Posts Tagged ‘Log Fire’

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

download-2.jpgNow, you know me.  I am the eternal fun loving optimist.  But this morning was awful.   The trains were all running seriously late from Certaldo, so I said to my man ‘Empoli?”  He jumped back in the car and we headed off for Empoli, which is where my man changes trains on the way to Pisa airport.  But we both agreed that it might be better to drive straight to Pisa rather than risk more delays, so my man got in the driver’s seat.  I like to live a relaxed lifestyle, which includes avoiding driving long distance and on fast motorways.  On the journey back I went the old route along the Strada Provinciale, it takes longer but it is far more relaxed.  It was OK until I got to the turning to Siena.  A new bypass road has finally opened, which should have been a huge relief to the villages on the ‘A’ road to Siena via Certaldo, my home town.  But the thoughtless road builders have either deliberately avoided building bridges or tunnels or did not have the cash, and have split villages in half with Berlin type walls!  I ignored the ‘dead end’ signs and went to take a look, there weren’t even any pedestrian underpaths or bridges!  So, this fun loving optimist is now furious!  To avoid the new fast bypasses, I had to drive into Empoli and add a further half an hour to my journey.  OK, I feel better now having shared this; time for a nice glass of Pinot Grigio!  Foto dw.com

79536486_481641379141460_7840924585141731328_nLast week we were taken by surprise to find that the frost had arrived before we had covered the terracotta plant pots in the garden.  So my man rushed out to do the important deed and well done to him.  But we love December and can all genuinely go around looking cheesy and admitting to loving Christmas!  What, who said that?  Not everyone likes Christmas; I cannot believe that for one moment.  Just look at the delight on childrens’ faces as they press their noses up against Christmassy shop windows.  And, the sparkle in the eyes of people wandering around the Christmas markets!  If you can’t be happy for yourself be jolly for those that are!  Here is a picture of our log fire to cheer you up!

I78467753_588554701918323_1256408801733509120_nn the foto of our fireplace you can see a framed ceramic tile bottom right, which is rather beautiful and was recently purchased from our firends at Ceramiche ‘Carbini Gabriella’ in our local village of Fiano.  It covers a hole in the side of the iglenook, which was originally an opening for a fire to heat the metal cooking pot ring above it.  I have mentioned Gabriella’s place before and will do so again, as it is full of ‘buy me’ ceramic things for presents.

79447082_1035657540100048_5385449884612558848_nMeanwhile, whilst browsing through the newspaper at La Dispensa at the weekend I found another beautiful outfit designed by one of my favourite Italian designers, Luisa Spagnoli.  Have you ever seen such a beautiful cosy winter outfit made from tartan rugs?  I think this deserves a top award of some kind!

Xmas Tree 2019And to keep the spirit of Christmas going, I thought you might like a picture of our Christmas Tree, which we put up in our large kitchen/family room.  Having a big Tuscan kitchen is fantastic for everthing including my singing practice as the acoustics are so good.  But more important than anything else is the pleasure of having friends and family to pranzo or cena in our kitchen, then toasting our tootsies in front of the fire in the sitting room, clutching a nice Italian digestivo.

The_Man_in_Black_Cover_for_KindleWhilst writing, I would like to say a very big thank you for buying my books in 2019 and to show how much I appreciate it, I want to send you a free signed short story called ‘The Man in Black’, which is a thriller based in London’s theatre land.  All you need to do is send me proof of purchase or a photograph of all three paperback versions by email, anytime up to the end of January 2020.  Email june.finnigan@virgin.net (Oh, I’ll need your postal address too!)

Well, must get back to the day job!  Do drop me a line and visit my website at My site

Salute June xxx

PS  Next week I’ll be posting not one but four hunks of the month as a special treat for Christmas.  Watch this space!




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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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