Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Tuscany’

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

Espresso facts. Do you know precisely how a traditional Italian espresso is made? I found this extract from an article in visittuscany.com wiritten by Flavio Cori. “Un Caffè” is an espresso: only 25 ml of water. A perfect one has an even brown cream on top and must be ready in less than 30 seconds.
“Caffè lungo” is obtained by draining more water than usual. A long coffee, although it is less dense, contains more caffeine than an espresso.” My man and I prefer the Lungo! We always start the day with a due lungi and a chat.

“I’m torn between writing my blog and going down to the sound studio and doing a bit of singing.” I sigh. My man smiled his melting smile across the table, which separated us in Bar Quercetto, formerly known as our sitting room, whilst cupping his second espresso lungo in his right hand. “Well, it is Sunday and executive decisions are difficult to make on a weekend. Why don’t you go down to the sound studio and write your blog there?” He suggests. I think about this, but I know I will be distracted by my music and I cannot write with music playing. I take my bowl of fruit and bufala mozzerella to my study desk and start writing. The decision is made.

Yesterday, Saturday, was a fabulous sunny day. A gentle breeze and hot sunshine. If you have not visited Tuscany in late Autumn and Winter, you should know that the sun is always hot here, that’s when it is shining of course. The air temperature can be very chilly but if you take your folding chair to a sunny sheltered spot you will be lovely and warm and even catch the sun! A wonderful time of year. My man and I enjoyed a bottle of Toscana Bianco before lunch sitting on our favourite bench under the younger oak tree. Acorns were falling like pebbles, bouncing off branches before landing on the grass surrounding us. Any minute we were expecting one to land in our wine or on our heads! Here is a rare picture of my man hiding behind his wine glass, bless him.

Today, we received our first Christmas card from the UK. I hear that festive trees are being bought early as if lockdown is feeding the mind with the need to bring the big day foreward! Not so here, no sign of anything festive in our local village of Fiano yet. My man is not going out at all, whilst I go to the village twice weekly for water refills and groceries. But I am prompted to think about on-line shopping for presents as time is rushing by and at least it’s something fun to do at this time. Last night, my man and I decided on getting any of the latest Bourne Series and Matrix on DVD for ourselves. Foto The Guardian

My man said to me earlier, “You know, you should write more about yourself in the blog, not constantly talking about handbags and shoes. Readers what to know what you are up to here in Tuscany.” “Well, I do actually talk about myself,” I snorted. “I spend a lot of my free time, which is limited, window shopping handbags, shoes and fashion! It’s what I do!” He sighed. So anyway, here is a beautiful outfit for you to drool over, gorgeous cut and quality and made in Italy of course. https://www.luisaspagnoli.it/

What else? Oh yes, I thought you would like to know that the beautiful weather has brought out the olive pickers in ‘droves to the groves.’ We can hear the whining of the mechanical hand held pickers and the shouting and laughing of the contadini. (Country folk) Can’t wait for that first cold pressed tasting of the green nectar.

Well, I must sort out some fotos for you and add them in. Then I must get down to the Sound Studio and do at least a couple of songs before lunch. Phew!

Do drop me a line. I would like to know what you would like to hear from Tuscany and our little bit of Chianti. I know that lots of you are really missing being here, I’m sorry about that.

Thinking of you all, stay safe and well.

Salute June x

Read Full Post »

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

And, yet another beautiful day in Tuscany!

Yes, it’s Mini-lockdown time here in Italy, so called because it will be short and only up until November 24th. To be honest, I am relieved as things had become far too relaxed. We are back to plan A, exactly the way we survived the last lockdown, only going out for groceries and the chemist (farmacia) when really necessary. We had a delivery of local Chianti Wines yesterday, so that sorts us out for the next couple of months! Also, Senoir schools are mostly closed and it’s a relief to know that our granddaughter will be taking a break from being crammed into school buses every morning! foto The Florentine.

Now if you long to be in Italy but can’t be, I suggest you compensate by doing some on-line Italian classes. I was reading The Florentine magazine yesterday and saw an article about Barbara Livolsi’s Europass Italian Language School in Florence. What a good idea! During this period of Covid-19, she has quote ‘gone beyond any logistical limits and created online courses to be close to foreigners who could not come to Florence.’  My man and I really need an advanced course, despite having been here for sixteen years. We must try and make the time to do this too! http://www.europassitalian.com foto The Florentine.

