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Posts Tagged ‘Rock Concert’

Benvenuti to all my lovely Loyal and New Followers

Yes, I’m back with a wag in my tail and feeling full of the joys of early summer in Tuscany, despite the news from Florence that the road beside the Arno, and close to the medieval Ponte Vecchio bridge, had collapsed.  Be careful where you park!

Farty Barty curled up at my feet under the Oak Tree. foto J Finnigan

Farty Barty curled up at my feet under the Oak Tree.
foto J Finnigan

Now, many of you have asked about Farty Barty the cat and you will be very pleased to know that he has finally settled into his and our new home.  As for ourselves, we are feeling even more content having got some of our well-travelled pictures on the walls.  The house, trees, garden and surrounding countryside are so very therapeutic and I foresee great novels being written here!

Graham Nash in Lucca, great singer and songwriter. La Nazione

Graham Nash in Lucca, great singer and songwriter.
La Nazione

Back in the world of rock music it is less than a month away from our next Rock Chick Band concert and our first rehearsal will be this coming Saturday.  There is no need to smoke and take drugs to be a rock singer; believe me, I get a high immediately I am behind that microphone!  Meanwhile, the Duran Duran tour hits Florence on 10th June and they will already be sold out.  No, I am not going, I did that twice in the ’80’s with my beautiful daughter.  However, I will be singing one of their songs at my own concert; there are just a few of DD’s that I really like and this one is called Skin Divers.  Lucca, near Pisa, is also a very popular venue for concerts and the aging rocker Graham Nash is currently here in concert.  A great song writer too and I would have loved to have been there, but time is currently of the essence.

Complimentary Moscato and rose at L’osteria Casa Chianti. foto J Finnigan.

Meanwhile, here in our little bit of Chianti, we are pleased to say that we are now returning on a regular basis to a local osteria that was taken over by new owners a few months ago.  Yesterday, Sunday, it was amazingly devoid of customers and we were told that part of the road had been closed to accommodate the annual cycle race.  So we were able to enjoy a strangely quiet lunch.  The food really is excellent here and, if you don’t mind loud theatrical serving at the table, you’ll love it.  It is the L’osteria Casa Chianti where they specialise in Tartufo (truffles) and Fungi Porcini.  We indulged in wood grilled Pecorino Cheese covered in locally sourced truffle shavings, followed by the lightest creamy Panacotta with mixed fruits.  Mmmmm.  With the desert, we were served complimentary glasses of Moscato and I was presented with a little rose bud.  Of course it was the rose that did it for me, so you won’t be surprised when I tell you that I am now hooked on the place!  Go to http://www.osteriadicasachianti.it

Silvio is honoured with a special Pizza in Napoli. La Nazione

Silvio is honoured with a special Pizza in Napoli.
La Nazione

Oh yes, I know you like to hear about our Silvio so here is a little snippet from our national paper.  Down in Napoli, Il Cavaliere, also known as Silvio Berlusconi, was spotted being presented with a Pizza made in his honour.  It was a long pizza with a ‘mare’ flavour, that is ‘flavour of the sea’.   He is hugely popular down south and it’s only a matter of time before he’s back in the chair, or so they say!  I’ll keep you posted.

Well, enough of that.  Books to write, wine to drink and voice exercises to endure.  If you are passing, ignore the strange screeching, it’s just me trying to make those high notes!  And don’t forget, you are very welcome to come to my concert party on 25th June here in Tuscany, just send your email address to june.finnigan@virgin.net

Meanwhile, have a great week, do drop me a line and visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

Salute June x

'My Father, The Assassin'. Book one in the series.

‘My Father, The Assassin’. Book one in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection' Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

Read Full Post »

Benvenuti to all my lovely Loyal and New Followers

Well, it is Saturday morning and my man and I are off early for coffee.  We drive over newly laid strada bianca, white road, which is actually a mixture of various stones, gravel and mud and a local pheasant (no pheasant, not peasant) dashes clumsily across in front of us.  I always find them funny to watch and I say so to my man.  “Ha, you would look funny too if you were running with your arms tied to your sides!” The man of wisdom replies.  So this set the tone for the drive down to Certaldo, but the sun was shining and we were looking forward to getting a lot done in our still new garden later on.

Grilled asparagus with parmesan from recipe book.

Grilled asparagus with parmesan cheese, from recipe book.

