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Posts Tagged ‘Romantic Thrillers’

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

2018-04-17 17.42.00Well, thank God for that, spring is really here at last and the forecast is sunshine for the next couple of weeks.  But hang on a minute, if you are thinking of rushing out to Tuscany with your cossies, the swimming pools do not open up until the beginning of May and anyway the air temperature can still be quite chilly this time of year.  On the other hand, there are no mossies around in April, so if you pack layers and don’t want to swim outside, come anyway! Foto J Finnigan

2018-04-15 09.39.32Now for me, spring brings a big lift to the spirits and I feel much more like going out and about.  I noticed an advert for an exhibition over on the coast in Pietrasanta, which is in the Comune di Lucca.  It’s called ‘Il dolce Rumore della Vita,’ which translates to ‘The Sweet Noise of Life’.  It is all about paintings and sculpture by very talented people including the Irish sculptor Paddy Campbell and Tuscan artist Simona Dolci.  I really fancy going over, and to breathe in some sea air before the bulk of the tourists arrive.  It’s easy to get a train there too, so no need to slog along the fipili dual carriageway.  Now I just need to persuade my man to join me.   Foto La Nazione.  Have a look for yourselves, the exhibition is open until 10th June.  Perhaps we’ll see you there.  visit the website

2018-04-16 09.17.41Meanwhile, yesterday saw Florence full of fun runners and their supporters, all there for good causes.  Yes, it was the annual Half Marathon.  What I love about Italians is that they always remember to include families and particularly children.  So, not only did you have the competitive race, but also a non-competitive race of 8km, a walking race over 5km and a kids race called ‘The Tommasino Run’ over 1.5km.  The events were spread around the beautiful city and included Piazza della Signoria and Piazza Duomo.  Foto La Nazione.

2018-04-15 09.25.25What else?  Oh yes, we cannot ignore that beautiful Italian creation the actress Claudia Cardianale who is celebrating her 80th birthday!  Can you believe it?  Now, some of you younger readers may not have seen her films that included starring roles in the sixties opposite leading men like Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson and Paul Newman.  Most of her films are now classics, so look them up!  Just like Sophia Loren, Claudia still scrubs up very well indeed.  Buon Compleanno to her.  Foto La Repubblica   Read about Claudia

2018-04-13 09.50.33Meanwhile, back in our local village of Fiano, relaxing over coffee and reading the newspapers, I found an article about Sulla Orma Citta Millenaria, that is ‘On the Millennium City Footprint.’  I know, it doesn’t really make sense, so one should not always try to translate literally.  What it actually said was, it is a thousand (mille is a thousand in Italian) years ago when the foundations were laid for San Miniato al Monte and other churches in Florence and the surrounding province.  A thousand years!  Think about it, that’s the year 1,018 AD or the 9th century.  These incredibly beautiful buildings were built all that time ago with no electronic or mechanical assistance.  Of course Florence is a most stunning atmospheric ancient city, and that’s not just the places of worship.  Florence was also the birthplace of Leonardo di Vinci and other illustrious designers and inventors.  So, If you have not visited yet, you really should!  Florence website

Queen 3.1Back here in our lovely bit of Chianti countryside, we had an invasion of bees in my study!  A queen had flown in the open window, yes it’s warm enough, and refused to leave.  After she eventually left, the worker bees found her scent and thought she was still here.  So my man being a gung-ho ex-marine, goes in and tries to encourage them to leave by waving a cobweb brush around.  The buzzing got angrier and louder.  “Get out of there!”  I screamed from outside the door, which opened a crack and he squeezed out.  After much discussion, we decided to shut all connecting doors and wait.  Over four hours later, all went quiet, they had finally given up and flown out into the dusk!  What a relief.  I hope they found their Queen.  At least my daft hero man did not get stung!  Foto Queen Bee – pixhark.com

OK, enough already, must concentrate on the day job now.  Do drop me a line or leave a comment, I love to hear from you.  Also note my dates for visiting the UK on my blog at My website

Have a great week.

