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Posts Tagged ‘Fiorentina Iris’

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

2018-04-24 11.53.47In a moment I’m going to wax lyrical about the plants and wild life in and around our beautiful garden here on the edge of Chianti.  As before, I am not going to talk about Italian politics, other than the fact that we still have no government; you will just have to keep watching this space.

2018-04-28 08.37.42So, back to our garden and what a wonderful week we have been experiencing.  Last weekend the Acacia trees started dripping with white blossoms and the Fiorentina Irises we planted last year have burst into flower!  We have been swamped with butterflies, including the Swallowtail and the birds, well, the birds!  We now have an owl which we have yet to identify, who hoots in the daytime, pairs of pheasant, Jays, Hoopees, swallows and wood pigeons.  Arriving anytime soon will be the colourful Bee Eaters.  Two visiting hares, deer and the occasional cinghiale (wild boar).  And, the weather has been glorious, so my man and I have been able to spend aperitivo time outside, breathing in all the exotic perfumes!  Fotos J Finnigan

2018-04-22 11.55.40And continuing on the subject of aperitivi, I’m really pleased to tell you that the last two weekends have seen us back over in Montespertoli for cocktails, a lovely village just twenty minutes from here.  It is a year ago that we stopped going as the pressure of writing deadlines had me working away every weekend at the keyboard.  But with the weather having turned to sunshine we have returned, and it is so nice to greet old friends again and watch the occasional vintage car rally hooting past.  Foto J Finnigan.

2018-04-29 09.57.46One friend is the lovely Caterina, or I should say The Baroness Caterina de Renzis Sonnino.  Caterina is a very hardworking lady who entertains guests from all over the world giving guided historical tours of Il Castello, Educational visits and Wine tastings.  Yesterday the newspaper printed this article about a visit by Gucci, the Label having chosen Il Castello Sonnino as one of seven cultural projects.  Now, I will try to find out a lot more when I next speak to Caterina, but in the meantime you should visit Il Castello’s website.  My man and I were very lucky to have been given a private viewing a few years ago, and believe me it is an incredibly beautiful and atmospheric place to go.  Oh, you can also stay there, so check it out here!  Website

2018-04-26 08.51.44Meanwhile, back in the world of Music, I noticed that good old Ringo Starr, or Sir Richard Henry Starkey, was in the news and is doing a tour in July/August.  He will include Lucca, Marostica and Roma.  Now I have been to outside concerts in Lucca, which is just over an hour from us, and the setting is fantastic.  Open air concerts are held in one of the most beautiful piazzas and the acoustics are amazing.  Now, in case you did not know, Ringo does do more than just play the drums; he also sings, acts and paints.  It will be interesting to hear the old boy performing, he is seventy-eight, bless him!  I think it’s great that so many of the oldies are still performing live, so there’s still hope for me being discovered at a late age and being sent off on tour!  Rock on I say.  Foto La Repubblica.  See Ringo’s dates here Website and tickets

2018-04-26 08.45.58Now, lest we forget, the 25th April was Liberation Day and it should be remembered that there are a lot of Partisans still alive today who can tell you all about the German Occupation.  Apparently, we are supposed to say Nazi Occupation these days, strange how things get changed for the sake of the modern lifestyle and the now friendly relationship with Germany.   There are some amazingly heroic stories still to be heard about the fight to rid the country of the nasty Nazi’s.  My novel ‘The Italian Connection’ includes a bit based on a partisan’s real life experience, my having interviewed a lovely man called Gianfranco in Montespertoli a few years back.  Foto La Nazione. Visit my author site at Website

2018-04-20 09.19.59Meanwhile, something else being celebrated last week was the 50th anniversary of La Vespa.  That iconic scooter that we all loved seeing in the sixties films and still to be seen today weaving in and out of the traffic in the major Italian cities, and whizzing through the country villages at the weekend, often in big convoys!  Tourists can also hire bright red ones in Florence and surrounding areas, so I’m told.  Did you ever have a Vespa Scooter or were you a Rocker like me, dangerously hanging off the back of 650 motorbikes?  Hey ho!  Send me some of your Fotos.  Foto La Nazione.  Visit Vespa’s site at Website

2018-04-25 09.51.56And finally, lets end with another beautiful Italian fashion shoot, this time found in La Repubblica magazine.  I just love this casual yet sophisticated colourful summer look.  And, the models are so enjoying wearing the clothes, which as you know is something I strongly support, not the usual miserable lot many designers employ.  Also, the weather here is now warm enough to enjoy having one’s feet back in sandals and flip-flops; wonderful. Visit Oltre’s site at website

OK, must go, things to do, places to go and people to see.  May your week be full of nice surprises and as happy as mine.  Oh, and do drop me a line at june.finnigan@virgin.net or visit my official author site at June’s site

Salute June x

PS Don’t forget if you want to come to my Rock Concert on 22nd June, write to me at june.finnigan@virgin.net and ask for an invite.

