Posts Tagged ‘the Cuckoo’

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

20180815_101857Yes, it’s that time of year again, Easter Weekend and the Tourists have poured in from every part of the globe.  Cars and mini-buses are cruising past our Old Monastery Farmhouse with big-eyed faces staring out of the windows.  Then there are the walkers.  As we are surrounded by agriturismo places to stay, it’s normal to hear the sound of footsteps on the gravel track and wondrous voices in many different languages.  But, we don’t mind, as this weekend heralds the run up to summer and it’s a pleasure to see and hear visitors enjoying themselves.  Anyway, we have our giant spider guarding the gate; just in case.

2019-04-22 09.48.18Now the tourists will have found ninety percent of shops, bars and restaurants closed on both the Sunday and Monday.  This includes our usual haunt La Dispensa in Fiano as Fabio, Sandra and Rossella have taken a well deserved two-day break.  The Italians like their festa days and most will have gone off to the seaside or mountains.  But if you know where to go it’s not a problem.  On both days we dropped down to Certaldo and Jam Caffe where you will find the best pastries in the region and of course very good coffee.  The weather is beautiful at the moment so you can enjoy sitting outside on the big terrace.  We like to be inside looking out.

2019-04-10 08.58.05#1On the subject of coffee, which the Italians serve up so much better than anywhere else in the world, on Saturday I spotted this advert for illy coffee.  Yes, I know, the hunky guy in the advert did draw me in.  But look at his face; which look do you like?  Clever advertising this; Classico, Intenso (intense) & Forte (strong).  I must say I do rather like the Intenso look; that hint of danger in the eyes…..  Sorry, where was I?  Oh, yes, I was about to mention that I do buy the tins of illy classico coffee.  I like the tins, they look great on the sideboard and the coffee is seriously good too!

2019-04-20 10.18.47On Saturday morning, the Mercato in Certaldo was heaving.  We stocked up with fruit, veg and Cheese, but our lovely plant lady had not turned up again.  I asked one of the neighbouring market holders and was told she had not been there for months.  But the good news is, I suddenly remembered a flower kiosk at the top of the hill next to the old cemetery, where our old friend Simon Moody rests in peace, bless him.  The kiosk was busy, but to my delight I found lot’s of plants for sale as well as flowers.  I bought quite a few, but will need more, so will go back next weekend.  I’ll send you some fotos of the finished pots next time.

2019-04-17 08.40.05OK, what else.  obviously the National news has not been too good this last week, what with the Notre Dame fire.  Here in Italy we have a Joint Deputy Prime Minister who likes to dress up in various uniforms, depending on where he is appearing, so it was inevitable that one of our Italian cartoonists would come up with this cartoon of Matteo Salvini.  We quickly move on….

2019-04-17 08.37.35Meanwhile, the various Leonardo exhibitions and festas continue and for a change I will mention Prato, which is a rather attractive town between Florence and Pistoia, where there is an Ingenuity & Textile Exhibition going on at Il Museo del Tessuto.  I’ve always been fascinated by machines, big and small.  I love steam trains and the workings of clocks and watches.  In fact anything that is not dependant on electricity or technology.  Prato is also good for historical buildings and excellent restaurants!  website

Anyway, today is Monday Bank Holiday, as the Brits say, and we must make the most of it and enjoy the remaining sunshine.  The hedgerows are bursting with Poppies, Acacia blossom is just peeking out, the Cuckoo is back and life eeez very good indeed.  So, take the time to read a good book, preferably one of mine, and relax.

Have a great week.

Salute June x

PS  do visit my website at My site

NB.  Newspaper fotos are extracted from La Repubblica.  Other fotos J Finnigan.

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Ciao Ragazzi and a big welcome to all my new followers,

Today I am talking about my visit to England, Marketing ‘My Father, The Assassin’, Signing Autographs, Cuckoos, Giant Moths, Fungi, My Man Home Alone, Silvio Berlusconi (who?) and The Rock Concert.

Yesterday I returned from six days in England having left my man in charge of the villa and cat.  I am always homesick when away from Tuscany and the homecoming is always very emotional.  My man organized some lovely fizzy prosecco on the upper terrace and I started to unwind in no time.  It was a good week, meeting with new potential clients, promoting the book and seeing family & friends.  I particularly enjoyed handing my writer’s card to people on trains & planes and watching them immediatley download onto Kindles or order on-line direct from their phones – incredible!  This morning we went for our coffee fix at Fiano and was greeted by the lovely Laura & beautiful daughter Benedetta like a long lost friend.  Benedetta even asked me to sign her autograph book – wow!

