Alessandro and his hand-made Samurai Armour. Photo J Finnigan

Alessandro and his hand-made Samurai Armour.
Photo J Finnigan

On Friday we collected my black leather handbag from ‘La Rapida 2’ in central Certaldo, where it was being mended.  I must introduce you to the handsome Alessandro Barozzini, who not only mends shoes, boots and other leather things, he makes the most amazing things in leather and metal.  Alessandro is a dashing thirty-six year old with a history of fighting in ‘Medieval Costume reenactments’ and most of his creations are linked to battle dress.  He is also writing a book, very slowly, about the history of fighting.  Of course my man is also an expert on such things and the conversation became quite involved and lengthy.

Autumn flowers, , on the Bougainvillea. Photo J Finnigan

Autumn ‘flowers’, at the end of November, on the Bougainvillea.
Photo J Finnigan

Despite the cold damp weather, the climbing Bougainvillea in the garden seems to think it is early autumn and is still full of bright pink blooms.  Also, the pepper plants are still fruiting in abundance.  However, tomorrow we will have to cover a number of potted plants as the temperature is dropping fast.  There is also snow on the distant mountains.

Last week the world remembered the assassination of JFK and the following day the UK celebrated fifty years of Radio One.  I can tell you that on both these days, fifty years ago, I was tuning in my new transistor radio (then called a tranny, until the word was pinched by a certain section of the human race) on my bedroom windowsill in Devon, England.  Despite being only twelve, I can remember the shock of JFK’s death as he was hugely popular then.  However, the launch of Radio One by Tony Blackburn was so exciting that the JFK thing was made a little less awful.  Prior to this, I used to sit on top of my mother’s upright piano and glue myself to the old wireless there, which picked up Radio Luxemburg and the pirate ship Radio Caroline.   Radio One was to be a huge influence on the 1960’s and we used to tune in every weekend for Alan (pop-pickers) Freeman’s top twenty hits.  A little later, Top of the Pops was launched on TV and the  radio Disc Jockies all took their turns in presenting the latest bands and pop singers.  Ultimately, the DJ’s became celebrities too.

Silvio addresses new young recruits to his party Forza Italia. Photo AP/Mauro Scrobogna, Lapresse.

Silvio addresses new young recruits to his party Forza Italia.
Photo AP/Mauro Scrobogna, Lapresse.

And so to the dashing, Silvio Berlusconi.  SB addressed a group of new young members to his party Forza Italia , yesterday, telling them that the vote to remove him from parliament is tantamount to a government coup and was based on “an incredible verdict, absolutely unfounded, used to lay the groundwork of the political murder of the centre-right leader.”  The charismatic seventy-seven year old, said he would not ask for a pardon, but that President Giorgio Napolitano should concede him one on his own volition and called the sentence, reduced by an amnesty to one year performing social service, “a humiliation”.   Now let’s read that again.  Did he not  just ask for a pardon, if indirectly, or I am a imagining things?  And just a footnote, we hear that SB and his new ‘wife’ are sleeping in separate beds!  Life is tough being a billionaire.

Well, we are off to ‘C’era una Volta’ for lunch today.  Good Tuscan cooking and popular with the locals.  Visit http://www.ristorante-ceraunavolta.com

'My Father, The Assassin' By June Finnigan

‘My Father, The Assassin’
By June Finnigan

Have a great week and don’t forget to check out my current thriller, ‘My Father, the Assassin’,  on http://www.amazon.co.uk (eu or com),  http://www.goodreads.com or http://www.firstchapters.net

Amore June x

PS I am hard at work on the sequel, ‘The Bolivian Connection’ which should be published in the spring.

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Welcome to all my lovely new and loyal followers

‘I’m back, to let you know I can really shake them down.’  How sad, you are probably thinking,  June is quoting 1960’s lyrics again!  But I have to say, as you get to know me even better, you will come to realise, that knowing all the words to most of the ’60’s rock and pop songs was always my best subject in Pub Quizzes!  But you don’t want to know about that.  However, you may be glad to know that I am now recovered from a nasty little virus, which took me to the brink, and have found my thinking cap again.

The grandson leads Siena under 14's Rugby to victory in black & white

The grandson leads Siena under 14’s Rugby to victory in black & white

Firstly, I must mention that the Rugby season has just started in Italy.  The highlight of the last two weeks is that our brilliant grandson has been made captain of Siena under fourteens and he led his team to victory over Florence in their opening match of the season!  We are so proud.

