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).


  • Devil’s food cake choc cake 2


    I think the best chocolate in Italy can be found in Lidl but shopping there is an oddly existential experience. I wander the aisles alongside other immigrants, mostly people from Eastern Europe whose faces indicate lives considerably more complex than mine. I follow them to the till wishing I could identify their languages [...]


  • Come away with me? Perhaps not christmas-decoration

    Christmas draws nearer and we’re into the last week of English lessons before the holiday season.  Monday is my hard core class, with several students who have been with me since I started teaching back in 2004. They promise to carry on to the bitter end; which raises the interesting question of just where that [...]

making things

  • My models my-models

    None of our children suffer from false modesty and they had a lovely time putting on different scarves and wrist warmers in front of the mirror until the moment came when I ushered them outside. On a day which switched from bright sunshine to snow storms modelling cashmere outdoors seemed hard work. Each time I [...]

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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