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).

recipes

  • 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 [...]

Italian

  • Jazz in the summer petra-magoni

    Last week we went to a concert with Petra Magoni and Ferruccio Spinetti of Musica Nuda at Sant Elpidio del Mare. It was a full moon, the evening was hot and the music extraordinary. If you like jazz have a look at her site, www.petramagoni.

    The last couple of days we’ve been in Perugia [...]

making things

  • Olive Oyl olive-oil-1

    It’s finally here. The new oil is in the glass on the right, compared to the oil from last year on the left. The night it was pressed it was a subtle green, but by the following morning it had already gone yellow. Aldo decided that we should feast on the new oil in traditional [...]

Keeping time

churchmogJasper took up the piano last year and I took these photographs while he was at his lesson this week. Mogliano is empty on weekday afternoons between lunch and five, and the misty February air and the echo of my footsteps gave the town an eerie, timeless feel.

This year I decided to take up the piano again.  I think of myself as having recently given it up so it was startling to realise that my last lesson was 37 years ago. I wondered whether this explained my struggle to keep up with the metronome as I massacred a Bach prelude; after all Jasper has been whisking through Scott Joplin with the metronome without difficulty.  But after a few weeks I downloaded a metronome app onto my phone, thus revealing Jasper’s musical flexibility, in adapting to our old metronome’s moody beat. time

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