Driving back from coffee in Fiano with the man and his lovely visiting mother yesterday morning, we were horrified to see a river of wine (well stream actually) flowing towards us from Villa Bacio.  The villa has a lot of vineyards and the harvest and crushing continues unabated.  On closer inspection we saw that there were also grape skins in the stream and that it was an overflow of waste, but my god it smelt good!  Within a few weeks it will be olive picking time, and fresh cold pressed extra virgin olive oil will be dribbling from our dipped bread.  We are really looking forward to that, and not to forget that it is also white truffle (Tartufo Bianco) time, glorious……

Back at the Alimentare/Bar in Fiano, poor Laura the owner, has scolded her hand with some hot oil and is all bandaged up.  They do seem to be an accident prone family, what with Benedetta, her daughter, limping around with a broken foot.  Our friend Signore Rotund was very pleased to see my man back from London, as they have this private thing about keeping morning papers back for each other.  My lovely eighty-eight year old mother-in-law was also welcomed back with great enthusiasm by the locals, which makes her feel very special.  She is with us for a week to celebrate her birthday, so it will be a family gathering tomorrow.

My man has expressed great concern over the fact that Italian children and parents do not play conkers!  Huge horse-chestnut trees surround the piazza in Fiano, and the lovely big glossy conkers are left crushed under car wheels and completely ignored.  This is a very sad thing and I agree with him, it’s just like the lack of interest in board games, which as you know we have started playing again with a vengeance.

Cafe La Piazzetta in Fiano

Cafe La Piazzetta in Fiano, in the main piazza, which is surrounded by horse chestnut trees.

Many of you will know that we have more than our fair share of street sellers in Tuscany and I am very impressed with one local man who is selling used purses.  His sales pitch is ‘New purses are too inflexible and that a second-hand one will bring you good luck, because they already have the smell of money!’  The mind boggles as to where he acquired these purses and looking closely at the clothing items, I swear I can see clothes peg marks.  However, he is a very likeable chap!  There was rather a lot of rubbish around the floor of the Cafe La Piazzetta in Fiano last weekend and my man said that it was probably Albanians.  I was shocked, ‘Why on earth did you say that?’ I asked, ‘It’s what the Italians say not me’ he retorted, ‘because they never drop rubbish!’  Since he has been formally adopted as a ToscanoDoc  (real Tuscan) by the locals he has become very biased!

Meanwhile, on 4th October, Pope Francis visited Assisi where his namesake was based and I think buried.  My man and I went there a few years ago as his middle name is Francis too and he felt a certain affinity with the place.  His family was Roman Catholic and his grandmother and mother got carried away with middle names.  My man’s are Antoni, Dominic, Francis which makes be very jealous because I’m just plain June!

Anyway, we had a very nice lunch at C’era una Volta yesterday after our traditional visit to Montespertoli for an Aperitivo.  My mother-in-law, bless her, was singing opera after a little too much wine and creme di limoncello.  The other diners were very impressed – she does have a lovely voice if a little bit on the shaky side.  She accompanies Andrea Boccelli each evening over supper and her favourite is Ave Maria, which she belts out with gusto!  It’s the only thing that wakes Farty Barty the cat from his malaise at the moment, as It is the time of year for him to get fat and winter furred, and to spend a lot of time on his cushioned kitchen chair.

Silvio gets emotional in Rome. Photo Reuters, Alessandro Bianchi.

Silvio gets emotional in Rome.
Photo Reuters, Alessandro Bianchi.

And so to our fallen hero Silvio Berlusconi.  I am pleased to report that he remains high-profile in the news.  After his about-face, due to his five ministers refusing to quit the senate, he threw his support behind the rather lack luster government of Enrico Letta.  Now he has chosen Community Service over House arrest and is being besieged by Social Welfare Services including City Angels and Exodus, which support the homeless and drug addicts.  He has also had invites from Animal Rights, Hospitals, the Genetic Rights Foundation (whatever that is) and a home for the elderly.  The old girlies in the latter would adore having him there, particularly if he was in charge of making the beds.  But my guess is he’ll support a charity for fallen women.  Meanwhile, his ‘fiance’ Francesca Pascale is having a cat fight with glamorous Bulgarian actress/producer Michelle Boney.  Michelle is a friend of SB and claims that FP is a bad person, has been blackmailing him and is actually a Lesbian.  Wow, that takes the biscuit!  A touch of jealousy, methinks.

So, it is Monday morning and I must get this blog off to you subito.

Have a great week and don’t forget to check out http://www.firstchapters.net for your winter reading.  Try the Romantic Thriller ‘My Father, The Assassin’ by J W Finnigan.

