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Posts Tagged ‘Silvio Berlusconi’

Welcome and Benvenuto to all my lovely Loyal and New followers

Silvio celebrates his 80th! La Nazione

Silvio celebrates his 80th!
La Nazione

Now the big news last week was the 80th birthday celebration of the charismatic ex-politician Silvio Berlusconi.  He spent the day with his thirty-one year old partner (gosh she’s getting on a bit) Francesca Pascale and his family, in his mansion near Milan.  He was quoted as having announced that his political career is effectively over and “I will dedicate more time to the people I love and that is the way it should be: five children and ten grandchildren have turned me into a patriarch”  he said at an interview on the big day.  Ah bless his silk socks.  But if this means his retiring from the world of politics completely, then things will be far less colourful in that arena.  I read that two out of three members want him back as the leader of Forza Italia; watch this space!

The Moose in the big oak tree guarding our gate. Foto J Finnigan

The Moose in the big oak tree guarding our gate.
Foto J Finnigan

Back in our beautiful bit of Chianti countryside, we have taken to popping outside the front door with a couple of chairs for an aperitivo before lunch, because there is some shade there at that time of day.  You will remember that our current home is guarded at the front gate by a huge ancient oak tree (querceto) and last weekend I had the strangest feeling that I was being stared at.  I looked at the tree and it had suddenly taken on the face of a moose!  Yes, I know I was on the second glass of wine, but here is the proof!  If you cannot see what I can see then perhaps I should make an appointment to go and see my lovely doctor Flavio.  Please tell me you can see it’s face….

To buy or not to buy these orange Gucci shoes that match my current handbag! La Repubblica

To buy or not to buy these orange Gucci shoes that match my current handbag!
La Repubblica

Anyway, to change the subject and taking you back to La Dispensa caffee bar in Fiano, I was reading the paper over my morning coffee and saw these beautiful Gucci shoes advertised.  The orange pair in the middle exactly matches my current handbag.  What do you think?  Would it be over indulgent on my part, to buy these on-line?

Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition at San Gimignao La Repubblica

Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition at San Gimignano
La Repubblica

Also in the paper I read that this is the last month to view Leonardo Da Vinci’s exhibition of ‘Le Macchine Militaria’ (I don’t think this needs translating) at the Museum of Torture in San Gimignano.  Apparently, it’s a ‘multi-media exhibition’ whatever that is!  Should I go and see it?  I’m not sure and I have heard that a lot of the exhibits are pretty gruesome.

By the way, we have house guests for a few days and whilst I continue to work and write it’s good to have some girlie time, with my sister-in-law who accompanied a lovely friend of mine from England.  Today we went out to lunch at Borgo Antico in Tavernelle http://www.borgoanticorestaurant.com after I tried in vain to buy a new travel case in the high street and found most of the shops closed; I had forgotten it was Monday.

October Hunk of the Month the Italian musician known as 'Fano' La Repubblica

October Hunk of the Month, the Italian musician known as ‘Fano’
La Repubblica

So I ended up buying a new bedside lamp in the electrical shop, and have no idea how I can stuff all my things into it when I go to England next week!  But you don’t want to know about that, I’m sure you would rather drool over my Hunk of the Month, an Italian musician called Fano!

Well, enough of that nonsense, must get back to the real world and get this blog off to you.

Have a great week.

Amore June x

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 Lovely Loyal and New Followers

Holiday crush Chaos! La Nazione

Holiday crush Chaos!
La Nazione

“This is where he went on holiday or the commune ran out of money!  Or, there may be a demarkation line here…”  Of course my man is driving us to Certaldo and talking about the mechanical hedge trimming guy who is late trimming the roadside hedges this year, and seems to have done a bunk, as we English say.  Now in my view, the most likely reason for him disappearing having only completed half the job, is the mad dash to the seaside and mountains!

Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull wow the crowd in Cortona. La Nazione

Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull wow the crowd in Cortona.
La Nazione

Would you believe it, La Nazione has reported that 33 Million Italians have joined the fuga (escape) causing traffic, train and flight chaos.  Now this does happen every year and the last place you want to be in the first two weeks of August is here in Tuscany.  However, this seems to be worse than last year.  We went to our local Osteria for supper last Friday, and all the tables and chairs had been moved outside to cater for the non-Italian visiting tourists!   This was unfortunate for we locals, as we  actually like being inside in the cool, without having to compete with the zanzari (mosquitos) for air space.  But hey ho, life eeez good life eeez now….

But on the bright side, I read that Jethro Tull has had a brilliant concert and wowed the crowds with a whole new repertoire of tunes.  It seems that Ian Anderson the flutist has gone rather political in his older years.  But anyway, great to have him and his band here, performing in Cortona.

Silvio Berlusconi hands over AC Milan to the Chinese. La Nazione

Silvio Berlusconi hands over AC Milan to the Chinese.
La Nazione

Meanwhile Silvio has officially handed over AC Milan football club to the Chinese who may change the name to AC Peking; ha ha, only joking.  But god only knows what effect this will have on the team and the fans.  I can visualise chinese faces filling the stands and replacing some of the team members.  What do you think?

Fabulous sunset with moon last night. Foto J Finnigan

Fabulous sunset with moon last night.
Foto J Finnigan

But let’s remind ourselves how lucky we are living here in Beautiful Chianti.  It’s the time of year for fabulous sunsets and aperitivi in the shade of the Ash tree.  The humidity has gone and a breeze is wafting across these dolce hills.  So much so that my man decided to get his fitness regime going and walked across country from Fiano via Sticciano and Bacio to home after coffee last Sunday.  It took an hour and twenty minutes; Bravo to him!

Allora, time to think about getting this post to you and popping out for lunch at ‘C’era Una Volta in Luccardo’.  At least Paolo and his staff are not away on holiday!

Have a great week.

Salute June x

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

Chilled Aperitivi under the Ash Tree. Foto P Finnigan

Chilled Aperitivi under the Ash Tree. Foto P Finnigan

'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

'La Dispensa' the new bar and alimentare in Fiano.

‘La Dispensa’ the new bar and alimentare in Fiano.  Foto J Finnigan

The lovely new family owners of 'La Dispensa' foto J Finnigan

The lovely new family owners of ‘La Dispensa’  foto J Finnigan

Hurrah, at last, our local village of Fiano has a new Cafe Bar and Alimentare after more than six months without being able to buy a coffee!  It is now called ‘La Dispensa’ which translates to larder or pantry. The Local butcher and his wife have completely refurbished the old one and yes, they have a meat counter, but you can also buy everything else you might need like fruit, veg, bread, cheese, milk, wines, beers, and frozen stuff.  Oh, yes and there is a bar for that all important coffee or aperitivo manned by their lovely daughter and they told me this morning that papers will be available to read from Tuesday!  They will be open every day, but not Sunday Evenings.  Well, thank god for that, Fiano at last has a heart again.

Colourful pictures of La Mercantia. La Natione.

Colourful pictures of La Mercantia. La Nazione.

Meanwhile, down in Certaldo the Mercantia has been going at full swing and cars were piling into the town on Saturday evening.  To avoid this massive influx of Italians and tourists, we drove in the opposite direction for supper at C’era una Volta, or ‘Paolo’s’ as the locals call it.  Go to http://www.ristorante-ceraunavolta.com  But even there, the new tourist arrivals were piling in even at nine-thirty in the evening, when we were leaving.  Saturday is arrivals day for most hotels, villas and Agriturismi in the area and in reality, we should have stayed home!  But we met some very nice Americans who obviously enjoy the good life, ordering the popular Bistecca (beefsteak) and all the trimmings.  If you guys are reading this, hope you all have a great holiday.