Meanwhile, I am turning my thoughts towards books for Christmas, it is after all 1st November today! My good friend and writer Rosie Meleady has a new book launch today and it’s based on her move from Ireland to Italy. Rosie is a very amusing and entertaining writer, I think you will enjoy her book; it’s called ‘A Rosie Life in Italy.’ A ROSIE LIFE IN ITALY ON AMAZON

I’ve also just looked at the Book Depository in the UK. I like this site and delivery to Italy has always worked well. They have some beautiful hard-backs that I might well order having just put them on my wish list. http://www.bookdepository.com

Ok, what else? Well, as you know I am not the greatest cook and lockdown does mean cooking everyday! If you love Italian food you should go on-line and watch Judy Witts Francini’s cookery demonstrations. She’s also got a lovely cook book you can buy on-line too. Judy is a friend and neighbour and would normally be doing guided foodie tours, but instead has come up with some really good entertaining live demonstrations. If you are feeling a little brain dead over what to cook, let Judy inspire you! http://www.divinacucina.com

OK, hopefully that’s got you well and truly immersed in things Italian for a while to take your mind off the current crisis.

I love to hear from you, so do drop me a line either by email june.finnigan@virgin.net or leave a comment on this blog! Tell me about your plans for lock-down and what you miss most about Italy!

Have a great week, stay safe and well.

Salute June x

Ps Buy my books for Christmas here http://www.junefinnigan.website

PPs Well done to England for finally winning the Six Nations Rugby Cup!

Read Full Post »

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

Now, we have lived here in our beautiful bit of Tuscany for sixteen years and other than the country sinking below the waves, I will certainly spend the rest of my life living in Italy. So what, you may ask, has got me so rankled? Well, we are asked to complete two Attestazione di Iscrizione Anagrafica (Certificate of Registration) due to Brexit. So my man and I called into the office in Certaldo, were given two forms each and an appointment for the next day at 9.30. We were instructed to get the top of all four forms stamped by a tabacchi (sells Tobacco, stamps and lottery tickets). So off we went for the stamps. After going into two tabacchi we discovered that they no longer sell stamps and we would have to go to the Post Office. I waited in the car until my man came out and he said, “You’ll never believe it, we must go back to a tabacchi and ask for a Marco di Bollo, which is different to a Francobollo (postage stamp) the latter being what used to be used!” He raced back into a tabacchi and returned with his purchase. “The ruddy stamps cost sixteen euros each, so I just spent sixty-four euros for forms that no-one needs!” He groaned. Anyway, the next day at nine-thirty the forms were completed and just when we were about to leave, the embarrassed young man said, “Err, you need to pay us fifty-two cents for each form!” He pointed to the top left hand corner of the forms and there it was in print, another euro and eight cents were handed over and he responded by handing us our two copies. Shall we send an invoice to Boris?

Anyway, on to brighter things and the subject of the Olive Harvest, which is in full flow. Brightly coloured nets stretch out over the grassy slopes under the olive trees and we can hear the strange whining of the hand held electric pickers echoing across the valleys. There are thousands of groves in Tuscany, some so small that hand picking for family consumption is all that is required. Others big and commercialised. We are generally gifted a bottle of the green nectar as soon as it is cold-pressed; fresh bread for dipping or drizzled over toast and garlic is just to die for!

Also, the fruit harvest is producing delicious plums and pears. We have a bowl of chopped fruit every day for breakfast; I confess to adding some Mozzarella di Bufala to mine. Now before we moved to Italy, I had not discovered Mozzarella di Bufala or Burrata, an even creamier verson of the former. If you have not eaten these heavenly cheeses before, please do. The only danger is you could get addicted. But hey, life eeez good, life eeez now!

What else? Well, I don’t have a lot of spare time on my hands, but I am doing a little more on-line window shopping. As you know I love Italian Fashion and try to keep up with what is happening here in Italy. Like the rest of the world, the fashion industry is struggling here, particularly if they have not got a good on-line site. But yesterday, I realised that it’s pointless thinking of buying new clothes when Covid is keeping us at home. But hang on a minute! We need to go out for groceries so window shopping for cuddly coats and boots is OK. And, amongst James Lakeland’s lovely coat selection, made in Italy, I found this gorgous faux fur snuggly look. Hurrah! http://www.jameslakeland.net

So, now it’s time to tuck-in and be grateful for our comfortable home in the Chianti countryside. Good Wine, olives, cheeses, fruit and autumn vegetables, all readily available and of course Amore. Time to light the log fire and enjoy an aperitivo with my man. The next month or so we are returning to plan A and lockdowning by choice. What will you be doing?

