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

We are currently enjoying a cooler few days and a little rain here, but that won’t last.  July and August are subject to climate change like the rest of the world, but you can guarantee that these months will be generally hot, humid and dry.  As I write this I can feel the air heating up. The countryside is typically July; fields bleached pale gold, the vines standing out in long contrasting green lines and the silver olive groves providing shade. You can often see a three dimentional view, as if looking through a telescope, which is caused by the amazing light. Artists love this time of year and can be found perched in strategic spots with their easels, wallowing in the fabulous surroundings.

Meanwhile, I don’t mean to boast, but it has been a brilliant few weeks for our adopted country. You will all know that we won the European Cup at football, but did you realise that we also won The Eurovision Song Contest, The Softball European Championship and The Top EU Web Award with ‘Visit Italy’! And, The Basketball Team qualified for the Olympics and the gorgeous Matteo Berrettini became the first Italian to reach the Wimbledon final! Matteo also more than qualifies for my Italian Hunk of the month! Foto Tennis World.

And, what else do the Italians do better than anyone else, well Fashion of Course! Italian Fashion Designers are second to none. I have just read an article in Marie Claire, where the writer looked at the top 5 Italian Fashion Brands. These include Versace, Bottega Veneta, Valentino, Moschino, Georgia Armani, Miu Miu and Etro. So I thought you might like to take a look at Etro, I’ve heard of them but can’t say that I’m familiar with their designs. The prices are not unexpectedly up with the top end, but they do have a Summer Sale on at present. I liked some of their designs, both male and female, but really fell for this printed silk dress, truly gorgeous. However, I have once again fallen for one of the most expensive outfits not in the sale. Dammit! Will I or won’t I? Check out my next blog, I’ll need to think about it…..http://www.etro.com

Anyway, I’m going to take a break now and prepare some Sunday Lunch. I’ll be back later.

Mama Mia, it’s Monday already. I slept for four hours yesterday afternoon, so sorry. Anyway, I have mentioned in previous blogs that The Florentine English news magazine for Florence is a great mag to find all the interesting things going on. http://www.theflorentine.net Now I may be a Rock Chick but I also enjoy good classical music and you will find a wonderful Chamber Music Festival at Teatro Verdi in the mag’s Lifestyle Section. It’s really heating up today so if you are visiting Florence, try and go to inside events like this one! Also, go to The Sala Bianca of Palazzo Pitti for fabulous strings as musicians from the Cherubini Conservatory of Florence feature in six evenings through to the end of July.  I would love to go with you but sadly my knee is playing up. Enjoy and let me know all about it! Foto The Florentine.

OK, so lets get on with the working week, no rest for the wicked. Do drop me a line either by email or direct on my site at http://www.junefinnigan.website I love to hear from my readers!

Have great week, enjoy and stay safe.

Salute June x

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

What a fabulous birthday week. Surrounded by family, gorgeous presents, sunshine and a delicious supper at Osteria Di Casa Chianti.

One of the most delightful things about living here in Tuscany is that one can buy Italian Made products a short drive away. No need to trawl the internet, we are surrounded by local Artisans. Now my beautiful daughter knows me really well. What I would choose to buy myself, colours and indulgences. So what did she buy me? Yes, you guessed it, a handbag! But this is no ordinary handbag, it was hand-made in Florence and is a really high quality. And, look at that colour, so rich and luscious. I started using it straight away! Thank you my darling Sharon.