Well, we are three and a half months into our new home and it feels like we have been here forever; it’s so perfect.  But up until last Friday it was so hot and humid, it was difficult to know which doors and windows, if any, to leave open to try to get some breeze.  But thankfully, Friday it rained, not a lot and the humidity broke, so the new tourists will be enjoying themselves in lower temperatures of around 26 degrees centigrade instead of 35.  However, come tomorrow the temperature will start rising again!  But we don’t care about that, life eeez good, life eeez now!

Last Friday night we went back to L’Osteria Casa Chianti, also packed with both tourists and locals, so it’s essential you book a table there.  http://www.osteriadicasachianti.it  There was a fabulous sunset that night and when the owner, Massimiliano, called the diners out of the upstairs restaurant to a balcony, chairs scraped and people fell over themselves in the rush to get photos.  You would think that a UFO had landing or something!  Unbelievable!  OK, I guess we do take these things rather for granted being residents, but nevertheless!  My man of course, thought the whole thing hilarious.  I must have grumbled too loudly as he looked at me questionably and with a frown on his face.  “Am I embarrassing you?”  I asked.  “How could you do that, I’m sat at another table!”  He roared with laughter….  Oh very funny.  (I still love him)

Silvio Berlusconi
Photograph: Daniel Dal Zennaro/EPA

So how is poor old Silvio doing?  Well, he came out of hospital last Tuesday, looking very tired and older, and is now convalescing.  We wish him well.  It also seems that he is now finally selling his ownership if AC Milan football club to Chinese buyers despite his earlier misgivings.  His already inflated bank account will increase by 400M Euros over the next two years.  “I’m selling the club to people who can bring it back to where it belongs”  He said.  Ah, Thats OK then.

Well, time to think about Sunday lunch.

Wishing you all a happy and relaxed week and we’ll speak again soon.

Salute June x

PS Look out for the 60% discount on downloads of ‘My Father, The Assassin’ starting Saturday July 23rd and lasting seven days.  Visit 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,

“I wouldn’t start from here, If I were you, and by the way I found this in the garden!”  The start point my man was referring to was the beginning of my blog and the thing he found in the garden was a porcupine quill.  Now our still new garden is very well fenced and has so far kept out the deer and cinghale (wild boar), but low slung animals still seem to get inside.  We have only ever seen a porcupine once crossing the road, safely I hasten to add, and after dark.

But back to the blog and I always ask my man to do a quick edit.  He quite rightly suggested I start somewhere else, rather than begin by mentioning that he had returned from a business trip to London on Friday feeling exhausted; so I won’t mention that.  Then to change the subject I told him about the earthquake, which happened when he was away.  I had spread a load of work out on the kitchen table and when the tremor started I had to hold on to it to steady myself.  Fortunately, my glass of wine only shivered slightly and quickly settled down again!  Has anyone else experienced an earthquake? Do let me know.

Farty Barty waiting patiently for my return to the studio. Foto J Finnigan

Farty Barty waiting patiently for my return to the studio.
Foto J Finnigan

We have recently had a new internet connection installed and so working on-line has become so much easier.  I can definitely recommend AirWiFi to all those struggling to fund a decent internet connection in this part of the world.  Thank you to  friends Karin and Hans for suggesting it.  Go to http://www.airwifi.it  However, with a cat on one’s lap, who is needing comfort from the nasty thunder outside, it’s not so easy to reach the computer and go on-line!  Everytime I get up he’s back on the chair waiting for my return and I’m too soft to send him away!

Seeing spooks and aliens in my morning coffee! foto J Finnigan

Seeing spooks and aliens in my morning coffee!
foto J Finnigan

Hurrah, we have a winner for my signed book and she is blog follower Odette, who spotted that my coffee had changed to a small black, whereas in previous fotos I always had a white one!  Brava that lady!    So why had my coffee changed?  Well down in Certaldo I had been trying different ways of drinking espresso as I believe the milk is not too good for me.  This is very sad because I love my morning caffè latte, it just no longer seems to like me!  This has been very confusing for Caffe Bar Il Solferino, where they know all their customers and what they drink.   So finally, I have selected caffè latte with soya milk, it has the same creamy texture but I am having to acquire the Italian liking for sweetness!