Salute June x

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

Well, how are you?

Firstly, you will be glad to know that I will not be mentioning Italian Politics, other than the fact the country remains ungoverned due to no agreement to form a government.  So it looks like we can expect another General Election!  Enough.

2018-04-08 15.55.55So, to much brighter things and especially to our beautiful Tuscan Garden here on the edge of Chianti, which is now full of flowering tubs.  Yes, the weekend was glorious and we were able to get all the pots planted up with colourful flowers.   The grass, or green weedy stuff, was mowed and we sat out in an evening temperature of around 24 degrees centigrade to admire our hard work.  Now it is raining and is likely to do so all week.  A little sad for the tourists that have started arriving in their droves.  But hey ho, life eeez good, life eeez now!  Foto J Finnigan.

2018-04-07 18.13.22Now I must mention the Star of Jerusalem, which is an herb said to be helpful to people suffering from depression, when taken in oil form.  They pop up all over the ‘lawn’ and are really pretty.  I have just read that these lovely plants are the bane of landscape gardeners as they spread like crazy.  Well my man likes them so much, he mowed around them, bless him!  What would you do?  Foto J Finnigan.

2018-04-08 10.12.43Meanwhile, the legend that is Bob Dylan was in Florence on his Italian leg of ‘The Never Ending Tour’.  He performed his first tracks seated at the piano, starting with ‘Things have changed’ his voice in excellent form and singing to a packed Mandela Forum.  His visit to the city was very low profile and the reporters were unable to find out where he was staying or anything about his itinerary outside of the concert!  Well, good for Bob, I say, privacy is everything.  Did you go to the concert?  Do tell me about it, as I could not get a ticket!  Foto La Repubblica.

2018-04-08 10.11.54Back in our local village of Fiano and over morning coffee, I noticed in the paper a mention of World Book Day, which is apparently on 23rd April, so we must remember that.  I’m not sure how one is supposed to celebrate this, other than perhaps buying or reading a book.  Mine are always available of course, assuming you like romantic thrillers and adventures that take you around the world.  Supporting an author is a good idea, me in particular!  I will be in Wells and Exmouth in the  West County of the UK the week beginning 21st May, so if you have a book group or any other club where you would like me to visit, do drop me a line.  Visit My website   I would love to meet you. Foto La Repubblica. 

2018-04-08 09.58.27Now, I think I should mention, if you are coming to Italy and hiring a car, that the roads have never been as bad as they are now.  The recent cold snap, after a few days of early spring weather, has made things considerably worse!  The roads have never been particularly good here, however, we are now reading about it in the papers so things have seriously deteriorated!  In the UK, the local authorities would have paid out millions to drivers for the damage to their cars over the last year, here in Tuscany it’s accepted as the norm.  As we currently have no government, what can we do?  So, I recommend a high wheel based car, particularly if you are visiting me.  Foto La Nazione.

2018-04-08 13.56.40Well, enough of the grumbles, there is a lot to be grateful for, like good restaurants!  With our local one being closed for ten days, we decided to go back to another favourite in Tavernelle, which I may have mentioned before.  I’m talking about La Gramola.  It is newly refurbished with big modern paintings on the wall, and has a fresher and more spacious feel to it.  Thankfully the chef, Cecilia Dei, has not changed and we enjoyed a really delicious meal there on Sunday.  I had Crostini di Cavolo Nero (black cabbage on toast) followed by spaghetti con verdure.  (seasonal vegetables.)  Just to remind you, La Gramola also specialises in gluten-free.  Let me know if you are visiting and perhaps we’ll take you there.  Foto J Finnigan.  Visit La Gramola at Website

Well, must get on with the day job.  People to see, places to go and deals to be done.

Have a really great week and do drop me a line.

Salute June x

Ps.  Visit my official author site at June’s site

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The Trilogy – The Continuing Adventures of Joanna Wilde.

 

 

 

 

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

MAN'S COLLECTION

“I fancy one of those wide-brimmed Italian hats,” my man announced.  “You know, similar to the guy in the Moretti Beer adverts.” “You mean a Mafia style hat?”  I asked, just to be sure.  “Err, not exactly, but black and wide brimmed.” He mused.  So I set about researching Italian hats and found that Florence had a famous artisan hat-maker called Borsalino.  Now, like Italian hand-made shoes, you cannot buy a hand-crafted hat cheaply.  But what you get is a thing of beauty and of a very high quality and style.  So sometime in April, I might take him into Florence and visit Borsalino at Via Porta Rosso 40, 50123, Firenze. (Florence) Foto Borsalino Website

It will also be an excuse to have lunch at my favourite Gluten Free Ristorante, Quinoa.  website website

2018-03-25 08.59.08Meanwhile, back in the world of politics, there are certain romances going on.  Potential government members are wooing each other and celebrating any agreements with hugs and kisses in The House, and in full view of the cameras.  Mind you, this is Italy, the Italians don’t hide their feelings and are very touchy feely.  But I quite like this, and over the years have found myself becoming more and more that way myself.  However, my English man still prefers to shake hands with Italian men, which they find amusing once they have become good friends.  So back to the forming of a new government; well we are still waiting.  Foto La Repubblica.

2018-03-24 09.15.25On the same subject, a Roman Graffiti artist has painted a mural depicting the two potential leaders, passionately kissing.  You know, a bit like the Gorbachev picture.  Note that Luigi Di Maio, the vertically challenged one on the left, was nominated by the leader of the Five Star Movement for the leadership, as he himself (Grillo) has a police record and could not stand for the position of PM.  So nothing new there.  Matteo Salvini, the portly one on the right, who represents the Northern League and runners-up in the General Election, badly wants the leadership, so this romance may not last long!  Watch this space.  Foto La Repubblica

2018-03-24 09.12.26And what about Exhibitions in Florence?  Now here’s one I must go and see.  A fascinating historical photographic collection of ‘Women in Work’.  So, if you want proof of all the hard work women have successfully completed over the years, this exhibition is for you.  Here in the Chianti countryside, there is still an abundance of male farm workers, however, so many are imported and of course there are thousands of immigrants all desperate for work that again are mainly male.  It is easy to spot an elderly countrywoman, as she is likely be very bent over with gnarled hands.  In small holdings or allotments the elderly can still be seen growing their own fruit and veg, often under the rows of olive trees.  But times have changed, even here in the Tuscan countryside. Foto La Repubblica.

2018-03-24 09.03.38Now, I could not resist showing you this gorgeous feminine Rock Chick look, which I found in La Repubblica newspaper, whilst enjoying my morning coffee in Fiano.  As a rock singer myself, black is my signature colour, but I do love a bit of femininity thrown in too.  I’ve always strongly believed that if you are naturally feminine, you know, dresses, skirts and long hair, why hide it.  Fortunately, I was not a feminist in the sixties, I had no money and could not afford to burn my only bra!  But this did not stop me from being successful in business later on, despite the glass ceiling!  But that’s another story…..  Luisa Spagnoli website

2018-03-23 09.22.19The other thing I read in the paper was about the dangerous state of thousands of mature trees, particularly pines and famiglia trees, here in Tuscany.  They are falling over the roads and their roots are pushing up huge lumps in the tarmac!  It makes me very sad to see many of these trees destined for the chop, but needs must I guess.  Foto La Nazione

2018-03-26 08.02.32But never mind, lets end on a cheerful note.  The sun is shining and our spring/summer resident, Signore Cock Pheasant, is back making a racket so the girlies can hear him.  Last year he bedded down with a hen under our tangley  pomegranate trees, safe from the hunters in the countryside that surrounds our garden.  I hope he finds his amore soon.  Foto J Finnigan.

Well, must get on with the day job, amongst all the other things happening here.  Did you get an invite to my next Rock Concert in June?  No, then email me at june.finnigan@virgin.net

Have a great week.

Salute June x

PS Do visit my official author site at My site

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skysports-rugby-six-nations_3877729OK, what to say about the Rugby?  I am almost speechless after watching England’s terrible performance, losing to Scotland yesterday.  However, we do want to congratulate the Scots on a game well played.  On Saturday we watched a much more exciting match between Wales and Ireland, which followed a disappointing meeting between Italy and France.  Italy did put up a good show in the early stages, but they still have so much to do to improve their game.  So for us, being English and living in Italy it was a poor weekend of rugby!  But never mind, life eeez good, life eeez now!  Foto SkySport

2018-02-25 09.18.18Meanwhile, there was a snow warning in place for the region of Florence, so we have dashed to the local village and stocked up for a few days.  La Dispensa shop and caffe bar is such a godsend for us and the local people in the Fiano area.  Back in our cosy converted Monastery Farmhouse, it’s good to be in the warm and to watch the heavy snowflakes from inside my studio.  Despite this, daffodils and snowdrops are popping up; roll on spring!  Foto La Nazione.

2018-02-24 09.38.33Now, I know I go on about fashion and I know that last week I groaned about the miserable looking models on the catwalks, but I have to inform you that I am now campaigning for happy models that look as if they are enjoying the clothes they are wearing!  If you look at the pictures in the paper, no don’t, of the shows in Milan this last week, you would have cringed.  So each or every other week I will share with you a fashion shot that will make you smile.  Only beautiful things Made in Italy of course.  Foto La Repubblica.

2018-02-24 09.34.20A question; are you nervous about carrying a clutch bag?  I am, as I’m always afraid it will be snatched or I will put it down and forget it.  Well here is the answer to both those dilemmas, a clutch with a wrap around strap, brilliant and I love this one too!  Do send me a picture of your own favourite bag!  foto La Repubblica.

2018-02-22 09.06.00Back in the world of good Italian food, I just read this great article about 3D Printed Pasta!  I’m also quite keen on an artistic presentation in the right surroundings, and these creations hit the spot.  Produced by BluRhapsody in Emilia (Foto La Reppublica), you can take a look at their amazing Website

2018-02-25 09.20.40And last but not least, Julia Baird, John Lennon’s sister, has written a book dedicated to their mother, called Imagine This.  It is the true story of John Lennon’s childhood.  She is currently in Italy on a book promotion tour.  Foto La Nazione.  If you are a fan of JL you may want to buy a book at amazon link

OK, enough of that.  Time is rushing by and I must get this blog off to you today.  Oh, lest I forget, I will be sending out my Tuscan rock concert invitations in early March, so make sure you send me an email, if you are not already on my mailing list.  I would love to see you there!  write to june.finnigan@virgin.net or visit my official author website at June’s website

Salute June x

PS In next week’s blog, Italian Hunk of the Month!

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Benvenuti and Welcome to all my Lovely Followers around the World

Well, I’m starting off today with the music scene, here in our lovely bit of Italy.  I could write the whole blog and never leave this particular subject, as so much is going on musically.  But worry ye not, there is much more to read about below.  But I am sure you would want to know that the aging Bob Dylan will be gracing us with his presence on 7th April, appearing at The Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence.  I was interested to read that last year he was made Poet Laureate for his song lyrics, unusual choice, but open to discussion. Foto Tour promotions.  For details of all his Italian concert dates go to Here

2018-02-08 09.50.31Also touring during February and March is the hugely popular gravelly Italian  singer, Zucchero.  Zucchero translates to sugar, and a very sweet man he is too.  His real name is Adelmo Fornaciari and is described as a blues artist who has sold more than sixty million records in his lifetime!  At sixty-three he’s still going strong.  Foto La Reppublica.  Buy tickets at Here

Back here, in our beautiful bit of countryside near Certaldo, the last week has been full of wildlife.  Firstly, we came to a sudden halt on the main road to Certaldo, to wait for a herd of Cinghiale (wild boar) that were racing across countryside to our left and were obviously going to cross the road in front of us without stopping.  There were twelve or thirteen, led by a big male followed by a few adults and a lot of youngsters.  They thundered across in front of us in single file and at a terrific speed.  We were very pleased to find a group of hunters further down the road, facing in the wrong direction; the cinghale were long gone!  Then, during the same week, we twice came across a herd of deer, crossing the track between our house and the main road, again keeping out of the hunters’ way.  It is a sad thing that these beautiful creatures are hunted so fiercely this time of year.

2018-02-17 08.59.22Anyway, on a brighter note, I found this gorgeous Sodini handbag in La Reppublica’s weekend magazine.  I think it is truly beautiful and it’s so nice to have a relaxed happy model in the picture.  Oh, dear, I have just discovered that the brand can be bought in Certaldo, at Magnolia in Via Giugno.  What to do?  My man will kill me if I buy another handbag!  I’ll have to find an excuse somehow!  Visit website  Also shown below is a beautiful outfit, again with a relaxed happy model, wearing a MaxMara number, which is right up my street.  Perhaps I’ll refrain from checking where I can buy it; on the other hand.  Ooops, just did, far too expensive, but never mind.  Go to website      2018-02-17 08.57.39Just lately, I have been getting really put off the fashion shows as so many designers use these awful miserable looking models that don’t even seem to be enjoying the clothes they are wearing!  Sorry, I just don’t understand it.  They may as well just use remote-controlled robots, that would at least be more interesting.

Well, enough of that.  What with all the election rallys going on and famous, or should I say infamous, people turning up locally to drum up votes, it’s been a little difficult to ignore.  Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of the original, has just visited Certaldo, trying to help drum up support for Forza Italia and its local candidate Stefania Scarpati. 

2018-02-17 08.52.07This is also Silvio Berlusconi’s party, which is currently holding third place in the opinion poles.  Posters are now appearing on the big metal boards erected a couple of weeks ago.  Although we are residents here, we don’t appear to have voting rights.  Mind you, I would not have a clue as to who to vote for, but then I felt the same way when we lived in England in the distant past!  I’ll keep you posted.  Foto La Nazione.

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The Rock Chick Band 2017

OK, time to get the pictures into this blog, then to get it off to all you lovely people.  Do drop me a line and if you would like to be added to The Rock Chick Band’s invitation list for our concert on June 22nd, drop me an email at june.finnigan@virgin.net.  Initial invites will go out shortly.

Have a great week.

Salute June x

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

2018-02-11 09.27.41OK, I have warned you about Italian Romeos in the past and this week girlies of all ages should take extra care.  Anyway, from now up until the fourteenth, beware of Italian men offering you red roses.  One rose is supposed to be very romantic, however, it might also indicate the size of his wallet!  Ask immediately if he lives with his mother.  If yes, then he’s probably after a bit of slap and tickle.  If he gives you a sob story about his aging or ailing mother, he may be looking for a replacement!  Either way, if he’s good-looking and invites you to dinner in a decent ristorante, why not!  Enjoy!  Foto La Nazione.

2018-02-11 09.30.28Meanwhile, the papers continue to be full of the forthcoming elections.  Villages and towns have had the big metal boards erected ready for the posters that go up shortly.  Matteo Renzi, the former Prime Minister, seems to be talking himself into a big political hole, rather like David Cameron did in the UK.  Both he and Silvio Berlusconi are now paying heed to the female political advisors, I’m glad to say, however, no sign of a likely candidate from their ranks for PM yet.  Foto La Repubblica.

Meta and Moro suspended

OK, so how did the Sanremo Music Festival end? I hear you ask.  Well, the winning act was Meta and Moro.  Meta was obviously doing a Doctor Who impression, aka Tom Baker!  The guys nearly didn’t make it after they were suspended pending allegations of violations of the festival’s rules by the song presented by them.  But all turned out rosy in the end.  To watch the video and get an idea of how ‘high’ the standard of entries were, go to Youtube Video No comment.  Would you believe, 12.2 million Italians watched the final on TV , the highest recorded since 2002!  Foto Sanremo official website. 
2018-02-08 09.49.27Guest appearances at the Festival included Sting.  The music man is fully entrenched into Tuscan life having a villa and land just a few valleys away from us, and the Italians love him.  His music is regularly played on the radio and he holds the occasional private concert party in his garden.  He has obviously taken a lead from me and my Garden Rock Concerts in June each year.  More news on that soon!  Foto La Repubblica
2018-02-11 09.32.36Well, back here in our beautiful bit of Chianti, it is cold and raining.  Contrary to popular belief outside of Italy, February can be chilly and wet.  Despite that Crocuses are beginning to show their heads, the Mimosa and some Cherry trees are in full blossom and life is good.  Local towns and villages are finally getting over the Carnivale Period and things are finally a little quieter; until the elections of course!  Foto La Nazione.
Soon, you will have more news about my books.  I will shortly finish and publish my short story, The Man in Black, and am making big strides with the fourth book in the series ‘The Continuing Adventures of Joanna Wilde’ called ‘Assassins List.‘  So watch this space!
Have a great week and do drop me a line; I love to hear from you.  Oh, and do visit my official author site at June’s website
Salute June x
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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World

2018-02-05 09.21.12Yes!  Rugby Six Nations has started and whilst I don’t intend bombarding you with unnecessary results of the first weekend, I do want to mention yesterday’s match between England and Italy in Roma.  Now, whenever I watch these two teams play I am torn between them; who am I supporting I ask myself?  My man has no such problems, he is English and an ex-serviceman, so Queen and country naturally makes him a supporter of England.  I am also English, but after nearly fourteen years in Tuscany, I am cheering both sides on and delighted with every try, conversion and drop kick.  And Italy put up a really good performance, they even scored the first try, only to lose in the end to the stronger team!

2018-02-05 09.17.28Anyway, back in the world of politics, and whilst enjoying my morning coffee at La Dispensa in Fiano, I read in La Republica  that eighty-seven year old politician Lilian Segre, has been nominated ‘Senatrice a Vita’ by the Presidente della Republica Sergio Mattarella.  Now, this either means she has been given a life sentence or made a Senator for Life.  In the picture she appears to be in a state of shock, poor old thing, so take your pick!

2018-02-01 09.19.29But let’s turn our thoughts to the world of music, which is close to my heart as you all know.  We are in the run-up to the Sanremo Music Festival.  This is a hotly contested song contest which, over five days will find a winner selected by a celebrity panel.  Of course this makes for very popular TV watching, however, if you do attend the Ariston Theatre in Sanremo, or watch it on the box, you will have to sit and listen to some pretty awful music.  The Italians are crazy for it!  A guest appearance will be made by Ornella Vanoni.  Who?  Ah, well she was a hugely popular singer donkeys years ago and this will be her first appearance in nineteen years.  Good for her, I say.  If you would like to learn more, or even buy tickets you should go to The Website

2018-01-29 09.24.39Meanwhile, at number two in the album charts, you will find the lovely EMMA, with Essere Qui, which means ‘Being here’.  Born in Florence, she is currently a bit of a Blondie lookalike, but her voice is very different.  Husky and very much a singer of the modern age, she became popular after winning Sanremo in 2012.  She also plays acoustic and classical guitar; impressive!  Hear her sing here video

OK, so what else.  Oh yes, Amore of course.  It is the run up to Valentines day, which single Italian men love and married men don’t bother with once they have snared you.  Well, so I’m told!

Well, enough of that.  Must get this blog posted to you and organise some lunch.  Have a great week and do drop me a line.

Salute June x

PS Don’t forget to visit my official author site at June’s site

NB Fotos from La Repubblica.

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