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).


  • By request tractors

    I made a blackboard earlier this autumn specifically for shopping lists, but it’s been turned into a request board. “Make Christmas Pudding” went up in early October (plan ahead Mum, otherwise it won’t get done. It didn’t.) “Mince Pies” has been there for a while now. But when my friend Barbara, exiled to London [...]


  • Hilltop town hilltop

    Almost every town in our region is on top of a hill, for strategic reasons; ensuring that we got them before they got us. I spotted early sunshine on this town on my way to Sam’s bus this morning so I drew in to photograph it on the way home. The lady who farms [...]

making things

  • Bottles champagne

    This weekend we started preparing for the great bottling experience at Easter. I use “we” in a grandiose manner, in fact Aldo prepared one hundred and forty bottles and I got excited at the thought of all the delicious wine. Next week he’s sending a fifty six litre glass bottle up to a cantina in [...]

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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