Posts Tagged ‘Italian hairstylists’

Benvenuti to all my lovely Loyal and New Followers

Gianfranco Rosi wins the Documentary Golden Bear award in Berlin. Il Nazione

Gianfranco Rosi wins the Documentary Golden Bear award in Berlin.
Il Nazione

Well, the Italians are a talented lot, particularly in the film world.  Over morning coffee today, I read that the Berlin Documentary Golden Bear Award has just been won by fifty two-year old Gianfranco Rosi for his brilliant documentary about the refugee crisis, called ‘Fire at Sea’ (Fuocoammare).  We applaud him and his team for the filming of the dreadful plight of thousands of terrified people seeking safety on ours’ and other southern Mediterranean shores.

Maniac Gentleman Andrea Iannone for you girlies. Sports magazine Il Nazione

Maniac Gentleman Andrea Iannone for you girlies.
Sports magazine Il Nazione

On a lighter note, and in the back of the sports magazine, I spotted a picture of Andrea Innanone, which will please the girlies.  Andrea is a Motorcycle Racer and I was very amused to read the description in English under the photo, which read ‘Daring Rider, Maniac Gentleman & Motor Cycle Racer.’  Well, they got the first and third comment right, but the mind boggles at what the Italian was, which translated into ‘Maniac Gentleman’?  We are often very amused at Italian translations into English, particularly in restaurant menus, and I know from experience that the Italians can be hugely entertained by our own attempts at translating English into Italian.  Sometimes, the whole caffè bar can erupt into raucous laughter after I have made a statement for all to hear, only to find that I have actually said something like ” Good Morning, What a lovely day for washing the goat.” Hey ho….

Jimi Hendrix joins us for coffee. Il Nazione

Jimi Hendrix joins us for coffee.
Il Nazione

Yesterday, we were joined for coffee by the late great Jimi Hendrix.  I’ve noticed that since poor David Bowie’s demise, the Italians are promoting a number of the iconic musicians and their music..  They do love aging rockers here, thank god, and tours by even the lesser bands from the 60’s and 70’s are sold out almost immediately!

Lovely Italian Fashion shot in glossy magazine.

Lovely Italian Fashion shot in glossy magazine.

On another subject, you may recall that I go regularly to my local hairdresser, Sandra, and that is the one time I get the chance to read the glossies.  I love this coverage of Italian fashion and wanted to share it with you.  This morning there was an unexpected market in Certaldo, which was oozing with handbags and scarves; two of my fashion indulgences.  But my man was with me and he did not want to hang around, can’t say I blame him, so that saved a few euros!  But I did buy some gluten-free vegan chocolate bars that taste much better than they sound!

Nakist cyclist Mario Cipollini. Il Nazione

Naked cyclist Mario Cipollini.
Il Nazione

Finally, I was amazed to read earlier in the week about a naked cyclist called Mario Cipollini.  His surname translates to small onions; think what you want….  It seems he was the original model for Reuters in ‘2000’ for a public campaign.  Here in Italy, semi-professional cyclists are everywhere, particularly at the weekends, often swarming past our kitchen window talking thirteen to the dozen at the top of their voices, wearing bright dayglow skin-wear.  Then there are the dedicated solo riders that for some reason favour black cycling gear and you only see them at the last second before having to swerve towards an Italian driver who is already on the wrong side of the road!

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

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

But life eeez good, despite the cold weather.  We actually managed lunch in the garden yesterday!  The wind had dropped and the sun came out for a couple of hours, so we diehards were out there like a shot, wearing fingerless gloves to protect us against the cold of the wine glasses….

Well enough of that, I must get this post edited and fotos added, so that I can send it out to you this evening.  Tomorrow I will be working hard on the Cyber Thriller, which I have been commissioned to write, then Tuesday back to the day job!  So, may wish you all a great week and see you next weekend.

Salute June x

PS do drop me a line, I love to hear your comments!

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

Every morning, whilst enjoying a lovely creamy caffè latte in one our local bars (they don’t use horrible low-fat milk here),  I scan either La Nazione or Il Terreno newspapers for interesting snippets.  Yesterday, I was joined by Winston Churchill and today by Dante, well not literally of course, both being long gone.