I begged my man to buy me some ceramics from our local village of Fiano. He wondered if this was personal enough, but gave in when he was reminded that I am a girlie who is already piled high with perfumes and scarves. So he came with me to Ceramiche Carbini Gabriella and spotted a large black and white dish, which was very nice, but I already had my mind set on certain colours to blend in with our kitchen. I am always drawn towards torquoise and blues, this must be something to do with being a water sign! So here is my choice, a lovely collection of dishes and vases embelished with pomegranites. There is also a larger dish, which is displayed on the kitchen table. We have several pomegranite trees in the garden that are already showing off their bright red blossoms, so the cermamics have brought a little bit of the outside inside. Thank you my lovely man. xxx

Now, one of the most famous trees Italy is known for is the Lemon Tree. My sister-in-law, who sadly could not be here, organised the arrival of a lovely little tree in a hand-made Terracotta pot. It is already boasting a little green lemon, so I must take good care of it. Lemon Trees must be taken inside during the winter months and it is a sure sign of late Spring when we see lots of lemon trees appearing on terraces and doorsteps. Yet another wonderful tradition in this beautiful country. Thank you La Bella Jane. xxx

My birthday supper was wonderful. Spoilt rotten by Max the owner and his really efficient theatrical staff, the family enjoyed prossecco followed by a bottle of Sticchiano Reserva wine. Oops sorry, yes we did eat too! The Osteria specialises in Tartufo (Truffles) that are sourced from the Tuscan countryside. My anti-pasti (starter) was Creamy Buratta Cheese with liberal shavings of white truffle over the top. Delicious. The Digestivo (after dinner liqueur) list is amazing too. We were impressed by our teenage granddaughter’s knowledge of the various Vin Santos; the waiter was dumbstruck. Oh, and Max gave me a present to take home; a bottle of his own label red wine designed by his young son. Thank you to Max and the team xxx http://www.osteriadicasachianti.it

Well, I know, I’m trying to prolong my birthday celebrations. The only sadness is that this is the second year without a Rock Chick Band concert in our garden and a house full of friends. But then everyone has made sacrifices and at least we can now look forward to planning next year’s bash with renewed confidence.

Wherever you are in the world, I wish you good health and happiness. May my joy of living here in Tuscany touch you and bring an extra ray of sunshine to your lives.

Salute June x

Contact me via my website at http://www.junefinnigan.website

STOP PRESS! The Cicaddas have arrived, so summer begins in earnest!

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

For many who come to Tuscany for the first time, they will thinking pasta and maybe Pizza. Whilst these are popular dishes, our local restaurants serve up a lot more than that and are known for their wood fire grills for both meat and veggie eaters. I was surprised to find Porcini on the menu last week as these are not currently very seasonable. They were in fact imported from Serbia which is not more than a few hours away and had arrived fresh and delicious! An all year round dish, which I love, is smoked Scamorza cheese grilled or baked over Radiccio. This is one of C’era Una Volta’s specialities along with Paolo’s hugely popular vegetable, herb, courgette flower or cheese fritters! We went there twice last week! http://www.ristorante-ceraunavolta.com

The countryside is very much reflecting the month of June. Meadowland has turned a pale gold and dried grasses have replaced the wild flowers other than the bright yellow of the broom. Colour is appearing in the form of flowering Oleanders and the rose bushes continue to bloom. This is also the month for intense activity in the fields and vineyards. Strimmers start at first light and squeeky tractors rumble up and down the vineyards, spraying and turning the soil. Tourists who had expected a quiet time on their sunbeds will be a little shocked at the noise!

Meanwhile, back on our little bit of the Chianti hillside, our garden designer daughter, Sharon, has planted a new shrubbery full of gorgeous roses and other flowering shrubs. She is going to list everything in it for me, so that I can become more shrub savy. This is in our front garden, which has been crying out for some colour and interest for years. I am also having some wrought iron climbing frames and a bench made, so that we can sit and enjoy it all with a nice chilled aperitivo. Sharon is organising everything for us, bless her. Visit her site at https://www.bellaterragardendesigns.com/

Stop Press –ITALY TO DROP MASKS: Italy is the latest country to unveil plans to drop the mandatory wearing of masks outdoors, according to Corriere della Sera. The government is expected to drop the rule either on July 1 or July 5, the paper said, with the precise date to be announced this coming week. In the meantime we are now in a Zona Bianca, that is white one, which is very good news indeed. We continue to wear masks and keep our distance for now, but watch this space. Tourists are getting thicker on the ground and mostly from northern Europe. It was still nice and quiet in the restaurant for lunch today, so that was good for us, not so the restauranteur. Apparently the Brits are not being encouraged to come yet as the Italian Government has set a new rule that means 5 days in isolation for any that arrive here! So do keep an eye on the changes for travellers!