Have a great week, stay safe and secure.

Salute June x

Ps. Visit my author site at http://www.junefinnigan.website

Read Full Post »

Yesterday morning, Saturday, I drove into Fiano for groceries. It was damp but the sun had broken through. I parked the car in a very quiet Piazza and carried the water bottle crates to the fountain to fill up with fresh water. I felt an overwhelming pressure in the air, like a looming storm, but there was nothing to indicate this in the sky. I walked up the empty street to La Dispensa, just three people were inside and, the conversation was subdued. Rosella behind the bar chatted with me and her final words were, ‘There is talk going about that we are likely to be in lock-down again by December.’ So it wasn’t just me. Today, Sunday, we are expecting a big announcement from the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte.

But we are not worried, Life eeez good, Life eeez now! My man and I are very fortunate, we live in the middle of the Tuscan countryside and can easily work from home. We are already in partial lock-down by choice and this morning’s walk around the garden was really uplifting. Everything remains lush and green, with heavy dew in the mornings and sunshine to encourage continued growth.

Masses of acorns are falling from our oak trees and we should probably rake them up. Last year several took root and my man has been mowing the tiny shoots down. The thought crossed our minds that maybe we should let them grow and have our own oak-tree forest! What do you think? A neighbour has nets under their big tree, collecting the acorns for some reason. Wine, tea? Any ideas?

I mentioned fungi last week and the damp weather continues to encourage wonderful displays of mushrooms and other fungi at the base of some of the older and rotting tree stumps. And, from the lower terrace the view was stunning as we watched the morning mists gradually dissapating in the rays of the morning sun.

Back in my study I checked my emails and was once again was reminded of another reason why I love Autumn so much. Yes, I’m talking about Autumn/winter Italian fashion, you guessed! Here is an outfit that I love, again from Luisa Spagnoli; I’m on her mailing list. I know, but I am only window shopping, one day when I have made a fortune from book sales, I’ll fill my wardrobe with her stuff! http://www.luisaspagnoli.it

Well, that’s enough, my man is expecting roast potatoes for lunch. I can’t complain when he looks at me the way he does, I just love him to bits. He’s currently overjoyed about Exeter Chiefs winning the European Rugby Championship. Exeter is my city of birth and my man used to go to the old Rugby ground there when it was still ‘standing only,’ weeds growing up through the cracked concrete and on the site of the old speedway racing stadium! Well done Exeter Chiefs!

OK, time to sign off and send you this blog. May you all remain safe and sound, I miss you all, maybe we’ll meet again next year.

Salute June x

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

Fotos J & P Finnigan.

Read Full Post »

Yes, it’s pouring down with rain here and thunder has been rumbling across a leaden sky all morning. And, when we came back from morning coffee in Fiano, the electricity had gone! It was so dark and gloomy we lit a candle and placed it on the coffee table! Funny how, even in Tuscany, we have the same dilemmas as every other country that normally has electricity, what shall we do now? There was enough light to see but not to read. We contemplated lighting the log fire, but it wasn’t cold enough. Then, the moment we decided to relax and sit in the rather pleasant candle light to talk, it came back on again!

Despite unpredictable weather, October is a very popular time for visiting Artist Groups; some are currently packed into the holiday cottages just up the lane. The forecast is so bad this week that I am starting to feel sorry for them. I use to get a little irritated by the fact that they had positioned their easels so that they could paint the vineyards with our home in the middle, or in our gateway so that they could paint our view! But I have discovered something called tolerance, I can’t say I feel the same about the hunters though, but that’s another subject! foto ancoradelchianti.

But I cannot deny that right now the Autumn vines are a site to behold and a joy to paint. This picture was taken by my friend Ute who works at Villa Il Pozzo, just down the road. Every year I see the vines changing colour and there is one spot coming out of Fiano that is glorious, but difficult to photograph. So with Ute’s permission, I am sharing her foto which was taken from Villa Il Pozzo just a few days ago. Absolutely gorgeous. http://www.villailpozzo.it

Meanwhile, the banks are full of golden yellow wild crocuses. Also the ground is throwing up an amazing number of different fungi, a fascinating time.

