Posts Tagged ‘Music’

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

As the UK heads for a so called second wave and the rest of the World is on red alert, here in Italy there have also been some increases in cases. However, restrictions have remained in place throughout, the surgical type mask is recommended and wearing one remains a legal requirement. Absolutely no gatherings of people are allowed and you should check the new tight rules for travel. Nevertheless, some people have become a little too relaxed, which has put me off going to the restaurant for a bit! But I would rather be in our little bit of Tuscany than anywhere else! For all the latest covid information in Italy go to http://www.salute.gov.it/portale/nuovocoronavirus/dettaglioFaqNuovoCoronavirus.jsp?lingua=english&id=230

At our last visit to Paolo’s at C’era una Volta Ristorante, my man enjoyed a delicous Spagetti al Pomodorini. It’s the sweet locally grown baby tomatoes that make it so special and tossed with olio and aglio (olive oil and garlic), lovely.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed Baked smoked Scamorza Cheese over potato and sun dried tomatoes; another electric Italian mouthwatering combination of flavours! We’ll be back there soon, just taking a little break!

Well, today is Sunday, the temperature is dropping and it’s raining. My man donned his cowboy hat and highwayman mac, to go up to Fiano for coffee. He complained that he was having to wear long trousers too, poor thing. But I’m somewhat relieved. Another couple of weeks and we should be free of mosquitos, which means we can sit outside in the early Autumn sunshine, without my being attacked by the little monsters!

So, I turn to the Italian fashion pages and drool over the new Autumn look. Do you like faux fur? This is the rage at the moment, I’m not too keen. So, I find myself inevitably drawn to the Luisa Spagnoli collection. The Autumn look here is to die for, but prices are back up to their original level. For some not affordable, others might consider it an investment. I just adore this gorgeous velvet frock and am so tempted; hum, need to sell a few more books first! But oh, I see she still has a lot of stuff in the sale, many lovely things as low as half-price, yay! Anyway, why not pop over to the site and window shop like me. Who is your favourite designer? https://www.luisaspagnoli.it/

I promised myself that this weekend I would go downstairs to my Sound Studio. I am waiting for some more backing tracks to arrive, so I can practice singing as if the band was with me. I must chase these up! Now that the covid thing has raised its snarling head again, musicians are having to think twice as regards newly planned concerts. So, streaming has to be the big thing for Autumn, some of the big stars are now organising live concerts on-line, which you buy a ticket for. Otherwise it’s about getting a proper job, as someone close to me suggested…..

Well, its now turning humid, which was inevitable after the rain and my man has decided against working outside. I will skip the studio, which will be too hot now and do a bit of voice exercise in the kitchen as I have my practice tracks there as well.

So, what are you up to this weekend? Do drop me a line either at the bottom of this blog or email at june.finnigan@virgin.net. Oh and do visit my website at http://junefinnigan.website

Have a great week and please stay safe.

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

download-2.jpgOnly in Italy would you hear a story like this, whilst enjoying morning coffee and catching up on the newspapers.  Rossella sat down beside us at the long table and sighed.  “I have been to Castelfiorentino with some friends from Fiano, to donate blood.  We do it every six months.”  She was looking a little pale and was feeling tired.  “They did not want to take any blood at first, because my blood pressure was too low.  So they gave me a strong coffee and told me to rest for a while.”  I thought I had heard her right, only in Italy would they serve up strong coffee to raise one’s blood pressure!  Anyway it worked and Rossella was able to give blood after a short rest!   Amazing, I thought, so the Italians weren’t joking when they have said to me, do not have your pressure checked after drinking coffee!  As other donors joined us, my (English) man was pleased to tell the story about his having had a blood transfusion last year and how it had improved his Italian no end!  Ha, Ha…..  Check out the fabulous Tony Hancock (above – foto expresso.uk) in The Blood Donor sketch on You Tube, you’ll love it.  Youtube

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Anyway, another of my man’s endearing peculiarities is his ability to give tourists directions to their holiday locations and send them off in entirely the wrong direction.  Our gate bell rang yesterday and he found a German family clutching an address, which he was pretty sure of.  Keep in mind that the local commune has changed the addresses of numerous properties in our area, including our own, so nothing comes up correctly on SatNav!  And, we have been in this area for 15 years and do know the original names of streets and villages.  Anyway, off they went, but to my man’s amazement, a little while later he spotted said German car going down the track right next to us, to the property we call ‘The Blot on The Landscape’.  He grabbed his binos and could not believe it when he saw the Germans get out, be greeted and shown into the Blot.  “That’s ridiculous, there is no way that the Blot’s address is right next door to us!  I feel awful now, having sent them off on a wild goose chase.”  But really, how is anyone supposed to know how to find places when the Commune has made such a terrible botch up of things.  We only get our post because the postman/lady knows where we are!  The Blot is the white house in the middle distance in the foto, behind our house

OK, enough of that.  It’s yet another beautiful Sunday morning in Tuscany, we cannot complain.  And, on a much brighter note, I noticed in the paper that the music scene is hotting up again.  We have The Chemical Brothers in Livorno and Mark Knopfler in Pisa both within an easy drive.

2019-07-08 09.38.11Our local village of Fiano is also gearing up for a lively weekend.  A celebration of gastronomy including the Sagra del Pollo Fritto, that’s festival of fried chicken to you and me – yes really, the Italians celebrate anything and everything at least once a year!  Also, a photographic exhibition recording Fiano between 1919 and 1945 and lots of great local music.  So, Fiano is definitely the place to be this weekend!

2019-07-13 13.03.34Did I mention that our lovely friend John, also known as The Bare Guitarist, gave me a gorgeous Stretton Payne Guitar for my birthday, especially so that I can learn to play with a much more forgiving instrument than my beautiful Fender, which must now wait until I am more proficient.  I am delighted to have successfully completed my first on-line introduction to the guitar and can now fit the shoulder strap on!  I stood in front of my long mirror ‘wearing’ it and it looks good.  The next lesson will be learning to tune it.  I’ll keep you posted.

Well, enough for now as I am already behind with posting this blog.  Have a great week and do drop me a line either at the bottom of this page or at june.finnigan@virgin.net.  I love to hear from you!

Salute June x

PS Visit my author site at MY SITE

2017-05-07 17.25.58   35973101_10156419065890917_7876909049508265984_n





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