Well, it’s currently very hot here, so if you are coming make sure you have air-conditioning in your casa vacanza. A pool maybe a good idea too. Whatever your plans I wish you good luck, good health and happiness.

Salute June x

Vist http://www.junefinnigan.website

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

Yes, Italy is well and truly open to Tourists, subject to some border restrictions of course. The rules are a little confusing and are changing all the time. However, the hospitality sector is desperate for the return of tourists and in our own little bit of Tuscany we are seeing groups of walkers and visiting camper vans going past. In our local village of Fiano, the visitors are getting in early and grabbing all the pastries! Twice this last week I have been told that they had all gone! You can also guarantee that outside dining restuarants will be full; we are not even going to try and book. But this sounds like I’m grumbling, well maybe I am, but only a little bit…. STOP PRESS – inside dining has started from 1st June in low risk zones!

I spotted a number of things on FB this morning. Firstly, http://www.this-is-italy.com has posted an Italian Food Itinery. This will really help all you foodies to get a feel for the regional palates. And, believe me there are many differences in Italian restaurants throughout the country. Of course the Tuscans have always claimed to produce the best dishes in Italy and perhaps they do! My man and I have lived here for many years and can certainly recommend it! Also the markets are a joy to visit now, local fruit, veg and cheeses so the dishes produced are all seasonal again.

Meanwhile, here in the glorious Tuscan countryside we are breathing in the heavenly smell of Jasmin and roses. Roses are planted in gardens, at the end of rows of vines and wild in the countryside. Wild flowers are everywhere as the hedgerows are long and will not be trimmed until the blooms start to go over. And, yes, if you want poppy fields, now’s the time to be here! I have borrowed this foto from La Poggilaia’s post on FB; I know Paola won’t mind as she is a friend and my next door neighbour. It shows you just how stunning our area is right now, we are so very lucky.

Back indoors and in fact in my wardrobe, I’ve been swapping my clothes from winter to summer. Lovely that I can ditch the tights and wear sandals now as it is getting really warm. The forecast is for temperatures up to 30C by Friday, that’ll bring even bigger groups of tourists. I have three really comfy Tea Dresses that I wore to death last year and will do the same this summer. Black remains my colour of choice, my being a rockchick, but the dresses have lots of colourful flower patterns to offset this! As you know I adore fashion, despite my figure not being that of a model… But fashion includes shoes and handbags, so no worries there. It’s my birthday month so let’s see what’s currently available ‘made in Italy.’ Oh no, I just died and went to heaven! Almost immediately I found Lorius of Firenze (that’s Florence to you and me)who make absolutely gorgeous hand-painted handbags and, they have a massive sale and free delivery in Italy! Thats me finished for the day then, need to go back on-line before I stop breathing! http://www.loriusfirenze.com

OK, I’m back, but it is time to stop for an aperitivo to calm myself down. Sorry I’m a bit late with this blog but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. See you in Tuscany soon!

Do drop me a line, oh and visit my website at http://www.junefinnigan.website

Salute June x

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

Well, lets get that subject out of the way. Yes, you know, the subject that effects us all, the Covid thing. Here in Italy we are feeling excited yet a little apprehensive. The Government has chosen to open the borders from today to try and help the tourist industry recover from what has been the most devastating time since the Second World War. But, thank God, strict border requirements remain in place and only Europeans, Brits and Israelis will be able to visit without having to undergo a 5 day quarantine when they arrive. So, you will have to check your travel arrangements to see what you can expect at the borders. Foto Il Tempo.

Super Mario (Mario Draghi) who is currently in charge of the country and is expected to help regenerate the economy, has had a diffiicult start to his reign. I read an interesting article in the Economist yesterday posted on April 24th in which it was felt he had been unfairly expected to make miraculous changes overnight! But the general feeling is that he is making a difference and that the tourist industry in particular, should see a vast improvement over the next few months with new measures coming in on 12th June. Sadly, we are still unable to dine inside restuarants, which excludes a lot of places from re-opening. But watch this space. Foto The Economist.

On a much happier note the streets are looking much brighter as the bars, hotels and restaurants are readying themselves for the expected surge in tourists and the curfew has been been extended to 11pm! So, book your outside dining table now! I noticed that Osteria di Casa Chianti , just up the road from us, has their dining garden open and you can expect a fabulous view and sunsets there too! Booking essential. http://www.osteriadicasachianti.it/home-eng/

Meanwhile, here in the Chianti Hills we are enjoying everything that one can expect in May. The arrival of all the birds that we take for granted including the Cuckoo, Bee Eaters, Golden Oriel, Night Jar, Hoope and, after dark, the flashing lights of the Fire Fly. We have had a lot of rain and the weather is a little cool, however, this in turn provides more food for the birds and a gorgeous damp smell, particularly in the early morning.

In just over a week’s time, we are having the front garden area landscaped and planted with lots of flowering shrubs to enjoy. These will attract more butterflies; we have already spotted the Swallow Tail. This year has been particularly good for the roses and our English red rose is heavy with blooms. Mind you, it’s very difficult to compete with our next door neighbour at La Poggiolaia who has hundreds of varieties and, if you get the chance, try and book a a holiday there. You’ll love it! Foto http://www.poggiolaia.it

OK, time to think about Sunday lunch. Can’t wait to be able to book a restaurant inside table, but that’s probably not before 1st June. Hey Ho.

So to all my family and friends in the UK, enjoy your new freedom from tomorrow. However, please be vigilant and stay safe.

Salute June x

PS Vist my website and buy my books at http://www.junefinnigan.website

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As I start writing this blog a cold wind is howling around the house after a night of much needed rain. And, I feel a huge sense of relief as the words start to flow again on screen.

The Italian news is full of Queen Lisabet’s loss of her handsome Prince Phillip and this will be a very sad period for her. It really doesn’t matter the age of a loved one when they pass away, the fact is you will never see them again and it’s an innevitable but terrible thing. I have spent several weeks looking after the one I love due to illness and I can honestly say, to see him so much better and on the way to full recovery is a golden gift. It is that fact that has helped me return to creative writing. I just love him.

Meanwhile, it was announced yesterday that Certaldo, our local town, is moving from a Red Zone back to an Orange one on Saturday 17 April. This is a big relief and I can at last get to the hairdresser. Sandra has just messaged me to say she will be open and I am down for the first Tuesday, bless her. And, our sixteen year old granddaughter returns to school tomorrow for three days a week, which is a mixed blessing for her. Her school is in Siena, which is currently in orange.

Last week my man and I managed to get vaccinated; me in Empoli where I was given the Astra Zeneca one and my man in Siena where he got the Moderna one! The roll-out of the vaccine remains slow here but the pace is picking up, thank goodness. We have to book on-line and need to be in a certain age group or vulnerable position. I kept trying but it was only when another batch of vaccines had arrived that my box to tick suddenly flashed ‘open’! Unfortunately, the supply is still restricted as the EU is currently sitting on billions of Euros meant to aid recovery and could be spent on vaccines, but they can’t get everyone’s agreement on how it should be distributed! I want to take this opportunity to mention the Amazing Red Cross here in our local town of Certaldo. For a short period I thought it might be wise to hire a wheelchair, just in case. We have a lovely friend called Paolo who is a volunteer and drives support vehicles for people needing to get to hospital for appointments and are ill or less able. My lovely daughter has been getting us to appointments, but on difficult days for her Paolo has stepped in. He arranged for me to pick up a wheelchair from the Red Cross and we can keep it indefinitely for a donation of just 50 cents! I cannot thank Paolo enough for his personal attention and the support of this volunteer service that backs him.