Amore June x

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Well, September is here and it is a little cooler.  However the light is really fantastic and I recommend all you artists to grab your easels and head for these hills.  The sun is now lower in the sky revealing valleys and cliffs that you don’t see at the height of summer.  We were reminded just how beautiful this area is when we had two English friends to a five-hour lunch on Saturday.  This was their first visit to the Chianti countryside and they were awe-struck.  What with the view, the light, the Chianti, the Vin Santo, my cooking (it was OK for once) the background rock music and the laughter, it was a perfect day!

Our first Pomegranate or Melagrana Photo P Finnigan

Our first Pomegranate or Melagrana
Photo P Finnigan

The garden remains a huge source of pleasure and I’m delighted to tell you that we have pomegranates!  I know, I hear you say, what’s so exciting about that?  Well, my man rescued this little tree that was stuck inside a big laurel bush last year and we had no idea what it was.  Then a week ago, the first fruits started to appear!  Well, we think it’s exciting.  We also have other flowering plants to brighten the late summer garden,

Flowering Hibiscus photo P Finnigan

Flowering Hibiscus
photo P Finnigan

including Hibiscus and Plumbago.    The darker mornings mean that my man is not up so early to water the garden, now in some ways he’s disappointed, however, we must move with the seasons, don’t you think.  ” There’s no point in getting up at seven-thirty (first light) because there’s no time to garden before we go out for coffee, ”  he moaned.  So he’s been forced to stay in bed and play with his smartphone instead.   He’s really looking forward to pruning the fruit trees which will happen after the olive harvest in October.  In the meantime, every other conversation includes “can you think of anything that needs doing in the garden?”  The fact is he’s done such a good job of readying things for Autumn, that it’s hard to find things to do!

Cascading Blue Plumbago Photo J Finnigan

Cascading Blue Plumbago
Photo J Finnigan

Meanwhile, back in Fiano our local village, everything is hunky dory again.  Smiling readers hog the newspapers and chat about the start of the shooting season.  I won’t deny that I am very anti-hunting, especially when the shooters park on the edge of our olive grove and set off a volley of shots at seven-thirty on Sunday morning!  The hunters still have the right to roam here and fencing one’s property is very restricted.  So fencing is done surreptitiously and not concreted in (temporary so to speak), in case the vigilante police tell you to take them down.  But I have a secret cunning plan…..!

In the coffee bar/alimentari Signore Rotund is blissfully happy, he has his sporting pages and the local ladies are queuing up to give his broad back a scratch and massage.  This morning at coffee, he is sitting in his regular chair getting his shoulders massaged by one lady whilst chatting up another one, eating his pastry and drinking coffee at the same time!  It’s a funny thing, it all seems quite normal in Fiano.

The man shivering in hat and fleece

The man shivering in hat and fleece
photo J Finnigan

I am loving the slightly cooler evenings, however, my man has donned his Australian bush hat and fleece jacket and sits holding his aperitivo, like it’s a block of ice!  ‘It’s cold, it’s winter!” he moans. “But look at the beautiful sky” I say “and the lights are starting to twinkle across the valley!”

Sunday was our traditional visit to Montespertoli and I may not have told you that  Mr Bean’s twin sister, Miss Bean, is alive and well and runs a certain shop in the main piazza.  The man calls her Miss Hasbean, but then it’s more likely to be Miss Neverhasbean.  This may sound a little mean (ha, rhymes with bean), however, it cannot be denied that she must be related to Rowan Atkinson.  Despite this, she is a very nice lady and so is her mother Mrs Bean.  The father has a close resemblance to Wilfred Bramble!  I’ll stop there….

Silvio gets emotional in Rome. Photo Reuters, Alessandro Bianchi.

Silvio gets emotional in Rome.
Photo Reuters, Alessandro Bianchi.

So what has the gorgeous Silvio Berlusconi been up to?  Well, it’s a relief to know that a certain amount of verbal blackmail has come back into the proceedings.  Senior aides to Silvio say he may pull his ministers out of government if he is ousted.  Now, in case you are not aware, SB’s supporters prop up Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s Democratic party in a coalition.   On the 9th September, the Italian Senate Committee began discussions on whether SB should go or be allowed to stay.  Silvio’s aides say that the law to suspend anyone from parliament when convicted for tax fraud, came in last January, which was after SB ‘committed’ the crime!  Don’t you just love it?  An Australian friend, he knows who he is, says they would love to have a character like Silvio in Australian Government as it would make things much less boring.

Well, enough of that and as it is now Monday morning I must get this blog off to you and do some work!  On the other hand, the sun is now shining……..

Amore June x

PS Don’t forget to share this with your friends and visit http://www.firstchapters.net for your Autumn reading.  I am still recommending ‘My Father, The Assassin’ by J W Finnigan.

