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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Loman’

Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

Crumbling cliffs below our villa. Photo J Finnigan

Crumbling cliffs below our villa.
Photo J Finnigan

One minute I was happily writing at my keyboard, the next me and my desk are swaying from side to side for a long and unnerving five seconds!  A rumbling and groaning noise accompanied this rather queasy experience, and it was to happen three times more during last Friday.  No this was nothing to do with my man’s amorous intentions, it was in fact an earthquake, yes a real one.  In the evening we drove over to our lovely Bavarian friends who live across the valley, and whilst we were sat at their kitchen bar, there was another brief further rumble, but we carried on enjoying ourselves regardless.  Of course in the morning we received numerous messages like ‘Did the earth move for you yesterday?’  But thank you to all the well wishers, and yes we are all OK.  Fortunately we were a couple of miles from the epicentre, however, we read in the paper that several families had spent the night outside for fear of having their homes crash down on top of them!  The Italians are very good at barbeques and outside pizza ovens, so most survived well fed and unscathed.  I had a dream not so long ago, that our little villa had slid down the hill and then over the cliff at the bottom.  But we just floated through the air and landed safely.  So I am convinced that we are protected by the Roman Gods.

Ha ha, moving? Photo Discover Tuscany

Ha ha, moving?
Photo Discover Tuscany

My man returned from England last Sunday, with our fourteen year old grandson who is home from his UK school for the Christmas holidays.  Yet again, the trains were on strike, so the guys and our daughter traveled by bus first to Florence, and then had to change for Poggibonsi, which is near Siena.  Amazingly they arrived only an hour later than they would have done on the train.  But the strikes in Italy are getting more frequent.  A week ago there was a general strike so absolutely nothing functioned for a day.   If you want to travel to Italy, double-check with your flights, trains and buses if there is likely to be strike action, particularly the day before you go.  If you are already in Italy, keep your wine cellar stocked up.

Then there are the worsening taxes in Italy!  Small businesses are now really struggling to survive as customers can no longer afford to shop like they used to and business taxes have gone up yet again!  It is sad to witness, particularly as it is affecting people we know and have enjoyed doing business with.  There are posters up with a picture of the prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the words below are, in Italian of course, ‘Renzi has wet his pants!’  We are not sure exactly why, but one can guess that the electorate are starting to believe that he is still in nappies and too inexperienced to make grown up decisions, like saving the country from ruin!  Someone may like to correct me here,

Anna and I enjoying a chat over lunch at La Raccolto in Florence PHoto P Finnigan

Anna and I enjoying a chat over lunch at La Raccolta in Florence
Photo P Finnigan

if they know a better reason.  Perhaps he did ‘wet his pants!’

My new painting next to the fireplace in our sitting room Photo J Finnigan

My new painting next to the fireplace in our sitting room
Photo J Finnigan

But enough of that.  Our week has otherwise been really good.  We have dined out several times, firstly at ‘Osteria Sosta di Pio’ near Poggibonsi for sunday lunch, with a new Australian friend Simona at ‘C’era Una Volta Ristorante’, with Anna Balzani Editor in Chief of ‘Florence is You’ who introduced us to a lovely new vegi & biological restaurant in Florence called ‘La Raccolta,’  which is also a mini-market http://www.laraccolta.it and of course with our Bavarian friends at their home for supper.  Thank you all for your excellent company.

The other good news is the arrival of an oil painting from England, painted by the very talented artist Mark Loman, from my home town of Exmouth in Devon.  I chose one of Mols Coffee House, a Tudor building in Exeter, as it was owned by my family up until the 1930’s.  So that’s my Christmas present to myself!  Visit http://www.markloman.co.uk

The idol Silvio (Jesu) Berlusconi Photo sdpf

The idol Silvio (Jesu) Berlusconi
Photo sdpf

Meanwhile, back in the land of wine and women, Silvio Berlusconi continues to strut his stuff.  With the present government coming under severe criticism, Silvio is rising from the ashes again like a phoenix.  Back in 2009 he was listed number 141 in the worlds richest men with a net worth of US $9 Billion.  Of course wealth creates wealth so you can guarantee his worth has increased dramatically by now.  So let’s vote him back in, on the proviso that he personally invests in the country and rescues these poor Italians from its crushing economy!

Well, it’s time to go.  We have closed both the UK and Italian office and are now about to celebrate the Festive Season.  I’ve got a pile of presents to wrap and a visit to IKEA lined up, as I am desperate to get some more storage for our little villa.

Have a fabulous Christmas and do drop me a line.  There is still time to download your festive reading, I’d love it if you downloaded ‘My Father, The Assassin’ below.

Tanti Auguri to you and yours.

June xx

ps visit 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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