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A Festive welcome to all my Loyal and New Followers

Early Christmas Morning, thick fog fills the valley below our villa. Photo P Finnigan

Early Sunday morning before Christmas, thick fog fills the valley below our villa.
Photo P Finnigan

“Oh no, we’ve got another one and he’s moving at the speed of a striking slug!” My man gasped.  We had pulled in behind a battered old Fiat at the self-service petrol pump, and the equally battered old driver was struggling to understand the money machine that paid for the petrol and then sent instructions to the pump.  As there had been a queue of just one, we had decided to stop for petrol at this cheaper pump, rather than the other one that was serviced, and as we did so, another car pulled in behind and trapped us in.  We watched in horror as the doddery old boy tapped at various buttons and then went to open his petrol cap.  Meanwhile, his driver’s door was wide open.  He then went around to the passenger door and opened that as well, leaned in and rummaged a bit, then returned to the pump forgetting to close it.  He then went to talk to the proprietor, who came over to help out.  Finally, he got into the car to drive away with his petrol cap and passenger door still open, so I leapt (well hauled myself) out of our car to warn him.  Meanwhile, the Italians now queuing up behind us were quite naturally sounding their horns.  You may ask why have I told you about this, well living in Italy, some things just have to be said.

Christmas morning Fiorentino Iris in the garden. Photo J Finnigan

Christmas morning Fiorentino Iris in the garden.
Photo J Finnigan

The Following day was Monday and we set off early, all bright and bushy tailed, for IKEA near Florence, as I was determined to get a new kitchen dresser before Christmas.  I won’t bore you with the visit, apart from mentioning the hilarious site of a chappy trying to squeeze massive boxes into a tiny car.  Half an hour later he had taken it all out, tried another way and failed miserably.  “Look at that idiot, he’s got a roof rack, why is he not using it?”  My man scoffed.  Why indeed?  The next morning, Tuesday, we took the time out to put the new dresser together.  Never have I experienced such a complicated and lengthy process, just to have our glasses and china sitting in a nice off-white glass cabinet.  After two hours I decided to pop some veggies in the oven to roast.  An hour later, they were all cooked so I turned the oven off and left them to keep warm.  Another hour later and we had finally finished the cabinet!  The roasted veggies were black and unidentifiable, but we were so hungry we ate them anyway, washed down with a good Pinot Grigio.  Never again!

The view from the sofa on Christmas Day Evening. Photo J Finnigan

The view from the sofa on Christmas Day Evening.
Photo J Finnigan

Christmas day arrived.  This is the only day of the year when my man cooks.  I still need to supervise and hurry things along, because if he’s left to his own devices he’ll take four hours or more to achieve what a normal person does in half an hour!  But it’s the thought that counts.  I defrosted some plums that we had picked in the garden a few months earlier and made some lovely creamy desserts, whilst looking over my shoulder and giving directions as needed.  He had bought some parsnips in England and brought them home on his last trip, so we had some lovely roast potatoes and vegis, with red peppers packed with a nutty stuffing, topped with scamorza cheese.  Yummy.

Chocolate Fountain and dips. Photo P Finnigan

Chocolate Fountain and dips.
Photo P Finnigan

On Boxing Day, we bootled off to our daughter’s new home between San Gimignano and Volterra for present opening and lunch with the grandkids.  A perfect family day of course, lovely lunch followed by the excitment of a new Chocolate Fountain Machine, which gurgled hot melted chocolate up and over, well yes, a little fountain.  We dipped fruit, biscuits and cake into the chocolate and our grandson became so mesmarised that we had to prize his attention away before he made himself irreversibly sick!

Giorgio waits to be noticed, his paw slightly raised.

Giorgio waits to be noticed, his paw slightly raised. Photo J Finnigan

Another highlight of my Christmas was a plate of gluten free mini-macaroons and sweet desserts, handed in by my lovely neighbour and celebrity cook Judy Witts-Francini.  This was such a treat for me; thank you so much Judy xx

And finally, to all our friends in Fiano for the festive chat and shouts of ‘Auguri’ from all and sundry, and we do hope that Giorgio the cat did get rewarded for his long wait outside the butchers.

Do drop me a line and I would really love it if you happened to read ‘My Father, The Assassin’ over the holiday and left a review on Amazon.

Tanti Auguri June xx

PS here is the direct link for ‘My Father, The Assassin’.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Father-The-Assassin-Finnigan/dp/1481904396/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358800225&sr=8-1

 

 

 

 

 

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