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Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

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

Now, some of you already know that I am a Director of a London based M&A Team, that is Mergers & Acquisitions. Well, like most service businesses, we have been working remotely since March, we just happen to be lucky enough to be locked-down in Tuscany. I’m mentioning this because I realised yesterday, Friday, that I had missed sending you a blog last weekend, I’m so sorry! But who’d have thought it, we have become so busy in the business without face to face meetings, that I have had to put aside finishing my fourth book and concentrate on our new clients! I actally spent last weekend in my home office! So my new target publication date for ‘Assassin’s List’ is now Spring 2021!

But don’t worry, you are far from being forgotten, without some creative writing and particularly to you, I think my head would explode! Meanwhile, all around us the Vendemia (grape harvest) is at its height. The noise from the great big harvesters, has filled the air and the clattering of the emptied grape trailers bouncing along behind tractors on the hard rutted track, as they come back for more. These big automatic harvesters have been in use for many years, particularly with the larger Wineries. But there are still many small farmers who employ hand pickers and provide holidays for tourists who want to join in. In return for your labour, you will usually have great platters of typical tuscan fare provided for lunch. Do you have any grape picking experiences! visit http://www.chianti.com

The lovely luscious dark purple Sangiovese grape, which goes into the Chianti wines is grown in this part of Tuscany on the edge of Chianti itself. Driving past Villa Bacio this morning, the air was full of the perfume and small streams of residue purple juice had flooded across the road, filling all the cracks and spilling over the edge into the fields. It seems only yesterday that the last Vendemia was under way!

As regards other seasonal fruits, there are still some wonderful sweet fresh figs to be had. You need to know your trees though as some can be very bitter. But at Paolo’s C’era una Volta Ristorante, I was served up the most mouth watering sweet fruits direct from his own trees, with local pecorino cheeses. Delizioso! Down in Certaldo this morning, the fruit and veg market was very busy, loads of fresh produce and, I’m glad to say, everyone still keeping a distance and most wearing masks. But I missed seeing the Artisan Market in Via Giugno with the lovely crafts and products from all over Italy. My man told me about this later, the crafty devil! He knew that I would be there all morning if I had known! Unknowingly, I instead spent half an hour having a pedicure and manicure with my beautician Irene, whilst my man went off for his favourite pastry at Jam Caffe, no doubt with a smirk on his face! But now I am a happy rabbit with beautiful feet and hands. I have chosen a purple varnish again, to match the colour of the Chianti Wine in my glass!

On our return home, my man unlocked the front door and I barrelled through the beaded fly-curtain. My man let out a shout and said “Stick insect alert!” Apparently one of these stunning creatures (Bacillus Rossius) was attached to the curtain which, I could have easily injured. But all was fine, he took a foto and a short while later announced that it was eating a live shield bug! Funny, I thought they only ate leaves, but hey, nothing new really surprises us here in Italy! Everything gets eaten.

Meanwhile, September is turning out quite nice. The house is cooler as the nights are now longer. Temperatures are still at a high of 33 centigrade after lunch and will be for the rest of the week, but there is also a bit of a breeze. Tourists have thinned out a bit now and the schools are open, but we have not seen the usual grey heads that are traditionally here in September.

Well, must get this blog edited and the fotos put in for you to enjoy. Once again, sorry for missing last weekends blog, I’ll try not to do it again!

Wishing you all a really good week and please stay safe. Visit my website at http://www.junefinnigan.website

Salute June x

Grape fotos chianti.com

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Welcome and Benveuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World,

Storm clouds over Tuscany, pinterest.

Well, the rain is thundering down on our Tuscan country home. We also had storm force winds yesterday and more are expected. It’s difficult weather because we are having to deal with high humidity too. A digger driver spent the whole of last week digging drainage channels in the valley below us; it’s amazing how canny the Tuscan contadini (country folk/farmers) can be about the weather. Do you consult your local country folk or fishermen/women on the weather forecast?

Meanwhile, we are thick with tourists. No obvious English or American yet, but we don’t really want to encourage them! Covid remains a worry here, although our area on the edge of Chianti has been only slightly affected, it’s the visitors that are the problem. Many are not bothering to wear masks and those that come to the restaurent wearing them, take them off at the table, which is fine, then go brain dead and get up to go to the loo or take fotos without putting them back on again! My man has to restrain me from shouting! But hey ho! This did not stop me from enjoying the first Giant Porcini Cap of the season, grilled over Paolo’s open fire! Wonderful!

