Posts Tagged ‘Phil the Pheasant’

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,

I was shocked to see my new British passport arrive this week? Why shocked? I hear you ask. Well, I had given up on ever seeing it, especially as I was reliably informed it had been posted from England on 28 April! It seems that the secure courier had returned hundreds to England due to Covid as they were not able to safely ask for signatures! Now OK, but wouldn’t it have been nice, despite the shortage in staff at the passport office, if they had sent a mass email message saying that had happened? It would also have saved me several telephone calls and waiting in queues! So, where am I off to now that I’m free to travel? You ask. Precisely nowhere, I reply, but that’s not the point is it? And, I prefer my old foto and can’t read any of the small print in the new passport. But then I am waiting for new reading glasses……. Grumble, grumble.

But on a much lighter note, we are pleased to see the restaurants busy, only because our few favourite ones need to recover from a four month lack of income. Paolo at C’era una Volta in Lucardo, is rather pleased as he is busy serving both locals and tourists again. I confess to our going to Paolo’s three times this last week, somehow I keep losing the way to our own kitchen and pretend to be disorientated, so eating out is a better option! (Ha,ha)

Now we sometimes meet some nice tourists, who will want to talk from a nearby table. We are British, but have lived in Tuscany for sixteen years, so we are an odd combination of being Italianised and speaking the language (badly) but with English features. My man could also be from northern Europe as he is tall and fair-haired. Some years ago a rather snobby English lady who owns a property close by, but lives in England, introduced us to her friends at arms length and said, “These are the Finnigans, err they live here….” Now, if you are an upper class Brit, you don’t ‘live here‘ you just own a property, put in a housekeeper and make occasional visits! So they quickly turned away and talked amongst themselves!

But yesterday, we met a really nice Italian couple from Piedmont, near Milan, who were visiting their daughter here on the edge of Chianti. For some reason the wife wanted to know my man’s age, so he tried to fox her by saying the year he was born, without the 19 in front. But the husband was too quick and worked it out. “Oh,” he said looking a little shocked, “you’re……….!” The wife leaned forward and looked a little closer at my man’s face and said “Have you had a face lift?” That was hilarious, but my man is related to Peter Pan and his hair is still dark blond and thick; he does look a lot younger!

Meanwhile, back here at our converted monestary farmhouse, Phil the Pheasant has returned to his former noisy self, after having been missing for around two weeks and then returning with a very disheveled look about him. Phil is wild, but we think of him as one of the family as he came with the house. He looks much better too, his bright colours have returned, so that’s a relief.

Sadly, our wildlife pond is now completely dried up due to the lack of rain. It is a protected one, surrounded by fencing and trees, hosting a wonderful collection of toads and attracting lots of birds, small animals and insects. We are now desperate for some heavy rain, but we are only expecting a little as the high upper 30’s temperatures are expected for another two weeks at least! The countryside is now burnt to a crisp!

Oh, lest I forget. Did any of you local readers spot a black long-haired goat trotting along the road? It looked pretty wild, like this foto but scruffier and not the slightest bit stressed when we drove past it. This was a couple of weeks ago, no sign of it since! Foto file.scirp.org

OK, time to think about Sunday lunch. My man has requested roasted potatoes, bless him, how can I refuse when he looks at me with those gorgeous blue eyes. He often offers to help in the kitchen but I am better on my own as I am so impatient, so I usually decline the offer!

Anyway, I do hope you and yours are well and safe in your little bit of the world. We continue to wear the masks, cleanse our hands and get spaced out. (Well you know what I mean!)

Have a great week and do drop me a line; I love to hear from my readers.

Salute June x

PS Visit my wesite at http://www.junefinnigan.website

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

Did you miss me?  So sorry not to have sent you a blog last weekend, but I can only blame it on losing my creative writing hat and spending too much time drinking wine in the sunshine!  I also wanted to send you happy news and as I no longer have access to the coffee shop and the daily newspapers, I found myself getting rather brain-dead.

Phil the pheasant.jpgBut that’s all changed!  We have been inundated with visitors that don’t seem to understand how important it is to stay at home.  Firstly, Phil our resident Pheasant, has invited two hens to stay and was flaunting himself below our bedroom window this morning.  He’s obviously feeling very randy as he was fluffing his feathers up to give the impression that he is twice his normal size!  When he started jumping his startled hens, I had to look away, what an exhibitionist!

The lack of humans in the countryside has encouraged deer out into the open, I hope we might get sight of a herd of Cingale ( wild boar) too.  Below us is a field sown mainly to meadow hay and is proving very popular. Yesterday a lone deer made his way across the field and dissapeared into woodland, we both felt that this was unusual and hope he has not been chased out of a local herd.  The mind tends to over react at times!

download.jpgMeanwhile, the garden is full of visitors including the stunning and musical Hoopie.  The disturbed earth around our new compost heap seems very attractive to them.  Also a pair of Jays, numerous wood pidgeons flocks of redstarts and many other birds whose names escape me.

2020-04-04 18.25.06And, on the subject of Compost Heaps, we are very proud to have completed our very first version of one, yesterday morning.  This then created the need for a wine break before lunch.  It is rather shameful that we have only just created one after having spent most of our lives living in the countryside with good sized gardens.  My beautiful Earth Mother daughter has been growing veg and using compost heaps for years.  I am not the greatest of cooks and she asked me very seriously on WhatsApp ‘What are you eating Mum?”  “I can cook if I have to!”  I snorted.  “Oh, I thought you might have ordered a flow of ready made meal deliveries!”  She chuckled.  Cheeky monkey.

OK, back to our wine break and I know I have mentioned the dance of the Swallow Tail images.jpgButterflies before, but they were back and getting very close to where we were sitting.  Out of interest we had previously looked up their lifespan and were astonished to read that in butterfly form they only live for ten days!  As one almost alighted on my man’s chest he commented “So, they have only ten days to work out if they are male, female or transgender.”  He said very seriously.  “Mmm. I think that one is female” I grinned.  Foto it.123rf.com

Anyway, we are managing to enjoy working from home, beating the boundaries and checking for new rosebuds, before at least two home-made espresso coffees and breakfast, talking a lot of trivia and drinking good wine.  The forecast is for sunny days for at least the next week so that’s good news; we have even had to start watering pots that are now uncovered!

1180_LynnMargolisPhotography-318-520x400Well, I could waffle on but there is one thing I want to mention.  London based James Lakeland, who is the brother of an English friend, designs beautiful women’s clothes that are made in Italy.  Like many fashion shops, he is really struggling at the moment.  He has managed to pay his staff so far and has now reduced his prices so low, you have to get on-line and start buying!  I have placed an order, so that’s my next concert outfit sorted, god knows when it will arrive here in Italy (Italy’s postal system is unpredictable), but it is worth it to support at least one deserving fashion house.  James also delivers worldwide!  Foto from James Lakeland Blogsite.  James lakeland

So, enough for now.  I have promised my man a veggie roast lunch, which will take me a while to prepare.  Needless to say, can’t wait to return to our local restaurant, oh, and my hairdresser.  I have an inch of grey roots creeping over my scalp.   It’s unnerving.  A few days ago my man said “Whats that shining on top of your head, oh, it’s not silver paper it’s ………”  He has Peter Pan Genes, still dark blond and, due to the lack of hairdressers, is sporting a long 70’s hairstyle.

Hope you are all safe and well.

Salute June x

PS  Have you read my books yet?  Now’s a good time!  Visit my site at My site











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