I'm Tamsin Hickson, I live on an olive farm in Le Marche in Central Italy with my husband, sons, father, cats, dog, chickens, ducks (until Christmas).


  • Penne al profumo di primavera penne-primavera

    This means literally scent of spring. The finely chopped vegetables cooked for about twenty minutes form the basis of the sauce. Just before serving the fresh mozarella, basil and chopped tiny tomatoes are mixed in, making this a fragrant and tasty meal, perfect for spring.  Use between 100 and 250grams of dried short pasta per person.

    Half a [...]


  • Turning eighty… morning glory 2

    One of Aldo’s aunts turned eighty yesterday and invited her favourite sixty relatives to celebrate the occasion in a local restaurant. After a short but bloody battle with my mobile phone and its image files I’ve decided you’re better off imagining the scene.

    We ate six courses in six hours, our plates piled high [...]

making things

  • Air conditioning in August august cats

    It’s hot and I’ve not found time to blog all month.  I’m not officially on holiday, but everyone else is, and it is hot. There are festas everywhere, and dinners, to say nothing of lunches, and as I’ve said before, it’s hot.

    I’ve not been entirely lazy, though, developing my own version of natural air [...]

Books, trees and pebbles…

Aldo spent our holiday immersed in international crime noir. He started with Jean Claude Izzo’s MARSEILLES TRILOGY, took a short refreshing break with Iain Pears DEATH AND RESTORATION then plunged headlong into Shanghai guided by Qiu Xiaolong’s A CASE OF TWO CITIES. I explored the world of creativity with IMAGINE, HOW CREATIVITY WORKS by Jonah Lehrer. It’s filled with fascinating ideas and interesting tests most of which I tried out on Aldo. It was a while before I noticed that the blank stare turned in my direction as I posed yet another intriguing mind bender had a noirish tinge to it…

Who knows why he wasn’t more open to my frank assessment of the way his mind works? Anyway, try this one at home: Mary and Martha are sisters, born to the same parents, on the same hour of the same day in the same year. But they are not twins.

I’ll post the answer (for those of you open-minded enough to have given it some thought…) on Wednesday.

Further differences in attitude can be detected in our choice of things to bring home. Aldo collected seeds of trees which he wrapped carefully in newspaper, planning to plant them here and create a tiny corner of Sicily in our garden.

I collected pebbles.


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