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The Upper Terrace at home. Photo P Finnigan

The Tuscan Office
Photo P Finnigan

As I write this blog, I am listening to a CD by a local Italian band called ‘Neuro’.  I bought it because I know two of the band members who live in Montespertoli and it is heavy metal/punk.  Now punk was not my thing in the past and still gives me the eebie jeebies, however, I will persevere through to the end!  I’ll let you know my verdict next week.

Well it was back to work last Monday and four days in the UK for me, whilst my man and Farty Barty the cat manned the Tuscan office.  I can honestly say that I find it quite impossible to come up with fun things to say about England, anyway you have logged in to read about life in Tuscany!  Traveling back on an early flight I was delighted to be sitting with two lovely ladies, Sarah from Exmoor and Shirley from Cardiff, both off to meet their men who are currently working in Tuscany.  We got on so well that we shared two small bottles of prosecco between us.  A sort of champagne breakfast!  Girls, I hope you are reading this, keep in touch….

The Rock Chick Band

Me and the Rock Chick Band

It was a great weekend back with my man and we enjoyed our traditional visit to Montespertoli on Sunday.  Glorious weather, icecream and prosecco in the Piazza; nothing like it.  We are both heavy metal fans and listened to some great rock music in the car and later at home.  I have since decided to add Gary Moore & Phil Lynott’s ‘Parisienne Walkways’ to my repertoire for next year’s garden rock concert party here in Tuscany.  The date for your diary is June 28th 2014, send me your email if you would like an invite.  june.finnigan@virgin.net

Meanwhile, back in our local village of Fiano, the newspapers were still not being delivered and we have discovered that the delivery agent has gone out of business.  Whilst the tourist industry is still surviving quite well, others are struggling and many businesses could not afford to take the traditional Ferragosto holiday this year.  However, our locals remain cheerful and greet us with the usual smile and ‘Buon Giorno’ or ‘Bondi’ each morning at coffee.

Eeyore, 'In his gloomy place'

Eeyore, ‘In his gloomy place’

Now my man had been home alone for four days and he was very much ‘in his gloomy place’ without a paper to read.  I did pick up a free Telegraph in Waitrose and a Times on the plane, so all was not completely lost!  He has now gone to London and we must hope that the local papers have arrived by the time he returns on Friday!

Benedetta and her lovely mama Laura at the Bar/Alimentari in Fiano

Laura and Benedetta at the Bar/Alimentari in Fiano
Photo J Finnigan

Laura at the Alimentari/Bar continues her struggle as, after a fleeting return by her daughter Benedetta who is recovering from a broken foot, she is manning the shop alone again.  However, her coffee is second to none and she is a lovely lady, so we will keep supporting her.

Things are returning to normal here in Tuscany as the shops, bars and restaurants re-open after the traditional holidays.  September is a really nice month, whilst still warm, it is the time of harvests and the vendemmia (grape harvest) will begin shortly.  The vineyards will be full of imported grape pickers and it’s not unusual to see coolie hats amongst the vines!  The countryside then becomes quite noisy with tractors & trailers lumbering past our villa, loaded high with luscious purple and green grapes.

I have just checked the news for Silvio, then came across another amazing story from the North of Italy.  As you are no doubt aware, the economy here is in a poor state and taxes on businesses pretty horrendous.  Fabrizio Pedroni, a factory owner near Modena, moved his factory and contents to Poland whilst the workers were away on holiday!  Why?  High Italian salaries, crippling taxes and dismal productivity rates.  He has not made a profit since 2008 and it was either get out quick, without the still strong unions getting wind, or ‘shoot himself in the head.’  What a to do!  I caught the end of a BBC interview ‘Hard Talk’ last night when the prime minister Enrico Letta promised to make things easier for Italian employees & employers.  Speriamo di si!  Meanwhile, the lovely Silvio Berlusconi has appealed to the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg over his ban from politics.  The thirty-three page appeal includes ‘It would deny the legitimate expectation of voters that he remain in office for the remainder of the legislative.’  I say, what about all his illegitimate ones?

Tuesday morning – I am finishing with a glassful of  very good news.  I have just come back from my morning coffee and Milko has only two of my books left to sell at the cartolibreria in Fiano, the newspaper delivery is back, so is Benedetta and the sun is shining after heavy rain!  Hurrah!

Sorry for the later than usual blog, however, I hope you enjoyed it and do get in touch!

Amore  June x

ps Check out http://www.firstchapters.com for your Autumn reading.  I have heard lots of people raving about ‘My Father, The Assassin’ by J W Finnigan!