I have had several followers ask about my next Rock Concert and sadly I must tell you that we have decided to wait until next year. We are also cancelling any visitors this year to be sure that things are back in control first. so any plans you want to make, aim for the Spring of 2022 and fingers crossed all will be well! We look forward to seeing you!

Anyway, Spring is here in our beautiful little bit of Tuscany. The wildlife seem unaffected by the pandemic and in fact are a lot more obvious without the hunters around. Phil our resident pheasant has a new wifey and is doing his usual postering, so that’s OK. I hope, over the next few weeks to bring you lots of good news and more fotos of our stunning surroundings on the edge of the Chianti Hills.

Whilst this blog is a little shorter than previous ones, it is an important one for me. I have missed writing to you and I would love to also have your news. I will be endeavouring to update my website over the next couple of weeks too.

Salute June x

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

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

Well, it’s yet another beautiful sunny Sunday in our little bit of Tuscany in the Chianti Hills. We had intended doing a lot of stuff this weekend but somehow a great tiredness overcame us. After a working week and feeling great about the weekend coming up, yesterday proved to be lack of energy day! So I got to reading The Florentine, the English language magazine from Florence and discovered an awful lot going on that can be enjoyed from the comfort of our sofa!

As you know, I am a Rock Music fanatic, however, I also like classical music played live by brilliant musicians and here in Tuscany I found two treats coming up shortly.

Firstly and taking on the dual roles of conductor and pianist, Alexander Lonquich will be performing a fabulous program of Beethoven and Mozart with the Orchestra della Toscana in a streamed performance at 9pm on March 4 viewable on YouTube and Facebook.

And secondly, the amazing Hershey Felder will give his next live performance, Puccini-Live from Florence, a world premiere about Lucca’s world-famous opera composer from March 14 with on-demand streaming available through to March 21. Tickets available here

I also found some really interesting on-line courses/seminars/classes that will help relieve your withdrawal symptons from the lack of visiting the historical sites of Tuscany. Listen to and watch some real gems presented by excellent and very knowledgeable presenters whilst enjoying a nice glass of Chianti. I spotted two that might whet your appetite, ‘All Roads lead to Rome’ about the history of Roman road building and ‘Walled Cities and Towers of Tuscany’. Both events are coming up shortly in march so you will need to book online as soon as possible. There are lots more courses to view, not all in Italy, but many are. Go to https://Conversations.contexttravel.com

OK, what else? Well the other thing I have been doing is window shopping on-line Italian Fashion Houses. I know, not again! Anyway, now the UK is out of Europe, ordering anything from the UK is expensive as we have to pay a delivery charge. Fortunately, Italy has sites to cater for most things including Next.it and M&S.it. As most of you know I love Italian fashion and this outfit by my favourite designer https://luisaspagnoli.it is right up my street! I just need to buy a pair of six inch heels and lose a couple of stone….. Lots of things are as much as half-price at the moment!

OK, enough of my drooling over clothes and culture. The latest edition to our family, or should I say to my man’s gymnasium/games room is a new Dart Board Cabinet, which he will probably put up next weekend. We used to love a game of darts in English pubs, yes I was quite good actually. So looking forward to getting our battered old board up and using our nice new sets of darts. I’ll post a picture when its done! Oh, the other bit of news is that my man wants to start baking bread, but that’s another story!

Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers. And, don’t forget to read my books if you have not already done so and leave a review on Amazon. So grateful if you do! http://www.junefinnigan.website

Salute June x

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

At this moment in time, the sun is pouring through my open study window bringing the Tuscan countryside and birdsong with it. A nearby church bell is tolling and all is peaceful on this beautiful Sunday morning. Dogs and their walkers, cyclists and runners have already been spotted on our track and you would never believe we were in an orange lockdown in February. Now we are throwing more windows open and the sun is hot enough to sit outside; what a fabulous day!

Thinking back over last week, when the weather was still cold and damp, I found some great things to occupy me, including a really enjoyable on-line cookery class with my lovely friend and neighbour Judy Witts Francini. Judy, the well-known celebrity cook, has been very enterprising during lock-down with her live cookery sessions and I try to join them as often as possible! If you like Italian cooking, you will love Judy’s classes as they are very friendly and easy to follow.

Judy learnt to cook like a Diva whilst living with her mother-in-law in Florence and has never looked back. Last Thursday, we learnt how to cook Naked Raviolli, which is Spinach and Ricotta Raviolli without the pasta! Amazing and she showed us how to make different sauces to go with it like walnut, butter & sage or tomato. Yum, yum! Judy also has a great cookery book that you can order on her website, where you can also book her weekly classes. Follow her and get all the latest food updates too! https://divinacucina.com

Meanwhile, my man who has just come back in from the garden, handed me a dried up acorn that he found on our outside bench. It’s actually rather beautiful, obviously got at by insects or squirrels but somehow left and forgotten. I will keep it as a reminder of how sweet and kind my man can be. Sigh…..

Then I received a WhatsApp foto from my lovely daughter, who cut these beautiful flowers in her garden near Volterra. Bless her!

So, what else is happening in our little bit of Tuscany on the edge of Chianti? Gosh, well, the political scene continues to evolve as Super Mario, Mario Draghi, is getting to grips with the need for a rapid economic recovery as well as the painfully slow vaccine roll-out. The Five Star Movement has imploded and we are witnessing a lot of change in Government. Just one week to go and hopefully we will be a yellow zone again and able to go out to lunch.

Now, back to lighter things and reminding ourselves how lucky we are to be living in Tuscany and enjoying the fabulous sunsets at the end of the day. I love the gentle move into Spring without the nasty zanzare (mosquitos) that arrive in May. My man has cut the grass so I think a glass of Tuscan wine before lunch in the garden will be on the cards.

Fast forward and it is Tuesday morning. Another day of wall to wall sunshine and relaxing outside before lunch. Thanks to WordPress being a pain in the proverbial, I could not finish this blog on Sunday, so sorry to be a little late. OK, let’s get on with the day job and all have a good week. Life eeez good, life eeez now!

Do drop me a line and visit my website for more about me and my books! http://www.junefinnigan.website

Salute June x

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

As I write this blog the sun is peaking through the wintry clouds and we are celebrating still being a Yellow Zone in Tuscany. Here in Italy we have four zones from a Covid point of view; Red, Orange, Yellow and White. Red is the most restricted zone and whitehass no restrictions at all. Unfortunately there are not any white zones as yet but the country is rapidly turning yellow, which is good news.

And as if to further celebrate our yellow status, we have spotted a few Mimosa trees in blossom, but not many. March 8 will be when the blossoms are cut to celebrate Festa della Donna, International Women’s Day. Bunches of the pretty yellow flowers are gifted to the women we love or appreciate, no matter their status. So I hope there will still be blossoms on the trees then, we have had a few years of the blooms appearing rather too early!

Remaining on the subject of yellow, there are plenty of Italian fashion houses producing gorgeous outfits in this sunny colour and Italian men are not adverse to wearing daffodil yellow either! The on-line fashion houses are currently busy with sales; as much as 70% off some Italian fashion!

Meanwhile, it’s not just fashion here in Tuscany that hit’s the button. I was amazed to read an article in The Florentine magazine about how many products are actually manufactured in Tuscany and despite the virus, production has continued! In this picture you will see IVV glassware, Mangusta Yachts, Locman watches and Laika caravans, all made in Tuscany. ‘Tuscany’s focus on international trade is borne out in the share of Tuscan exports compared to total Italian exports, with a percentage of over 7.5%. Fashion, engineering and precious metalworking sectors are the primary sectors for exports. (Source: ISTAT, Italian Office for National Statistics)‘ for the full article written by Helen Farrell visit the latest magazine at http://www.theflorentine.it

And, what else would you like to hear about? A reader asked me if it’s warm here in January. Well, I have to say no, however, when the sun shines and the wind drops it’s perfectly possible to sit outside and enjoy an aperitivo before lunch! There are fabulous sunsets on some evenings. It’s not just the sun going down it’s the reflection on the opposite hillsides that take the breath away. The countryside can turn a bright orange for just a short period. This foto was taken this evening from my bedroom window!

Well, life is pretty good here in Tuscany. We returned to Paolo’s for another delicious lunch and the first daffodil is out in the garden! Yet more yellow. The government continues to be in disarray over arguments about how to spend the recovery funds being made available by the EU; there’ll probably be a new PM in place soon…. But these things don’t really effect us too much. We continue to work remotely and enjoy our morning espresso in Bar Querceto (our sitting room).

And, on the subject of working remotely, I’d best get back to the day job!

Have s great week, stay safe and well.

Salute June x

Visit me at http://www.junefinnigan.website

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Welcome back to all my Lovely Followers around the World,

Yes I’m back, to let you know that I can really ‘Shake ’em down’, yes I know more sad 60’s lyrics, but we love them don’t we!

Anyway, you want to know what’s happening here in Beautiful Tuscany, don’t you? Yes, of course you do. Well, the good news is that we remain a yellow zone. In Tuscany Covid cases are less than in many regions and we are able to go out to the restaurant to eat, usual rules still apply; masks, except when sat at the table, distancing and strict use of hand cleansers at the door. It is rare to see anyone out and about without a mask and I do not agree with the idea that you are safe in the open without one. Fortunately, the police here will clamp down on anyone seen without one, I wish to god that people around the world would just wise up and wear the masks as a way of life like we do.

Well, we were so happy to return to C’era una Volta Ristorante on Thursday for lunch, the first time since November, and to find both Paolo and Gaia fit and well. Only one other table was occupied, so it was nice and quiet. I drooled over Grilled Polenta con fagioli e cavolo nero, a gluten free version of bruschetta with black cabbage and white beans, swimming in the latest Extra-Virgin Olive oil and fresh herbs from Paolo’s orto. Then it was pasta in a pecorino cheese sauce with a dash of white wine; Paolo’s special recipe. Oh, not to forget, the whole meal was washed down by one of my favourite Chiantis from Bibbiano! Sigh…. http://www.ristorante-ceraunavolta.com

As most of you know, the food and wine here in Tuscany is truly delicious. We have lots of pots of honey, some given as presents, some bought. Yes, Tuscany produces some of the most mouth watering honeys and all are different. We have just finished a pot of Miele di Castagno (chestnut) from Castello Sonnino in Montespertoli. Drissled over a mature Pecorinino cheese the combined flavours are to die for. The Castello has a beautiful shop and you can also buy their wines on-line with other lovely goodies at http://www.castellosonnino.it

Now, like many of you out there, I have found it difficult to think about planning the future. Few flights are going out or coming in here in Italy, which for some time is going to continue effecting things. But there is nothing to stop me putting a date in the diary for my next Tuscan Rock Chick Band Concert and starting on a repertoire and some practice. One has to be optimistic! OK, so we may have to cancel again, but let’s at least knock the idea into shape! Let me know if you have a favourite rock song, I might include it. To give you some idea my favourite music includes Robert Plant, Thin Lizzy, REM and George Harrison, I have a low voice which means I can sing many songs usually performed by men. Female singers I like include Chrissie Hynd, Patti Smith and Stevie Nicks. I like a lot of stuff, so let me know!

Well enough for now, hopefully I will be out and about a lot more over the next week, with more to tell you.

Stay well, stay safe.

Salute June x http:www.junefinnigan.website

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