Coffee with Winston Churchill. Photo J Finnigan

Coffee with Winston Churchill.
Photo J Finnigan

You may already know that this year is the fiftieth anniversary of good old Winston’s funeral and the Italians are treating this as important news.  One thing you may not know is that my man, an ex Royal Marine Commando, was marching in the front row of the Marines’ contingent on the big day.  He was very young, in full ceremonial uniform of course, blues, greatcoat and white pith helmet down over his eyes.  If they happen to show the funeral on TV again, he was fourth in on the right as they march towards you.  He has other claims to fame, however, I have mentioned this one as it is so very topical.  Writing about Winston reminds me that I wanted to be a  Secret Agent during the Second World War.  Fortunately, I was born a few years after it finished!  As a child in the 50’s I used to organise the children in our area to play ‘Germans and English’; I was always the covert spy.  Co-incidentally, I am currently reading ‘Operation Garbo: The Personal Story of the Most Successful Spy of World War Two.’  What are you reading?

Coffee with Dante. Photo J Finnigan

Coffee with Dante.
Photo J Finnigan

Now my other guest for coffee, was the great poet and writer Dante.  Still looking good at the age of seven hundred and fifty, he’s a popular chappy here.  He spent his life cruising between Pisa, Lucca, Pistoia and Carrara, amongst other Tuscan hangouts.  There are currently lots of exhibitions and celebrations happening in the area.

Laura with vibrant red hair and designer finger nails. Photo J Finnigan

Laura with vibrant red hair and designer finger nails.
Photo J Finnigan

Meanwhile, back at Laura’s bar/alimentare, I notice that Laura is sporting very red hair.  She says that her hairdresser added a special ingredient to make it more ‘brilliante’.  She always has the most fantastic nail art too, I might go to see her nail lady and have fantastic nails for my next rock concert.  Take a close look.

Down in Certaldo’s Saturday market,  I go back to the lovely couple who produce the most fantastic Pecorino (sheep’s cheese) and Caprina (goat’s cheese).  I have fallen completely in love with a very young pecorino, which is really soft, full of flavour and just melts in the mouth.  Mmmm.  Also, I have been devouring bottles of Sweet Red Onion marmalade which is a speciality in Certaldo.  The two go really well together and are adding inches to my waistline!  These, along with the local Chianti wine are the reason why I have to go on a diet soon, well fairly soon.

Melt in the mouth Cheeses in Certaldo's Saturday Market Photo J Finnigan

Melt in the mouth Cheeses in Certaldo’s Saturday Market
Photo J Finnigan

I have mentioned that many businesses are closing down here.  We have tried to buy a new kingsize bed locally, but found that an antique furniture warehouse and a bed outlet have both disappeared.  Getting very frustrated, I went on-line, found exactly what I wanted in a number of UK stores, but they do not deliver overseas!  If anyone has any good ideas, do let me know.  Ideally within a an hours drive of Certaldo, Tuscany or on-line.  (IKEA don’t do a kingsize..)  Big sigh….

Well enough of that, must get on with final honing of my latest book ‘The Bolivian Connection,’ as I know you are all champing at the bit.  You will also be pleased to know that Joanna Wilde (my heroine) has already started a new adventure in ‘The Italian Connection’, which I expect to publish early next year.

I will update you on the gorgeous Silvio Berlusconi’s exploits next week.  In the meantime have a really good week and do drop me a line.

Amore June x

PS Here is the direct link for my novel ‘My Father, The Assassin’. You can also visit http://www.amazon.com & http://www.amazon.eu



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Ripening grapes on our lower terrace. Photo P Finnigan

Ripening grapes on our lower terrace.
Photo P Finnigan

Welcome to all my Loyal and New Followers.

Well, this last week we have been surrounded by grape harvesters, driving their squeaky tractors and clattering trailers loaded with huge juicy purple grapes past our villa, and taking them for crushing just down the road at the Villa Bacio.  The Villa is also an agriturismo, so paying guests are darting around with their cameras trying to get the best shots of the picking and crushing.  Yesterday, Sunday, we bumped into our very good friend Claudio who produces one of the best Chianti wines in the region.  We can see his property across the valley and he used to be our next door neighbour.  Claudio was just starting his harvest and, like many other farmers,  always imports workers during the season.  Last year he had Orientals and Africans, this year he has Pakistanis!  Why, we asked, have you chosen Pakistanis.  They are reliable and legal he laughed, the price is agreed at outset and the boss speaks Italian which helps!  My man commented on how good the weather was now and that  he hated cold weather.  Claudio said it was perfect for the harvest (vendemia), not too hot and not too cold.  He then laughed and called my man a ToscanoDoc.  This was quite a compliment as he was saying that the man was one of ‘them’, that is a true Tuscan!  As all you wine connoisseurs will know, a DOCG Chianti wine has been formally approved as a true Chianti and Claudio’s wine is in this exclusive club.  My man was beaming all the way home, bless him.

