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Benvenuti and Welcome to my weekly Blog from Tuscany

I returned from a week in the UK last Sunday, and I am really glad to be home in our little bit of Chianti.  It was a very exhausting time combining book events and business networking; I can now see the benefits of doing all my book marketing on-line, but it was an interesting exercise.

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My three books on sale in Fiano.  Foto J Finnigan

Of course, as an author, I am very famous in our local village of Fiano and Milko is proudly promoting all three of my books in his glass cabinet frontage at his shop in the Piazza, bless him.  After a week back home, going out for a good coffee every morning and greeting the locals, I have finally recovered from the frenetic pace of life in the cities and towns of England.  But enough of that, you have checked in to read about Tuscany, and I am more than happy to update you.

Of course, the tourist season is upon us.  Once Easter hits, everything gears up for the invasion and for us it is not unpleasant, mainly because we find ourselves people watching and offering help to hapless English-speaking tourists who are lost or confused.  Our little bit of home on the edge of Chianti is very popular with Americans, Germans, Poles, French and other northern Europeans; it is fun to try to identify nationalities by their dress code and/or language.

2017-05-07 12.02.04I must tell you that lots of Contemporary Wine and Art Events are going on around us and I should mention those run by The Vitalita Cultural Association, a number of which we will be attending.  The events include wine tasting, art exhibitions, live music and dance, in stunning locations.  So this will keep the visitors occupied when it’s raining.  Visit the English version website and event calendar

Meanwhile, back at our lovely home, I have a new baby called George.  No, not that kind of baby, it’s a new Fender acoustic guitar, which I bought back from England.  You are probably aware that I am the lead singer of The Rock Chick Band and we perform once a year at our private Concert party in June.  My lead guitarist Stefano will have to teach me to play it, so do not worry, I won’t be playing it live this year!  If you are in Tuscany on the 24th June and would like an invite, drop me an email at june.finnigan@virgin.net

2017-05-01 10.03.56So what’s been happening on the political scene?  Ah, not surprisingly, Matteo Renzi, having resigned as Prime Minister, has got himself elected back in as leader of the PD party.  Of course, he’s one of those pretty boys of politics and used to be the mayor of Florence.  The girlies love him, just like they adored Silvio Berlusconi who is eighty now, but still attracts a big following!  So Matteo could be running the country again by the end of the year!

2017-04-17 08.43.28What else, oh yes, I have to share this picture with you.  The Italian shoe designers have mastered the elegant flat shoe look and I just love these, and the handbag of course.

2017-05-05 09.19.03And finally, for now, here is ‘man and dog’ of the month.  Only Gucci can come up with such a beautiful picture.  What is your favourite fashion brand?

Do get in touch, I love to hear from you.

Salute June x

 

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Welcome to all my loyal and new followers,

Warming a nice bottle of local wine. Photo J Finnigan

Warming a nice bottle of local wine.
Photo J Finnigan

Yes, its freezing cold and when  Chianti wines are served at room temperature in the winter its enough to make you tremble with the chill of it all.  So we are now keeping two or three bottles in the nook next to the fireplace that is specially made for this purpose.  Even so, it still needs a little more heating in front of the fire along with the glasses, before it is the right temperature for drinking!  Yes we do have central heating, but it drys the air so badly and the gas is very expensive.  It’s best to dash out of bed in the morning, manually put on the heating upstairs for half and hour, drape bath towels over the radiators to warm up and climb back into bed with a hot drink and wait.  This is also the best time for reading a book, while snuggled up with my man who is generally playing with his Smartphone .  I said Smartphone.  My current book is ‘The Beekeeper’s Apprentice’ by Laurie R King, a really gripping & beautifully written Sherlock Holmes story.  In my studio, I am butted up to an electric fire which our daughter delivered to us when we met for coffee in Fiano last Monday.  Our lovely girl was concerned about my poor aching joints, sweet thing, and thought it would help as I spend so much time working at the computer!  By choice, we live in an old villa which, by its very nature, is a cold house.  all the windows and doors are well fitted and double glazed, however, the cold always manages to seep through the roof and the high ceilings upstairs don’t help.  Despite this, I have to say, that since we left England almost ten years ago, I have barely had a sniffle and only a couple of viruses.  In England I lost whole months of work every year due to heavy colds and flu!  There is a lot to be said for homes warmed by  things other than central heating and fitted carpets.

