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).


  • Salad dressing salad dressing 1

    Aldo is always coming up with yet another fantasy based on the produce around at the moment, or recipes he’s heard people talking about on the radio (it was sweet and sour onion omelette this weekend) but this simple dressing is my own.


    a couple of cloves of garlic crushed in the mortar and [...]


  • Air air

    Anyone coming to Italy, on holiday or to make their life here, would do well to be warned about the air. It is pretty difficult air here, responsible for all sorts of illness and conditions, the most musical of which is “colpa di aria”, literally a strike of air. This can be, and is, blamed [...]

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.


1 comment to Books, trees and pebbles…

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