As many of you know, Saturday morning is fruit and veg market day in Certaldo, but by the time we got there it had started raining.  So after coffee it was a case of dashing, well I don’t exactly dash, from one canvas awning to another to buy lovely asparagus, cheeses and Sicilian blood-red oranges.  Our plant lady was pleased to see me and I bought some colourful flowering plants for some of the still empty garden pots.  No, I have no idea what they are called, except some were geraniums, the others well, I’ll take some pictures next time and some of you clever plant people will no doubt tell me!

Il Bursagliere arrive in Certaldo. Photo J Finnigan

I Bersagliere arrive in Certaldo.
Photo J Finnigan

Then Sunday morning turned out much better weather wise.  Arriving in Certaldo, parking was hopeless, so my man dropped me off in Piazza Boccaccio and took the car to some remote place and walked back.  I secured our favourite table at the back of Bar Il Solferino and hogged the newspapers.  Finally, he arrived and flopped into his usual chair with his favourite pastry.  “Il Bersagliere are on the march, they were just leaving the station when I parked!”  He announced in between mouthfuls.  Now we had read about this the day before, so as soon as I heard the sound of brass instruments, I whizzed outside to take pictures.

Hunk of the Month, Band Leader Il Bursagliere. Photo J Finnigan

Hunk of the Month, Band Leader I Bersagliere.
Photo J Finnigan

Gosh, it was very impressive to see men jogging in uniform with black feathers flopping up and down on their hats and playing their instruments at the same time! These guys are famous for being a troup of Italian Army cyclists formed in 1915, and the name translates to ‘Marksmen.’ They covered horrendous mountain roads either riding or carrying their bikes during both world wars.  Well, they came to a halt outside the church and town hall.  So I took some pictures and was drawn to the band leader who stood posing in the front inviting people to photograph him.  Only in Italy would you find a military man, well band leader, with hair down to his shoulders wearing designer sunglasses and not to mention a very sexy grin.  Oops, my man may read this so I had better stop there.  Anyway, I’m sure most of you girlies will appreciate his picture and a few of you guys too!

Silvio Berlusconi. Il Nazione Sportivo.

Silvio Berlusconi.
Il Nazione Sportivo.

What else?  Ah yes, Silvio has been busy over the last couple of weeks.  Saying that he will not sell his shares in A C Milan football club to anyone who isn’t Italian, so that threw out the interest from the Far East.  He is also being likened to Donald Trump, or is that the other way round?  The New York Times has recently quoted ‘Both he and Mr. Trump were non-politicians who capitalized on their ability to attract extensive press coverage of their outsize personalities and business success (Mr. Trump through his celebrity, Mr. Berlusconi through his media empire).’  If I may say, the journalist has overlooked Silvio’s celebrity status, his media empire comes second to his own popularity in Italy.

Well, enough of that, I must get this blog off to you as it is already running late.  Do drop me a line and send your email address to june.finnigan@virgin.net if you are in Tuscany on 25th June and would like an invite to my Rock Concert.

Have a great week.

Salute June x

PS do visit my author page at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

'My Father, The Assassin'. Book one in the series.

‘My Father, The Assassin’. Book one in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection' Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

Read Full Post »

“Why do we always talk a load of trivia, first thing in the morning, on the way to coffee?”  I am thinking aloud but my man picks up on the question.  He is the logical one in this partnership and has an answer for everything.  “Well, its obvious really.  Before we wash down a nice strong espresso, we need to get our jaws working and the brain functioning, so we can move on to the more serious and intelligent conversations later on!” He glances at me looking perfectly serious, as he is driving and needs to keep an eye out for crazy Italian drivers.  I nod and hide my snigger, as the next maniac comes around the bend towards us on the wrong side of the road, just as my man is trying to avoid a pothole!  We swerve, my man corrects the car and we carry on.  So nothing unusual this morning.  The trivia we talk about can include the state of the roads, Italian drivers, blossom appearing on the cherry trees, Italians walking their dogs or children with the little ones on the traffic side rather than on the inside, the weather and/or why the people who own the horses haven’t moved them out of their wet muddy field to higher ground for a few days!  But enough of that.  We are not really complaining, just being observant!