Well, I don’t know about you, but keeping moving is the thing and its amazing how warm you can get trying to cover the plants with white muslin in a high biting wind.  Last Tuesday, I filled my pockets and mouth with clothes pegs and frantically pegged away at the flapping cloth and then tied it all down with string, leaving the pegs for extra security.  Now granted,  it does not look all that pretty, but it was a job well done.  The day before, my man had erected the polytunnel and all the vulnerable potted plants went under cover.   We were just in time, because come Wednesday, when he had flown to London, we had the first frosts.

The Duke and Princess Michael of Kent fly to Pisa looking a little overdressed. Photo Mail online

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent fly to Pisa looking a little overdressed.
Photo Mail online

On the subject of flying to and from London, my man was joined by Prince and Princess Michael of Kent on his return flight to Pisa on Friday.  Now it was quite obvious that the Prince did not know the rules when flying in a lower class than he had become  accustomed to.  He had arrived at the front of the plane at the same time as the other ‘priority passengers’ and decided that he preferred the front  aisle seat to the one he had been allocated.  However, passengers are allocated seat numbers and when the chap arrived who had paid for and booked that seat, the Prince was asked to move!  Oh dear, but then the chap was a regular, always sat there and knew his rights!

The lovely little caffe bar, at Terra Viva, in Poggibonsi, with the shop beyond. Photo J Finnigan

The lovely little cafe bar, at Terra Viva, in Poggibonsi, with the shop beyond.
Photo J Finnigan

On Thursday, I popped down to Poggibonsi to visit ‘Terra Viva,’ a vegetarian shop and cafe bar, as I particularly wanted to buy some vegan margarine to make some stuffing balls.  This is a new recipe that I found on the vegan website, so I thought I would try it out in plenty of time for Christmas.  ‘Terra Viva’  is a treasure trove for vegans, fresh organic fruit & veg and a kitchen that serves up vegan lunches.  They also sell lovely perfumed oils, candles and mini water fountains set in crystal.  I had a caffe latte there made with organic coffee beans and rice milk – it was surprisingly delicious!  Whilst we are not fully vegan (I adore cheese and cream) I would like to be and we do have some vegan friends to cook for.  I have also been reading up on vegan dishes and its amazing how creative one can be without dairy produce, so I must have a go.  If anyone can recommend some good ideas for a vegan Christmas, do let me know.

And how is the virtually challenged, but gorgeous Silvio Berlusconi doing?  I’ll just go and check the latest news and come back to you.  Poor old SB,  the news is not good.  He must feel like he’s walking trough a wind tunnel, one step forward and two back.  It seems the courts are now claiming that SB “gathered women together at his Milan mansion last January,” then they suggested that “he paid off the would-be show girls with 2,500 euros each a month in return for giving almost identical testimonies  in court, playing down the sexually charged nature of his ‘bunga bunga’ parties!”  Oh dear, they are also claiming that “many of these women lived in apartments owned by SB, wore gifted jewelry and drove cars given to them as birthday presents!”  You don’t say!  Well, of course SB has responded  saying that “it was simply in his nature to try to help people in need.” Well bless his warm and generous heart….

Well, enough of that, it’s now December 1st and everything is getting very Christmasy! I must go and get the Christmas box out of the storeroom and check the state of the crushed decorations and wrapping paper.  Then off to lunch at one of our lovely local ristorante.

Book Cover for 'My Father, The Assassin'

Book Cover for ‘My Father, The Assassin’

Have a great week and don’t forget to check out your Christmas books, especially ‘My Father, the Assassin’ by J W Finnigan on http://www.amazon.uk (eu or com) and at http://www.goodreads.net where you can download an e- book at a discounted price!  Enjoy…

Amore June x

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