Anyway, life eeez good, life eeez now!. We met up with our beautiful daughter and granddaughter at Jam Caffe in Certaldo for coffee in the week and my man had his favourite pastry, Pastina Arancia. Our granddaughter (15) was telling us that her return to school is likely to be on a part-time basis, the rest of the time studing on-line. Her last term was all on-line and she did very well without the nomal distractions of friends. Tuscany has so far provided excellent schooling this way, but obviously the face to face social interaction is important too.

Our Grandson (nearly 20) has just signed up with a South East Rugby Club in England for the coming season. At the moment, the club is only training on Thursdays, but he is very glad to be there. He was desperate to play English Rugby after having played in both Italy and France. As most of you know, Rugby in Italy has much room for improvement including proper investment into facilities and pitches. We are delighted for him!

Back here in our Tuscan country garden, Phil the pheasant is looking so much better and we have been reliably informed by a friend in the know, that his dissapearance and bedraggled return is because the males need to recover from the mating season and moult at the same time. Thank you Hilary for that snippit of knowledge! And, we have another resident, found by my man, curled up tightly in our entrance hall in a nook in the stone steps. A young skinny viper and whilst immature, we don’t really want him inside the house! So he was gently swept out the door and has taken up residence under an earthenware pot outside. foto Animalia.bio

Meanwhile, I’ve been sorting out my music repertoire and am ordering more backing tracks, but this time in the correct key for my voice. Also, we have ordered some better lighting for the Sound Studio from IKEA and whilst I was online, I thought I may as well order more bookshelves, a bathroom cabinet, two bedside tables and more lamps. I know, naughty indulgences! Deliveries here are now fairly reliable if you live in Tuscany and there’s nothing like a bit of shopping therapy to brighten the day! Some of the pricing is also amazing. We bought this great non-intrusive floor lamp a few weeks ago, for just 15 Euros on-line at IKEA.it! What do you think?

Well, I think we will pop out to Paolo’s for lunch again today. I had a funny moment yesterday, forgetting that I had planned to go out to eat! My man came to find me and could not believe that I had forgotten. But he’s always happy to eat a home, bless him.

So, time to get the fotos added and do an edit. I do hope you enjoy my waffling, I blame it on the heat and humidity.

Have a great week and do drop me a line, I love to hear from you. Visit my website at http://www.junefinnigan.website

Salute June x

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

wine-windowI am firstly going to take you to Florence as there are two things I want to tell you about.  Firstly, have you heard of the Wine Windows?  These medieval windows, of which there are more than 150, have re-opened to serve wine to the tourists!  This is most appropriate, because back in the late Middle-Ages these windows were created to serve wine to the people of Florence due to the Buconic plague or Black Death, that had swept across Europe, wiping out half of the population!  So these windows provided protection for the winery owners whilst at the same time serving the much needed ‘Italian Water’ to the populace.  There is actually a society that keeps all the windows registered and looked after.  At the following site you can find all the windows and where they are.  Fascinating stuff!  Wine Windows

Give by Loenzo QuinnSecondly, I was really taken with the installation of a beautiful sculpture in the famous Boboli Gardens in Florence.  It is called simply ‘Give’ and is the creation of  Lorenzo Quinnard.  Lorenzo had always wanted to have the honour of placing a sculpture in these gardens and he will tell you a lot more about this on his website.  I love the fact that an olive tree has been planted in the centre symbolising peace and love.  He also made the hands that appeared to be reaching up from the canal in Venice, holding up a building!  Lorenzo Quinn

band-relaxedMeanwhile, back in our little bit of the Chianti countryside, I was itching to get down to my sound studio to do a bit of singing.  You may recall that my man and I had tried to work out the technical side of things, linking the synthesiser to speakers and mics etc.  Well, the good news is, we seem to have it up and running.  To make things perfect I need to download backing tracks in the correct key for my voice.  Now, you may not be aware that each song will need a different key.  My voice is quite low and some songs, designed for men, are OK.  But most aren’t.  So I was delighted to get an email from ParisMusic this morning telling me they can adjust the keys on downloads without any problems!  Hurrah!   We have decided to go ahead with next year’s concert on 18 June 2021, with or without an audience.  Fingers crossed; I’ll keep you posted!