Hot tasty Ribollita Soup. Foto J Finnigan

Hot tasty Ribollita Soup.
Foto J Finnigan

Wood fire grilled vegetables. Foto J Finnigan

Wood fire grilled vegetables.
Foto J Finnigan

OK, so lets catch up.  The last couple of weeks has seen the return of some delicious winter warmers to the restaurant tables including Ribollita and wood fired grilled vegetables.  Ribollita is a Tuscan soup made with any vegetables, beans and importantly stale bread from the day before.  My man loves it.  For me I just adore the grilled veg, and come spring I’ll be able to order the same, but with that oozy soft cheese Burratta.  Mmmmm.

Fog filled valleys, below us, at dawn. Foto J Finnigan

Fog filled valleys, below us, at dawn.
Foto J Finnigan

Also over the last two weeks, what with the heavy rains, we have woken to see the valleys filled with fog.  The view is spectacular from here, the only downside is having to drive down into it for coffee!  But I have some good news.  The resident butcher in our local village of Fiano, which is higher up and less likely to be foggy, is rescuing the Bar/Alimentare and it will reopen at Easter!  Hurrah for the villagers and for us of course.  We do like to ring the changes and look forward to once again splitting our time between Fiano and Certaldo for morning coffee.  Also Fiano has some lovely people whom we haven’t got to see for a while.

Silvio Berlusconi's facebook picture.

Silvio Berlusconi’s Facebook picture.

So, back in Certaldo we read in L’Espresso, the Italian news magazine, that the American Ambassador has been summoned to Rome to answer reports that NSA has spied on Silvio Berlusconi and his close associates during the 2011 Euro zone crisis.  This has been revealed through certain WikiLeaks documents.  O Dio, we all say!  It seems the US was allegedly concerned with Silvio’s relationship with Vladimir Putin and that he may be profiting personally from energy deals between Italy and Russia.  Now in my view, Silvio has always had plenty of energy of his own, I mean, in 2011 he was seventy-five and also being accused of being full of zest during his Bunga Bunga parties!  But anyway, this puts our man back in the headlines, some say bad news is better than no news in the political arena.

OK, so what next?  Well, we are gearing up to move house and will be signing a new rental contract on 24th March, after which I will be able to tell exactly where we are going!  But I can tell you that it is only a short distance away and will be great for our annual rock concerts!  Watch this space…..

Well must get this blog edited then off to C’era Una Volta for more lovely winter warmer meals.

Have a great week and do drop me a line.

Salute June x

Go to http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

'My Father, The Assassin'. Book one in the series.

‘My Father, The Assassin’. Book one in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection' Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Benvenuti to all my lovely Loyal and new Followers

Farty Barty on a favourite perch over the orange trees. Foto P Finnigan

Farty Barty on a favourite perch over the orange trees. Foto P Finnigan

“How is Farty Barty?” I hear you say and I realise that he has not had a mention for a while.  You may recall that Barty is a semi-wild cat and he has asked me to remind you that he should not be confused with the domestic varieties that go and have their bits chopped off and lounge around getting fat for the rest of their lives!  In this respect I hear a lot of argument, but if every vet had their way, they would wipe out Tuscan wild cats by neutering and castrating willy-nilly.  Excuse my play on words.   So now at the age of nine, Barty can honestly say he has had and will continue to have, a good life with a free hotel for the occasional meal and recovery in a soft cushioned wicker chair, before going back out there into the Chianti hills and living the life of Riley.  Sometimes he is gone for days, so we are always pleased to see him when he trots in, acting as if he as if he had only been gone a few hours!

A gorgeous designer dress from Florence. Il Nazione.

A gorgeous designer dress from Florence.
Il Nazione.

Back in Certaldo enjoying our morning coffee, I read an advertisement for a beautiful dress designer shop in Florence.  Now, as I have said before, I do believe that the Italians have the edge on fashion design, and this is a reminder.  I will be going to Florence the week after next and will spend a couple of hours drooling over the shop windows.  Yes, we have other labels here from all around the world, but there is no comparison with the handbags, shoes and clothes made in this beautiful country.  unemployment is high, but if you are blessed with the skill of creative design, you will survive here.

Giorgio De Chirico exhibition in Ferrara. Il Nazione.

Giorgio De Chirico exhibition in Ferrara.
Il Nazione.