And, at last we have Tartufo Bianco, White Truffles, being served at Paolo’s restaurant C’era un Volta and are now just about affordable. I set up the table ready for the arrival of my plate so I could photgraph it for you. Then to my horror my man said ‘What are you doing? You’ve just scoffed two huge mouthfuls without taking a foto first!” So I must apologise, I just couldn’t wait as it was our first taste of the season, food of the gods, that’s all I can say. So sorry about the gap in the middle!

So, what to do on this cold wet Sunday? I know, some on-line window fashion shopping will sort me out. Somehow, Italian men and women fashionisti seem to be recognisable wherever they go. Oh, we say, they must be Italian! Now, I love Italian Fashion, as you know, but somehow despite being very Italianised I still can’t quite pass myself off as anything other than English. But I can dream, can’t I? foto whowhatwear.co.uk

Anyway, perhaps we should light the log fire and have a nice glass of wine before lunch. How about you?

Do get in touch, I love to hear from my readers. Hoping you are well and safe in your little bit of the world.

Salute June

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

Read Full Post »

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

Well, we finally made it over to Tavernelle for lunch, after far too long staying closer to home!

It was lovely to be back at Osteria La Gramola and to see Massimo and Cecilia again.  We became friends years ago, even meeting up in London for an Italian meal whilst they were on holiday.  Massimo is front of house whilst Cecilia, an award winning chef, does all the creative and delicious seasonal meals in the kitchen. Cecilia made some home-made gluten free Pici especially for me, that’s fat spaghetti, tossed in pepper and pecorino cheese; it was absolutely yummy! The Pici pasta recipe originates from Siena. http://www.gramola.it

The walls of the restaurant are covered in paintings by Patrizio Landolfi, a brilliant local modern artist.  I fell in love with his David Bowie picture, but he gets very high prices for his work world wide.  His original Bowie selling for around seventy- thousand dollars to a Canadian billionaire!  One day, when I have sold a lot more books, I will treat myself to one of his very small pictures…….http://www.patriziolandolfi.it

What next? Well, the weather has turned and it is cold, yes cold! We have a quilt on the bed now and I am wearing cosy slippers. I know, you imagine my looking like a rock chick all the time. You’ll be glad to know that I never stop thinking like one. And, we have had some pretty scary storms over the last few days too, lots of thunder, lightening and rain. What! I hear you exclaim, you were thinking that Tuscany was the land of wall to wall sunshine; go on admit it. No, we have four definable seasons just like northern Europe; whilst the climate has become less predictable, you can be assured of a much less damp atmosphere during a cold weather and when the sun comes out it is never a watery one, always bright and hot! Also, the light here is very different. Most mornings the countryside takes on a 3D effect, each tree and ridge becomes clearly defined, as if you were looking through a telescope. it’s quite breathtaking, but difficult to photograph. That’s why artists come here in droves, hoping to capture that special essence of Tuscany on canvas. We are so lucky!

Ah, my man has just wheeled the air conditioning unit out of the sitting room, clearing the front of the fireplace! So, we can look forward to lighting the log fire soon! I love a log fire, but we will try and wait until October at the earliest!

Well, enough for now. it is Sunday and whilst we love Italian food, I prefer that the Italians cook it! So, I will do spinach and feta Ceci pancakes for my man, who loves them and if my man is happy then all is well with the world.

Have a great week and do stay safe. Drop me a line and tell me about your part of the world. june.finnigan@virgin.net

Salute June x

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

Read Full Post »

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

Now, some of you already know that I am a Director of a London based M&A Team, that is Mergers & Acquisitions. Well, like most service businesses, we have been working remotely since March, we just happen to be lucky enough to be locked-down in Tuscany. I’m mentioning this because I realised yesterday, Friday, that I had missed sending you a blog last weekend, I’m so sorry! But who’d have thought it, we have become so busy in the business without face to face meetings, that I have had to put aside finishing my fourth book and concentrate on our new clients! I actally spent last weekend in my home office! So my new target publication date for ‘Assassin’s List’ is now Spring 2021!