Yummy birthday cake photo J Finnigan

Yummy birthday cake
photo J Finnigan

Last Wednesday, was our grandson’s thirteenth birthday (compleanno) so we drove over to his house near Siena for the festa.  He is now the proud owner of a Yamaha acoustic guitar which fills my heart with joy and excitement.  Hopefully, he will be able to play with my band in the future!  Our teenager is also a brilliant rugby player and today he is being assessed for moving on to greater opportunities.  Over the weekend, whilst we dog sat, the family went off to watch Rovigo play their opening match of the season.  They were guests of Rovigo’s New Zealander player Billy Ngawini, who was busy signing autographs, and as a birthday surprise they all had dinner with top rugby star Mirco Bergamasco who is the gorgeous blond guy all we girlies adore!

This morning at the alimentari/bar, it was busy with locals collecting their bread, groceries, drinking coffee and generally catching up, because Laura (the owner) and family had closed over the weekend, to go to Milan.  The break seems to have given Laura a lift and with Benedetta back behind the counter and the newspapers being delivered every day, all is very relaxed again.

Seasonal figs and local Tuscan Cheeses Photo J Finnigan

Seasonal figs and local Tuscan Cheeses
Photo J Finnigan

The evenings are closing in fast and last night, as we were enjoying our aperitivo after handing back the dogs, my man let out a groan, ‘Oh no, the automatic garden light has just come on and it’s only seven twenty-five!  Yesterday it was seven thirty…’  His face grew long and his shoulders slumped.  I have a cunning plan to keep a small torch in my pocket and to shine it in his face every time he complains about the sun going down too early!  Also, I remind him how beautiful autumn is with all the fruit and veg and particularly figs still in season.

Farty Barty in indecisive mood. Photo J Finnigan

Farty Barty in indecisive mood.
Photo J Finnigan

Farty Barty the cat, also seems to be effected by the changing season and has been sitting on my lap a lot.  He is acting in a very indecisive manner which is probably due to the girlie cats being off-season!

So what is happening in the Italian news, and is Silvio still getting the coverage he deserves?  Well, yes and no.  Vladimir Putin my not have helped Silvio’s case by quoting ‘SB’s personal life would never have become a scandal and ended up in the courts if he had been gay!’  However, back in November 2010 Silvio actually said in public  ‘it’s better to like beautiful girls than to be gay!’.  Mmmm, there could be a considerable loss of vote in a certain section of the population if this carrys on.  However, in a sixteen minute recorded speech last week Silvio insisted he will remain in Italian politics even if his fellow senators strip him of his senate seat.  Phew, that’s a relief  for all the make up artists, hairdressers and plastic surgeons that see him as a walking advertisement…..What do you think?

Well, it’s Monday morning again and I am a little late posting this blog, I hope you don’t mind too much and that you have enjoyed reading it.

Have a great week and see you at the weekend.

salute June x

PS Don’t forget to start building your Christmas book list and visit http://www.firstchapters.net where you can read the first three chapters of any books listed free of charge!  First check out the romantic thriller ‘My Father, the Assassin’ by J W Finnigan.

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Bentornati and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers,

It’s a wonderful thing to be able to write to you all every week, and to tell you about the fun and interesting goings on in my little bit of Tuscany.  I would, however, like to first mention my Man.  He has just returned from five working days in London and he had some very interesting ‘journey’ stories to tell.   Before I go into these, I must say that I am forever grateful for him handing out my author cards and promoting me , his girlie, wherever he goes.  He is currently reading an ancient leather-bound book written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and called The Scarlet Letter.  This book is an heirloom and has been in our family since 1850 and always comes up fresh.  It is also small and easy to travel with.  He was on the train reading it and an Italian lady opposite asked if he was reading the Bible!  She turned out to be incredibly interesting, a teacher in New York, with a house on the very ‘tip’ of Italy, had flown into Pisa from London, was staying a few days in Florence and was then going to a Persian Wedding in Rome.  Phew!  Earlier my man was on a flight from Luton to Pisa and before take off, he was settling in to the pleasing fact that he was going to have three seats all to himself.  Then two very large (but lovely) ladies rushed in through the door at the last-minute.  His heart sank, as they headed straight for him.  They were friends but their seats were one each side of him and he is not a small man.   Thankfully, the blonde one offered him her window seat, however, as they strapped themselves in it was obvious he was going to be well and truly wedged up against the window for two hours!  If he had wanted anything out of his pocket, there was no way of getting his hand in and for the whole flight he had nothing to eat or drink.   But bless them, these ladies from the Midlands were so funny and entertaining that the time flew by and he came away armed with some hilarious ‘blond’ jokes!

Meanwhile, back at the Bar/Alimentari in Fiano, Sig Rotund is unhappy with the inconsistent arrival of the newspapers and in particular, the sporting pages.  Today he sent an Algerian runner for one, but he came back empty-handed.  Now Sig Rotund is a very popular customer and poor Laura the owner did not want to disappoint him yet again.  So she walked down to the other bar to get him one.  Two or three of the local ladies give Sig Rotund’s wide back a massage whilst he is reading the ‘giornale’, including Laura, and he takes this all for granted.   He is, by the way, a very likeable man too.

Milko showing my books for sale!

Milko showing my books for sale!

Then some good news.  Milko, at the ‘Cartolibreria’ in the Piazza, was delighted to have sold three of my novels yesterday, to a German lady and her two American friends.  Monica, if you are reading this, I hope you are all thoroughly enjoying the book!  Drop me a line.

Earlier in the week and back in our lovely garden, I saw a flash of yellow in the orchard, dashed for the binoculars and saw my first ever Golden Oriole fly across my view.   Of course it’s a time when you really want to share this experience, however, here is a picture for you all to enjoy anyway.

Eurasian Golden Oriole

Eurasian Golden Oriole

I may have already told you that I always have a book on the go.   I am talking about reading, not writing, although I always have one of those in preparation too, as I find it very relaxing to go and read when a little bit of stress creeps in.   I am currently reading ‘Joyce Grenfell Requests the Pleasure‘ which is an autobiography  by this lovely funny lady who I have been fortunate enough to hear on radio years ago and see on TV.  I can only say that not only was she a great entertainer but a pretty good writer too.   Writers should always read as it can provide unexpected inspiration and education.

Silvio - Still Sexy even when firing on all cylinders! Photo stefanogalla.blogs.com

Silvio – Still Sexy even when firing on all cylinders!
Photo stefanogalla.blogs.com

And so to the man himself.  May he always keep the journalists, hairdressers, make-up artists, dancers, politicians and judges in work.  Without Silvio there would be a massive increase in unemployment.   Talk in the local bar is very much against his opposition as these people have no idea what a great loss he would be to tourism and students studying economics & politics.  Whilst Italy does have a king tucked away somewhere, possibly in jail – I’ll check this out for next time, Silvio has for several decades now been a form of ‘royalty’.  He’s certainly rich enough.  As is often said in the bar, better the ‘Devil you Know’!

Well, must get organised and go out to lunch (pranzo) at ‘C’era una Volta’ in Luccardo near Fiano.    It’s far too hot to cook or to eat outside at present, however, we will look forward to a nice aperitivo in the early evening when it is a little cooler.

Have a great week and see you next weekend.

Amore June x

PS If you would like to read or leave a review for my novel, click the top right of this page ‘My Father, The Assassin’ under blogroll.

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And it is another lovely day.  The sun is shining and it’s warm enough for my man to go outside with his lap-top to work.  The covers have come off the orange trees and our first daffodil is about to burst into this wonderful world.


Well, this week has included my four weekly visit to the hairdresser(parrucchiere).  This is one Italian word that refuses to lodge itself in my overworked brain, so I explain to my coven friends in Bar Italia next door, that I am going for ‘colore’.  Sandra, my loyal and lovely hairdstylist, always asks me if I want ‘solito’ (the usual) and then she goes to mix the colour.  She would love to do my hair in multi-shades of red rather than just one as it goes against her grain not to be artistic and creative.  A little later she will sigh with acceptance when I say I only want ‘liscie’, no this is nothing to do with head lice, it translates to mean straight, however, to a hairstylist it means blow dried naturally.  if you really want to pick up the language and local accent, the hairdresser is the place to go.  The stylists never stop talking no matter how noisy the dryers.

Yesterday morning, I met my lovely Bavarian friend for coffee.  She has the gift of speaking both English and Italian despite her first language being German.  If I take a female friend for coffee at Fiano, I am always asked if she is my daughter!  How many daughters am I supposed to have and do I look that old?  On the subject of daughters, I do have one, a very talented Garden Designer.

Well, the new Papa (Pope) seems to be very busy telling all his followers that the new church will be a poor one dedicated to helping the needy.  Whilst the non-government will remain rich dedicated to helping those not in need.

On a lighter note, Italian Rugby is on the rise, finishing fourth in the Six Nations.  This is spurring our grandson (age 12) on to greater things and he is playing for Siena under 15’s this afternoon.

Did I mention my book last Saturday?  My man has been passing my author card to all and sundry on his travels to London and back.  I’ve also been proactive in the local village of Fiano and Certaldo, our nearest town.  In case you need the link, here it is again and do let me know if you have enjoyed the read and spread the word, I need your support!


Salute, and have a great week. x

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