“Oh, look at this!” My man says as he thrusts his newspaper towards me.  “A private art collection has been discovered and its being exhibited in Ferrara.  It’s that amazing early twentieth century style, symbolism I think, and these were painted by Giorgio De Chirico.”  I look at the pictures, we both like this style and note down the website.  It’s a little too far for us to visit, but it’s great to read about new amazing discoveries like this!

I have just checked out the latest on the gorgeous Silvio and there is nothing of interest to report.  This year he will be eighty so it will probably be his last throw at getting re-elected this time round.  Watch this space…..

The stunnning 'Patty Pravo' age 67 and other aging girlie rockers! Il Nazione

The stunning ‘Patty Pravo’ age 67 and other aging girlie rockers!
Il Nazione

So instead I will mention two other icons that are currently on tour in Italy, Brian May, the former Queen Lead Guitarist and Bruce Springsteen, also known as the boss.  Now it always gives me immense pleasure to see the Aging Rocker tours sold out in Italy.  My also being one, of course, although much more low profile.  I am still waiting to be discovered, but despite that will keep up the annual concerts in our garden, where the locals treat me like I’m world-famous!  There’s nothing like being Famous in Fiano!

OK, so I must revert back to writing the CyberCrime thriller, which I have been commissioned to do and of course the third book in the Joanna Wilde Trilogy, ‘The Italian Connection.’  I also read a lot, which is important for authors, and have just discovered a writer called Charles Todd who has written ‘A Test of Wills’ about Inspector Ian Rutledge.  It is set in the years just after the First World War and I am really enjoying it.

Well, enough of that.  After a week of chilly weather, but with a sun hot enough to allow lunch in the garden, rain and cold winds are here.  So I think we will be forced to go out and eat at ‘C’era una Volta’ today.  I recently read something about de-stressing by going into the kitchen and cooking!  Well that’s not for me, I recommend chilling out in someone else’s kitchen, you can join us if you like!  Visit http://www.ristorante-ceraunavolta.com

Have a great week and do remember that I love to hear from you.  Visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

Salute June x

'My Father, The Assassin'. Book one in the series.

‘My Father, The Assassin’. Book one in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection' Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

 

Read Full Post »

Benvenuti to all my lovely Loyal and new Followers

Stefano on Lead Guitar Photo Chiara Benelli

Stefano on Lead Guitar
Photo Chiara Benelli

My head is full of rock music!  It happens every January as I start preparing the repertoire for my next Rock concert in June.  Stefano Bartalesi, the Rock Chick Band’s brilliant lead guitarist and organiser, has suggested that my choice of ‘Sultans of Swing,’ that great Dire Straits song, may be a little difficult to reproduce so we will have to try it out and see.  Otherwise, new covers this year will include The Beatles, George Harrison, Robert Plant, Paul Weller, Peter Gabriel and Amy Winehouse.  The concert is by private invitation only, so if you would like to join us in our Tuscan garden on 25th June, drop me an email at june.finnigan@virgin.net.  We’d love to see you and despite what a certain ‘person’ has said, I am not trawling for groupies!

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, just cover up the naughty bits! La Nazione

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, just cover up the naughty bits! La Nazione

Now I won’t dwell on the next subject because you will have already seen this on the news all around the world.  However, I just thought you might like to have a local perspective on the subject of Iran and Italy getting into bed together.  Yes, literally, because as far as many Italians and our friends in the bar are concerned, covering up all the so-called ‘nasty naughty bits’ on the country’s beautiful statues was an act of prostitution!  Now Italy has always been described as openly corrupt, but some say this was exactly that in reverse.  Grovel and ye shall be gifted with large sums of Iranian money!

Marco Mangoni - Rock Star and Tennis Player. La nazione sports magazine.

Marco Mengoni – Rock Star and Tennis Player.
La nazione sports magazine.

OK lets move on.  Back in Bar Solferino, I read about my two greatest passions, sport and rock music.  Not forgetting my gorgeous man of course, who was in London at the time doing a bit of business.  Nothing could be more up my street than an article about legendary rock stars, including the yummy Brian Ferry, and the topical subject of Tennis!  Italy also has its own Tennis playing rock star, by the name of Marco Mengoni, so for you girlies here are some pictures to drool over!