But don’t worry, you are far from being forgotten, without some creative writing and particularly to you, I think my head would explode! Meanwhile, all around us the Vendemia (grape harvest) is at its height. The noise from the great big harvesters, has filled the air and the clattering of the emptied grape trailers bouncing along behind tractors on the hard rutted track, as they come back for more. These big automatic harvesters have been in use for many years, particularly with the larger Wineries. But there are still many small farmers who employ hand pickers and provide holidays for tourists who want to join in. In return for your labour, you will usually have great platters of typical tuscan fare provided for lunch. Do you have any grape picking experiences! visit http://www.chianti.com

The lovely luscious dark purple Sangiovese grape, which goes into the Chianti wines is grown in this part of Tuscany on the edge of Chianti itself. Driving past Villa Bacio this morning, the air was full of the perfume and small streams of residue purple juice had flooded across the road, filling all the cracks and spilling over the edge into the fields. It seems only yesterday that the last Vendemia was under way!

As regards other seasonal fruits, there are still some wonderful sweet fresh figs to be had. You need to know your trees though as some can be very bitter. But at Paolo’s C’era una Volta Ristorante, I was served up the most mouth watering sweet fruits direct from his own trees, with local pecorino cheeses. Delizioso! Down in Certaldo this morning, the fruit and veg market was very busy, loads of fresh produce and, I’m glad to say, everyone still keeping a distance and most wearing masks. But I missed seeing the Artisan Market in Via Giugno with the lovely crafts and products from all over Italy. My man told me about this later, the crafty devil! He knew that I would be there all morning if I had known! Unknowingly, I instead spent half an hour having a pedicure and manicure with my beautician Irene, whilst my man went off for his favourite pastry at Jam Caffe, no doubt with a smirk on his face! But now I am a happy rabbit with beautiful feet and hands. I have chosen a purple varnish again, to match the colour of the Chianti Wine in my glass!

On our return home, my man unlocked the front door and I barrelled through the beaded fly-curtain. My man let out a shout and said “Stick insect alert!” Apparently one of these stunning creatures (Bacillus Rossius) was attached to the curtain which, I could have easily injured. But all was fine, he took a foto and a short while later announced that it was eating a live shield bug! Funny, I thought they only ate leaves, but hey, nothing new really surprises us here in Italy! Everything gets eaten.

Meanwhile, September is turning out quite nice. The house is cooler as the nights are now longer. Temperatures are still at a high of 33 centigrade after lunch and will be for the rest of the week, but there is also a bit of a breeze. Tourists have thinned out a bit now and the schools are open, but we have not seen the usual grey heads that are traditionally here in September.

Well, must get this blog edited and the fotos put in for you to enjoy. Once again, sorry for missing last weekends blog, I’ll try not to do it again!

Wishing you all a really good week and please stay safe. Visit my website at http://www.junefinnigan.website

Salute June x

Grape fotos chianti.com

Read Full Post »

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

Storm clouds over Tuscany, pinterest.

Well, the rain is thundering down on our Tuscan country home. We also had storm force winds yesterday and more are expected. It’s difficult weather because we are having to deal with high humidity too. A digger driver spent the whole of last week digging drainage channels in the valley below us; it’s amazing how canny the Tuscan contadini (country folk/farmers) can be about the weather. Do you consult your local country folk or fishermen/women on the weather forecast?

Meanwhile, we are thick with tourists. No obvious English or American yet, but we don’t really want to encourage them! Covid remains a worry here, although our area on the edge of Chianti has been only slightly affected, it’s the visitors that are the problem. Many are not bothering to wear masks and those that come to the restaurent wearing them, take them off at the table, which is fine, then go brain dead and get up to go to the loo or take fotos without putting them back on again! My man has to restrain me from shouting! But hey ho! This did not stop me from enjoying the first Giant Porcini Cap of the season, grilled over Paolo’s open fire! Wonderful!

Anyway, life eeez good, life eeez now!. We met up with our beautiful daughter and granddaughter at Jam Caffe in Certaldo for coffee in the week and my man had his favourite pastry, Pastina Arancia. Our granddaughter (15) was telling us that her return to school is likely to be on a part-time basis, the rest of the time studing on-line. Her last term was all on-line and she did very well without the nomal distractions of friends. Tuscany has so far provided excellent schooling this way, but obviously the face to face social interaction is important too.