Vintage band POOH is back on stage and touring! La Nazione

Vintage band POOH is back on stage and touring! La Nazione

Ok, at this time of year, as many of you know, we are gearing up for The Rock Chick Band’s annual concert garden party and we already have one rehearsal under our belts.  I read in the paper that the original line-up of the rock band known as POOH is touring again.  They were very popular in Italy in the 60’s and 70’s and in the rest of the world I’m told!  It’s a great time for the aging rockers of this world, particularly in Italy where the concerts are always sold out!

Fungi in the garden. anyone know what it is? Foto J Finnigan

Fungi in the garden. anyone know what it is?
Foto J Finnigan

Meanwhile, back in our lovely wooded garden, the deluge of rain has bought lots of interesting fungi to the surface.  If any of you clever clogs know the name of these, do let me know.

Finally, we are all very sad to hear that Silvio Berlusconi has been committed to hospital with heart problems and is to be operated on today (Tuesday).  It sounds quite serious and is a four-hour job!

Silvio goes into hospital. La Nazione

Silvio goes into hospital.
La Nazione

There is already talk of finding a replacement leader for Forza Italia, Silvio’s political party.  But let’s hope that all goes well for him; Italian politics will lose a lot of colour if Silvio steps down.

Well, enough of that, must organise some lunch, do voice exercises whilst its cooking and pour myself a nice chilled white to assist my singing practice.  My man is currently occupied in his own studio, with a Skype call to England, so I had best not disturb him!

Have a really great week and do drop me a line, or visit 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

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.

 

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Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

Mimosa blossom in mid-January! foto P Finnigan

Mimosa blossom in mid-January!
foto P Finnigan

Very cold here, but bright sunshine and amazingly the Mimosa tree is already in blossom.  The Mimosa flowers are very sought after on La Festa Delle Donne, which does not normally arrive until the first weekend in March.  So we have a dilemma.  The beautiful yellow flowers are already out and they will definitely not survive until March, when bunches are cut and given to all one’s favourite female family members and friends.  Yes, I know, its much the same all over Europe, a long drawn out Autumn and then a sudden turn to cold weather when plants and trees have already been fooled into believing it is spring already!

Certaldo's history of slow food. La Nazione

Certaldo’s history of slow food.
La Nazione

Down in Certaldo, where we are more often to be found having our coffee, I read an article in the paper about Certaldo’s history and slow food.  The area does produce its own seasonal fruit and veg, cheeses and meats.  The most well-known veg is the Red Certaldo Onion.  A delicious sweet onion that is often turned into marmalade or bottled in olive oil.  I use them for everything, including frying in butter and piling into baked potatoes. Mmmmm.

Made in Italy - mens fashion article. La Nazione

Made in Italy – mens fashion article.
La Nazione

Also in the paper, there was an article on men’s fashion, ‘Made in Italy.’  Now the Italians much prefer to buy Italian.  Bright peel off stickers will be found on ready-made clothes, sporting the green, white and red of the Italian flag.  This does not necessarily mean you are paying more for the privilege as, unfortunately, Italian clothing workers are not paid high wages.  Of course these days, a lot of migrants are also being paid to do it.  But the quality of Italian clothes remains high.  Unlike, for example, Marks & Spencer in the UK, who I used to depend on for good lingerie; the finishing on knickers is awful and needless to say, produced in India or Pakistan.

The James Bond Archive Book foto J Finnigan

The James Bond Archive Book
foto J Finnigan

But enough of that.  You may remember it was my man’s birthday last week and I bought him, amongst other things, The James Bond Archive Book.  It’s immensely heavy, but beautifully put together and covers all the films in pictures and print right up to Skyfall.  Yes, OK, I confess I do love the Bond films and perhaps I wanted it too, well just a little….  The Italians also love James Bond, and the gorgeous Daniel is often in the news.

Silvio at a recent 95th birthday. La Nazione

Silvio at a recent 95th birthday.
La Nazione

A huge percentage of Italian women, and a sprinkling of men, are still having imaginary affairs with their own star Silvio Berlusconi.  Putting aside the politics, he was once a singer of ballads by the way, at the age of seventy-nine he still has charisma, perfect hair and a perma-tan.  The fact that he is short and rotund, does not seem to matter!  Of late he has been regularly back in the news and here he is attending a ninety-fifth birthday party.  Yes, another foto opportunity.

Farty Barty in his terracotta pot on windowsill. Photo P Finnigan

Farty Barty in his terracotta pot on windowsill.
Photo P Finnigan

Well, here in my studio, the work is piling up.  No, I am not swanning around like Farty Barty the cat, I am currently busy writing a Cyber Crime Thriller for a client, my third ‘Joanna Wilde’ novel titled ‘The Bolivian Connection’ and putting in several days work each week with my company.  But ‘life eeeez good, life eeeez now’ as the Italians like to say, in Italian of course.

OK, time to get this post edited then off to ‘C’era Una Volta for lunch.

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

Father XmasWell, it’s that time of year when people start to do and say funny things like, after Christmas I’m going on a diet or I’m not going to shave until after the holiday.  Now my man comes into the latter catagory, which means that kisses under the mistletoe get a bit scratchy.  I know that lots of girlies like their men to have a bit of stubble, it’s considered matcho, but I’m afraid I find the whole sensation of being kissed by a prickly chin rather off-putting, not to say dangerous.  But hey, I’d rather be kissed by my man than not, so I will persevere, despite the beard!

Christmas Man with beard. La Nazione

Christmas Man with beard.
La Nazione

On the subject of men, my man and I enjoyed coffee twice this morning.  Firstly at the Jam Cafe, because we could not park in our usual place due to a huge market in Certaldo and secondly at Il Solferino after having trecked through all the market stalls along Via Giugno.  We settled in to read the papers and there for you girlies to drool over, I found Christmas man.  Yes, another watch advert, but it’s the guy wearing it that matters, don’t you think?  My man grinned over the top of his newspaper and said; “Now here’s an interesting snippet.  Research has now proved that Hitler only had one ball!  But we military men already knew that and we had a song we used to sing about it, yes a rude one….”  He turned and shared the joke with the man behind him on the next table.  So you had one Brit and one Italian laughing their heads off about a German and a missing ball!

Now, I am trying to get my head around Christmas.  I’ve got all the presents and most of the food, but we have failed to get a real Christmas Tree as we left it too late.  Yesterday morning we did a huge circle from Certaldo to Poggibonsi, up to San Casciano and back again, but they were all gone.  So, unless we hit lucky, I will have to do some sort of festive table arrangement and put the presents around it.  The grandkids will not be impressed though. On the journey my man and I  had both felt  bit jaded and thought we were getting the dreaded Christmas virus.  “My face feels strange.”  He said, rubbing his chin.  “What, sort of tingly?”  I asked.  “No hairy.”  He grinned.

December view from here. Photo J Finnigan

December view from here.
Photo J Finnigan

December sunset. Photo J Finnigan

December sunset.
Photo J Finnigan

Earlier in the week, I had been getting a little fed up with the cloudy, foggy weather.  The temperature here in Tuscany was lower than London, where my man was putting in his last few days at the grind stone before the Festive break.  Then come Thursday the sun came out and bathed everything in gold and the sunset that evening gave me a huge lift, so I took a couple of photos for you.

Things are pretty hectic here now in the run up to the big day and needless to say, something has to give.  So please forgive me if I take a couple of weeks off from writing to you.  The good news is I will have lots to tell you about the festivities here in Tuscany in the New year.  In the meantime, I want to say a big thank you to all my readers for buying my books throughout 2015.  It has been a record year for sales and your support is so very much appreciated.  Don’t forget there is still time to download your Christmas reading, if you have not already done so.  Visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

Have a wonderful Christmas and Buon Natale

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.

The idol Silvio (Jesu) Berlusconi Photo sdpf

Silvio (Jesu) Berlusconi
Photo sdpf

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