images.jpgAnyway, lets bring you down to earth and talk about wasps!  Here in Tuscany, this time of year is the busy building of wasp nests (Macro of wasp) and they can be a real problem, trying to set up home in the most inappropriate places!  My man found a nest attached to the outside of the kitchen door of the appartment downstairs, where we have the Sound Studio and Gymnasium.  So last night around 9pm he donned protective clothes and went down to spray it.  Now we hate doing this, but we have both been attacked in the past as they keep a sentry outside just waiting for anyone getting close!  I was relieved when my man returned unscathed and this morning confirmed it had worked.

download-1.jpgSo, what next?  Well, we are now overun with tourists, mostly from northern Europe: Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Austria and some French.  Most are being strict with their face masks and distancing in our local village of Fiano, but I can’t speak for the more popular tourist hot spots.  Meanwhile, the locals are very busy using up the glut of tomatoes to make passatta, including my daughter who has run out of jars and is scrabbling around for more.  The countryside is pretty noisy, with constant strimming of the dried grasses and squeaky tractors cutting the meadow hay below our farmhouse.  We hear laughter from nearby swimming pools and the cicada’s continue to chirp away.  But it is far too hot to stay outside, between 35c and 39c this week.  So we batten down the shutters, turn on the air conditioning unit and fans and settle down to work in our studios.  But life eeez good, life eeez now.

OK, need to get back to the day job now, but will be thinking of you all.  Please stay safe and well!  Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers!

Salute June x

PS Visit my website at June’s Site

 

 

 

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

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Archive picture – Packed like beached sardines on the Tuscan coast. La Repubblica.

Phew!  there’s no other word to describe it.  I’m talking about the weather here in Tuscany, of course.  August is traditionally a hot month and this year is no exception; many Italians have still rushed off to the seaside and up into the mountains to try and find a cool breeze, despite the restrictions.  But many haven’t.  I was talking to a very bronzed Italian friend in the village last week and he had no intention of taking his family to the beach, his tan was achieved working in his orto, vegetable garden.  There is considerable concern over the way people have been letting their guard down and what with the crazy tourists, its all a little scary.

download.jpgSo is Italy safe?  I hear you ask.  Yes, it is safe, perhaps less so in the north, just as long as you continue to take those all important precautions:  masks, hand cleansing and distancing.  Follow the rules!  My daughter was in her local town here in Tuscany, trying to go to the farmacia (chemist) and there was a crowd of tourists milling around with no masks and no distancing!  She had to shout to be heard when she asked them to give her room to get through!  It was so bad that the polizia (police) had to get out a loud hailer and ask them to put on their masks and to spread out!  Some people are just ignorant and others, quite frankly, stupid.  So it is down to you to remain safe and avoid busy tourist spots if you can!  Tuscany is so full of beautiful culture and countryside, it is not difficult to find many quiet and less touristy places to go.  The tourist industry is slowly recovering, but you will still find many lovely self-catering properties, like nearby Villa Il Pozzo with vacancies.  Villa il Pozzo

Peachy BreakfastAnyway, enough of that.  As I write this blog I am enjoying a delicious breakfast bowl of fresh fruit and some scoops of Mozzarella di Buffala.  The peaches are currently to die for, I love this time of year for the fruit and also new potatoes.  I have to admit that my man and I do eat out a lot at lunchtime.  I find the heat too exhausting to cook.  We have an air conditioning unit, but we still need fans as well.  So we remain grateful to Paolo at Ristorante C’era una Volta in Lucardo for his coolish dining room.

535346_251400000000_01_base_4Well, yesterday, just as the heat was getting to me in my studio, a Luisa Spagnoli email dropped into my inbox announcing a 50% sale!  Now, buying directly from an Italian designer, and Luisa Spagnoli is one of my favourites, can be expensive depending on your purse strings of course.  So a 50% sale is always something I can’t resist at least scrolling through.  Her models are mostly smiley or looking reasonable happy, so that helps too.  But, they are very tall!  I am your typical English wilting rose, five foot three and short waisted, so I have to be very selective in what I buy.  Midi length on me is ankle length, jackets and tops can come down to my knees, which is not the look one really wants to achieve.  I have recently managed to buy three frocks on-line from Next and M&S that actually fit and drop to a midi length, which I like.  But take a look at Luisa’s sale, if you love beautiful fashion, you will love her sale!  Luisa Spagnoli

cover-issue-2Back on the subject of food, there is nothing nicer than a big family lunch.  It also helps when you have a daughter and granddaughter who love to cook and they arrive at your house with a two course meal ready to serve!  All I had to do was lay the table beforehand.  This family get together was an extension of my daughter Sharon’s birthday as we did not get to see her on the day.  Sharon is the joint editor of EnvyItaly an upmarket luxury travel magazine, which can be downloaded on-line or bought in hard copy form.  I absolutely love this publication and if you have not aleady got a subscription, do take a look! EnvyItaly

OK, time to get this blog honed and off to you.  I will be cooking a light lunch as I just cannot face going out into the stifling heat today.  I am also supposed to start an alcohol free month as of now……

Have a great week and do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers.  Also, do visit my website at My site

Salute June x

 

 

 

 

 

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

My feet.jpgYes, it’s yet another Beautiful Day in Tuscany and I’m feeling very chipper. Last thursday I finally returned to my lovely estetista Irene in Certaldo, for a manicure and pedicure. Now in normal times this would not be something to post that was really newsworthy, but when I look at my feet now, it’s like a gift from heaven! For me beautiful hands, feet and hair are so very important. What with my being famous in Fiano, I have to look my best! It’s also to do with that ‘feel good’ factor, which is so important in all our lives. What do you think? Things remain strict here in Italy, you know, masks, hand gels and distancing wherever you go, but this gives me much more confidence about going to these places.

0-1Now whilst this is not strickly about Tuscany, you will probably know that Italians love music and in particular Rock Music. I live in the music world here and many friends are mourning the passing of Peter Green at the young age of seventy-four. He was considered to be one of the UK’s greatest guitarists and was a co-founder of Fleetwood Mac.

0.jpegOn a happier note the world is celebrating the 77th birthday of Mick Jagger, hugely popular with Italians and who always includes Florence or Lucca on the Rolling Stone’s European tours.  More are planned for 2021; Rock On that man! The brilliant drawings included for both these guys were done by UK artist Gary Wing, whom I follow on Linked-in. I also own an original of his, not a musician, but my lovely cat Farty Barty who went up to the cat concert in the sky three years ago. Bless him.

downloadMeanwhile, back here in this beautiful part of Tuscany, we are not far from Toscana Resort Castelfalfi, a favourtite haunt of our son-in-law who is a keen golfer.  They have opened their new Country Club House and restuarants that look very inviting.  I am reliably informed that for people staying there, there are a few things not quite ready yet like the swimming pool and spa centre.  However, the re-opening will be welcomed by those who enjoy  luxurious facilities and a 27 hole golf course in the most breathtaking Tuscan setting.  Website

My man surveys his landAnd, what else?  Oh yes, on the subject of travelling, I hope you have a passport, because I don’t!  If I have to be marooned anywhere, it would be here in Tuscany of course.  This is fortunate because, having applied for a new passport last April and being told it was on the way at the end of that month, it never arrived!  You may already know that due to the Covid thing, there is a backlog of thousands of UK passports.  I only found out a couple of weeks that the secure delivery service given the task of bringing UK passports to Euopean residents, returned a whole batch of passports to London!  Meanwhile, Easyjet, in their effort to reward frequent flyers, like my man, made him a member of their exclusive Flight Club.  Unfortunately, they stupidly registered me as the member and not him.  So when I rang to change a flight free of charge, which is one of the benefits, they said no, we would have to pay £60!  So here we are, me with no passport and my man without a decent airline.  But we don’t care about that, life eeez good, life eeez now!  Here is a picture of my man gazing at the Tuscan countryside and dreaming of returning to the UK, I don’t think!

Well, enough of that.  Time to get this blog off to you and get back to the day job.  Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers, or visit my website at My site

Have a great week.

Salute June x

 

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under the oak treeWelcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World,

Well, despite the need for facemasks and social distancing, we are thoroughly enjoying our early morning walks in the Tuscan countryside.  We have had some heavy rain but mostly sunshine, so the trees and plants are looking lush and green.  The farm labourers start work at around six in the morning now, as it’s a very busy time of year, strimming and clearing out the hedges and gullies.  So by the time we are out they have been working for two hours and are stopping for their coffees and pastries!

QuercetoWe have developed a liking for Il Bar Querceto, which is an easy walk for us.  They serve up the most delicious LavAzza Espresso and you get free biscuits too!  You can sit inside, but it is tiny, so for social distancing it is a maximum of four people.  The bar is rather beautiful with an inglenook fireplace and wall murals.  Over the fireplace is a painting of Oak Leaves from where the name of the bar is derived, The Oak Tree is called Il Querceto in Italian.  And, where is this bar?  Ah, now that’s our secret, can’t have the place filling up with tourists, now can we?  We still pop up to Fiano once or twice a week for coffee but things have yet to return to the easygoing breakfast visits we made every day before lock down.  However, there is a lovely new assistant called Ullie, who works from Monday to Friday.  She is Austrian and is trying to learn Italian; so we speak in English…..

Mozzie curtainsThis last week we made the decision to go to Brico and buy fixed framed mozzie curtains; Tende per Zanzare.  We bought three and allowed half an hour for each one as they have to be assembled and cut to size if necessary.  Three hours later we had managed to put together one in the kitchen, it was worse that putting together IKEA furniture and the instructions were severly lacking!  We worked out the hard way about measuring the opening!  What the instructions did not say was to reduce your upright measurement to cater for the plastic foot on the uprights and curtain roll container at the top!  Fortunately everything can be cut to size, but what a headache.  We have two more windows to do, but we’ll leave them till next weekend!  Phew……

TomatoesWell enough of that.  We have been enjoying lunch at least twice a week at Paolo’s, that’s Ristorante C’era una Volta for the uninitiated, and coming away with loads of Zucchini as his vegetable garden is overloaded this year.  Our daughter says her sweetcorn are five foot high and she doesn’t know what to do with the huge quantity of tomatoes!  There is a limit to the number of bottles of passatta she can fill!  So it’s a good year for the Tuscan ortos (vegetable gardens) and the fruit and veg markets too.  So, no need to grow my own, I just love it!

Well, I have a busy week ahead, what with the pedicure, manicure and hair colouring.  It’s so good to have everything opened again.  My poor feet are desperate for attention!  I must also try to relax after waiting on the phone to Easyjet for half an hour, trying to sort out the fact that they had given my man a frequent flyer ‘Flight Club Membership’ which means free flight changes, only to find that they had registered it for me and not him, even though he is the registered frequent flyer and has a Plus Membership number, so they would not make his changes free of charge!  So it’s bye bye to Easyjet, they have now completely blotted their copy book!

Well enough of that, must get this blog off to you and get back to work!  Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers.  june.finnigan@virgin.net or visit my website at My site

Salute June x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World

Zanzare huskSo sorry, but unforeseen circumstances prevented me from blogging last weekend.  But you’re not forgotten and here is a beautiful picture of the discarded husk of the reborn Cicada!  We found lots on our garden bench this last week.  Enjoy and I’ll be back this coming weekend.

Stay Safe, wear that mask.

Salute June x

Contact me at june.finnigan@virgin.net or visit my website at My Site

 

 

 

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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World

Well, things are definitely improving for our local restuarants, agriturismos and Hotels.  It is a slow process, but tourists are now making bookings and some are already here in near empty accommodation.  We met two nice Swiss guys at lunch last Thursday, who were the only guests at a large Castello near San Casciano!  Also a young family from Denmark staying at a local agriturismo.  And, yesterday our fellow diners were all from Holland.  One lone traveller was a long distance cyclist who had biked all the way from Holland on a recognised cycle route and was heading for Rome!  He had set out on 15th June and had just under 300 kilometres to go, phew, very impressive!  We were glad to hear that he had organised a bus ride from Rome, to take him back home with his bike on board.  I would love to do a trip like that, but I would need to be one hell of a lot fitter and it could be a little perilous on the Italian roads!  No offence to Italian drivers……but.

Cinema D'Estate CertaldoNow, one thing that has been missing over the last four months is entertainment and the Italians so love cinema.  So I was delighted to see that Certaldo Alto, which is the historical walled centre of our local town, is starting Cinema D’Estate from 9th July starting at 9.30 in the evenings in Palazzo Pretorio.  What a beautiful setting for some great films.  You can park down in Certaldo and get the funicular train up the hill, which runs until midnight or drive around the back of Certaldo Alto and park there.  You’ll also find some lovely places to eat and drink there too!  Picture from Facebook.  For more information and to buy tickets visit The website

Badger-30Back in our lovely little bit of Chianti countryside, the phantom digger has returned.  We have whittled the evidence down to being a badger.  It has very strong claws and is able to move some biggish stones and bricks lining one of the flower beds.  The badgers here are pretty big, we only got a close up once!  This one also has an attraction for the bottom of one of our acacia trees, having already destroyed all our Iris tubers.  There’s not a lot we can do about this really, just tidy up the mess it leaves behind.  During the four months of lock-down the wildlife became much more invasive!  But we don’t really mind, it’s lovely to see animals and birds that were previously very shy.

La DispensaWell, I have to say, it’s far too hot for me now.  The sun is scorching so if you are coming this week, slap on the protection!  We can hear the faint splashing of bodies in a nearby pool, so tourists are out and about in the sun!  This morning at our favourite alimentare and bar in Fiano, La Dispensa, we actually stopped for coffee seated at the one inside table.  It was quite busy, including tourists buying meats and if you are veggie, like us, you’ll find lots of fresh vegetables and cheeses too.  We were glad to see everyone still wearing masks and keeping a safe distance.

unnamedBack at my desk, I can hear the Ciccada’s making one hell of a din outside my window!  But I like it; it is the true sound of Tuscany in the summer, along with the squeaky tractors and the noise does not interupt my creative writing.  In fact, as soon as I finish this blog, I must get down to some more serious progress on   ‘Assassin’s List’, book four in the ‘Continuing Adventures of Joanna Wilde’.  I try and reserve Monday’s and Fridays for writing, however work related tasks are also becoming pressing.  But we don’t mind, life eeez good, life eeez now!  Nothing beats a long working holiday in Tuscany!  Foto Cicada Orni

OK, time to get this blog off to you. I’m sure there is a whole lot more going on outside that I haven’t told you about, but the heat is getting to me, so tune in for lots more news next week!  And, do let me know if you are coming to Tuscany this summer, you will be made very welcome by all our lovely Tuscan friends!

Oh and do visit my author site at My Site and/or drop me a line at june.finnigan@virgin.net

Have a good week

Salute June x

 

 

 

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Welcome and Benveuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World,

Three girliesLast Tuesday was my official birthday.  My unofficial birthday is when I celebrate with The Rock Chick Band and perform in our garden surrounded by fabulous family and friends, but as you know, not this year.  I had a great day, spoilt by my family with cake and presents after a morning setting up my new Sound Studio downstairs.  More on that in a minute.  That’s me in the middle sending an air kiss and ready to go out with my beautiful party girls!

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Foto J Finnigan

In the evening we went to Osteria Casa Chianti near Fiano, which is just ten minutes away from our home.  It has a great outdoor setting with sunset views, a perfect place to go in a group as there is also an entertainment value in the way you are served at table.  Also very good local wines and a menu specialising in Tartufu (truffles).  I ate far too much, but it was sooo good! Website

Sound Studio June 30 2020And what about my new sound studio? I hear you ask.  Well, my man and I set about working out the complexities of strange yet familiar new equipment and linking it to bluetooth.  My man is a lot cleverer than me, so he was somewhat less confused.  Importantly, I wanted to play backing tracks and to sing along to them over the mic, so I could hear how good or bad I was sounding!  Wow, the big speakers blasted out really good quality sound, I was so excited! But the mic was very sensitive so some adjustments were needed.  I think we got the hang of it.  You saw the piano room before the equipment arrived, so here it is all set up as a sound Studio.  The other speaker is just out of shot on the left and the 6 Channel Mixer/Blue Tooth Player is the larger black box on top of the piano.  It’s all very neat and tidy!  Now it’s down to me to get to grips with it on a regular basis and write some more song lyrics!  Watch out for some active pics later on!  Wow, I am so lucky.

Radley BagNow it’s still my birthday month and today, Saturday, I succumbed to buying yet another handbag on line.  Now, I know I normally push everything made in Italy, but the odd Radley Bag from London does seem to occasionally slip into my collection!  Oh, dear, my man will be editing this blog for me, he reads all my stuff, and I will hear him groan when he reads this, because I haven’t told him yet!  But it will go with the lovely little Radley clutch bag he bought me for my birthday some years ago, which also has a ‘data dog’ running across it!  That’ll appease him and oh, the new bag was also in the sale; you must take a look!  website

ec113746abdae43199822e686db6465dAnyway, what you really want to read about is Tuscany, don’t you? Well, the Ciccadas finally arrived this last week, rather late but they do like the hotter weather.  So now we have both the chirping of these noisy but friendly insects and the toad’s chorus to listen to whilst enjoying an aperitivo outside.  We have just heard that our neighbour Paola has a full house of tourists next week in her beautiful Agriturismo, La Poggiolaia, so we’ll soon be hearing the distant tinkle of laughter and splashing in the pool too!   Visit Paola’s website Here   Yesterday we drove past a huge field of sunflowers, which previously had been a field of poppies! The countryside is looking really beautiful here now, so it’s a great time to come to Tuscany!

OK, time to get the pictures slotted in for you to enjoy!  And, please do send me your comments and good news!  Pop them on the bottom of this page or email me at june.finnigan@virgin.net   Oh, and do visit my author site at june’s site

Have a great week and stay safe.

Salute June x

PS  A very Happy Birthday to Sandra Cirri at La Dispensa in Fiano!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the world,

Golden OrioleThanks to our neighbour and friend the potter Terry Davis, we have finally been able to identify the bird with the most beautiful haunting song now in our garden.  We have heard it every year since we arrived in Italy, usually in the distance but never knowing what it was until now.  It is the Golden Oriele, almost impossible to spot, very secretive and beautiful.  We have plenty of birdsong in and around our garden but this song is really special.  You should google it and listen for yourself!  Picture downloaded from Facebook.

Rock My world cardMeanwhile, I have been enjoying my unofficial birthday.  Yes, I know, very Queenie like.  To be honest, I start celebrating at the beginning of June as, after all, I am named after the month I was born in.  Story has it that my mother casually said ‘Oh, lets just call her June rather than faff around looking for other ideas.’  I was a second child and the rebellious streak erupted as soon as I could walk.  Yes, I was a wild child and I’m still wildly rocking on.  Last Friday evening should have been The Rock Chick’s Band’s 10th concert.  My man and I sat outside the front of the house feeling very strange, afraid someone might turn up who hadn’t got the cancellation message! But no, we were alone with the birds, toads and occasional hornet.  So, I now look forward to my official birthday on 23rd.  My man has just given me this fabulous card, he saw it earlier in the year in London and realised it was perfect.  I think he’s perfect too.

POTS june 2020The weather here is also perfect and the house should be full of friends and family.  Instead, we are enjoying all the newly planted pots thanks to my darling daughter who not only came with me to buy them, she planted them too!  Afterwards she went down to Umbria for a couple of days staying near Lake Trasimeno; she deserved a nice relaxing break with the family, bless her.

Northern Europeans have arrived.  I went to Fiano last Saturday to find the entrance to La Dispensa, our lovely alimentare and coffee bar,  blocked by a big 4 x 4 and an overweight German family.  Now, I have to remind myself that the tourist industry is the life blood of our community, but I can’t say it’s always easy to deal with.  My man and I have actually enjoyed the peace and quiet of the lock-down, whilst at the same time feeling the anxiety of our Italian friends who rely on the tourist industry.  One has to find a compromise.

Gabor shoesAnyway, it’s my birthday tomorrow.  I have spoilt myself with new shoes from Gabor who have great styles without losing the comfort one needs to survive!  I’ve started drinking wine at noon and my man has planted three rose bushes in a nice trangular bed in the front garden.  Lovely.  Any minute now, DHL will arrive with all the electronic equipment I need to set up my new sound studio in the downstairs guest apartment, now that is really exciting!  I’ll send you a foto next week!

But for now, I need to organise a nice lunch for myself and my gorgeous man who’s hair is nearly long enough for a pony tail, bless him.

Have a great week and do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers!  june.finnigan@virgin.net and/or visit my website at my site

Salute June x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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