Our Grandson (nearly 20) has just signed up with a South East Rugby Club in England for the coming season. At the moment, the club is only training on Thursdays, but he is very glad to be there. He was desperate to play English Rugby after having played in both Italy and France. As most of you know, Rugby in Italy has much room for improvement including proper investment into facilities and pitches. We are delighted for him!

Back here in our Tuscan country garden, Phil the pheasant is looking so much better and we have been reliably informed by a friend in the know, that his dissapearance and bedraggled return is because the males need to recover from the mating season and moult at the same time. Thank you Hilary for that snippit of knowledge! And, we have another resident, found by my man, curled up tightly in our entrance hall in a nook in the stone steps. A young skinny viper and whilst immature, we don’t really want him inside the house! So he was gently swept out the door and has taken up residence under an earthenware pot outside. foto Animalia.bio

Meanwhile, I’ve been sorting out my music repertoire and am ordering more backing tracks, but this time in the correct key for my voice. Also, we have ordered some better lighting for the Sound Studio from IKEA and whilst I was online, I thought I may as well order more bookshelves, a bathroom cabinet, two bedside tables and more lamps. I know, naughty indulgences! Deliveries here are now fairly reliable if you live in Tuscany and there’s nothing like a bit of shopping therapy to brighten the day! Some of the pricing is also amazing. We bought this great non-intrusive floor lamp a few weeks ago, for just 15 Euros on-line at IKEA.it! What do you think?

Well, I think we will pop out to Paolo’s for lunch again today. I had a funny moment yesterday, forgetting that I had planned to go out to eat! My man came to find me and could not believe that I had forgotten. But he’s always happy to eat a home, bless him.

So, time to get the fotos added and do an edit. I do hope you enjoy my waffling, I blame it on the heat and humidity.

Have a great week and do drop me a line, I love to hear from you. Visit my website at http://www.junefinnigan.website

Salute June x

Read Full Post »

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

2017-08-13 09.26.28

Archive picture – Packed like beached sardines on the Tuscan coast. La Repubblica.

Phew!  there’s no other word to describe it.  I’m talking about the weather here in Tuscany, of course.  August is traditionally a hot month and this year is no exception; many Italians have still rushed off to the seaside and up into the mountains to try and find a cool breeze, despite the restrictions.  But many haven’t.  I was talking to a very bronzed Italian friend in the village last week and he had no intention of taking his family to the beach, his tan was achieved working in his orto, vegetable garden.  There is considerable concern over the way people have been letting their guard down and what with the crazy tourists, its all a little scary.

download.jpgSo is Italy safe?  I hear you ask.  Yes, it is safe, perhaps less so in the north, just as long as you continue to take those all important precautions:  masks, hand cleansing and distancing.  Follow the rules!  My daughter was in her local town here in Tuscany, trying to go to the farmacia (chemist) and there was a crowd of tourists milling around with no masks and no distancing!  She had to shout to be heard when she asked them to give her room to get through!  It was so bad that the polizia (police) had to get out a loud hailer and ask them to put on their masks and to spread out!  Some people are just ignorant and others, quite frankly, stupid.  So it is down to you to remain safe and avoid busy tourist spots if you can!  Tuscany is so full of beautiful culture and countryside, it is not difficult to find many quiet and less touristy places to go.  The tourist industry is slowly recovering, but you will still find many lovely self-catering properties, like nearby Villa Il Pozzo with vacancies.  Villa il Pozzo

Peachy BreakfastAnyway, enough of that.  As I write this blog I am enjoying a delicious breakfast bowl of fresh fruit and some scoops of Mozzarella di Buffala.  The peaches are currently to die for, I love this time of year for the fruit and also new potatoes.  I have to admit that my man and I do eat out a lot at lunchtime.  I find the heat too exhausting to cook.  We have an air conditioning unit, but we still need fans as well.  So we remain grateful to Paolo at Ristorante C’era una Volta in Lucardo for his coolish dining room.