Laura & Benedetta at the Alimentare/Bar in Fiano (not to be confused with the other bar in the piazza)


My Man had quite an eventful time when I was away and talked a lot to Farty Barty the cat.  He also had a lengthy conversation with a giant moth that landed on his lap and stayed for ages. 

Giant Moth on the man’s trouser leg.


Then he was visited by three cuckoos, which is extremely rare as they are very shy and usually alone, so he chatted with them.  Then he discovered the most amazing fungi in the garden and chatted with that.


Finally, he resorted to taking a picture of his own reflection, but he’s OK now……

My man in reflective mood.


Anyway, what is the latest from the hunky Silvio Berlusconi?  You may be aware that he is being prosecuted for under age sex (he’s 76) and fraud, amongst other things.  He claims that he is being persecuted by by Italy’s magistrates.  On Saturday he turned a ‘political’ rally in Brescia into a protest against the Italian judiciary.  Karima el-Mahrong now claims that she never slept with Silvio when she was seventeen and that he gave her money purely out of the desire to help her build a life for herself….. Well, just look at that face below, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a used car from him or accept a donation to further my career.  What do you think?

Silvio in Brescia


And finally, I really must get on with some singing practice as Stefano, my lead guitarist and mentor, wants to do a rehearsel on Thursday!   The Rock Chick Band’s concert will be on the 22nd June, which is only three weeks away – fantastico.

Have a great week and ci vediamo la prossima weekend.

June xx

PS if you are in Fiano, you can buy my book from Milko’s Cartoleria or on-line by clicking the top right hand side of this page.  Enjoy! xx




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Ciao Ragazzi

 My man and I have just returned from our coffee fix in Fiano and I am getting on with this blog, which I had intended doing yesterday!  A glorious day and expected to be 24 degrees by lunchtime.  Today I am talking about the lovely Silvio B, the Cuckoo and My Father, The Assassin.

 “La casa brucia, altro che pettinarele bombole. Governo forte o elezione!”  The house is on fire, another that combs the cylinders!  Strong government or election!  Well that’s the translation as quoted on his personal Facebook page ten hours ago.  Silvio Berlusconi will be back.  Vertically challenged, rotund and wearing makeup, at 76 a very high percentage of the female voters love him.  506,000 ‘like’ him on Facebook and you can be sure they are not all women.  Crowds have been thronging to the piazzas to hear him blow his own trumpet.

 So, on to the subject of the cuckoo.  No the bird variety silly!  Our feathered friend arrived last Tuesday and locals are talking excitedly about the formal arrival of spring.  All outside areas from balconi to giardini are being made ready for living and eating outside. And the weekenders, who own the property behind us, are outside playing ping-pong.  I cannot describe how good it is to be breathing in the warm scented air.


 My man thought you might like to read an extract of my novel, ‘My Father, The Assassin’.  Now remember this is his idea, however, if you have not already read the book I will be interested to know if it encourages you to do so.  So here is a bit of chapter 6 where Joanna is preparing to leave for Singapore on her quest to follow the ghost of her father; she rings her daughter Emma…..

 After putting the phone down on the enthusiastic Jimmy, I realised that I was probably rushing into this adventure of mine without any proper planning.  I rang Emma.  “Mum, how are you?  Harrys just landed himself a superb job running the John Nichols Golf and Country Club.  That means we have free access to all the facilities and its the best club in the country now.  Did you know that annual membership is £15,000 a year and you need to be sponsored by an existing member?  Harry wont have to pay his fee anymore, instead they’re going to be paying him – isnt that just amazing?  Oh god!  Finny has just come in with the dead rabbit the cat was playing with, hold on a minute!”  The receiver clattered onto the table, and I listened to Emma shouting at Finny the lurcher and trying to retrieve the poor dead rabbit. “Blast” Emma gasped, “hes gone under the bed with it, can you believe it?  Harry will have to sort it out; Finny doesnt take a blind bit of notice of me!  where were we – oh yes, and my friends are so jealous.  We thought we might have our wedding reception there, what do you think?”

“I didnt know you were getting married!” I gasped.  “Of course you know, Mum, It’s living in the depth of beyond that makes you to lose your memory all the time,” Emma quipped.  “Emma, I need your help.  I want to fly out to Singapore to do some research, and need to be away for two to three weeks.  I wondered if yourself, Harry and Finny would like to come down and house sit for me.  It would be ideal for you all and you badly need to take a rest.  Dippy would love to see Finny again and….”  I was suddenly interrupted.  “Actually mum, that’s a brilliant idea, we have just been talking about taking one of those Landmark Trust properties for a couple of weeks; coming down to Devon would be an even better idea.  Harry doesnt start his job until the middle of next month, leave it with me!”  And she was gone.

 Here is the direct link to the novel;


 Drop me a line and don’t forget to share with all your social networks!

 Have a great week, June x

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