Big Puppy 'Magico'. foto J Finnigan

Big Puppy ‘Magico’.
foto J Finnigan

Now do you recall ‘Big Puppy’ who we called ‘Bianco’ on account of his being white?  Well he came into the bar this morning, having grown to half his adult size at the age of six and a half months, dragging his market stall owner behind him.  It turns out that his real name is ‘Magico.’  Don’t you just love that name? He is so gorgeous, although the only thing he is interested in is what everyone else is eating.  So for all you other dog lovers, here is his foto.

Have a really great week, don’t forget to drop me a line and visit http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

Salute Buon Amici

June x

'My Father, The Assassin'. Book one in the series.

‘My Father, The Assassin’. Book one in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection' Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

Mimosa Blossom in our garden on 29th January! Foto J Finnigan

Mimosa Blossom in our garden on 29th January!
Foto J Finnigan

 

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Bentornati to all my lovely Loyal Followers and Benvenuti to all my new ones,

Well, today the 10th January is very special as it is my gorgeous man’s birthday and I adore him.  The sun is shining and it may just be warm enough to have lunch in the garden!  He wanted to have a quiet relaxed day today as we went out for a lunch with friends yesterday.  So we popped down for coffee in Certaldo and, on cue, everyone shouted ‘Auguri e Buon Compleanno’ as we entered Caffe Il Solferino and my man grinned from ear to ear.  One of the things I love about Italians is that if you have something to celebrate, complete strangers rush over to shake your hand, so my man felt very special before the day had barely started.

The witch known as Bafana. Il Nazione.

The good witch known as Befana.
La Nazione.

Cedrino digestivo. Photo J Finnigan

Cedrina digestivo.
Photo J Finnigan

In Italy, the first week in January is considered almost as special and exciting as Christmas week.  Particularly because Befana, otherwise known as Epiphany, is celebrated on 6th.  It was the day when the three kings came to visit the newborn babe with gifts.  Italian children wake up all agog as they hope that the good witch, Bafana, will have considered them well-behaved and deserving a present.

The whole country takes a holiday (yes, another festa) and do daft things like going for a swim in freezing water wearing witch’s masks and little else.  Bafana sometimes arrives on foot, by bicycle or even ab-sails down from the church tower depending on where you live.  We decided to go to Ristorante C’era Una Volta for lunch, which is unusual for us as it is sometimes best to avoid festa days.  But we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as the place was full of friendly faces and good cheer.  Paolo presented us with a bottomless bottle of home-made Cedrina, a delicious and very strong lemony digestivo, to drink at the table.

The Trevi Fountain re-opens in Rome. LaNnazione.

The Trevi Fountain re-opens in Rome.
La Nazione.

The hugely popular series 'Don Metteo' La Nazione.

The hugely popular series ‘Don Matteo’
La Nazione.

Other exciting things to happen since 1st January, when by the way, it was warm enough to eat outside, were the re-opening of the Trevi Fountain or Fontana di Trevi in Rome (it sounds so much better in Italian) and the return to TV of the ‘Don Matteo’ series, which I love.  The latter is a humorous, sometimes serious, drama starring a speeding priest on a bicycle in flowing robes and a hapless station of Carabinerie (Italian Policemen) in a beautiful nameless hilltop town somewhere in Italy.  We watched the first one last Sunday and there’s another one tonight.  The only thing is, it reminds me how, after eleven years in Italy, my Italian is still pretty basic!  Hey ho, must do better!

I’m going to take a break now and will come back to you this evening.  I’m off to cook stuffed Chick Pea flour pancakes and baked pears for my lovely man.  The sun is still shining and hot enough to eat outside; hurrah!

An evening with VinSanto on the upper terrace. Photo J Finnigan

An evening with Vin Santo on the upper terrace. Photo J Finnigan

Here I am after a lovely lunch in the garden and a much-needed siesta.  I wanted to tell you that the New year always excites me, because my next concert is only a few months away and I have been concluding my final repertoire over the holiday.  I’ve added some fabulous new songs including Paul Weller, Dire Straits, Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel.  Watch this space for more news.

Well must tidy this blog up and get downstairs for an aperitivo with the birthday boy.

Have a great week and see you next time.

Salute June x

PS Grazie to all you Christmas buyers of my books.

Visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

'My Father, The Assassin'. Book one in the series.

‘My Father, The Assassin’. Book one in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection' Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

 

 

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Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

A Cool Cat - FArty Barty on the outside table. Foto J Finnigan

A Cool Cat – Farty Barty on the outside table.
Foto J Finnigan

How to stay cool?  That is the question on everyone’s sun-dried lips as we take coffee accompanied by chilled fizzy water in Fiano?  It’s getting even hotter here and is expected to be up in the forties by the end of the week.  Farty Barty the cat has worked out a clever system to match the height and the angle of the sun, gradually moving around the garden and falling asleep again.  By lunchtime he has been stretched out on the outside table for at least three hours.  The table is shaded by a brolly which in turn is shaded by some ancient cypress trees, and the air flows up through the latticed surface.  Purrfect.  Watering the garden is now a daily chore and despite the heat and lack of rain, the upper terrace is looking lovely.  The Bougainvillea is as beautiful as last year and the

The fabulous Bugenvellia. Foto J Finnigan

The fabulous Bougainvillea.
Foto J Finnigan

potted Hydrangea have been heavy with flowers.   There are lots of fascinating insects too, and I don’t mean the Zanzari (mosquitos), we could do without those!  We are also getting a great show from the birds, Bee-eaters, Jays and Hoopies, all brightly coloured and with birdsong so typical of this area.  We just love it.

Adio Omar Shariff xxx Foto Il Nazionale

Addio Omar Sharif xxx
Foto Il Nazionale

Meanwhile, I have a few moments of sadness, while I take coffee in Certaldo with the gorgeous Omar Sharif for the last time.  He has gone to join all those other twinkling movie stars in the sky.  How many times did you go and see Dr Zivago?  I lost count after ten times.  I cried buckets every time poor Omar hammered on the inside of the moving tram’s window, but Lara kept walking and did not see him. Oh god, I’ve got a lump in my throat just thinking about it!  And the wonderful dark arab character in Lawrence of Arabia, sigh….  So addio Omar, you will not be forgotten.

Jovanotte in one of his many outer space outfits. I Terreno giornale

Jovanotti in one of his many outer space outfits.
I Terreno giornale

But on a brighter note, Tuscany has been rocking to the sound of  Jovanotti, the Italian singer adored by the Italians and more besides.  Our beautiful daughter and granddaughter went to his concert and had a fabulous time and came back with the t-shirts.   Apparently, forty thousand fans turned up!

July is awash with music festivals at Lucca, Pistoia and Florence.  Great acts currently include Sting and Mumford & Sons.  The 60’s Romantic Italian singer Don Backy is also touring again at the age of seventy-four – rock on that man!

The lovely shady dining terrace at Il Castello in Certaldo Alto. Foto J Finnigan

The lovely shady dining terrace at Il Castello in Certaldo Alto.
Foto J Finnigan

On a quieter note, I am planning to skip cooking tomorrow and take my man back to Il Castello in Certaldo Alto for lunch.  The food is excellent and they have a lovely shady terrace.  One needs calming moments during a hot hardworking week.  And on the subject of food, I had best go and check out what we can put together for lunch.  On the other hand, I think a long glass of Pinot Grigio first and then perhaps some ideas for lunch might come easier!  I know, I’m such a terrible glutton for good wine and other people’s cooking; our grandchildren call us the ‘Cafe People’!

Have a really great week, stay cool and do drop me a line.  Salute June x

PS Don’t forget to check out my books on Amazon.

My Father, The Assassin.  Book one in the series.

My Father, The Assassin. Book one in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection'  Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

 

 

 

 

 

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Benvenuti to all my Lovely Loyal and New Followers

Me and Penny meet for the first time in fifty years! Foto P Finnigan

Me and Penny meet for the first time in fifty years!
Foto P Finnigan

Our new friend Rose joins Penny and Me foto P Finnigan

Our new friend Rose joins Penny and Me
foto P Finnigan

Wow, where does one start with this blog.  What a fabulous fortnight of Rocking, seeing lovely friends again and simply having the best possible time.  The food and wine flowed endlessly, and my man, who was the star of the whole period, calmly accepted that he had to share our little villa with five girlies for five days!  I was incredibly pleased to have my old Grammar School friend Penny from Australia staying.  We had not seen each other for fifty years, yes really!  I know you can’t believe I’m old enough, neither can I!

Thr Rock Chick Band Rocking with the sister-in-law joining in on backing vocals. photo P Finnigan

The Rock Chick Band Rocking with the sister-in-law joining in on backing vocals.
photo P Finnigan

You will notice that I have updated the banner at the top of the page with the band group hug taken on 20th June.  The guys were absolutely brilliant and we had a really good stand in drummer as Mario was involved with a family event.  Family events take presidence over anything else here in Italy, and my beautiful daughter and granddaughter quite naturally came to my bash.  This part of Tuscany is alive with music events this time of year, so I must say a big thank you to all those lovely people who supported my event despite the competition elsewhere.  I decided to go all Rock Chick black this year and at the last moment threw a scarf around my neck.  If anyone else mentions the Vicar of Dibley, I’ll throttle them!

Penny, Hilary and me at Certaldo Alto. Photo J Stobbs

Penny, Hilary and me at Certaldo Alto.
Photo J Stobbs

I took the girlies up to Certaldo Alto on the Monday and they spent a couple of hours ‘ahing and ooing’.  Certaldo Alto is the historic centre of Certaldo up on a hill, which is reached by a funiculare train and was packed with tourists!  We had a fantastic time, however, we ended up exhausted and flopped down at a table in the garden terrace of Il Castello http://www.albergoilcastello.it and were forced to eat the most delicious lunch.  I am taking my man there on Thursday and despite only living fifteen minutes away, we have never eaten there before!  It’s another one to add to our list of places to eat.

On 23rd June my lovely English friend Hilary and I had a joint birthday celebration, opening our presents at Bar Solferino in Certaldo over morning coffee.  Thank you to the adorable Hilary for your amazing ability to whisk the washing up away without our realising it and spoiling us rotten!  Also to our new friend Rose from Australia, who made the most delicious pear crumble, which my man is still waxing lyrical about.  Our house guests were the best we could ever hope for and not to forget my beautiful sister-in-law who did all the summer plant pots before the concert.  Thank you everyone and I will miss you terribly.

Well, it’s already Tuesday and I really must get this blog off to you.  I will update you on Silvio’s activities next weekend.

Have a great week, do drop me a line and don’t forget to visit my books on Amazon.

Salute June x

PS  We are attempting to get some videos sorted to go on YouTube, I’ll let you know when they are up there!

My Father, The Assassin.  Book one in the series.

My Father, The Assassin. Book one in the series.

 

 

'The Bolivian Connection'  Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

 

 

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Benvenuti to all my lovely Loyal and New Followers

A sneaky photo of the lake in the Palace gardens.   Photo P Finnigan

A sneaky photo of the lake in the Palace gardens.
Photo P Finnigan

"What!  Move so that you can lay the table!  No chance."  Farty Barty. Photo P Finnigan

“What! Move so that you can lay the table! No chance.” Farty Barty.
Photo P Finnigan

“A snog a day, helps you blog away!”  My man is looking over my shoulder and nuzzling, whilst reading this blog.  “Hey, so now you are a poet!” I laugh.  “I have my moments,” he grins.  He is quite full of himself at the moment, having gone to Buckingham Palace for a garden party during the week, with ‘The Not Forgotten Association’ and in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal.  The society assists disabled and injured ex-service people and provides lots of entertainment venues.  Fortunately my man came out of his years as a Royal Marine Commando unscathed.   He thoroughly enjoyed himself and the afternoon tea in a grand marquee with traditional strawberries and cream.  Meanwhile I was stuck back here in the beautiful Chianti Hills, having to gaze at the fabulous view with a glass or three of Chianti, with grumpy Farty Barty for company.

Stefano on Lead Guitar Photo Chiara Benelli

Stefano on Lead Guitar – Italy’s George Harrison
Photo Chiara Benelli

We are just six days away from the Rock Chick Band’s fifth annual concert and last Monday we did a lengthy rehearsal sorting out the keys for the five new songs in the repertoire.  We decided to drop that great glam rock song ‘Poison’ by Alice Cooper as we just could not find the right key for my voice.  Instead, we have added back in another favourite of mine ‘You took the words right out of my mouth’ by Meat Loaf, so my man will be back on stage doing the intro with me.  You remember “Will you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?”……….. yes, that talking bit. Great stuff.

By the weekend we will have a villa full of house guests and the first one arrives on Tuesday in the shape of my beautiful sister-in-law, whom I could not manage without this time of year.  She’ll be making sure the pots in the garden are all refreshed and that it is looking as gorgeous as last year.  Then Friday and Saturday morning three more friends will arrive, one of which I haven’t seen for fifty years.  It will be an amazing reunion.

The lovely Benedetta with baby Alessandro in her tummy. Photo J Finnigan

The lovely Benedetta with baby Alessandro in her tummy.
Photo J Finnigan

On Thursday morning I joined Benedetta at Laura’s bar in Fiano to drink my coffee, as she was sat doing some paperwork at one of the tables.  The bar was full of noisy Italian tourists wearing crazy t-shirts.  An argument was going on over calcio (football).  The locals all support Fiorentino (Florence) whilst two rogue members of the group favoured Juventus!  Then a handsome young male apparition cruised in, wearing an orange blazer, white mules without socks and cream chinos.  He was a stranger, so the local contadini (country folk) stopped talking and stared for precisely one minute then carried on arguing.  I stared too, but for rather more than a minute!  Meanwhile, the old boy who was reading the only non-sporty paper, was being pressurised to hand it over by a younger man who stood right behind him breathing down the poor man’s neck.  The old boy gave in, just like the slow driver moves to the side of the road to let the fast driver overtake to get him off his back bumper!  So Italian.

Come the weekend, back at the villa, we were dealing with heavy rain and thunderstorms that inevitably caused short electricity cuts.  When this happens, the pump that brings the gas into the villa, cuts out and we have to go and rev it up again out in the garden.  We know this has happened when one of us is naked and trying to run the hot water in the shower and the other is not dressed yet.  So the latter goes out to the garden, opens a little metal door in the wall and pumps away at a brass knob.  Meanwhile the naked one has climbed into the boiler room to check that the gas is flowing in again.  Then its a shouting session, “Is it OK now?” “No keep pumping, hang on yes its OK.”  “Sorry I can’t hear you!”  Naked person goes to the window, “I said its OK now”  Pumping person scurries back in having been caught in a shower of rain!

Now in light of the coming events, I hope you will forgive me if I do not send you a blog next weekend.  The following weekend, of course, will be very newsy indeed and I hope to post some great photos of the band.  I shall be all dressed in black this year, a little more rock chick than last time.  Look out for your invite reminder if you are on my guest list.  If you are not, will be in Tuscany and would like one, drop me an email at june.finnigan@virgin.net.

have a great fortnight and don’t forget to check out my books at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan  I’ll update you on the gorgeous Silvio Berlusconi next time.

Salute June x

My Father, The Assassin.  Book one in the series.

My Father, The Assassin. Book one in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection'  Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

I must apologise as I am having to make this a quickie.  What?  You thought I meant something a bit naughty didn’t you?  Ha ha, I got your attention though didn’t I?  Or perhaps it was the mention of my man’s legs…… No, it’s just that I have had such a hectic week and weekend that I could not make sufficient time to organise my usual lengthy blog.  But I did want to make contact with you before we were too far into the working week.

Last night I spent several hours with the Rock Chick Band rehearsing our next concert.  We will get together next Monday too for a final burst.  Then it will be the real thing on Saturday the 20th June!  Can’t wait.  If you are in Tuscany and would like an invite, write to june.finnigan@virgin.net

So, I am sending you our week in pictures, with captions for you to enjoy.

The man getting his legs out for a spot of bronzing the weekend before last. Photo J Finnigan

The man getting his legs out for a spot of bronzing the weekend before last.
Photo J Finnigan

My two novels for sale at Milko's Cartolibreria in Fiano. Photo J Finnigan

My two novels for sale at Milko’s Cartolibreria in Fiano.
Photo J Finnigan

The great Vasco Rossi returns to the heavy metal stage at 63.  Rock on that man! Photo Il Terreno Newspaper

The great Vasco Rossi returns to the heavy metal stage at 63. Rock on that man!
Photo Il Terreno Newspaper

More lovely lilies in our garden. Photo P Finnigan

More lovely lilies in our garden.
Photo P Finnigan

Farty Barty dreaming. Photo P Finnigan

Farty Barty dreaming.
Photo P Finnigan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our shady upper terrace Photo P Finnigan

Our shady upper terrace
Photo P Finnigan

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new Vespa is launched with everyone wearing Armani of course! La Nazione Newspaper

The new Vespa is launched with everyone wearing Armani of course!
La Nazione Newspaper

Allora, time to go, however, I wish you a great week and do visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

Salute June x

PS  Very hot and muggy here!

 

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