535346_251400000000_01_base_4Well, yesterday, just as the heat was getting to me in my studio, a Luisa Spagnoli email dropped into my inbox announcing a 50% sale!  Now, buying directly from an Italian designer, and Luisa Spagnoli is one of my favourites, can be expensive depending on your purse strings of course.  So a 50% sale is always something I can’t resist at least scrolling through.  Her models are mostly smiley or looking reasonable happy, so that helps too.  But, they are very tall!  I am your typical English wilting rose, five foot three and short waisted, so I have to be very selective in what I buy.  Midi length on me is ankle length, jackets and tops can come down to my knees, which is not the look one really wants to achieve.  I have recently managed to buy three frocks on-line from Next and M&S that actually fit and drop to a midi length, which I like.  But take a look at Luisa’s sale, if you love beautiful fashion, you will love her sale!  Luisa Spagnoli

cover-issue-2Back on the subject of food, there is nothing nicer than a big family lunch.  It also helps when you have a daughter and granddaughter who love to cook and they arrive at your house with a two course meal ready to serve!  All I had to do was lay the table beforehand.  This family get together was an extension of my daughter Sharon’s birthday as we did not get to see her on the day.  Sharon is the joint editor of EnvyItaly an upmarket luxury travel magazine, which can be downloaded on-line or bought in hard copy form.  I absolutely love this publication and if you have not aleady got a subscription, do take a look! EnvyItaly

OK, time to get this blog honed and off to you.  I will be cooking a light lunch as I just cannot face going out into the stifling heat today.  I am also supposed to start an alcohol free month as of now……

Have a great week and do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers.  Also, do visit my website at My site

Salute June x

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

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

My feet.jpgYes, it’s yet another Beautiful Day in Tuscany and I’m feeling very chipper. Last thursday I finally returned to my lovely estetista Irene in Certaldo, for a manicure and pedicure. Now in normal times this would not be something to post that was really newsworthy, but when I look at my feet now, it’s like a gift from heaven! For me beautiful hands, feet and hair are so very important. What with my being famous in Fiano, I have to look my best! It’s also to do with that ‘feel good’ factor, which is so important in all our lives. What do you think? Things remain strict here in Italy, you know, masks, hand gels and distancing wherever you go, but this gives me much more confidence about going to these places.

0-1Now whilst this is not strickly about Tuscany, you will probably know that Italians love music and in particular Rock Music. I live in the music world here and many friends are mourning the passing of Peter Green at the young age of seventy-four. He was considered to be one of the UK’s greatest guitarists and was a co-founder of Fleetwood Mac.

0.jpegOn a happier note the world is celebrating the 77th birthday of Mick Jagger, hugely popular with Italians and who always includes Florence or Lucca on the Rolling Stone’s European tours.  More are planned for 2021; Rock On that man! The brilliant drawings included for both these guys were done by UK artist Gary Wing, whom I follow on Linked-in. I also own an original of his, not a musician, but my lovely cat Farty Barty who went up to the cat concert in the sky three years ago. Bless him.

downloadMeanwhile, back here in this beautiful part of Tuscany, we are not far from Toscana Resort Castelfalfi, a favourtite haunt of our son-in-law who is a keen golfer.  They have opened their new Country Club House and restuarants that look very inviting.  I am reliably informed that for people staying there, there are a few things not quite ready yet like the swimming pool and spa centre.  However, the re-opening will be welcomed by those who enjoy  luxurious facilities and a 27 hole golf course in the most breathtaking Tuscan setting.  Website

My man surveys his landAnd, what else?  Oh yes, on the subject of travelling, I hope you have a passport, because I don’t!  If I have to be marooned anywhere, it would be here in Tuscany of course.  This is fortunate because, having applied for a new passport last April and being told it was on the way at the end of that month, it never arrived!  You may already know that due to the Covid thing, there is a backlog of thousands of UK passports.  I only found out a couple of weeks that the secure delivery service given the task of bringing UK passports to Euopean residents, returned a whole batch of passports to London!  Meanwhile, Easyjet, in their effort to reward frequent flyers, like my man, made him a member of their exclusive Flight Club.  Unfortunately, they stupidly registered me as the member and not him.  So when I rang to change a flight free of charge, which is one of the benefits, they said no, we would have to pay £60!  So here we are, me with no passport and my man without a decent airline.  But we don’t care about that, life eeez good, life eeez now!  Here is a picture of my man gazing at the Tuscan countryside and dreaming of returning to the UK, I don’t think!

Well, enough of that.  Time to get this blog off to you and get back to the day job.  Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers, or visit my website at My site

Have a great week.

Salute June x

 

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: