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Posts Tagged ‘Hibiscus’

Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers

The birthday girl and me. foto P Finnigan

The birthday girl and me.
foto P Finnigan

I have just returned from a few days in England, which I won’t bore you with as I know you only tune in to read about Tuscany.  However,  the reason I went, was to celebrate my lovely mother-in-law’s 91st birthday and I’m sure you won’t mind my giving her a mention.  Her name is Marie, Mabel, Olga, Romance and she is a real star.  So here is a picture for the world to see.   Just before this foto was taken she was singing ‘why are we waiting’.  And, in this shot she is making a deep growling sound!  On the flight home I was so tired I tipped my plastic cup of prosecco over the sleeping young man next to me.  “Oh no!” He proclaimed, “Did I knock your arm when I was asleep?” I smiled sweetly and told him not to worry.  I know that was naughty, but he was taking up a lot of room!

The Earthquake donation details. La Nazione

The Earthquake donation details.
La Nazione

On a more serious note and lest we forget, I know you won’t mind me bringing back the subject of the recent earthquake that killed three hundred people and completely destroyed whole villages.  Many of you asked where and how you could make a contribution and I now have bank details for you to make a donation.  This was printed in La Nazione newspaper.  The rebuild cost will be a horrendous 300 million euros, and around 189 million has been raised so far.  So if you feel you can donate anything, the surviving villagers will be forever grateful.  Grazie Mille!

Depeche Mode on tour in Tuscany. Black leather maketh the aging rocker! La Nazione

Depeche Mode on tour in Tuscany. Black leather maketh the aging rocker!
La Nazione

Now on to brighter things and the world of music.  The latest tour in our region is Depeche Mode, still rocking and sounding great.  Less of my cup of tea is Michael Buble, but I know he has a huge following.  Earlier this year, I wrote some lyrics for a song, which was recorded by a musician friend.  He hopes to sell the song to Michael’s agency, so maybe we can pin his manager down whilst he is in Tuscany!  Watch this space.

Meanwhile, back home in our beautiful bit of countryside on the edge of Chianti, we set out for coffee this morning in a thick mist.  So we drove higher to Fiano, which proved to be a good idea as we emerged into glorious sunshine.  At La Dispensa, our now regular choice of coffee bar, we were served at the table by the local butcher.  Yes, it’s true, but then he is also the owner of the bar/grocery shop/butchers along with his lovely wife.  It was very busy and full of shooters, whose company is not our first choice.  But we managed to grab the papers and hog them for a while, so that was OK.

Autumn Hibiscus on the terraza. Foto J Finnigan

Autumn Hibiscus on the terrazza. Foto J Finnigan

On our return home we found lots of cobwebs on our gate in the mist; it’s that time of year and in the garden the autumn colours were looking great with lots of still flowering pots including the beautiful Hibiscus.  My man and I are relishing being home together for a whole week, enjoying the bars, restaurants and Autumn garden.  We will be getting a big fire basket and fireguard  for our inglenook fireplace this week, so I’ll let you know how we get on with lighting the wood fire for the first time, in this fabulous old farmhouse.

Back to today and we are off to Ristorante Borgo Antico in Tavernelle for lunch, which I am really looking forward to.  http://www.borgoanticorestaurant.com  Ah, life eeeez good, life eeeez now!

Have a fabulous week and do drop me a line.

Salute June x

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 lovely Loyal and New Followers

Grand Tour Ferragosto La Terrana

Grand Tour Ferragosto
La Terrana

Well, the streets were almost empty of traffic last Monday as the 15th was Ferragosta, the holiday that has all Italians that can, racing off to the motorways, well dual carriageways I should say, as we don’t have many three lane roads in Tuscany.  The motorways came to a grinding halt yet again and one old lady went through a gap in the central barrier, took to the opposite side and started driving against the oncoming traffic! It’s a miracle nobody was killed.  But whilst this madness was going on, we had the country roads to ourselves.  Over coffee in Il Solferino in Certaldo, I read an article about ‘The Grand Tour Ferragosto’ and it was fascinating to see where the most of the Italian tourists and many others besides were heading, should they be on the cultural trail!  Most popular for visitors was the Excavations of Pompei, followed by the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.  See the foto for the full list.

Ristorante Quinoa, a gluten free paradise? La Republica

Ristorante Quinoa, a gluten free paradise?
La Republica

Then the next day I read about a really interesting looking restaurant called Ristorante Quinoa in Florence.  This is definitely one for me and other diners who are intolerant to gluten.  We will try it out in the next couple of weeks.  If you happen to get there before me, do let me know!  Despite our living in a fabulous area, the restaurants that we really like are few and far between.  A good Italian ristorante needs three things, friendly and efficient service, very good food and sensible prices.  Now we don’t mind paying a higher price occasionally, particularly if we fancy a little bit of sophistication.  All the restaurants within a half hour drive provide ‘Tipica Toscana’ typical Tuscan food, but the quality of that food varies a lot.  Also, the house wines are not always the best choice.  So it’s worth asking for a little taste first and if you don’t like it order a bottle from ‘La Lista.’  Anyway, our local favourites are currently heaving with tourists so we may just wait until things return to normal in September.

The new U2 box set in Italian. Mag ad.

The new U2 box set in Italian. Mag ad.

Meanwhile, U2 has been honoured by the Italians who have launched a special Italian box set of all the band’s music!  Now this will sell well as the packaging is all in Italian and will no doubt become a collector’s item here.  Of course, in reality, one does not need the glamorous packaging, it’s still the same music inside!  Mind you, great band and the Italians love them.  Rock on!

A surprise Hibiscus in our garden. Foto P Finnigan

A surprise Hibiscus in our garden.
Foto P Finnigan

Now, thinking back to when we moved, we brought with us all our terracotta pots.  One of those pots had a sad-looking plant in it and back in April we cut it down low in the hope that it might recover.  Quite honestly, neither of us could remember what it was, so we watched and waited.  Then to our absolute delight it perked up as the weather got hot and this week we have been rewarded with a beautiful reminder that it was in fact a gorgeous Hibiscus.  So here is a lovely foto for you.

Finally and to update you, I know that many of you are awaiting book three of the ‘Adventures of Joanna Wilde’.  Well, I am currently rattling away with at least a thousand words a day of ‘The Italian Connection’ and can confidently expect to have the first draft finished by the end of October.  Whilst writing, I would like to say a big thank you for the big increase in book sales during June and July resulting in the largest royalty payment ever!  Now don’t get too excited, I won’t be retiring in luxury yet!  But it was very gratifying, Grazie Mille. xx

OK, time to think about lunch.  I think cheesy tomato & vegetable rice bake and green beans today.  Yes, Sunday lunch at home for a change!  Buon appetito!

Have a great week.

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.

Read Full Post »

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