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Bentornati Amici & Benvenuti to all my new readers,

It’s a glorious Saturday (Sabato) in our little bit of the Chianti and once again I am sitting in my studio writing to you.  A very warm welcome to all my new followers from WordPress, Twitter, Linked-In, Facebook and those lovely people I have met during the last week.  Today I am talking about The Rock Chick Band, Flowers (fiori), Farty Barty, Italian Gold Reserves, Large Ants, Enrico Letta(who?) and Silvio Berlusconi (remember him?).

Some of you will already be aware that my band, The Rock Chick Band, will be once again performing live on the 22nd June in our beautiful garden.  We have finalized the repertoire, ordered the wine and will have our first rehearsal in two weeks time.  If you are in Tuscany on that day and would like an invitation, send me an email to june.finnigan@virgin.net.   You will be made especially welcome!

Me and the Band.


After a few showers of rain and sand from North Africa, the garden has erupted with colour.   I cannot wait to get on with more planting today as the weather is so beautiful.  Below is one example of all the gorgeous blooms in our garden and we are told that they are called ‘Fiore del sole” as they only open when the sun shines.


And what about these Italian Gold Reserves then?  The World Gold Council has advised Italy to deploy its 2,000 tons of gold to break free of EMU austerity dictates.  What, only 2,000 tons?  I suggest that we all get shovels and start digging up all those pointless roundabouts that have mysteriously appeared over the last few years.  Why, you say?  Well, It has been whispered in certain bars that the lovely Silvio Berlusconi owns some of the land that these are sitting on….what better place??

In today’s paper we read that our handsome Mayor of Florence, Sig Renzi has been heaping praise on our new Prime Minister Sig Letta.  The only thing against him, he said, is the fact that he comes from Pisa!  Just like the old English rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire, the Fiorentini and Pisani are no different.

We have solved the mystery of the disappearing butter.   No not mice, Farty Barty our very naughty cat was spotted slinking away from the butter dish and pretending not to notice us.

And finally, if you are not already aware, we have some very large ants here.  Whilst trying to write in my studio earlier this week, this particularly persistant one kept jumping on me.  When I told my man that I was being jumped on, his reaction was ‘Oh, did you have an anticlimax then?’  Men….!

Buona Domenica x  Happy Sunday x

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Ciao Amici

Well here we are again, with lots to talk about and smile at.  Today I will be talking about my being famous in Fiano, the Italian stampede to buy plants for the vegetable gardens, Silvio Berlusconi (who?), Enrico Letta (who?), Big slabs of concrete and Italian roadworks.

I am delighted to report that our local cartoleria (stationers) in Fiano, run by Milko and his lovely mother, want to sell my novel to the tourists.  Milko thinks they should promote me as their local famous writer!  Well, I said (in Italian of course) I am delighted to hear it, you are the first bookseller to suggest this, so I had better order you a batch!


After two months of political wilderness, things seem to be coming together here.  Enrico Letta has been nominated as the new Prime Minister by our aging friend President Giorgio Napolitano.  He’s only in his forties, which kind of goes along with a number of other European countries, and has the ear of the lovely Silvio Berlusconi.  Silvio, however, wants back in as Minister of the Economy.  In other words he’ll still be running the country!  This is important as he is also a great advertisement for the thousands of hairdressers, plastic surgeons and makeup artists in the country.

My man and I went to Certaldo this morning and got caught up in the stampede to buy freshly delivered plants for the vegetable gardens (l’orti).  It’s important not to be shy on occasions like this, because everyone pushes in front of one another.  Fortunately, I am taller than the average Italian and can shout as loud as the locals, so got my purchases reasonably quickly!  We will be planting Courgettes (zucchini), peppers (pepperoni), and numerous herbs (l’erbe) this weekend, assuming the rain stays away.

Last Wednesday, I set out for Fiano and my coffee fix.  After two km’s of dusty track I came to the main road and turned left for Fiano.  Then I was waved down by a local farmer (contadino), who told me to turn found, because the three week old landslide was finally being removed and the road was blocked by diggers and cranes.  So I did and found the road blocked the other way by more workmen and a no through sign!  So I retrace my steps and the only way to go was back past my villa and down to Certaldo for coffee!  We have a favourite saying here – ‘Only in Italy!’  Thursday, the road was open again and vast concrete blocks have been placed below the cleared landslide – unfortunately the Italians love concrete!

I have not included a snippit from ‘My Father, The Assassin’ by J W Finnigan today, but will do so next weekend.  Why not view the whole book on Amazon!

Buona Domenica x

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